There's no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to real estate. Real property is one of the best investments you can make...if you make good investment decisions. If you are careful to choose an experienced and trusted advisor, you will be in good hands. Meanwhile, you may have a few questions.
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Q: I want to buy a home. How much is it going to cost me to hire a real estate professional to help and represent me?
A: Great news! Buyers rarely have to pay for the services of an agent. It is customary in CA for the Seller to pay the commission of the buyer's agent.
Q: Where do I start if I want to buy a home or investment property?
A: Contact an experienced agent first. While you will need to get a loan approval if you are financing any part of your purchase, your agent can provide you with an overview of the process and may even have referrals for lenders based on your needs.
Q: What will it cost to have a real estate agent sell my home?
A: Real estate commissions and fees are negotiable. Some brokerages have firm rates, however most will consider the property being sold and any special circumstances known or anticipated in the transaction. As with many other services, you often "get what you pay for" and should carefully consider the reputation and experience of the brokerage and the agent who will be working with you throughout the process. I always recommend interviewing more than one real estate professional.
Q: Can I get a better deal buying a property if I go directly to the listing agent rather than have my own agent?
A: I hear this from buyers from time to time and it always baffles me as to why a buyer would rely on the Seller's agent to negotiate the best deal for them. Think about it...how can the same agent negotiate the very best deal and terms for BOTH the buyer and the seller? Bottom line, you should have your own representation!
Q: Is there a difference between an "REO" and a foreclosure?
A: No. "REO" is short for Real Estate Owned, a term that is used in the banking industry to describe properties the bank has acquired through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu. To further complicate things, these properties are sometimes referred to as "bank owned", "lender owned" or "investor owned." Having said that, "investor owned" can also refer to properties that were purchased by real estate speculators who improve them to some degree and then re-sell them at a higher price. This is typically referred to as "flipping."
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