Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about buying or selling a home in the Central Ohio but have some questions? Odds are, you’re not alone! And while you can always contact us for more information, if you want answers fast, you just might find them among these questions we frequently hear from our buyers. 

Questions to Ask Every Agent Before Choosing One

An agent that’s been in the business for a good amount of time will be able to anticipate problems before they arise and have tried and tested negotiation techniques. They will also have relationships with other real estate professionals already.

The Thomas|Riddle Group has been in business since 1998

The average number of homes closed per year for a real estate agent is 12, so if your agent is batting way below that, it could be a red flag.

Last year Thomas|Riddle Group closed 121 homes

Full-time agents are more likely to be able to devote more time to working for you than someone who is pursuing real estate on the side.

Our team is made up exclusively of full-time agents

This is a line to toe carefully. Too many clients may mean your agent doesn’t have time to devote to you; too few may be a red flag.

Though few buyers find their dream home immediately, your real estate agent can play a huge role in the length of time it takes to find your perfect home. Many things factor into how long it takes to find a home; however, you should be wary if your agent habitually works with clients for six months or longer.

If you hired a new employee, you would probably call their references, right? Be sure you’re vetting your new agent with the same rigor you would any professional working for you. If they can’t offer you a list of satisfied clients, be careful.

Your real estate agent should be knowledgeable about the area you’re looking at.  Communities differ in terms of what types of homes buyers want, what types of homes sell, and so on. Make sure your agent knows the area where you want to buy.

If you enter an agent-buyer relationship with the understanding that the agent will be handling you personally, it can be alarming to be handed off to an assistant. Be clear about who you will primarily be dealing with, what your agent will handle personally, and what gets delegated to their support staff.

As with any financial transaction, get a good understanding of how your agent is compensated before entering into a relationship with them.

Typically, buyers do not pay agent commission fees. Fees are paid by the seller to their broker, and then the commission is split with the buyer’s agent. The percentage varies by agent and market, but is usually around 6% for both the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent commission.

If you’re looking to buy in a competitive market, standing out from the competition is essential. Ask your prospective agent how they’re going to help you stand out in a potential sea of offers.

Questions About Buying a Home

First and foremost, New Albany is a fantastic place to live, to work, and to buy a home! This warm and friendly community offers so many wonderful amenities and opportunities—beautiful neighborhoods, lovely parks and trails, pet-friendly spots, exciting shops and entertainment venues, top-notch schools… and so much more. If you’re new to the area, we recommend taking a look at our New Albany Relocation Guide to get a better idea of what it’s like to live here, and to get to know the area a little better. 

There are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether to rent or buy—both external market factors and more internal, personal factors. Buying comes with a lot of financial perks, like tax breaks and equity growth, as well as a sense of security and some design flexibility.

 

However, homeownership isn’t for everyone. If you plan to move within the next few years, don’t have steady employment, or currently have high debts, it might be worth waiting until your situation is a bit more stable before you start searching.

There was a time when a solid 20% down payment was a requirement for getting approved for a home loan. Those days are long past. Today, there are so many different mortgage options out there for buyers, and many offer low down payment options, in addition to lower credit and income requirements.

 

For example, FHA loans allow buyers to purchase homes with as little as a 3% down payment. The VA loan and USDA loans offer up to 100% financing! More traditional loans (i.e. those not subsidized or guaranteed by government programs), typically require a 10% – 20% down payment.

Real estate agents are incredibly valuable to both buyers and sellers. In both cases, your agent will walk you through the transaction from start to finish, handling communication between all parties involved in the process—other agents, attorneys, inspectors, lenders, and more. They also use negotiation skills to ensure you get the best deal possible. And of course, they’re always happy to answer questions or lend expert advice.

 

In most cases, the agent’s commission is paid by the seller. Which means you as the buyer get the services of an agent for FREE! Your agent will take the time to understand what you’re looking for in a home and location—and help you find it, at the right price and without any headaches.

The best way to get the best mortgage is to shop around. The more lenders, banks, brokers, and credit unions you speak to, the more options you’ll have. Some lenders might not offer certain types of loans, such as the VA loan or other government loans. Other lenders might offer different fees for their services. Others still might provide discounts or promotions.

 

When you know you’re serious about buying, the next step is to start calling lenders and asking questions. Only by talking to a variety of mortgage providers will you get a full picture of your options.

This really depends. Most buyers will view hundreds of homes online but only visit a handful or so before making an offer. Other buyers find the right home after only one or two visits. Others look for quite a bit longer before finding “the one”. The more specifications you have, the trickier it might be to find the right home, but the more likely you are to be satisfied when you do find it!

Your agent can definitely help with this! The New Albany market is always changing as buyer demand fluctuates. In high-demand markets, prices tend to climb. In lower-demand markets, prices may relax. A good agent will be up-to-date on market happenings and will be able to tell you whether a home is accurately priced… or you might be about to overpay.

 

One of the ways an agent does this is by studying similar homes in the area that have recently sold. This “comparables” list can help you and your agent determine a reasonable asking price when you decide to make an offer on a home.

Homeowners can take advantage of some pretty decent tax breaks. Typical deductions include mortgage interest and real estate taxes. When you buy, any loan discount points you pay and any origination fees are usually deductible, too.

Absolutely! In fact, this is pretty common among sellers who are moving into another home. It can be a bit of a juggling act at times, but it’s definitely possible to do. Often, seller-buyers will make an offer on a new home contingent on the sale of their old home. This ensures that you aren’t stuck paying two mortgages or struggling to come up with a down payment while your equity is still tied up in your current home.

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Amazon’s Alexa is now connecting New Albany residents with community events and services. The same smart-speaker device that you use to turn the lights on, play music, etc., can now answer questions relating to New Albany.

Rob’s May Update

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Why Choose Thomas|Riddle Real Estate Group?

Selling a house on your own can be an overwhelming task. There’s advertising to plan and budget for, open houses and private showings to arrange, purchase offers to negotiate, contract contingencies to worry about, and complicated paperwork to fill out. Make it easy on yourself by putting your home in the hands of seasoned professionals. We have extensive experience marketing properties and showing them to their best advantage.

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