Frequently Asked Questions
When It Comes To Buying Real Estate, Be Wise! Make Sure You Have An Agent To Represent You!


How is my agent paid?

If you are a buyer, your agent is paid from the proceeds of the purchase of your home/property. The seller pays a fee to his/her agent for the sale of his property. That fee is split with the buyer's agent. If you are a seller, your agent is hired for a percentage of the sale of your property. Sometimes referred to as a "Success fee", the fee is not paid until the property is sold and closed. Your agent is responsible to advertise and promote the property and assist you in the sale and close of the transaction. He/she is not compensated until the property sells.

What do I do to apply for a loan?

Your agent can assist you in contacting a lender that has access to dozens of different loans. The lender will assess your income and expenses, check your credit scores and discuss loan options to help you decide which loan program is the very best deal for you.

When is the best time to buy a home?

That depends mainly, on your situation. There are many homes on the market at any given time. More tend to be marketed in the spring and summer. Your finances may be a consideration as you plan to buy. Ask your lender to help you assess your circumstances.

How important is my credit?

Your credit is the one of the most valuable assets you have. The decision to loan you money is based to a great degree on your credit score. The credit score is based on numerous factors. Probably the biggest factor is your history of paying on time. Sometimes there is very little credit history so you may want to take some time to build a stronger history before you decide to buy a home. Ask your lender to review your scores and give you some input as to what would be best for you.

What is a Buyer's Agent?

If you are planning to buy real estate, you should know that unless you have a written agreement with a licensed real estate agent, you are not being fully represented. All agents are automatically subagents of the seller under law, unless they have an agreement with the buyer. A buyer's agent can help you find the right property for you, prepare your offer to purchase the property and negotiate it for you. After you have an agreement, the buyer's agent will help you through the steps to closing your property. Your buyer's agent looks out for you and your interests - he/she have a primary responsibility to you and your interests. Without a buyer's agent, you take a chance with an agent who has a legal loyalty to the seller and may not be looking out for everything that your buyer's agent is trained to look for.

What is pre-approval?

When you're ready to start the process to buy a home, it's extremely important that you meet with a lender and make application for your loan. Your lender will ask you a series of questions to determine what kind of a loan is best for you. He/she will also check your credit scores and will process you through the Underwriter to get you pre-approved for your loan. This will position you very strongly as you select your home and make an offer. Being pre-approved is like making a cash offer. It is a much stronger position than just being pre-qualified.

What is a professional home inspection and who pays for it?

As a part of the offer to purchase, the buyer has the right to have a professional home inspection done on the property. This is highly recommended especially if the home is not new. The home inspection will reveal the condition of the systems and general structure of the home. Usually, the inspection will include a pest and dry rot report, a required report for all FHA loans. We recommend that the buyer be present at the time of the inspection to hear the inspector's information and evaluation of all of the home's systems and any specific needs. After the inspection is completed, the buyer and his/her agent should review the inspection to determine if there are any serious defects in the property. If such is present, they may want to (1) not go forward with the offer or (2) ask the seller to repair or replace as needed. The cost of the inspections is the responsibility of the buyer.

If I find a home For Sale By Owner, can my agent help me buy it?

Absolutely! Your agent can assist you with the purchase of any home, from a builder, a FSBO (for sale by owner) or listed by a Realtor with another company. Your agent is hired by you and you can depend on him/her to represent you in any transaction.

After I offer to purchase my new home, how long will it take to close it so I can move in?

There are several factors that will determine the exact timing of your closing but expect that - if there are no problems - it should close in 30 days.

What is escrow and what does it do?

Escrow is a neutral, third party that is hired to act upon the instructions of the buyer and the seller. Escrow is usually done with a title company, but can be done by an attorney or even a real estate broker. In our state, title companies act as escrow, prepare and deliver a preliminary title report, issue title insurance on the property, assist in the signing of loan documents and record the deed with the county after the lender gives permission. In addition, they pay off the old mortgage and disperse the funds at closing. They make our lives much easier!


4110 SE Hawthorne Blvd., #208
Portland, Oregon 97214

Ph. (503) 516-7300
Fx. (503) 218-5371


REALTOR® -- A Registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Inquiries regarding the Code of Ethics should be directed to the board in which a REALTOR® holds membership.

Copyright 2003-2008 - Realty Works, Inc. - All Rights Reserved

Site Designed by: Elite Net Design Site Maintained by: Rareheron Web Design

Equal Housing OpportunityIt is illegal to discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.