I saw this house on Zillow...

Stop right there. Repeat after me: Zillow is not an accurate source of available homes for sale.

So, what's the deal?

REALTORS® all across the country put their listings into the local Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. There are over 1,400 local associations/boards of REALTORS® which govern their own local MLS practices. Because each local association handles their MLS a little differently, it's very difficult for a "national" website to accuratley syndicate all of the data and stay current in a changing marketplace. These websites are being populated with 3rd party data - lagging behind realtime - resulting in many of the homes you find online being already sold! Zillow specifcally requires agents to upload the data to their website seperatley, resulting in many listings in the MLS never even making it onto Zillow!

If you don't know, now you know.

How much are "Closing Costs?"

Getting a loan? Typically right around $3,000 is where they come in at. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less - but anything over $4,000 is too much!

On a cash deal, in Central Ohio, you'll be less than $1,000 in closing costs.

What makes up "Closing Costs"?

Closing Costs Breakdown

What does my credit score need to be?

Generally speaking, 620+/640+. The higher you go - the sweeter (and easier) the deal becomes.

680, 700, 720, 740 are all major "break points" for credit scores and interest rates. We work with a local credit repair specialist if you need help getting into a home fast. If you're not under the gun, and you've got some extra time, linked here is a guide to building a better credit score on your own.

How much money do I need down?

It depends. How much money you got? No, seriously.

There are $0 down programs available (VA, HUD Homes and USDA Loans), 3% conventional and 3.5% down FHA (use an OHFA grant to bump it down to 1.5% and combine that with City of Columbus grant money to get in for aroun .5% down!) - but - with a little more down you can secure a better interest rate with a 5% down no-PMI loan.

The higher you go, ie. 20% down, the better the deal.

How much does buying a home cost?

Good question:

  • Home Inspection $400
  • Radon Test $150
  • Termite Report $75
  • Appraisal $350
  • Down Payment 4%
  • Closing Costs $3,000
  • New Locks $100
I need the Seller to pay my closing costs...

You can negotiate "closing costs" into the deal so that the Seller pays them for you. "Closing Costs" are charges that you're billed by your lender, the title company, your real estate company, your new city/county/state, and sometimes, even condo associations.

Keep in mind, there is a cost for the Seller to "give" you this money: if you were offered $100,000 for your home, and the Buyer requests $3,000 towards closing costs, the "net" (amount you walk away with) is $97,000. Essentially, you need to build the cost into your offer amount. Make sense?

What's difference between the Home Inspection and Appraisal?

The Home Inspection (around $350-$450) is your main safety net as a home Buyer. Even on "as-is" foreclosure sales: you'll inspect your new home and if you find any problems with the property: you can re-negotiate, or walk-away, from the transaction without penalty. The Appraisal ($300-$375) is preformed, after successful inspection, by the bank to ensure the property is worth what they are loaning to you for the purchase.

Who pays for the home inspection?

Generally, the Buyer pays for their own inspection. Why? Well, because the Buyer wants to hire their own inspector, that works for them, and not rely on the Sellers. When negotating closing costs, "home inspection fee" can be added in so that while the Buyer "fronts" the cost of the inspection, at closing when the Seller pays for the Buyer's "closing costs" the Buyer can be reimbursed.

What's radon gas?

Glad you asked. Click here to learn all you need to know about radon gas.

How much does it cost to sell a home?

We charge 1% to list and sell our clients homes, but, this question is about the total - or real - cost of selling.

The industry standard is 9% however working with us you will be right around 7%.

What makes up the "cost of selling?" You have commissions, title insurance, real estate taxes, and charges associated with the closing/title policy created by the title company.

How can you do this for so much less than everyone else?

For starters, we own our own brokerage so we don't split our commission with mangers or owners. The internet has changed the way real estate is done, but, the industry hasn't caught up. Leveraging technology, we can sell homes for way less money than it used to cost (we've sold 2,800+ homes over the last 18 years in Columbus). What all of this means, is: we can pass our savings on to you.

What do I get for 1%?

Full service. We do everything, and more, that the traditional "3%" companies do.

  • Professional photos
  • 10 Point Marketing Plan
  • Listed on over 100 Websites
  • Showings
  • Negotiations
  • Closing
Whats the deal with staging?

To know what to leave out and what to put in; just where and just how, ah, that is to have been educated in knowledge of simplicity.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

Download Free eBook Guide on Staging