Frequently ASked Questions from Buyers

FAQ from Buyers

Real estate agents are paid from the transaction, with no direct, out of pocket expense to a buyer.

All offers must be in writing and our team will work with you to prepare offers with the terms that suit your needs best. Although the most obvious “term” is the purchase price, the following are also important components of the offer and all of these will be taken into consideration by sellers evaluating your offer:
  • Closing Date
  • Earnest money
  • Closing cost credits
  • Financing terms
  • Property tax prorations
  • Home Warranty
  • Are you willing to accept the home “as-is”? This does not mean you won’t have a professional inspection but does suggest you won’t ask for the seller to make repairs or provide credits for issues identified during the inspection.
Under certain conditions, the real estate contract can be canceled by either party.

A Zestimate is a computer generated price, much different than a market analysis created by an experienced broker.

If you have cash, possibly cash. 60-90 days. What is the timeline for closing and is the timeline shorter if buying with cash? The usual and customary timeline for closing is 30 days to 60 days. Cash offers can close in 30 days or less, offers with financing may close in 30 days or more.
Yes, installment payments can give you the time to get your funds in ready cash.
In Illinois, it’s usual and customary for both buyer and seller to have attorney representation. Hughes Home Team will provide a list of recommended attorneys who charge a flat fee.
Seepage is both a health issue and a safety issue. Seepage can cause conditions like mold and bacteria growth.
A home warranty is most important with used appliances.
Real Estate taxes are paid in arrears in Illinois. Buyers receive a credit from sellers for taxes that are DUE but not yet BILLED. The tax credit is calculated from the most recent full year bill, and is broken down to a daily or per diem number. You, as the buyer, will receive a credit for all outstanding taxes, you in turn are responsible for payment of the taxes once the bill comes out.

As-Is terms shield the seller from making repairs. As-is terms are often seen for estate owned real estate and third party owned real estate. You, as the buyer, are encouraged to schedule an inspection.

An important step in making an offer is to determine how you will purchase the property – will you be obtaining a mortgage or are you paying cash? Most homebuyers will finance a purchase of this size so the first step in the process, even before seriously beginning your search, is to speak with a lender and have them prepare a pre approval letter for you.

Hughes Home Team agents will provide pricing for comparable homes on the market and comparable homes recently sold and closed to help you decide on an offer price. A seller can accept, reject or counter an offer.

It is part of the down payment. Earnest money is held in a secure escrow account. Earnest money is applied to down payment funds at closing.

The amount of earnest money is negotiable, but is typically in the range of up to 5%. Earnest money will be held in a secure escrow account until closing, when it is used as part of the down payment. Make sure to know it’s not just a deposit that’s held – it’s actually cashed/withdrawn from the bank account.

Finding the home that is just right is a very personal choice. You may find that you like the feel of an older, established neighborhood with mature trees and homes in a variety of architectural styles. Older and charming homes all done up with new updates are always a popular choice. Newer construction is often found in its own neighborhood. Choose new construction if you have a preference for planned developments, subdivisions, that are dedicated to residences.

There are options, including the seller and buyer re-negotiating the contract price to the appraised value, or you the buyer may make a larger down payment.

Lenders prefer larger down payments over smaller down payments.

Lake Michigan water feeds through lead pipes from the filtration plant to the cities and towns served. Hughes Home Team agents recommend our clients install reverse osmosis filters at sink and tub spigots.

A price escalation rider may be used in multiple offers. It’s a strategy to negotiate a higher price on the spot to win the deal.

Plan on scheduling the professional home inspection(s) as soon as possible, keeping in mind that notice to the seller of inspection deficiencies must be delivered within 5 business days after contract acceptance.

What are valid inspection issues and what is considered unreasonable to ask a seller to repair? The inspection typically does not cover minor repairs, like a missing door stop, and routine maintenance items. Inspection issues and how they are acknowledged and addressed or corrected are up for discussion between the buyer and seller.

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