Buyer Frequently Asked Questions
Buying a home brings up a lot of questions, here are the top ones we’re asked.
Why Choose Atlas Over Another Brokerage?
Atlas was established by principals who have purchased over 4,000 residential and commercial properties since 2013 and currently own more than $50 million worth of real estate. We were built on the belief that in order to understand and serve a client’s needs effectively, you first need to understand their perspective as an owner of real estate.
We have been in your shoes thousands of times and understand there is nothing more frustrating than feeling like your broker is not looking out for your best interest. Most brokers work to close the transaction and earn a fee, whereas at Atlas, we are driven to help you accomplish your financial and personal goals. Our owner-focused approach, combined with extensive investment and management expertise, gives our brokers the pedigree and experience necessary to understand the value of real estate beyond the transaction.
How Do I Know If I Need A Real Estate Agent?
It is certainly in your best interest to have a licensed real estate agent to represent you, though it is not a legal requirement. A good agent will take the time to understand your desires and goals for buying a home and will tailor the buying process to fit your needs, from searching appropriate properties and advising you on offer price to negotiating and completing all paperwork on your behalf. An experienced agent will help ensure you get the best price for your investment and a smooth and painless process.
What Is The Difference Between a "Buyer's Agent" and a "Listing Agent?"
In most real estate transactions, there are two agents, each representing either the buyer or the seller. The “listing agent” refers to the agent the seller hired to offer their home on the market. The “buyer’s agent”, sometimes referred to as the “selling agent,” is the agent the buyer hires to search for properties and facilitate the transaction on behalf of the buyer.
How Can I Be Notified of New Denver Homes as Soon as They Come on the Market?
It’s easy! If you are already working with an Atlas broker, he or she will have set up notifications for you based on your search criteria.
If you are not working with an Atlas broker, you can still create your own automatic search and notifications using our website. Click hereto set up your account. Once you perform a property search, click “Save Search” on the results page. Once saved, our server will perform this search daily and email you any new listings. Our search feature encompasses every home listed by every real estate agent throughout Colorado. Using our system, you can create an unlimited number of saved searches with zero obligation.
How Much Money Do I Need for a Down Payment?
The amount of money you need for a down payment depends on the cost of the property you intend to buy. Typically, you will need anywhere from 5-20% of the sale price in cash for your down payment in order to qualify for a conventional loan. There are alternatives to a conventional loan that allow for a 0-3.5% down payment. For more information, visit our Financing pageor call one of our brokers today: 303-242-8980.
How Do I Know If I Can Get a Loan?
Start by using the simple mortgage calculator and affordability calculator on our Tools pageto help you understand how much mortgage you could afford on a monthly basis. Atlas brokers can help you determine your loan potential and refer you to one of our trusted lenders from our Preferred Vendors list. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.
How Do I Find a Lender?
You can finance a home in a variety of ways: with a loan from a bank, a credit union, a private mortgage company, various state government lenders, etc. Different programs offer different interest rates and loan fees. Your Atlas broker will recommend a lender specific to your needs from our list of trusted Preferred Vendors. For more information about different financing options, click here.
How Do I Know How Much I Should Offer for a House?
Your Atlas broker will pull comparable listings for properties similar to the one you are considering; they will include homes recently sold in your area and those currently on the market. Using this data your Atlas broker will advise you on the fair market value of the property and what price we recommend you offer.
What Happens if the House Does Not Appraise for the Price I Offer?
Unless you are paying cash, your offer will be contingent on obtaining financing. Early in the search stage, your Atlas broker will assist in getting you pre-qualified for a mortgage if financing is required. This is an important step, as many sellers will not allow showings to prospective buyers without evidenced pre-approval of capital.
If you are pre-approved but fail to actually receive loan commitment, there are a few options. One option is to walk away from the transaction. The second is to renegotiate the contract price to the appraised value. The third is for the seller to pay the difference. Your options can be limited depending on the type of loan you choose.
What If My Offer is Rejected?
Don’t worry! First offers are often rejected. Now you will begin negotiating on price with the seller. Your Atlas broker will advise you on how much to offer next and how to negotiate things like closing costs or repairs.
Is It Necessary to Get a Home Inspection, or Can I Save Money By Not Getting One?
Legally you are not required to have a home inspection prior to purchasing a house; however, it is highly recommended. If you are financing your purchase, many lenders require a home inspection prior to loan commitment. Home inspections usually cost only a few hundred dollars and can save you much more than that if you find something wrong with the property during the inspection.
How Much Are Closing Costs?
Closing costs vary depending on the property as they are based on a percentage of the value of the loan. Typically, closing costs range from 1-3% of purchase price and often times you can negotiate with the seller to pay for all or almost all of the closing costs.
Can the Seller Pay My Closing Costs?
Anything is possible with negotiation, but there are many ways to split closing costs besides negotiating with the seller. There are buyer assistance programs, grants, etc. Your Atlas agent will work with you to determine your options and the best strategy to cover your closing costs.
How Do I Improve My Credit Score?
In order to be in the best position to purchase a property, you will need a solid credit score. If you need to improve your credit score, we recommend you start by working with a lender. Atlas has formed relationships with many trusted lenders, and we would be happy to recommend one for you.
What If I Want to Buy Now But Do Not Have a Big Enough Down Payment or a Bad Credit Score?
Know that you are not alone. Atlas’ Rent with Right to Purchase program (RTP) could be a great option for you. With Rent with Right to Purchase, we can help get you into the house you want to buy today, and you have the option, not obligation, to buy it over the next five years at a fixed price that you and the seller agree upon at the beginning of the lease term. Click here to learn more about RTP orcall us today: 303-242-8980.