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Questions & Answers Guidelines
What is the Homes.com Questions & Answers Section?
The Homes.com Questions & Answers Section is designed to promote interaction between home seekers and real estate professionals on real estate related topics. Visitors to Homes.com are encouraged to ask real estate agents questions pertaining to real estate. Real estate professionals have the option of answering any question that he/she may choose. Additionally, real estate professionals may opt to be contacted by Homes.com via email when questions have been asked in their local specified areas.
How to begin…
To begin participation in the Homes.com Questions & Answers Community, you must create a MyHomes account. When creating a MyHomes profile, please select the appropriate type of profile – homebuyer/seller, renter or real estate agent. Choosing the correct profile will help you receive the best results from your interaction on Homes.com.
Rules for creating a MyHomes Account…
- Accounts must be created by a person. In order to make a post, you must create or sign into your MyHomes account. When creating your account, you must include your first and last name; please refrain from using nicknames. Additionally, email addresses and URLs will not be accepted in the first and last name fields.
- All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required. Please make sure to include the required information.
- Homes.com also includes additional questions during the signup process for consumer-related MyHomes accounts. These questions are asked in order to improve your home searching experience; however, these questions are not required.
Rules for making a post…
- Private information. Please refrain from including private information in your posts. Private information includes phone numbers, social security numbers, etc… The Homes.com Questions & Answers Community is designed to promote interaction on Homes.com in a simple question and answer format. Please refrain from continued self-promotion. This also includes posting private information for other individuals within a post.
- Category selection. In order to receive the best possible answer, please select the category that best fits your question. Categories are a required field when making a post.
- Question versus Details fields. The question field is limited to 150 total characters. Additional details for your question should be included in the details field located below the questions field. Please be sure to check your question to ensure that it has not been cut off.
- Updates. Homes.com also provides posters the option to be contacted when his/her question has been answered.
Rules for interacting with others…
- Violent behavior. Users will not be permitted to threaten, harass or bully other users of the site. This includes name-calling and profanity.
- Impersonation. Homes.com does not allow the impersonation of others or support information that is intended to be misleading.
- Advertising. Posts that include advertising links, images and/or content will not be accepted.
- Multiple accounts. Homes.com requires participants in the Questions & Answers community to use their own account. Any use of multiple accounts for the purpose of fraudulent or deceptive behavior is prohibited.
- Reporting Abuse. Please be sure to flag any inappropriate posts by clicking on the “Report” link that is displayed by each post.
Posts that will not be accepted include…
- Spam. Posts that are considered spam include: promotional, commercial and/or adult content. Multiple posts of the same content, links or URLs that are unrelated to the topic of the question and the transmission of viruses of any kind are also considered spam.
- Explicit material. Posts that include adult content and/or drive traffic to adult related sites will not be permitted.
- Copyright. Homes.com will respond to blatant misuse of copyright infringement. Please flag any copyright material by clicking on the “Report” link next to each individual post.
Terms of Agreement…
By posting in the Homes.com Questions & Answers Community, you agree to accept and abide by the aforementioned rules. Any misuse of these rules will result in the removal of your posts and/or your MyHomes account. Homes.com promotes a safe and friendly environment in the Questions & Answers community. If you see any misuse or abuse of the community, please click the “Report” link located next to each individual post.
Rules for Questions
- DO NOT include personal info. Protect yourself by excluding your email address and phone number in posts.
- Keep your questions brief. The question field is limited to 150 characters. Additional information to your question should be added in the details field
- Explicit material will not be tolerated. Please refrain from including posts with vulgar language and/or adult content. You may report abuse by clicking on the “report” link that is displayed next to each post.
- Please refrain from continued self-promotion.The Homes.com Questions and Answers Community is designed to promote interaction on Homes.com in a simple question and answer format only.
The Home Buying Process Demystified
The home buying process is wrought with potential pitfalls and challenges, but when done right can be relatively painless. As champions of homebuying, we’ve created this step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Below you’ll find an overview of the home buying timeline as well as the major components of the home buying process with links to the various steps, tools, and information to educate and empower your home search, discovery and purchase.
How Long Does it Take to Buy a Home?
Your timeline may vary, but the following is a good guideline
- Preparing to Buy a Home: 3-4 weeks
- Initial Search for Ideas: 1-4 weeks
- Building a Team: 1 week (overlap initial search)
- Pre-Approval of Mortgage: 12-48 hours
- The Home Search: 4-8 weeks (depending on criteria)
- Contract-to-Close: 14-60 days
So, on average a homebuyer will spend 30-60 days shopping and 14-60 days from contract to close. For some folks, the process can be extremely quick taking as little as 30 days total, while for others, the shopping period alone can last several months.
How Much Home Can I Afford?
The first step in the home buying process is understanding if you have the resources to buy a home. This includes knowing how much home you can afford, what type of down payment and monthly mortgage payment to budget for, as well as what type of loan program you’ll use to finance your new property.
Buying a home is a complicated process that requires a good deal of research. In the course of it, there will be a number of professionals and specialists involved. Once you’ve done your homework and assessed your resources, you’ll need to assemble your team.
Assembling Your Team
After you have a good understanding of your own wants, needs, and goals, it’s time to assemble your team and begin the home search! Who should be on your team? Who you’ll need to find on your own may vary, but the key team members could be: Real estate agent (could be a RealtorTM but not all agents are), home appraiser, title company, home inspector, insurance agent and mortgage lender.
When selecting the members of this team, take the same amount of care you would in choosing a home, because these people will be working for you to help you do just that. Trust & communication are key considerations in working with your team.
Sorting Out Your Finances
With the selection of a mortgage lender comes the application for mortgage pre-approval, a task that requires collecting the necessary financial paperwork to help obtain the approval. Once obtained the clock begins ticking because many pre-approval offers have a limited life-span before they expire.
Your Home Search
While you juggle the paperwork and timelines implicit to the process, remember that your team works for you. Now your search for (and discovering) your new home begins. Research, save, view and repeat. Remember Homes.com has all the tools you need to find and keep track of your favorite properties and home shortlist.
You’ve got a mortgage pre-approval in hand and have found a property you can afford to purchase and see yourself living in. Time for a purchase offer to a listing agent or seller!
Once you receive an acceptance offer, the due-diligence period starts a timeline of checks and tasks for final mortgage approvals, appraisals, inspections, and other requirements that would be stated in the terms of the contract.
Assessment, Conditions & Negotiation
Many consider this to be the most difficult part of the home buying process as it includes, but isn’t limited to, inspection, obtaining the final loan, purchasing insurance, and the potentially arduous negotiation. In this part of the process, every member of your team will be utilized, and the more homework you have done in building your team, the smoother this part will go. Those who haven’t conducted their proper due diligence could potentially see the purchase fall apart at this point.
Closing the Deal!
A successful closing requires all of the team players to come together at the same time, with the same agenda, on the same date, with numbers and figures that match. From the start of the home search to the home inspection and closing the deal, the entire home buying process can take most homeowners about three months.