Real Estate Answers
Answers to Your Frequently Asked Real Estate Questions
Julie Cendejas is a licensed Realtor and Associate Broker with Keller Williams Realty Boise in Boise, ID. With more than 17 years of experience, Julie is happy to answer your pressing real estate questions. If you are a home buyer or seller and looking for an agent who’ll really listen to what you want in a home, talk to Julie today.
What are the steps to buying a home?
The first step in buying a home is getting pre-approved with a lender, then finding a REALTOR that will lead you thru the process and find homes that match your criteria, once you do find that home, you make an offer, get a home inspection, have an appraisal if financing the home and then close on it and get the keys and start moving in!
How much house can I afford?
How does the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage work?
What is the role of a real estate agent when buying or selling a home?
Should I get a home inspection before buying a house?
What are the closing costs and who pays for them?
What is the best way to price my home for sale?
How should I prepare my home for sale?
If a house is on septic, who pays for the septic inspection?
If you are buying a home with a septic system, typically a house or a larger lot, rural or on acreage – then you may have a septic system vs being connected to city sewer.
Typically in Idaho, the seller pays for the septic inspection and pumping when selling a home. As most things in a real estate transaction, it’s negotiable – but it’s typically for the buyers benefit and the seller will share the results with the buyer in the form of receipt and photos. Typical cost varies between $300-1000 and depends on if the lid of the septic tank needs to be dug up or not.
Who pays for the well water inspection when the house is on a well?
Typically in Idaho, the Buyer will pay for their own well water testing as part of the home inspection. There are many different water tests that can be performed – but the most common are: Coliform, E-Coli,Nitrates and Arsenic. I always tell buyers you want to pay for and order your own water testing by a 3rd party – so they know the water was taken from the correct testing site. The price for these tests varies, but typically no more than a couple hundred for the tests and collection and transport of the water.
Does it matter if an agent is full time or part time, when it comes to helping me buy or sell my home?
YES, it matters! Real estate can be complicated stuff – and full time agents commit to this career and are always learning how to better themselves and how to help their clients. They also see more things doing this full time, hence know how to avoid the potholes in a transaction before it even becomes one. More than anything – you want an agent that is going to be there for you, when you need them, will answer their phone and go to bat for you when needed. Make sure you research who you are going to work with on likely one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. Read reviews, ask for referrals from other people you trust.
Do I have to counter back to a buyer when they offer on the house I’m selling?
No, the seller doesn’t have to counter back if they do not like the offer that a buyer submitted. However, as I like to say ‘Don’t let the deal die in your court’ meaning – if you want full price – counter back at that – vs just rejecting the offer. At least you’re giving them back something to consider and showing you are earnest in wanting to sell the house you have listed.
What is a Transaction Fee or ‘TC Fee’ in terms of Real Estate?
Speaking for Idaho and the Treasure Valley – this is a fee that agents will charge for the ‘administrative’ side of doing a real estate transaction. Typically they are hiring an outside person to take care of their file on the paperwork side. (This person is called a Transaction Coordinator) Is it required? NO! Is it negotiable? YES! As most things in real estate are. Do all agents charge one? NO – not at all – and it’s my personal opinion that these fees are basically junk fees and a buyer especially, should not be charged a fee for the agent to have their paperwork handled by someone else. That is the cost of doing business and their choice to have the paperwork handled by someone else. I am passionate about this topic and will not charge a TC fee to either a buyer or a seller.