Yes it is normal. In other words, if you do not do the repairs you will not get the loan. The repairs can be either done by the seller or buyer but since the buyer is the one who incurred this need to get the repair done due to the loan they have chosen, usually the buyer pays for the repairs required.
This applies for almost all FHA loans, however, if the home is a HUD owned home, you cannot do the repairs before close of escrow. HUD does not allow these repairs to be done prior to close on HUD -owned homes -period. The repairs must be done after close of escrow. This is called an FHA repair escrow and the funds required to complete the repairs must be put into an escrow account and set aside to complete the required repairs after close of escrow.
Howtema..I think that you have compiled a great list of questions for any competent career counselors at a brokerage. The key is of course of how the answers are presented (are they making things up on the spot or do they know their stuff).
I agree that you must interview with several offices before settling in with the right one.
I would only caution you to only seek companies that REO oriented. Markets, change and so do the types of listings we represent..the brokage you work with should be diversified enough to have business now and plans for the future.... more