Dayton, Ohio Real Estate F.A.Q.

Thank you for visiting my website. Below are questions which are commonly asked by Dayton area home buyers. Simply click on the question to receive an answer. If you are a home seller, and wish to view commonly asked questions, then click here. If you like to speak with a realtor then contact me online or by telephone.


Common questions of Dayton home buyers

Why do I need a real estate agent?

A real estate agent is more than the person who unlocks a door so that you can see a home. Your real estate agent has expert knowledge about the area, market prices, and up to date information on listings. Your agent will provide you guidance on what price to offer on a home, ensure that your contract protects you in the event that you need to back out of your deal, give guidance on what home inspections you need, and be your advocate throughout the home buying experience.

How much will a real estate agent cost me?

The services of a real estate agent generally do not cost the buyer a thing! Realtors are usually paid a commission by the seller, and will not make any money until you have closed on your dream house.

Is an Older home as good a value as a newer home?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and what you choose is really a matter of personal taste and preference.

Dayton has a number of older historic homes to choose from, and often these homes cost less than a home in a newer subdivision. Many people enjoy the unique architecture that a historic home can offer. Taxes on older homes are also often lower, providing an incentive to buyers to continue to revitalize older neighborhoods. Some people worry about the maintenance costs of buying an older home, or worry that the electrical, plumbing, etc. might not be up to modern standards. Homes built before 1978 are required by law to come with a lead paint disclosure form, informing buyers that lead paint was likely used in the home at one point or another.

Newer homes often offer more modern tastes with regards to floor plans, square footage, and amenities. Newer homes are often built with energy saving windows, thicker insulation, and technology to keep energy usage down. Some people do not enjoy the “cookie cutterness” of modern homes built in planned subdivisions.

Whether you buy an older or newer home, your real estate agent can help guide you to ensure you are making a sound investment purchase. A whole home inspection, and when necessary, a specific electrical, plumbing, roofing, or engineering inspection, can ensure that the construction on your house is up to code and likely to last. A home warranty can provide the buyer an additional piece of mind.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are additional expenses beyond the purchase price of the home, that must be paid for as a price of doing business. These costs include charges from the lender, title insurance, title transfer fees, appraisal fees, survey fees, etc. In some negotiations, the seller may agree to pay for a portion of the closing costs.

What is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

The Multiple Listing Service is a computerized list of homes for sale in the Dayton, Metro area. Unlike, Zillow, Trulia, and, the MLS is controlled by the Dayton Area Board of Realtors, and has the most up to date listings of homes for sale. Only licensed Realtors have access to the MLS.

Do I need to be preapproved before I contact an agent?

It depends on the agent, but it is certainly recommended. A pre approval letter lets the agent know that a buyer is serious, that a bank has given them the go ahead to search for homes in a certain price range, and that the buyer is ready and able to make an offer. Many sellers will not entertain an offer from a buyer if they have not been pre approved by a bank, and many agents will ask a buyer to get pre approved before they take the time to show them houses.

I need to sell my house before I buy a new one. What do I do?

This situation can be a little stressful, but it happens all of the time and you have a few options. One, if you have an offer on your current house #1, and you have found house #2 that you would like to put an offer on, you may be able to negotiate the date of occupancy with your buyer, and work out a deal so that you can stay in house #1 until you close on house #2.

Many people worry about not having a place to go if their house sells, and they have not found a new place. While inconvenient, a second option is to find a temporary place to rent, and put your belongings in storage until you find a permanent home to put an offer on.

A third potential option, if you wish to avoid the above hassle of coordinating dates, is to take out a home equity line of credit, and use this money for a down payment on a new home #2, and pay the money back when home #1 sells. This option is best if you are fairly certain your home will sell quickly, and for the price you are expecting.

Speak to your loan officer and financial adviser to decide which options are best for you and your family.

How do I get a loan?

There are many options as far as lenders are concerned. Commercial banks and credit unions offer home loans. Online services such as Rocket Mortgage provide ways to apply for a mortgage from home. There are several local companies that specialize specifically in mortgage loans. And companies such as USAA provide loans with favorable terms for military veterans.

How much money do I need for a downpayment?

It depends on a number of factors such as your credit history, steadiness of income, the loan product you choose, and the home you wish to buy. While conventional loans generally require a down payment of 20%, government backed programs, such as FHA loans, require as little as 3.5%. Talk with your lender about the different loan options you might qualify for.

Is my credit score high enough for a loan?

That depends. Applicants who wish to qualify for an FHA loan with 3.5% down need a minimum credit score of 580. Those with a credit score between 500-580 may still qualify, but will have to put 10% down. When applying for a loan, remember that the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be. Before signing on the dotted line, look at your interest rate, calculate the amount of your monthly payments, and decide if taking out a loan is the right decision for you.

How much will my mortgage payments be?

Make sure you know this before finalizing your loan! Your monthly payments will depend on the total amount of money borrowed, home insurance, property taxes, your interest rate, whether or not your mortgage is fixed rate or adjustable, and the total life of your loan. Three days before you close on your home, your lender will provide you with the final information of what your monthly payment will be. But before you get to that point, it is best to be prepared. Check out this Mortgage Calculator, and make sure that you can afford your monthly payments before you make an offer!

Common questions of Dayton home sellers

Why do I need a real estate agent?

Your real estate agent’s job is two fold; one to market your house and position it to sell for the best price possible in a timely manner. And two, to protect the seller during the negotiation process, and ensure that all legalities are taken care of.

Once an offer has been made, your agent will write up a legally binding contract, guide you through the negotiation process, the inspection process, and anything that comes up until the property is closed on.

How much will hiring a real estate agent cost me?

Real estate agents, for both the buyer and the seller of a transaction, are typically paid a commission in the form of a predetermined percentage of the sales price. This commission percentage is negotiable, though most Brokerages have a recommended percentage. The cost of marketing your home is also paid out of this percentage; the seller is not asked to pay separately for marketing costs. If your home does not sell, then you are not responsible for compensating your agent.

What will you do to market my house?

Your agent will provide guidance based on research of your specific market, on what price is best to list your home, and will market it on the MLS, their broker’s website, and sites such as Zillow,, and Trulia. Your agent will also have professional photos taken of your home, and have a virtual tour video compiled to appear on online marketing material. Your agent may also hold open houses, and recommend your home to other agents internally in the Keller Williams network.

How do you come up with the recommended market price?

Your agent will analyze a number of factors including the current strength of the market, and recent homes sold in your neighborhood within the past 30 days and how your home compares in terms of square footage, numbers of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Upgrades such as remodeled bathrooms, kitchens, and manicured landscape may increase the value of your home. Updates such as energy efficient windows, a newer roof, a newer HVAC, fresh paint, and fresh carpet may also increase the value of your home. If there are any factors that may decrease the value of your home compared to other homes in the area, your agent will discuss those items with you and your options. Your agent will strive to suggest a market price that will both return the seller the most money, but that will also prevent the home from languishing on the market unsold.

Will I have to make repairs to my home before I put it on the market?

It depends on the condition of your home, and the price you are hoping to receive from it. Your agent will discuss with you any repairs or upgrades that might be recommended, as well as will discuss the pros and cons to spending money on upgrades to the home.

Will I need to make repairs to my home following the buyer’s home inspection?

Perhaps, it will depend on the negotiations. Strictly speaking, a seller is never required to make repairs, and have a right to sell a home ‘as is.” With that said, some types of loans, such as FHA and VA loans, will refuse to sign off on a loan if certain recommended repairs are not made. In other cases, a buyer may be willing to walk away from a home if the seller is not willing to either make repairs or reduce the selling price. Whether or not a seller agrees or refuses to make repairs is up to them and part of the negotiation process.

My house sold, but I don’t have any place to move into. What can I do?

You have a few options. One, if there is a home you are in the process of putting an offer on, you can ask your real estate agent to negotiate a longer escrow on house #1, so that you don’t have to move until house #2 closes. A second option, if you need a longer period of time in your home, is to ask your real estate agent if it is possible to negotiate occupancy with the buyer. In some cases, the buyer may be willing to agree to a rent back agreement, in which, the sale closes, but you continue to live in the home and pay the new owner rent until you are able to move. Finally, if occupancy is nonnegotiable, there are many short term rental options you can exercise, and storage facilities you can utilize until you are able to find a perfect home. If you are having a particularly difficult time finding a permanent home, you may wish to consider signing a year lease on a rental home, rather than feeling rushed to put an offer on a new home right away.

The market price my realtor recommended won’t cover my mortgage. What can I do?

It is frustrating to be “underwater” on a home, and you may feel as though you are chained to the property. If you truly think you can get a higher price for your home than what your realtor recommended, you can put your home on the market for the price you need, but understand it may not sell quickly. Secondly, if you have cash in reserves, you can put your home on the market for a price that will sell, and pay the difference, with the understanding that you will lose money. Third, if you are able to stay in the home and believe the value will rise, you can continue to live in your home until you are able to sell at a higher price point. Finally, you may consider renting out your home to cover the mortgage, until the value of your home rises. Ask your realtor about Keller Williams Advantage’s property management service.

The listing on my house expired without selling. Now what?

It is time to discuss with your Realtor why they believe the home did not sell. In many cases it was probably listed too high for the existing market. It is time to discuss with your Realtor if you need a price reduction, or if there are things that can be done to make the home more attractive to prospective buyers. If your Realtor cannot answer these questions or provide guidance, it is also your opportunity to switch to a different brokerage.

My house didn’t sell for the asking price I wanted. Should I consider renting?

Possibly, it depends on your urgency to sell. If your monthly mortgage payments are less than what you could ask for in rent, and your home does not require any major repairs, it may be an excellent candidate for a rental property. For owners who do not wish to manage their own property Keller Williams offers property management services.