Just some of our
frequently asked questions
All Buyers Sellers Residential Commercial
  • What questions should I ask my real estate agent?
    Why did you become a real estate agent? Why should I work with you? What do you do better than other real estate agents? What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs? What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them? What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home? What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials? Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?
  • How much house can you afford?
    Your lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford. Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected – for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs. Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn’t be more than 36 percent. (In Canada lenders apply similar formulas to determine how much a buyer can afford. The Gross Debt Service ratio, or GDS, is not to exceed 32 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and the Total Debt Service ratio, or TDS, is not to exceed 40 percent of the buyer’s total debt load.) As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market though, we urge you to think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much. Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.
  • How do I secure financing?
    While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.
  • Is it easy to find a home?
    You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it’s true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long-if weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That’s why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.
  • What type of loan should I be applying for?
    There are several options. In most cases land loans are set up with an adjustable rate and require 20% of the purchase price down or in some form of collateral.
  • Do I need a pre-approval?
    Yes, in most every case we find that a pre approved buyer is in better shape to get the best deal out there.
  • Do you have lenders that you work with?
    Yes, we have several lenders we can recommend and then you can choose based on your personal criteria.
  • Will a VA loan work for just land?
    In most cases no, VA requires a home and “x” amount of acreage.
  • Can Land be split and purchased?
    It depends on the seller whether or not they will divide.
  • Should I get a survey?
    We believe everyone that is purchasing land should consider it. Just the same as we do when buying a home, having a home inspection is a must!
  • Are taxes based on the purchase price?
    No, taxes are based on the assessed value in that particular county.
  • Am I responsible for taxes?
    Taxes are generally pro-rated to the date of closing.
  • How do I hire an agent?
    The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals-insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.
  • What sources do you use to value home and or land.?
    We use our sales data we have internally along with county sales date that is available to us.
  • Where do you advertise to sell my property?
    We believe the best approach is both locally and nationally. MFL offers both to all of our customers. While each marketing plan is customized to each property, we can assure MFL leaves no stone unturned to advertise. Social Media, Print, National websites, local media and state MLS feeds.
  • Should I research the market?
    Yes! Because prices are rising, some sellers purposely overprice their property hoping to catch the upward trend. Listing pricers are just that listing prices. Find an experienced MFL Agent who knows the marketplace. Ask your Realtor for recent comparable sales in the area before making an offer. Check with the county appraisal district for their valuation on properties being considered. And review the local multiple listing service.
  • What about checking the infrastructure?
    Rural properties sometimes don't have city water and sewer service and may have limited or no access to electric, phone, cable television and high-speed Internet services. Ask about road maintenance, trash pickup and school bus routes.
  • What about looking for improvements?
    Don't underestimate the value of existing barns, camp houses and other improvements already on the property, which can be very expensive to build new. Most counties require permits for installing septic systems and wells. Before buying a tract without water and sewer in place, get estimates from local contractors and talk to neighbors to find out typical well depth and septic systems required for the local soil conditions.
  • Knowing codes and restrictions
    If you purchase rural property with the intent to subdivide, check county subdivision laws and possible extended territorial jurisdictions of surrounding municipalities that may govern the area. Check for any restrictions on the property you are considering. Take the time to consider how the restrictions could affect you and how they could be viewed by future buyers.
  • Can I take advantage of property tax advantages?
    If you purchase rural property with the intent to subdivide, check county subdivision laws and possible extended territorial jurisdictions of surrounding municipalities that may govern the area. Check for any restrictions on the property you are considering. Take the time to consider how the restrictions could affect you and how they could be viewed by future buyers.
  • What does a commercial real estate broker do?
    A commercial real estate broker is a type of professional who has been licensed to help various clients buy, sell or lease real estate properties. These properties are generally used for commercial purposes. If someone wants to use a property for their home, they will need to seek out a residential real estate broker instead. An easy way to understand what a commercial real estate broker does is to imagine that they are the “middle man” between a business and a property or building they want to purchase for their business.
  • When and why should I hire a commercial real estate broker?
    Hiring a commercial real estate broker can save time and money in your search because a good broker knows the properties, landlords, buyers, and sellers. You are involved in these transactions every now and then, while a broker does this every day. A good commercial real estate broker understands the total cost of the transaction and can help negotiate a deal that best suits your needs.
  • What is commercial real estate lending?
    Commercial real estate lending is the process in which a buyer of commercial property acquires financing or mortgages necessary to make the property purchase. Without commercial real estate lending, a potential buyer would need to have all of the funds necessary to purchase the property. Instead, commercial real estate lending allows businesses and commercial entities to acquire financing (like a loan) to purchase their property and pay the lender back over time.
  • What should you ask your commercial real estate agent?
    Knowing what to ask potential commercial real estate agents can help you to narrow your results to not only finding a qualified agent, but one you will feel comfortable working with. Below are a few questions you can use to help structure your inquiry to specific commercial real estate agents or their brokerages. 1. What is agent’s reputation for experience, honesty, and attention to detail? 2. Does the agent have the experience dealing with commercial needs that my company has? 3. How large is the agent’s brokerage? 4. What is the accessibility of the agent? 5. How good is the level of communication of the agent? 6. How educated is the agent? 7. What are the agent’s strong and weak points? 8. What are the fees and commission rates of the agent and brokerage? 9. You can ask some of these questions directly to the brokerage or agent, or you can ask other people in your industry who have worked with that agent or brokerage in the past. This will help you to get additional feedback about the agent and their brokerage.
  • How much space does my company need?
    The general rule of thumb is that you will need approximately 200 to 250 square feet per person. But remember that you will be signing a lease that could range in term from anywhere from 3 to 10 years. So you’ll need to add anywhere from 10 to 50 percent to the total square footage you’ve calculated in order to accommodate future growth.
  • Do I need a broker to look at properties?
    Generally speaking, a broker (who is often times part of a larger firm, called the brokerage) is needed to allow potential buyers access to view the property. While it’s not a strict requirement for a buyer to view properties, they may not be able to get the same levels of access to the property without them. A buyer could choose to view properties online, which does not require a broker. There may be difficulty in finding some of the properties online, however, and you won’t have as detailed of information as a broker can get. Alternatively, you could choose to talk to a seller directly to gain access to additional information or to be granted access to enter the building itself. While this is a possibility, not all sellers are going to be available at times that are convenient for you, or may choose to only allow buyers to visit through their broker.
  • What is the difference between a commercial real estate deal and buying a house?
    Generally the biggest difference comes down to due diligence. Residential purchases deal with general inspections which is typically a quick one day inspection. Residential purchases are also cheaper and are more likely a homestead. Residential deals are emotional purchases that can usually be closed within 30-45 days. Commercial property purchases involve property that is being used for business purposes, so there is more liability in the property and the land connected to it. The inspection process is extremely extensive, depending on prior usage, so the feasibility period is much longer and closing on commercial real estate deals can be a very long process.