Here is some information that may be useful in buying or selling real estate.

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Why should I use a real estate agent?

A real estate agent is more than just a sales person.  A real estate agent may act on your behalf, providing you with detailed and sometimes not commonly know information and giving you expert advice and guidance when buying or selling a home. Due to the constant changing of the market, the information available on internet and other  listings is not always 100% accurate.  There are times when you need the most current information about what has sold or is currently for sale, and the only way to get that information is by using a real estate agent.

If you are in the market to buy, it would be advisable to use a Buyer's Agent.  They can make recommendations on what terms and prices to offer as well as negotiating a deal with your best interest in mind.


What is the difference in being pre-qualified and being pre-approved for a loan?

If you're pre-qualified it means that you POTENTIALLY could get a loan for the amount stated to you, assuming that all of the information you provide to the bank is accurate and true. This is not as strong as a pre-approval.

If you're pre-approved, it means that you have undergone the extensive financial background check, which includes looking at your credit history, previous tax returns and verifying your employment - and the lender is willing to give you a loan, basically meaning you're approved!

You will usually be provided an accurate figure which shows the maximum amount that you are approved for.  Most sellers prefer buyers that have been pre-approved because they know that there will not be any problems with the purchase of their home.


What is an HOA?

HOA is a homeowners association which normally operates as a nonprofit entity that manages the common areas of a condominium, planned unit developments (PUD) or other types of real estate developments. Individual property owners pay a fee to the association in order to maintain common areas such as a pool, elevators, green areas or playgrounds which are are owned jointly by all members of the association.


What is title insurance?

Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender against any losses incurred from disputes or discrepancies that may arise due to mistakes or omissions in the title of a property.

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What is the difference between a listing agent and a selling agent?

Listing Agents mostly deal with sellers, and are the ones who will list a property for sale on the Multiple Listing Service, advertise the property through various sources and most times conduct open houses to help sell your property faster.

Selling Agents (also Buyers Agents) concentrate their efforts on property buyers, and can advise you on the best properties available in your target area and the accurate market value of said properties.

There are agents that are strictly specialized in either of the two previous categories but a good percentage of agents will divide their time between representing sellers and buyers and can provide you with accurate real estate information for both sides since they have the experience to do so.

If you phone an agent from a listed property in a magazine, newspaper, or internet ad, you are usually contacting the listing agent. A buyer or seller is normally not allowed to directly search the MLS (Multiple Listing System) without the assistance of a licensed agent or broker.