Answers to 5 Frequently Asked Home Buying Questions

Kelly Shaw

In Kelly Shaw Team’s combined 30+ years of real estate in the St. Louis area, we’ve been asked a lot of questions about the home buying process. Often the same questions are asked time and again. We don’t mind answering any question, as often as is needed, but thought it would be helpful to share what St. Louis area homebuyers ask most often. 

  1. Why do I need my own agent to buy a home? Can’t I just use the listing agent?

It’s true; you can call the number on the sign and just use the listing agent. However the listing agent represents the sellers. They have a fiduciary responsibility to work in the sellers’ best interest. By hiring a buyer’s agent, you have someone to represent your best interests. 

  1. How much money do I need to put down to buy a house?

Mortgage loans of the twenty-first century generally require a down payment worth at least 3% of the total cost of the home. The size of the required down payment may differ by mortgage company or based on credit.


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  1. What is earnest money and what is it used for?

Earnest money, also called earnest payment or simply earnest, is a good-faith deposit towards the purchase of real estate given with the purchase offer. Earnest money is usually 1%-3% of the price of the home. Not only does it show the seller you are committed buyer, it applies toward your home down payment if your offer is accepted.

  1. How do multiple offers work, and how does the buyer present the best offer?

It’s common to see multiple offers to purchase a home in a busy real estate market with more homebuyers than homes for sale. If you know you are likely competing against other offers for a home, it is good to go in strong from the very beginning. Be willing to work with the sellers’ needs, terms and timelines. Use an experience Realtor that has helped previous buyers win in competitive offer situations.

  1. Once you find a home, how long does the process take to get to closing?

Once a purchase offer is accepted, it is often the mortgage lender that determines the length of time it will take to complete closing. In Missouri this timeframe is usually four to six weeks. A home cannot close until all the terms of the purchase contract are met. Be sure to get your lender all the information they need in a timely manner to keep you home closing on track.

Thinking of purchasing a St. Louis, Missouri area home? Rely on the experience and tenacity of the Kelly Shaw Team to help you find your perfect home. We are designated Accredited Buyers Representatives (ABR) with experience helping homebuyers in multiple offer situations. Our website has better home search results than the national websites because it gets multiple home listing updates a day, while the national sites only update every day or every few days. Be sure to sign up to receive alerts for homes hitting the market that match your search criteria.

Contact Kelly Shaw Team to get real estate representation that will provide you a competitive advantage in a busy real estate market.

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