Talk to your lending institution and figure out what fits within your financial budget and what you can comfortably qualify for. After that meet with a realtor and talk about your needs vs wants. You should have a list of must haves vs would like to haves. From this point your realtor should have a good idea of your budget, your needs, and your wants in a property. They can then start the search to find properties that fit within your guidlines.
The purchase of a property can take many months depending on the inventory available to view. We'll work with you for as long as needed until we find the right property that fits within your budget and needs.
The selling of property can also take some time but we pride ourselves on being able to price property accurately and create desirable marketing to help speed the process up. We believe we can get an offer on a house within 60 days and once we have an offer there is typically a 30 - 45 day period to allow for all the closing processes to happen.
Typically the agent representing the buyer is paid by the brokerage representing the seller unless otherwise noted in the contract. This is one of the main reasons why somebody purchasing a house should use a real estate agent. Most of the time it will cost you nothing out of pocket to retain the advice and opinions of a real estate agent or team.
When you sell your house you will have to enter into a contract with the listing firm for the fiduciary services that firm is going to offer you. This can vary and is typically a % of the sale price. It can range anywhere from 3% - 10% and usually falls right in the middle of those. This fee is well worth it if you hire a good real estate firm that provides well rounded services because they will make up for that in proper market valuation, marketing, negotiations, and a timely sale.
This also varies greatly and is dependent on your financial lender and what programs you may qualify for. The typical first time home buyer can get in with as little as a 3.5% FHA loan. Or if you are using a VA or USDA loan you may even qualify for a 0% down option. Conventional loans will require a 20% down but will also waive any kind of added PMI (private mortgage insurance) to the payment. If you are going to put less than 20% down you will have to account for paying the PMI until you've reached 20% equity in the property.
Most loan programs to purchase real estate require a FICO score of 620 or better but buyers with higher credit score will no doubt have better options and interest rates. If you have a lower credit score there are still options out there and the best place to start is your local lender. Work with them and see what options you have. You may have to come up with a larger down payment or settle for a higher interest rate to qualify for the loan amount you want.