Frequently Asked Questions When Selling a Home

Below are common questions about selling a home. If you don't see the answer to your question, connect with Kevin and he will respond promptly to help get you the answers you're looking for!

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What does a realtor do for a seller?

A real estate agent that represents the seller in a home sale is commonly referred to as the "Listing Agent" and here is what they do for sellers:

Determine Competitive Pricing: A real estate agent will help you determine a competitive price for your home. Pricing a home is one of the most important factors when it comes to selling your home fast AND for top dollar. An experienced agent has knowledge of the market your home is located in and has access to the most accurate and up-to-date sales that have occurred in your neighborhood - both on market and off market sales by FSBOs.

Advise on Staging & Curb Appeal: They also will be able to advise on staging and curb appeal and make recommendations if they truly believe those changes will help you get a higher price. Some real estate agents will recommend a lot of updates which can be overwhelming and cost the seller a lot of money. Kevin only recommends updates that he believes will truly make a difference and help with the sale of your home. He may also recommend repairs that could be called out in an appraisal based on his years of experience in working with lenders and having a solid understanding of what the different types of financing require in regard to the condition of the home. 

Have Aggressive Marketing: An experienced real estate agent will have a large marketing budget to market your home on various websites and other marketing channels (print, social, etc.). They will take professional photos of your home which are also very, very important to get buyers interested in touring your home. They should also have resources to follow up with buyers that have toured your home to get their feedback. It is helpful for sellers to understand feedback on showings. 

Have Strong Negotiation Skills: A great real estate will use negotiation tactics to help you get the best price for your home. Negotiating an offer happens quickly and if there are multiple offers, the agent must be able to understand the terms (price, closing costs, closing date, possession, title company, financing, items included in the home sale) of each offer quickly and be decisive to advise their client on the pros and cons of each. They also are able to control their emotions and stay positive throughout the negotiation process. In addition, once the home is under contract, most of the time there are additional negotiations that must take place after the home inspection and they should be experienced in navigating through negotiating repairs.

Manage the Process from Start to Finish with Reassurance Along the Way: When you list your home with a great real estate agent, they take the lead in the entire process from start to finish, handle all the paperwork and advise you along the way so you can make the best decisions for your circumstances. Ultimately their goal is to get you the most amount of money at the closing table. Unexpected things can happen when selling your home and an experienced agent has seen it all and will be able to walk you through those moments with reassurance and confidence.

Can you buy a house before selling your own?

This is a common question to have when you are a current homeowner and you’re wondering how to buy a house before selling yours. Many times a homeowner will discover they need to sell their current home before making their next purchase and a lot needs to happen for this process to run seamlessly. 

If you are wondering if you can sell a home with a mortgage, while also planning to finance your next home, your best first step will be to talk with a lender to understand your financing options. Learn more about financing your next home

Meeting with a realtor will also be important so you can understand your home’s market value and they can answer questions you have about making the transition from one home to the next. An experienced real estate agent has helped hundreds of individuals and families through this process and can provide solid counsel for making this type of move.

Kevin and Jose Medina & Associates also offer solutions for this type of situation with their One Move and Sell it Now programs.

Ready to learn more? Connect with Kevin and he will get you moving in the right direction! 

Can I sell my house without a realtor and sell it for sale by owner (FSBO)?

Working with a real estate agent to sell your home is not required, but most sellers choose to work with a real estate agent even in a seller’s market. 

More than 50% of homeowners that sell their home on their own, know the buyer of the home. For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) also typically sell their home for less than homes similar to theirs. This is usually because FSBOs do not have the marketing reach that an experienced agent with a large marketing budget has and they lack the resources that are available to a licensed professional.

In addition, price is only one factor that needs to be negotiated in the sale of a home and an experienced agent has strong negotiation skills to negotiate all the terms in the contract so that you get the best deal possible. Licensed and experienced professionals review offers and look at several factors beyond price including the buyer’s lender and type of financing, down payment, inspection terms, title company, and other terms the buyer is offering. Each offer presents a scenario that a great agent can explain to their clients so their client can make an informed decision on the best offer to choose for their circumstances.  

A great agent knows how to navigate the deal to closing and provide direction on inspection requests and any other hurdles that need to be overcome after the offer is accepted. They also have contacts and can provide feedback regarding reputable lenders, title companies, contractors, and any other third party that may be involved in the process. 

Many FSBOs will sell their home on their own to save on commission but what they may not realize is that the commission can many times pay for itself because the real estate agent can get them more money for their home in the open market and with full scale marketing. They also provide the benefit of managing the process from start to finish and handle all the paperwork. Most home sales have some unexpected hurdle to overcome and an experienced agent has seen it all and will have the knowledge to advise their client to help them save money. If you plan to sell your home on your own, be prepared to show your home to prospective buyers, negotiate terms, hire a lawyer to draw up a contract, negotiate inspections, and take care of the transfer of title. 

Overall, selling your home without an expert is definitely an option and you may have success, but for many, doing this alone can mean that you do not secure the best deal possible for your circumstances, can lead to costly mistakes, and overall can lead to a more stressful process. 

Can I trust the Zestimate I found for my home on Zillow?

A Zestimate is a computer-generated estimate commonly used by consumers when trying to understand how much their home is worth. Updates to property values are based on information from both public data and user-submitted data. Because this information is many times incorrect, the estimates tend to be less accurate than the market analysis a Realtor provides, and the Zestimate can be thousands of dollars off. 

A real estate agent determines your home’s value by conducting a comparative market analysis (CMA) that analyzes recently sold homes in your neighborhood in addition to considering other factors like how homes are currently priced in your neighborhood that are for sale, your home's condition, etc. The overall pricing approach of an agent is much more customized than what a Zestimate provides, allowing for greater accuracy. 

Ready to get your free, home valuation report from a top real estate professional? It’s simple to request and there is no cost or obligation. 

How many real estate agents should I interview?

It is not unusual for a seller to interview 3 real estate agents to compare their answers and to find the best fit for their circumstances. Great questions to ask everyone you interview:

What is your experience and how long have you been in the industry?

How many homes did you sell as the Listing Agent last year?

How will you help ensure I will not just be treated like a number?

What is your marketing budget and how will my home be marketed?

What can you offer me that other agents cannot?

What is your commission?

What do you think my home is worth and how did you determine that price?

How will you communicate with me throughout this process?

Does your listing agreement lock me into a timeframe to keep my house listed with you and what is that timeframe?

What happens if I become dissatisfied with our partnership?

What happens if my house isn’t selling?

Do you offer a discount if I buy my home with you and your team?




What is the cost of selling a house with a realtor?

Real Estate Commission in Northeast, Ohio can range from 5-6% depending on the price that the brokerage determines. This is sometimes negotiable and can depend on the condition of your home, and what listing price is agreed upon. 

How far out should I interview an agent to sell my home from the time I plan on selling it?

If you’re thinking of selling your home - even if it’s 6 months from now, it’s still a great idea to connect with a real estate agent to understand current market conditions, to ask questions you may have about preparing your home to sell, and to begin discussions on next steps if you plan on also buying a home

If you’re ready to interview Kevin, he can also discuss any seller programs that might be a great fit for your situation. 

What is exclusive about working with Kevin?

Experience and Results Matter: Kevin is a top producing Realtor® and sold 98 properties in 2021, with over 18 million in sales volume, and is part of Jose Medina & Associates at Keller Williams Legacy Group Realty (the #2 Real Estate team in Ohio (since 2016) and #33 in the nation by transactions). Many agents and real estate teams will claim they are top producers in the state, but here are the factual stats

Most agents also sell between 10-12 homes per year and experience in this industry does matter! Seeing the high amount of production Kevin and his team do may be off putting if you’re wondering if you will just be a “number or sale” but the truth is, Kevin and Jose Medina & Associates value each and every client and it's their goal to provide everyone with a genuine real estate experience, to go above and beyond expectations and to create clients for life! 

See What Past Clients Have to Say About Kevin!

Solid Marketing Strategy: Kevin and Jose Medina & Associates understand what makes a home sell for the most amount of money, in the least amount of time. Major factors include … 

... Pricing your home correctly based on our in-depth knowledge of current market conditions. We use accurate Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data to select active, pending and sold properties similar to yours as a first step in understanding your home’s market value. Then we consider your home’s age, condition, updates, location, usable space, etc., to determine a final pricing strategy for your home. 

... Providing you with advice on how to prepare your home so that it shows well and stands out from neighboring competition. We even offer a program that allows you to make necessary repairs/remodels before listing your home. Learn about our H.E.L.P. Program.

... Having a generous marketing budget to expose your home to the most amount of buyers. We provide professional photography, drone photography, virtual tours, extensive online exposure, marketing to other top agents, and traditional marketing like yard signs, open houses and print advertising. 

... Frequently communicating with you about the progress of selling your home. We believe in transparency and constant communication so you will have a solid understanding of who has seen your home and be provided with feedback from buyers in addition to feedback from Kevin if for any reason your home is not selling. 

Easy-Exit Listing Agreement: Many real estate agents will lock you into a listing agreement for several months. If you become dissatisfied with the partnership, you are not able to end the agreement and list your home with another agent until that time frame is fulfilled. Jose Medina & Associates does NOT lock their clients into a contract. If you become dissatisfied with Kevin for any reason, at any time - you are able to fire him with no fees or further commitment!

Seller and Buyer Programs: Because Kevin works on a real estate team, he is able to offer his clients unique, exclusive options to help them sell and buy their dream home. Learn more about available seller and buyer programs.  

Free Moving Truck: Selling or buying your home with Kevin provides you with the use of Jose Medina & Associates free moving truck. Save where you can as you make your next move!

Team Approach vs Individual Agent: Choosing an agent that works on a real estate team to help you make your next move versus choosing an individual agent that works alone, allows for great client service. 

Working with a team allows for you to partner with an expert, Listing Agent, if you are selling a home, AND an expert, Buyer Specialist, if you’re also buying a home. There is also a team of additional real estate professionals and support working behind the scenes to assist in a successful closing. 

Imagine if you walked into a restaurant and your waiter seated you, took your order, made your food, washed dishes and cleaned off your table for the next guest - that would obviously be way too much for one person to handle! When a real estate agent handles all aspects of the home selling and buying process on their own - they can become quickly overwhelmed and can begin to drop the ball. 

Kevin has chosen to partner with the real estate team, Jose Medina & Associates, because he understands his clients will receive a top notch home selling and buying experience, and this team provides him with a lot of resources to best serve his clients!

Why is it hard to find Kevin’s selling stats online?

Every real estate agent has a license number that all of their sales go under. Because Kevin works on a real estate team, by law, his recorded sales go under the team leader’s license number - Jose Medina (SALM.2002013465). 

In 2021, Kevin sold 98 properties, with over 18 million in sales volume.

I see that Kevin mostly represents sellers. Can he still help me buy a home?

YES! Kevin primarily works with sellers but based on his client workload he may be able to assist you in finding a home as well. If his workload would compromise client service, he will pair you with an exceptional Buyer Specialist on his team to help you find a home.

What areas does Kevin list properties in?

Kevin primarily sells properties in Canton, Massillon, Akron and surrounding areas in Stark County and Summit County, Ohio. If he does not believe he has enough market knowledge for your neighborhood or area, he will let you know that upon first contact and can partner you with a great, reputable agent that has experience selling where your home is located.

Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a Home

Below are common questions about buying a home. If you don't see the answer to your question, connect with Kevin and he will respond promptly to help you with your questions!

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What does a real estate agent do for a buyer?

A real estate agent that is working with a buyer in helping them find a home, is commonly referred to as the “Buyer Agent” or “Buyer Specialist". Here is what they do for their clients:

Provide recommendations on financing and reputable lenders. Buyer Specialists deal with lenders every day and can provide you with recommendations on ones that offer competitive rates and programs, have fantastic communication and follow up, and have a higher rate of helping their clients close on their dream home. Learn more about financing!

Help you find the right house. Buyer Specialists should listen to what’s important to you and show you homes that match your budget and search criteria. They keep an eye out for new listings that match your criteria and also will set you up to receive listing alerts via email for new listings that hit the market. They also will arrange for all showings and should have flexibility to show you homes when it’s best for your schedule.

Point out reasons NOT to buy. An experienced and reputable Buyer Specialist will walk you through homes pointing out weaknesses or concerns they have with the home you’re considering. As a buyer, you will most likely be viewing homes trying to imagine living your life there, but your Buyer Specialist should be viewing it with a lens to see if they see major defects visible to the human eye (structural damage, age of mechanicals, etc). 

Provide guidance on making offers and negotiating a good price. The best Buyer Specialists understand how to make competitive offers in any real estate market and will advise you on how to get the home of your dreams. They understand current market prices and can advise if an offer is too low or too high. They can also guide you through other offer terms like inspections, possession, title companies, etc. 

Explain and manage forms and contracts. When buying a home, there is a lot of documentation that is involved. Buyer Specialists ensure all documents are accurately completed and organized to ensure a smoother closing process. 

Advise on home inspection and negotiate major repairs. An experienced Buyer Specialist will have knowledge of reputable home inspectors and can provide you with options so you can make a confident choice when selecting one. Once the inspection is over, they negotiate major repairs with the Listing Agent on your behalf. 

Monitor the sale through closing: Finding the home you love and getting your offer accepted is a large part of the home buying process, but getting to the closing table is also a hefty part of the process. This second portion involves inspections, working with your lender, the agent on the selling side and the title company to ensure a successful closing. Your Buyer Specialist will be there to guide you from one step to the next and are there to manage any major issues that comes up along the way. They are there to provide you with sound advice and counsel to keep things moving smoothly! 

What is the process for buying a home?

Owning a home is a goal for many people. If this is your first time buying, or if it's been a while since you last purchased a home, here are the high level steps involved in the process when using a real estate agent.

1) Get pre-approved with a lender.

2) If you choose to work with your own agent, they will help you narrow down your wants and needs in your dream home and show you homes that match your criteria.

3) Your agent will negotiate your offer when you’ve found a home you love. Once the offer is accepted you will move into the closing process.

4) The closing process involves mortgage application, having home inspections, having an appraisal and title work completed and getting Home Owner’s insurance. 

5) If all of the above is completed successfully - congratulations you are ready for your closing date and will soon get the keys to your new home!

 




When should I begin talking with a lender about financing or get pre-approved?

Talking with a Loan Officer is a great first step to understand more about financing your dream home and it can be common practice to connect with a lender as soon as one year out from when you plan on buying a home. Why? Reaching out to a lender sooner rather than later can allow for them to help you identify any issues you may have in obtaining a home loan, giving you time to fix those issues before you are ready to buy. 

These discussions can also help in getting you information on how much to save for your down payment, and help you understand how much debt you need to pay off before buying. Lenders can also educate buyers who may have a harder time getting a loan based on employment status or a recent job change. 

If you do not want to talk with a lender that far out, the minimum recommended time frame would be 6 months out. It does not cost you money to talk with a Loan Officer and you can shop different lenders to find the one that is best for you! Learn more about financing





What is the difference between having my own agent (Buyer Specialist) vs. working with the Listing Agent?

You can choose to work with the agent that is selling the home you’re interested in, but that agent is looking out for the best interest of the seller. In Ohio, an agent can represent both sides of a transaction, and some can do it fairly, but you may want to ask yourself - would you have one lawyer represent you in a legal case? In most circumstances, the answer would be “no” and there are definitely pros to having your own buyer representation. Benefits include:

Keeping you informed of new listings. If you choose to partner with an agent they will dedicate time to understand your wants and needs, will set you up on listing alerts and also contact you when homes hit the market. Many agents are also aware of homes that are coming soon and are familiar with inventory that is For Sale by Owner. If you see a home with the agent representing the seller, you will most likely not get this type of personalized treatment. 

Point out reasons NOT to buy. An experienced and reputable Buyer Specialist will walk you through homes pointing out weaknesses or concerns they have with the home you’re considering. As a buyer, you will most likely be viewing homes trying to imagine living your life there, but your Buyer Specialist should be viewing it with a lens to see if they see major defects visible to the human eye (structural damage, age of mechanicals, etc). If you are working with the agent representing the seller, they will likely not go out of their way to point out issues they see with the home. 

Help you negotiate the best possible deal. Your agent should be informing you if they believe a property is overpriced. They can also advise if a property is underpriced and advise if they believe the home will go quickly. They will help you navigate making a competitive offer. Your Buyer Specialist will analyze market trends so they can get you the most favorable terms possible and keep your negotiating strategy in strict confidence. If you work with the Listing Agent selling the home, they will likely not provide you with comparables or advise if the terms of the contract are leaning more in the seller’s favor. 

Advise on home inspection and negotiate major repairs. After your offer is accepted and if you negotiated home inspections to take place, your agent can advise on reputable home inspectors and negotiate any major repairs after the inspections are completed. If you are working directly with the Listing Agent, they will likely not provide this advice and consultation because their goal is to still get the best deal for their client. They are working to ensure the seller continues to walk away with as much money as possible. 

Who pays the realtor fee, buyer or seller?

The great thing about having your own buyer representation is that you do not pay for the commission of your agent. When selling a home, the seller has agreed to pay a commission that will ultimately cover the commission of the Listing Agent and the agent representing the buyer. 

If a buyer chooses to work with the Listing Agent, then that agent gets to keep the entire commission. The key thing to remember though is that the Listing Agent and their brokerage still represent the seller’s best interest. 

In Ohio, realtors can practice dual agency, where the same agent and brokerage represent the seller and also the buyer but they must maintain a neutral position to both parties. This can be very tricky and there can be ethical concerns. To protect your finances and so that you get the best possible deal on a home, it’s probably best to avoid dual agency and to secure your own representation.

How do I know if I have a great agent representing me to buy a home?

A fantastic Buyer Specialist representing your needs as a buyer should have: 

-  Excellent communication and follow-up.

-  Great listening skills so you are being notified and being shown homes that match your wants/needs.

-  Flexibility to show you homes when it works best for your schedule.

-  Experience in representing buyers and strong negotiation skills in every kind of market. 

-  Have a goal of developing an ongoing professional relationship no matter how long it takes you to find a home. You should not feel like they are just trying to “sell” you a house. They should provide advice, expertise and counsel to assist you in your decision. 

What is the best way to search for Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings online?

Homes that you see on this website come directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and it’s updated every 15 minutes with new listings. Some of the other real estate websites for finding homes are not directly connected to the MLS, so they are not able to update at that frequency and can take up to two weeks to have accurate information on a home! You can search MLS houses on this website for free, any time and without obligation. 

This website also allows for you to set up customized listing alerts so that you can be notified when new listings become available. If you have problems setting these up - please don’t hesitate to reach out so Kevin can help you!

If I have my own agent, can I still see homes with the Listing Agent?

Once you have found an agent that you want to help you buy your next home, it is best practice to contact your agent for all questions and to set up all home showings. Many times buyers will reach out to the listing agent because they do not want to bother their agent with questions, but your agent will greatly appreciate it if you run all your questions through them! They will reach out to the Listing Agent and can find out the answers to your questions and possibly get additional information about the home. 

For showings, you will want to have your agent arrange all showings and take you through the home. If you see a home with the Listing Agent and want to make an offer, they have procuring cause and would be the one to represent you in the sale of the home. Your agent would not be able to represent you or assist any further in the process of buying that home because they do not have procuring cause. 

What happens when my agent is out of town - who will show me homes?

If you are working with a great agent, they should have an agent that can help you while they are on vacation. If you choose to work with Kevin and Jose Medina & Associates, this is a common practice of the Buyer Specialists on this team. These agents partner with other agents to cover their business and are available to clients for showings, to negotiate offers and to handle other questions that may come up while your agent is away. 

What happens if I see a For Sale By Owner home I want to see?

If you are working with a Buyer Specialist you would contact them and your agent will reach out to the owner of the For Sale By Owner for questions and to arrange a time for you to see the home. Your Buyer Specialist is still able to represent you, while the seller represents themself. 

Buying a house without a realtor (especially if you will be a new homeowner) can mean that you do not secure the best deal possible for your circumstances, can lead to costly mistakes and overall can lead to a more stressful process.

I see that Kevin mostly represents sellers. Can he still help me buy a home?

YES! Kevin primarily works with sellers but based on his client workload he may be able to assist you in finding a home as well. If his workload would compromise client service, he will pair you with an exceptional Buyer Specialist on his team to help you find a home. 

What areas does Kevin and Jose Medina & Associates service?

Kevin and Jose Medina & Associates, primarily service Canton-Massillon, Greater Akron and surrounding areas in Stark County and Summit County, Ohio. They can even show you homes in neighboring counties and if they do not believe they have enough market knowledge for the cities or towns you’re looking in, they will let you know that upon first contact and can partner you with a great agent that has experience in the location you desire.

Are there any extra benefits if I work with Kevin and Jose Medina & Associates?

Experience and Results Matter. Jose Medina & Associates (the #2 Real Estate team in Ohio and #33 in the nation by transactions) were able to partner, serve and assist individuals and families in the sale of 797 properties in 44 cities!

Many agents and real estate teams will claim they are top producers in the state, but here are the factual stats!

Most agents also sell between 10-12 homes per year and experience in this industry does matter

Seeing the high amount of production Kevin and his team do may be off-putting if you’re wondering if you will just be a “number" or "sale” but the truth is, Kevin and Jose Medina & Associates value each and every client and it's their goal to provide everyone with a genuine real estate experience, to go above and beyond expectations and to create clients for life! 

See What Past Clients of Kevin Have To Say

Easy-Exit Listing Agreement: If you have a home to sell, many real estate agents will lock you into a listing agreement for several months when selling a home. If you become dissatisfied with the partnership, you are not able to end the agreement and list your home with another agent until that time frame is fulfilled. Jose Medina & Associates does NOT lock their clients into a contract. If you become dissatisfied with Kevin selling your home for any reason, at any time - you are able to fire him with no fees or further commitment!

Buyer and Seller Programs: Because Kevin works on a real estate team, he is able to offer his clients unique, exclusive options to help them sell and buy their dream home. Learn more about seller and buyer programs.  

Free Moving Truck: Buying or selling your home with Kevin and Jose Medina & Associates provides you with the use of a free moving truck. Save where you can as you make your next move!

Team Approach vs Individual Agent: Choosing an agent that works on a real estate team to help you make your next move versus choosing an individual agent that works alone, allows for great client service. Working with a team allows for you to partner with an expert, Buyer Specialist, if you are buying a home AND an expert, Listing Agent, if you're also selling a home. There is also a team of additional real estate professionals and support working behind the scenes to assist in a successful closing. 

Imagine if you walked into a restaurant and your waiter seated you and other guests, took orders, prepared the food, washed dishes and cleaned off your tables for future guests - that would obviously be way too much for one person to handle! Instead, there is a whole team of people to serve guests when they dine at a restaurant. 

When a real estate agent handles all aspects of the home buying and selling process on their own - they too can become quickly overwhelmed and may begin to drop the ball. 

Kevin has chosen to partner with the real estate team, Jose Medina & Associates, because he understands his clients will receive a top notch home buying and selling experience, and this team provides him with a lot of resources and support to best serve his clients!

Home Loan FAQs

Below are common mortgage questions you may have before or during the home-buying process. If you don't see the answer to your question below, let us connect with Kevin and he can get you in contact with an experienced and reputable Loan Officer to get you the information you need to make the best decision for your individual needs!

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How do I qualify for a home loan?

Learning about how to obtain a home loan can be a very intimidating process especially if this is your first time buying a home, or if you are nervous to find out if you qualify. But the qualification process can actually be more simple than you think if you choose to work with a reputable lender. The process begins with something called pre-approval. 

This process involves talking with a loan officer (either in person or over the phone) and they will gather information about your circumstances to determine if you qualify for a home loan. The main factors include your credit score, income, current loans and your down payment percentage. Be prepared to provide information about: where you work, your income, debts you have, your assets and home much you plan to put down for your down payment. 

What is the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified

The pre-qualification process is a basic overview of your ability to get a loan. You provide similar information that is needed for pre-approval but you do not provide the lender with any paperwork like a tax return to back up the information you provide them with. They are then able to give you an estimate of what you can afford. Because of the lighter screening, issues with your credit, debt-to-income ratio, etc., can surface later in the process which can delay securing a loan or restrict borrowing altogether. 

A pre-approval is a more thorough review of your financial status and history and is confirmed through bank statements, pay stubs and credit reports. A pre-approval letter is also the document that would accompany an offer to show the seller that you are a solid buyer.

How much should I put down on a house?

The cost of buying a home can sometimes feel overwhelming and many people wonder what is a good down payment for a house and how much is needed.

It is great if you have 20% or more for the down payment of a home but lenders recognize this is not always possible. There are many ways to put down less and still get a home loan. Below are some options and it’s best to talk with a Loan Officer to see which options you qualify for and what option makes the most sense for your situation. It’s also a good idea to discuss the type of financing you qualify for with your real estate agent so they can explain how your financing can affect your home offer and the housing inventory that would qualify for each type of financing. Options include (but are not limited to): 

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loan: Allows a borrower to put down as little as 3.5% if you meet certain qualifications that include steady employment for at least two years and a credit score of 500 or higher. 

Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Loan: If you are active or retired military (or a surviving spouse of a veteran), this option allows for you to put down 0%. 

USDA Loan: This type of loan is guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture and provides financing for properties located in designated small towns, suburbs and exurbs. It can help low- to moderate-income families achieve homeownership because of the no down payment option.

Conventional Loans: This type of loan is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government and has a slightly higher down payment than government loans. Some lenders can issue Conventional Loans with as little as 5% down.



What is a good FICO score to buy a house?

For the most part lenders are looking for a credit score of at least 620 to be able to secure a home loan but you still might qualify for a loan if your score is in the 500s. The down payment requirement will be different based on the type of loan you qualify for.

Can I get a mortgage with no credit?

It is possible but you will have to go through a process called manual underwriting where you’ll be asked to provide more information for the underwriter to review. Your loan process can take longer and not every lender offers this.

When should I begin to talk with a lender about how to get a mortgage?

Talking with a Loan Officer is a great first step to understand more about financing your dream home and you can connect with a lender as soon as one year out from when you plan on actually buying a home. Why? Reaching out to a lender sooner rather than later can allow for them to help you identify any issues you may have in obtaining a home loan, giving you time to fix those issues before you are ready to buy. These discussions can also help in getting you information on how much to save for your down payment, help you understand how much debt you need to pay off before buying and help some buyers understand their options based on their employment status (self-employed, part-time, switched jobs within the past year) and how that can affect their buying ability.

If you do not want to talk with a lender that far out, the minimum recommended time frame would be 6 months out. It does not cost you money to talk with a Loan Officer and you can shop different lenders to find the one that is best for you!

How to choose the right mortgage and what type of mortgage should I get?

When it comes to choosing a lender, options include your bank, mortgage brokers, local credit union and online lenders. To find the lender that works best for you, it is best to shop around so you can compare their loan programs and all of the following for each: down payment requirements, rates, loan terms, mortgage insurance, and closing cost fees. Local lenders also tend to be more familiar with financing laws in the area and can usually give a more personalized service, so you may want to consider their location as well. 

When you talk with a Loan Officer they will review the loan options you qualify for. Mortgage options vary based on several factors including what your credit score is and how much you plan on putting down for your down payment. A reputable Loan Officer will review the pros and cons of the options you qualify for so you can make the best decision for your circumstances. 

How much home can I afford?

You can use resources like our Mortgage Calculator tool that can be found on other pages of this website, and it will provide you with an estimated home price, monthly mortgage payment, down payment, and interest rate. To get an accurate understanding, contact Kevin, and he will connect you with a preferred, reputable lender!

What is a direct lender vs. a mortgage broker?

A direct lender is a bank, credit union, online entities or any other institution that provides mortgages directly to borrowers. The entire borrowing process takes place in-house and borrowers usually work with one loan officer. The downside can be that you are partnering with a lender that works standard business hours and has less flexibility if you need to reach them after hours. Rates and terms also vary widely between lenders so you may have to talk with several to determine which one is offering you the best rate and overall terms.

A mortgage broker is an independent, licensed professional who can shop several lenders on your behalf to get you the best interest rate and overall terms. Most brokers charge a small percentage of the loan amount for their services. They also tend to be a lot more flexible in reaching them after standard business hours. 

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