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FAQ - Albuquerque Realtor



Frequently Asked Questions

Am I Ready to Be a Homeowner?

Rental homes in Albuquerque are in short supply.  I understand that most of the homes my clients rent don’t suit their specific needs as well as homes they could buy.  Life circumstances and your financial situation will dictate whether you’re ready and able to buy a home.  If you’re settled here in Albuquerque and not planning on going anywhere for a few years I would advise you buy instead of rent. If you have the financial and work history you need then you can qualify for a mortgage.  It’s not easy today to qualify for home mortgages.  The last recession was largely due to predatory lending practices.  Lenders were giving home mortgages to buyers who clearly couldn’t afford the mortgage payments.  This lead to large scale defaults and foreclosures.  This happened nationwide, not just here in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  These foreclosures caused the entire U.S. economy to crash.  For this reason, home loans are rightfully hard to qualify for now.  If your career and financial affairs are in order, you’re ready to become a homeowner. 

Is Renting or Buying Better?

If you aren’t settled and familiar with Albuquerque you may be better off renting.  On the other hand, if you know Albuquerque and plan on staying here long term, buying is the smart move.  Real estate is one of the best ways to build your wealth today. Of all investments I’m aware of, Albuquerque real estate is the best.  When you make a monthly mortgage payment, part of that payment is interest, but the other part goes to paying down the principle.  Over time the portion of your mortgage payments that go toward the principle add up, and you build equity.  This ‘equity’ is your money and if you decide to sell the house before it’s completely paid off, you keep this money.  Rent on the other hand is paying someone else mortgage payment.

What Is the Lender's Formula?

I’m no mortgage broker.  After over eight years in the business I do know a thing or two about the loan business though. Albuquerque mortgage brokers have told me that a buyers monthly payment should be no more than roughly one-third of their income.  There are many other factors involved of course. They will factor in your debt to income ratio for example.  Some people make a lot of money but have ten credit cards with high balances, three car loans, and have to pay big child support payments.  As you might imagine, there isn’t much money left over to pay a mortgage on a new home.  Credit score is also a factor.  Past behavior is the best predictor of the future.  For example if you have a cousin that gets smashed every year at the Christmas party and does something stupid, they will probably do it again.  In short, a lender will look at your overall financial situation and decide if you can afford a house.  If you can afford a house, they will say what value house you can buy.  It’s good advice for you not to buy a house at the maximum price they say you can afford.  

What Do I Look for in Homes?

Everyone has different wants and needs.  As a great Realtor in Albuquerque I’m good at helping you zero in on your very specific wants.  You might want a pool or need a big yard for the dogs and kids to play in.  Maybe you are getting up in years need a single story home.  

Do I Need a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is an insurance policy of sorts.  Let’s say you buy a home in Rio Rancho that has a nice pool.  Six months later, your roof starts leaking and so does the pool!  Depending on the home warranty policy, these things might or might not be covered with insurance.  It’s strongly advisable when you buy a house to get a home warranty for at least the first year.  As your Rio Rancho Realtor I will write into the purchase offer that we want the seller to pay for this policy.  Home Warranties usually cost the seller about $500.   

how long will it take to sell my albuquerque real estate?

When my customers list their houses with me they usually want their properties sold ASAP.  Average time on the market depends on what I am selling for you and where.  When I broker Vacant land in Albuquerque, NM it takes longer than other types of property.  With my residential real estate brokerage in Rio Rancho houses sell very quickly.  Commercial property is somewhere in the middle.  Average days on market for residential property in Albuquerque is about ninety days.  Vacant land sales in Albuquerque take roughly one year.  Commercial property sales are shower than a lease, but average is six months.  

Does staging my house help it sell for more?

The short answer is yes.  Whether your Rio Rancho house is occupied or vacant it can still benefit from staging.  Vacant houses can usually benefit from some modern furniture placed in the appropriate places.  Yes, modern furniture works in our Southwestern Albuquerque area.  Home buyers can visualize where things will go and they feel more at home.  Vacant houses can seem a bit cold and unwelcoming.  If your house is occupied, I might suggest you get rid of some clutter or add furniture here or there.  

how do home buyers find your house?

Albuquerque home buyers find your house online themselves ninety-five percent of the time.  Everyone is online these days.  Most buyers will be using one of the major real estate search sites such as Realtor.com or Zillow.com to browse homes.  Whether you use my flat fee Albuquerque listing service or full service, I will help you look great online.    

should I have a home inspection?

When you buy a home in Albuquerque I will encourage you to have a professional home inspection.  Unless you’re very handy and in the know about construction, and can do an inspection yourself.  

A professional home inspector will look at all the structural and functional components of the home.  The roof, plumbing, HVAC, appliances, electrical outlets etc.  They will give you a report of their findings and any repairs they suggest being made.  They find things that ordinary people wouldn’t see. I’ve seen some Albuquerque homes with serious “skeletons in the closet.”  You can then negotiate with the seller to make repairs.  These Albuquerque home inspections usually cost two to five hundred dollars depending on the size of the home.  

What Should I Expect at Closing?

When closing the sale or purchase of your Albuquerque real estate expect a lot of paperwork and money moving around.  In the final days before closing, mortgage loans are paid off, or funded.  Once the money is right, and escrow says all the conditions are met, we are ready to record.  The title company then goes to the County and records title to the home in the name of the new owner.  I sell real estate in both New Mexico and California, so this process works a little differently here in New Mexico.  Title must be recorded first here in Albuquerque before the mortgage company funds the loan.  

What Is Pre-approval?

Pre-approval for a mortgage loan is a lenders statement that a certain buyer will be able to get a loan from them.  This is a thorough commitment from an Albuquerque mortgage lender that the buyers purchase money is solid.  These pre-approval letters say what dollar amount the buyer can afford.   

Pre-qualification is similar to pre-approval but much less complete.  This is a statement from a lender that the buyer can qualify for a loan of certain value, once they are vetted in greater detail.  A buyer may still have to bring in pay-stubs to prove income stated etc.  

Am I Ready to Rent?

If you’re tired of living with your folks, or they’re tired of you, you’re ready to rent lol.  You’re able to rent a home if you’re of legal age and have solid work history and income.  When I process rental applications I check the applicants credit history.  Your credit score is a big part of what I consider.  If you’re on a government assisted rental housing program and have a voucher I can help.  Section 8 rental housing in Albuquerque can be hard to find.  

What Should I Offer?

Real estate offers and purchase agreements are complicated.  I can assist you with your Albuquerque real estate purchase.  Purchase price os one thing and terms are another.  Every real estate transaction is different so it’s hard to generalize.  Terms are just as important as the offer price we make.  Unless a property is clearly over priced, I don’t advise making low-ball offers.  You can offend a seller and shoot yourself in the foot.  The terms of our offer should be reasonable also.  Asking for the seller to make unreasonable repairs or concessions will also be counter productive.  Asking the seller to pay your buyer closing costs is often advisable but weakens your offer against competition.  

Can I Ask You for Advice?

Yes!  As your Albuquerque Realtor I’m happy to you about anything.  So long as it’s not tax advice, some faux-pax topic, or something out of my expertise.  

What should I expect of my Albuquerque Realtor?

Your Albuquerque real estate broker is your advisor and consultant throughout the complicated process of your real estate transaction.  Your expectations of me depend on which of my service options you have chose.  If you’re using my Albuquerque flat fee real estate service, expect less than extensive service.  I will be available to you on the phone and computer but not in person.  If you selected my full service listing option you get the works.  

What is an exclusive ritht to sell listing agreement?

It’s not as it sounds.  You might think from the name ‘exclusive right to sell’ that I will be the only one in Albuquerque who can sell your home, vacant land etc.  This is not the case.  This means that I will be on one side of your transaction.  I will get the agreed upon commission amount for the listing side of your sale, no matter what.  The buyer may have their own real estate agent and they can also ‘sell’ your property.  They are just on the other side of the transaction.  They are entitled to commission we agreed to offer to them in the MLS.  We might not have offered any real estate commission at all.

How can you get the most money from your sale?

If you want top-dollar for your Albuquerque real estate, you should use my full service plan.  My in-person real estate service will help.  I can stage your house so it looks attractive to buyers.  My professional photographer will then make your house ‘glow’ online and get more buyers looking in person.  Listening to my professional advice at each step will help us squeeze more money out of your property.  

What should i do for an open house?

If you chose to use my limited service plan to sell your Albuquerque home, you will be doing the open house yourself.  I suggest you get some bottled water and snacks for visitors.  You should hide any jewelry or valuables.  Put away personal family photos.  if you have pets, they should be somewhere else during the open house.  The house should be clean and you should have directional signs at high traffic corners around your neighborhood pointing the way.  If I’m doing the open house for you, I handle everything.

is there a best season to sell?

Spring and Summer are the best times of year to sell your home in Albuquerque.  There is much more real estate activity this time of year.  Weather is nicer and your home will look more attractive to buyers subconsciously.  Families with children usually need to move when the kids aren’t in school.  

Your life may dictate when you sell your home.  It might not be the best time of year, but our lives can’t always be perfectly planned.  

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are the expenses you have to pay for in order to complete your Albuquerque real estate deal.  If you’re buying or selling vacant land, residential, or commercial property these vary.  If you’re selling your Rio Rancho home for example, you will need to pay for a title insurance policy, your half of escrow, NHD report, possibly home warranty, real estate commissions.  

If you’re on the buying a house in Rio Rancho, closing costs are out of pocket cash you must come up with. You might have to pay points for originating your mortgage loan, inspections, appraisals, down payment, earnest money, and half of escrow.  It’s not cheap buying Albuquerque real estate, but it’s worth it.   

If you have Questions about real estate in albuquerque, new mexico, I have answers!

Real transactions are complicated. There are no stupid questions.  I’m at your service if you need a Realtor in Albuquerque, NM.

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