Home Buyer Frequently Asked Questions Fort Collins Colorado

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Joyce's Real Estate Website

Welcome to my Real Estate Website.  This is my personal website for all of my Real Estate clients.  If you do not intend to be my client and maybe signed up by accident, you can delete your account with the instructions below or you can just send me an email and I will delete your account.  By continuing to use this site, I will assume you want my help with your real estate needs and you are not working with another Realtor.

Buying a home is exciting, scary, and sometimes intimidating.  A home purchase is the largest investment most people make in their entire life.  Below are the most common questions asked and the answers specific to the Northern Colorado and Fort Collins area real estate market.

Q - Do I need to pay a Realtor to buy a home?

A - My services as a "Buyer's Agent" are no cost to you and I will negotiate on behalf of and act as an advocate for you the buyer.  In Colorado the real estate commissions for both the buyer and seller are paid for by the seller

Q - What services are provided at no cost by a "Buyer's Agent"?

A -  If you agree to work with me as your "Buyer's Agent" my common services include the following:

  • Helping you clarify your priorities.
  • Suggesting sources of financing and other service professionals, such as inspectors, contractors, cleaning companies, etc.
  • Providing sources of accurate and lawful information on neighborhoods, schools, and communities.
  • Selecting and arranging property showings.
  • Evaluating particular properties.
  • Explaining forms and agreements.
  • Suggesting contract contingencies to protect you, rather than the seller.
  • Assisting in the negotiations for a favorable price and terms.
  • Keeping all information confidential that could weaken your bargaining position.
  • Monitoring the entire purchase process, assisting with issues that arise from inspections, appraisals, all the way through to the closing.

Q - How do I know if I am qualified to buy a home?

A - Talk to a lender first.  There is no cost to talk to them and they can tell you if you are qualified.  If you are not qualified, many times they can help you with your credit situation to be qualified.  If you are interviewing lenders, ask questions about interest rates and the total cost of the loan.  The interest rate may be the same with 2 different lenders but the total cost of the loan can be thousands of dollars different.  If you do not have a lender, just contact me and I will send you some wonderful lenders I work with that can help you.

Q - How much home can I afford?

A - That depends, of course—on your income and other financial obligations.  Realtor.com has a great Home Affordability Calculator that will give you a general ballpark of how much home you can afford and you do not need to leave any contact information.  Click HERE to see how much home you can afford.

Q - What’s the difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage? 

A - Typically you will will have your lender pre-qualify you for a mortgage, then get pre-approved before you have found the specific home you wish to purchase. What is the difference?

  • Pre-qualification: An informal determination by your lender stating how much mortgage you can afford.
  • Pre-approval: A guarantee in writing by your lender to grant you a loan up to a specified amount.

Q - I already have a Realtor but I like using your website better?

A - You are free to use any Realtor you want. 

  • If you are working with another Realtor it is best to be up front and honest with me and your Realtor so there is no confusion.  Your Realtor may have a website you do not know about.  I am sure you would not order dinner at one restaurant and then bring it to another restaurant to eat it.
  • If you do not want to use my services as your Realtor, please unsubscribe from future emails (there is an unsubscribe link on the automated emails sent from my website).  You can also click on your account button on the top of the page and delete your account.  This will avoid any confusion or accusations that I am trying to steal someones client.

Q - What is the difference between a Buyer's Agent and a Transaction Broker?

A - If you are still interviewing your prospective Realtor's, it is good to understand how many real estate professionals work in Northern Colorado.  Many work as a transaction broker, while I work solely as a Buyer's Agent.  A brief definition on Buyer's Agents and Transaction Brokers is:

  • Buyers Agent - A buyers agent works solely on behalf of the buyer to promote the interests of the buyer with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the buyer.
  • Transaction Broker - A transaction broker assists the buyer or seller or both throughout the real estate transaction without being an agent or advocate for any of the parties.

Q:  Do I need a "Buyer's Agent" if I buy new construction

A - It is always recommended to have someone looking out for you on the Buyer's side, there is no cost to you to use a Buyer's Agent for new construction. Also, a Buyer's Agent will advocate for you throughout the entire process from the contract, to the inspection process, to the appraisal and all the way to closing and occupancy.  If you go to a neighborhood with new construction and they have you sign the book, make sure you put your Realtor's name in the book as well or you may be on your own without any representation.

Q - How do I find my home?

A - You can use my website as one of your resources.  Go to my Advanced Search Page Here.  From the search page you can create a search by Town, Community, School District, and Map.  When you create a search you can save it and name it and tell it how often to show you results such as daily or weekly.  You can create several searches with different names and criteria.  You will then receive an email in the morning showing all the properties that fit your criteria.

My website also has a hierarchy from the top down starting with Towns.  From my home page you can select a town, then once you are on a town page, you can select communities, price ranges, homes or condos, patio homes, horse property, waterfront property etc.

Q:  I want to down-size or up-size or right-size my home, do I need to sell my home first and move twice?

A - Depending on your price range and circumstance, many times you do not need to sell your home first.  Right now in this hot market properties for sale under $400K are very competitive and are receiving multiple offers.  If you are contingent on selling your home when you make your offer, your offer may not be as competitive as a buyer who has no sale contingency.  Higher priced homes may not be as competitive and sometimes they will accept contingent offers.  There are also financial mechanisms such as HELOC's and Bridge Loans that can help you stay in your home and purchase your new one at the same time.  I work with many lenders that can help you navigate this situation.

Q:  I need to sell in order to buy my next home but I do not know how much my home is worth 

A - I recommend me doing a full market analysis of your home with a free in person consultation.  This will be the most accurate and up to date value of your home.  I also have an online tool that can help with this.  It will give you a ball park value but may not be up to date in a fast moving hot market or if the local assessor records are not yet updated.  Click here for my online home value tool

Q:  How much money do I need to put down on a home?

A - Most loans require between 3% and 20% down.  Your lender can provide you with all the options available based on criteria.

Q:  Can I buy a home with no money down or 100% financing

A - The USDA backs a variety of loans to help low- or moderate-income people buy, repair or renovate a home in a rural area. For eligible buyers, they feature great benefits such as 100% financing with no down payment and below-market mortgage rates.  In Northern Colorado, USDA loan eligible areas include Ault, Berthoud, Eaton, Mead, Severance, Wellington and Windsor.  I can have a lender call you to tell you more about the program.  Click here for the USDA eligibility website.

Q:  I'm from out of town, do you have a Relocation Guide?

A - Yes, you can download our relocation guide by clicking HERE

Q:  I like looking at Open Houses on the weekend, do you have a resource for this.

A - Yes, you can download our Open House Schedule PDF HERE.  We try to update it every Friday morning.

Let's Get Started!

Are you ready to schedule your home buying consultation?  If so, contact me today and together we will review your needs and your budget to help you find the right Northern Colorado home for you!  My contact information is at the bottom of this page.