If you are anything like us, you have burning questions that you want answered. That’s what the Ask the Expert series is all about – it’s a chance to get questions answered by local experts.

Today, we’re turning to our friend Jo Griffin, a realtor with Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors in Iowa and Illinois (and mom to three kids from age 6 to 22). She’s answering some frequently asked questions about buying a home in the Quad Cities.

Related: Real Estate Trends in the Quad Cities

If you are buying a home in the Quad Cities, check out these frequently questions and answers.

Is now a good time to buy a home?

Spring and summer are wonderful times to buy and sell a new home. Traditionally, spring and summer are hot in the real estate market. This means there are more homes on the market – giving buyers more options. 

Also, while you may have heard that home prices are on the rise, now is still a great time to buy. Homes are actually more affordable now than they were in the late 1990s in Iowa and Illinois

How do I know if the property is a good deal?

Jo says this is a tough question. “The definition of “good deal” is always in the eye of the beholder,” she says. Each home buyer will have a different budget and criteria for their perfect home.

With that said, you should always have your eyes wide open when purchasing a home.

Ask yourself how much are similar homes going for in the neighborhood? (Psst: Your realtor can help.) And be sure to have a home inspection to uncover any potential issues. 

After all this, Jo says: “At the end of the day, it’s the buyer or seller who decide on the number.”

How many homes should I see before making an offer?

“Sometimes it only takes one,” Jo says. “I’ve had that happen.”

But she also says that sometimes her buyers see 20-30 homes before they found the right one. It really depends on the person buying a home.

Buying a home shouldn’t be a rush. So take your time and find the right one. Looking at properties could help you focus on the features you can’t live without – and those you can.

Can I buy a home and sell my current one at the same time?

If you have a home to sell, now’s a really great time for that, too. And you can definitely buy and sell a home at the same time. 

Related: Why now may be a good time to sell a home

Jo explains that contracts are written to give both buyers and sellers options. 

Why should I use a realtor to buy a home?

Realtors are experts in their field. And buying or selling a home can be stressful, so having someone who has done this before can be very reassuring.

As Jo says: “A realtor provides many skills to ensure negotiations go smoothly, that the lenders and attorneys are provided the documentation necessary to close on time and that inspections are scheduled and issues mitigated in an efficient and professional manner.”

How can I negotiate price?

When you buy a home, you want to be sure you are getting the best price. It could be one of the largest purchases you’ll make, and it’s a place you spend a great deal of time with your family. 

Jo says the market dictates the range of price. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for negotiation.

“What also is negotiable are other terms, such as closing costs, inspections, contingencies, personal property, and home warranties,” says Jo. 


Do you have any questions about buying your home?

Disclosure: Thanks to the Ruhl&Ruhl for sponsoring today’s post. We at QCMB love working with our favorite local businesses to share useful information and make our community a better place to live, work and play.

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