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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Real Estate Questions

Closing a real estate transaction is a complicated endeavor with a lot of moving pieces. Whether purchasing your first home or selling your fifth property, there are often surprises. At Carswell Real Estate, we believe that an informed client is a happy one. 

With decades of real estate experience, we’ve seen just about every possible scenario. Here’s a list of frequently asked real estate questions that might provide insight into the buying and selling processes. 

It’s highly recommended to have a realtor when buying or selling a property. Real estate agents are professionals who work on your behalf and advocate for your interests.

It’s common knowledge that realtors connect buyers with properties that might be worth owning or marketing a seller’s home to prospective buyers. A lot more goes on behind the scenes, though. 

Realtors do everything they can to keep transactions running as smoothly as possible. Examples include: 

  • Walk you through all the critical steps of the transaction
  • Answer any questions you may have about the process along the way
  • For sellers, price a home correctly and market the property 
  • Accompany buyers on showings or be present for seller’s open houses 
  • Dig up facts on a neighborhood that could be important to you
  • For buyers, request and review a seller’s disclosure 
  • Write up any offers
  • Negotiate existing offers 
  • Communicate with other people on your behalf
  • Review paperwork filled with complicated jargon and terms
  • Monitor the status of the necessary paperwork
  • Attend any property inspections 
  • Negotiate inspection repairs 
  • Facilitate the final walk-through 
  • Tie up loose ends at closing

A real estate agent is an equal part coordinator, negotiator, and advocate. When you’re ready to buy or sell real estate in Magnolia and surrounding areas, Carswell Real Estate would love to work on your behalf.

Getting pre-approved for a home loan. There are many qualified lenders out there.

If you’re unsure where to begin, Carswell Real Estate has relationships with many hard-working, trustworthy lenders.

Discussing your situation with a lender before looking at homes can help you understand exactly how much you can afford. It’ll save time and heartache. There is no reason to view homes listed for $500,000 if your budget can support a property listed up to $200,000.

Another reason to speak with a qualified lending professional before starting the home search process is to learn about programs available to you. For example, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, there might be ways to reduce the mortgage interest rate, required down-payment amount, or total balance owed. These programs can vary by region or county.

If you don’t know where to begin, Carswell Real Estate is here to help. We’ve relationships with knowledgeable mortgage brokers. They can walk you through the home loan process using an easy-to-understand, hassle-free approach.

There’s no genuinely correct answer to this question. It depends on your specific situation.

People with enough cash to buy the new home outright or cover its payments before selling the first home should be okay. For those who need the money from the first home’s sale to cover the new home’s costs, it’s probably unwise to buy a second home before you’re ready to sell the first one.

When you’re ready to buy a second home or sell the first one, Carswell Real Estate is on your side. Using a team-based approach, our high-performing real estate professionals can help you get your current home ready to list while honing in on your dream second home.

There’s no firm answer to this question. Every situation is different.

Generally speaking, the period from searching for a home to closing can last a few months. The average time to complete an escrow period is 30 to 45 days under normal market conditions.

For well-prepared homebuyers who pay in cash, the home-buying process is typically much faster.

In a seller’s market, increasing demand for homes pushes up prices. This can be caused by many factors, such as economic conditions that fuel buyer interest or low housing inventory.

A buyer’s market typically has declining home prices and reduced demand. Factors that influence buyer demand include economic conditions that dissuade interest, high housing inventory, or local issues like job losses at major employment centers.

There’s no straight answer to this question. It depends on your specific situation.

As a whole, the national average for down payments is 11 percent. This figure includes both first-time and repeat buyers, though.

It’s typical for first-time homebuyers to put down 3 to 5 percent on a home because they take advantage of programs that don’t require significant down payments. An FHA loan, for example, requires 3.5 percent down. Some programs also allow down payment contributions from family members.

Closing costs are fees and expenses owed when you close on your house. They are not included in the down payment. These costs are typically 3 to 5 percent of the loan amount, depending on region, and may consist of title insurance, attorney fees, appraisals, taxes, and more.

A lender is required by law to give you a loan estimate within a few days of mortgage application submittal. If the loan estimate doesn’t arrive in a timely fashion or you have questions, ask your lender right away.

An option period is a specified number of days when the buyer can terminate a contract and be refunded their earnest money deposit. The buyer’s agent typically includes this mechanism in a real estate contract.

The option period is the time for homebuyers to ensure their investment is sound. Things to do during an option period include:

  • Get a home inspection 
  • Discuss issues and risks with the home inspector and realtor
  • When applicable, negotiate repairs with the seller or seller’s representative
  • Verify that any repairs agreed upon have been made before closing

The buyer can walk away from a contract if they and the seller cannot agree on resolutions to repairs, pricing, and other issues. The contract must be canceled before the end of the option period.

The buyer often hires a home inspector to come to the house and perform a visual observation during the closing of a home sale. This typically occurs during the option period. The home inspector identifies health, safety, or mechanical issues following local, regional, state, and federal standards.

If you’re unsure where to find a trustworthy home inspector, Carswell Real Estate has you covered. We’ve forged strong relationships with the area’s leading inspection professionals. They’ll thoroughly inspect a property and promptly submit a detailed report.

Our expert team can even review the report on your behalf and walk you through the next steps.

In Texas, the title company is usually responsible for providing the title insurance and acting as the escrow officer.

An open house is a scheduled period when a property is designated to be available for viewing by potential buyers. Its goal is to find interested buyers.

At an open house, the seller permits potential buyers to enter and walk through the property at their leisure or guided by a realtor. Typically, the seller’s agent is present to answer questions, offer marketing materials, and connect with potential buyers.

Work with us

Carswell Real Estate realizes the real estate process in Texas is tricky to understand, and you’re going to have a lot of questions. If the information above didn’t cover everything you want to know, please contact us.

We love to communicate by email, text, or phone. You’re also welcome to drop by the office during regular business hours and speak with a team member.

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Get In Touch

(281) 351-2606

(281) 378-4739

35835 FM 1774
Magnolia, TX 77355

About Carswell
Real Estate, Inc.

The Carswell Family moved to the Magnolia/Tomball area in 1963, back when Spring Creek Bridge was a wooden bridge structure. Lisa started her real estate career in 1996 and founded Carswell Real Estate Co. Inc. in 2006 with the help of sons Justin and Brandan Carswell as broker and agent.