Buying a Home
Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home! Before you go house hunting, it’s a good idea to define what kind of home and neighborhood would best suit your desires and needs and make a wish list. The finer the details, the more effective your home search will be. To further define your needs, you may want to divide your lists into negotiable and non-negotiable items, so we can operate with some flexibility.
After you have fine-tuned your wish list, you need to determine what you can afford. There are two ways to go about this: pre-qualification or pre-approval for a home loan. We will refer you to a mortgage broker to begin the loan process. In today’s market, pre-approved buyers are preferred by sellers over those who are pre-qualified. Pre-qualification lessens the likelihood of unexpected obstacles regarding financing and makes it easier to submit a fair offer to your dream home.
THE SEARCH BEGINS…
Once you have been pre-approved and have shared your wants and desires with us, you are ready to embark on your home search – an endeavor that can prove overwhelming if not approached with some forethought. The most efficient route is to allow us do the initial scouting for you through MLS. Using your wish list as a guide, we will alert you of new and existing listings that have strong potential and meet your criteria. If these listings pique your interest, we will arrange home tours at your convenience. Many agents send alerts via email – sometimes as often as daily, depending on the available inventory in our market. Early in this hunt, let us know how often you’d like to receive these alerts, since the alerts can be tailored to an individual’s desires. You also can do some research on your own. Read local real estate publications, visit the local chamber of commerce, surf the Internet, or drive around your favorite neighborhoods. While these methods certainly can lead to your dream home, it’s important to note that most of the home sales are the result of agent connections.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL!
When you’re ready to make an offer on a home, we will help you determine the offer price by reviewing recent sales of homes similar in size, quality, amenities, and in the same area. With your input, we will draft a written contract that outlines what needs to be done by both parties to complete the transaction. If the seller accepts the offer, the document becomes a binding agreement, so it is imperative that you carefully review it with us and speak up if anything is not clear to you. It’s important to note that, if the seller changes any aspect of the offer, it is not a binding agreement until you agree to the seller’s changes.
Sometimes, you get lucky and the seller accepts your offer as is. However, in most instances, the seller will make a counteroffer. This is where our experience in negotiations become invaluable. Keep in mind almost everything is negotiable when you are buying a house. Some items you negotiate include price, closing costs, move-in date and, most importantly, repairs.
During this process it is important that you in close contact with us so you can quickly review any changes from the seller. Remember: Bargaining is not a winner-take-all deal. It is a business process that involves compromise and mutual respect.
When an offer becomes a binding agreement, we will help you tackle the checklist of action items that you, as the buyer, have agreed to perform prior to closing. Depending on how the responsibilities are divided in the agreement, this is typically when you will conduct a home inspection, finalize your financing, secure homeowner’s insurance and shop for a home warranty.
Having these procedures done in a timely and professional manner is a must, as any delays could threaten a successful closing. As experience agents, we will serve as your “one-stop shopping” referral source for service providers. We are also your advocate, helping to coordinate activities and making sure the vendors have access to the property to perform their jobs.
YOUR DREAM REALIZED
Now for the best part…Congratulations! The moment you’ve been anticipating has arrived. The closing is where home ownership is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. It is a formal meeting that most parties involved in the transaction will attend. Closing procedures are usually held at the title company’s office. The closing officer will coordinate all the document signing, explaining in detail the purpose of each document, and collect and disburse the funds. A few days before your closing date, your lender will send a final closing statement that outlines your closing costs, if applicable. With your authorization, we will review this document with you to ensure its accuracy, as well as help you gather any necessary documentation that you’ll need to bring to closing.