Frequently asked questions
Isn't the word "realtor" also just another name for "real estate agent"?
No! Only agents that belong to National Association of Realtors® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics can be called a Realtor®. I am also a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® and the Realtors® Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh.
If I want to hire you as my agent, how do I pay you?
I do not require any up-front or ongoing payments from my clients. The only compensation I get is a portion of the commission from my broker at closing. In almost all cases, the seller pays the commissions which are deducted from the sale proceeds.
How long have you been an agent?
I've been licensed in the state of Pennsylvania since August, 2013.
What is the best way to contact you?
The fastest way to reach me is by calling (833)PGH-SOLD.
I am thinking about buying a new home. What is my first step?
I realize that buying a home is one of the biggest decsions one can make. Let's meet to discuss your needs. I can provide you with resources to help you get started in your journey. There is no obligation.
How much do I need for a down payment?
The short answer is "it depends". The down payment amount is a percentage of the sale price. There are different types of loans, each one has its own down payment requirement. For example, VA and USDA loans require no down payment, a conventional loan may require up to 20% down. You would need to speak with a lender to see what loan is best for you. We have our own loan company, West Penn Financial Service Center, Inc. that can assist you.
What's the difference between "hand money" and "down payment"
"Hand money" is like a down payment. It is an amount written into the purchase offer and then deposited into the broker's escrow account at time of the execution of the sales contract. Its purpose is to show the seller the buyer's willingness to buy the property.
Do I need to sign any documents for you to become my agent to find a home?
You will be required to sign what is called a Buyer's Agency Contract (BAC). By law in Pennsylvania, there is no presumption of agency. In other words, I would not legally represent you unless you sign a written agreement. Click here to see 5 reasons to sign a BAC.
Why should I hire YOU as a buyer's agent?
I am an Accredited Buyer's Representative®. The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is considered to be the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®, to real estate practitioners who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria.
I am thinking about selling my home. What is my first step?
Selling your home can be a difficult decision to make. Give me a call so we can meet to discuss the process, and I can learn about your needs and expecations. There is no obligation and I will not pressure you to list with me.
Do I really need to use an agent to sell my home?
A lot of people are tempted to sell their home without the use of an agent. Most of the time the reason is the commission. I understand. But, selling a house is just more than putting a yard sign in the ground. If you still want to to sell it on your own, check out this booklet on selling your own home.
How do you determine the list price? Can't I just use the Zestimate® on Zillow®?
Using a service like Zillow® is a good starting point, and we have our own home value estimator that actually uses Zillow® as a source (click here). However, the most accurate way of determining the list price is for me to perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). What that entails is looking at how your home compares to those homes in your area that have recently sold, are currently for sale, and at listings that have not sold. I also look at current market conditions, and also take into consideration any improvements that you may have done.
If I make improvements before I sell, can I expect to get that money back?
In most cases, you will recoup some of the money you spent on improvements, but not all of it. Click here to get an idea what you would expect to get back depending on the type of improvement done.
Can I list my house while I am looking for a new home?
Yes. A contigency can be added to the Agreement of Sale for the new home.
How are potential buyers let into my home to view it?
There are various options. The most common method is to use a lockbox attached to your front door that contains a key to your home which can only be opened electronically by buyers' agents. Together we will determine what works best for you.