Tuesday, February 24, 2015


An English Tudor I sold in Studio City
I spend most of days answering questions from my buyers and sellers. So I figured why not answer some of your real estate-related questions while I'm at it. Some of the more common questions buyers ask me are: Who pays your commission? It is customary for the seller's agent to pay the buyer's agent's commission here in southern California. Will I lose my deposit, if I change my mind? It's almost impossible for a buyer to lose their deposit in California, since the purchase agreement gives you a period of time to inspect the property and get your loan approved (contingency period). You have the right to cancel the agreement at any time during this period. If you continue on with the purchase, you then remove all of your contingencies.
After that, you could be in danger of losing your deposit if you then breached the contract, but even then a seller would have to go after your deposit and would not be allowed to accept any new offers until the matter is settled. So in that scenario, they would likely release your deposit so they can move on and sell their property. You're given plenty of warning in writing to either continue with the purchase or cancel. Your deposit is safe. What's the least amount I can put down when I purchase a home? These days, FHA offers home loans for as little as 3.5% down. And Freddie Mac just announced 3% down loans. Lenders are loosening loan restrictions, which is good for cash-strapped buyers with a steady income. Talk to a lender to learn about all of your options. If you don't have a lender, I can put you in touch with ones that have recently worked with my buyers.

Common seller questions include: Who pays the buyer's agent's commission? As stated above, the seller traditionally pays the commission for both sides. How much will my closing costs be? That varies, but a good rule of thumb is that a seller can expect to pay approximately 8% of their sale price toward closing costs. We can get an estimate from escrow before putting your home on the market so you can decide how to proceed. What should we do to prepare our house for sale? That's a whole separate post, because first I would have to tour your home. I'm looking for the condition and presentation. If it needs a lot of work, I'll give you my opinion on that. If the furniture is dated, we could talk about staging which helps a house sell fast. If you've kept the house well maintained over the years, cleared the clutter and kept up with home style and fashion, you might be ready.

I will answer any questions you might have about buying or selling a home. Simply post your questions as comments. Or you can email me.

Visit Gerry Moylan's real estate website by clicking here

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