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Buying Tips

A Step-By-Step Home Buying Guide

Buying a home can be a complicated process and we want to give you a better understanding of what to expect at every step of the home buying process. Our professional real estate agents are here to answer any question that you have and to help make the journey go as smoothly as possible.

Get Pre-Approved

How much can you afford? What programs are available? How’s your credit score? We have several preferred lenders that can help you answer those questions and more.

Shop for the best mortgage rates and terms and then get prequalified for a mortgage loan. This will enable you to know how much you can afford to spend as well as to move quickly when you find the right home.

In addition, the seller will be glad to know that you are a serious buyer and can afford the property.

Choosing a Realtor

The most important things to consider when choosing a real estate agent are their market knowledge, ability to communicate, attention to detail, and what their clients say about them.

This person’s responsibility is to help you negotiate with buyers as well as help you prepare your home for sale, market it locally or nationally and guide you through the complex paperwork of escrow and closing. Talk to more than one Realtor to determine his or her experience and willingness to work with you in order to find the perfect home.

Make a List of What Your Want for Your Dream Home

Provide your Realtor with a list of features and amenities that you wish to be included with the home. It is equally as important to define those features that you do not want. This will save some time and gives the Realtor the ability to search more effectively for properties that best meet your specific desires and needs.

Start Looking at Homes

Sometimes finding the perfect home can take weeks or even months; don’t get discouraged. We’ll help by setting up a customized client portal via the MLS system which will automatically send you information on available homes that meet your desired criteria.

Do your own research as well. You can travel through your favorite areas and neighborhoods, read real estate sales publications, search the Internet, and talk to others who may know of properties that may fit your requirements. We also send mailers to specific neighborhoods you are interested in to be the first to know when a home is coming on the market. And when you find something you like, we’ll schedule a private tour.

Time to Tour Available Homes

When viewing or visiting properties it’s always a good idea to keep notes on each property. This is a great way to list desirable features as well as any drawbacks, etc. Upon reviewing your “favorites” list you can then determine which properties may be of further interest to you.

A Realtor can offer some pointers on certain features that may or may not affect the home’s future value as well as resale value. For instance, depending on the home’s location, a pool or other features may actually detract from a home’s value making it more difficult to sell.

Submit an Offer

Once you locate the home of your dreams, it’s time to get down to the business of making an offer.

Negotiations on Your Home Offer

It is imperative that both parties remain calm and respectful of each other since the first or even second offer may not always be accepted by the seller. There is always a possibility that the seller will make a counteroffer.

Trust your Realtor to take you through this negotiation process in order to reach an acceptable agreement between both parties.

When the Offer is Accepted

Once you and the seller agree on terms, the home is officially under contract and escrow is open. Now, it’s time to order a home inspection.

Your Realtor can assist you in finding a professional, trustworthy inspector. Often times there are certain repairs that need to be made such as leaky plumbing or roof, cracks in foundations, termites or other insect infestations, etc.

Cost of repairs can be negotiated with the seller as part of the purchase agreement. Once the repairs have been made you will have a chance to “walk through” the home to make sure everything has been completed on the inspector’s report.

During escrow, your deposit is sent, disclosures are signed, inspections are done, contingencies are cleared, and financing is approved.

Your Realtor will help you complete the closing process before the closing date. There will be a check list of items that will include all monetary deposits and necessary paperwork including mortgage, title, homeowner’s insurance as well as any paperwork required by local or state governments.

Close of Escrow Means Time to Celebrate

After you sign your settlement statement, it’s time to celebrate the purchase of your new home! Some basic reminders would be to make sure you have the utilities turned on before your move and to notify the local post office of your change of address.

Congratulations on your purchase and welcome home!