Thinking of Buying?
We understand the relationship between you and our team is based on trust, mutual goals and understanding – this is why we always keep your interests first and foremost. The real estate process requires experience, knowledge and advocacy; we are committed to working in your best interests. Our aim is to secure the best possible price, with the most favorable terms for our clients.
When searching for your dream home, it’s important to be well informed of the Real Estate market. To help you with this process, consider the following factors: What features do you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now? Five years from now? Will your needs change? What’s your budget? These are decisions only you can make, but we will do everything possible to match you with your dream home.
Seven steps to buying your home
1. Define your needs.
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. Share this list with your real estate agent. 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 your agent can operate with some flexibility when scouting for homes on your behalf.
2. Get prequalified or preapproved.
Now that you know what you want in a home and neighborhood, you need to find out what you can afford. There are two ways to go about this: prequalification or preapproval for a home loan. Your real estate agent can refer you to a mortgage broker to begin the process. In most markets, preapproved buyers are preferred by sellers over those who are pre-qualified.
Your preapproved status lets the seller know:
* You have gone through an extensive financial background check. * A lender is willing to do business with you. * The likelihood of unexpected obstacles regarding financing is minimal.
3. Let the house hunting begin!
Now 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 your real estate agent do the initial scouting for you. Using your wish list as a guide, he or she will alert you of new and existing listings that have strong potential. If these listings pique your interest, your agent will arrange home tours at your convenience. Many agents send alerts via email – sometimes as often as daily, depending on the available inventory in your market. Let your agent know how you’d like to receive these alerts, whether by phone, email or fax.
You also can do some research on your own. Read local real estate publications, contact your local neighborhood associations, 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 82 percent of home sales are the result of agent connections.* That means it’s more likely your agent will find your dream home through being in the real estate business than you driving around on the weekends.
* National Association of REALTORS(r)
4. Make an offer.
When you’re ready to make an offer on a home, your real estate agent will help you determine the offer price by reviewing recent sales of homes similar in size, quality and amenities. With your input, your agent will draft a written contract that outlines what needs to be done by both parties to execute the transaction. If the seller accepts the offer, the document becomes a binding agreement, so it is imperative that you carefully review it with your agent 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 the buyer agrees to the seller’s changes.
5. Negotiations and Offer Acceptance.
It is rare than a seller will accept your initial offer as is. This is where our experience in negotiations is invaluable. Knowing where to start, what market conditions and market values are, knowing how to both prepare and solidify a contract. negotiable when you are buying a house. Some items you may negotiate:
* Closing costs
* Move-in date
* Appliances and fixtures
Remain in close contact with your real estate agent so you can quickly review any changes from the seller. Remember: Negotiating is not a winner-take-all. It is a business process that involves trust, knowledge compromise and mutual respect.
6. Prepare for the closing.
When an offer becomes a binding agreement, our team 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 divvied up in the agreement, this is typically when you will:
* Conduct a home inspection.
* Get an appraisal and finalize your financing.
* Secure title insurance.
* 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. A first-rate real estate agent should be able to serve as your “one-stop shopping” referral source for service providers. Your agent also should serve as your advocate, helping to coordinate activities and making sure the vendors have access to the property to perform their jobs.
7. Close the deal.
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 handling through a lawyer’s office. Your lawyer will coordinate all the document-signing and the collection and disbursement of funds. A few days before your closing date, your lender will send a final closing statement that outlines your closing costs. Our team will review this document with you to ensure its accuracy, as well as liaison with you and your lawyer in gathering the necessary documentation that you’ll need for your closing appointment.
Deciding how much house you can afford
Before you start house hunting, you need to determine how much house you can afford, which will entail getting either prequalified or preapproved for a home loan. We can assist you in finding a mortgage lender/broker to begin the process. While getting preapproved is a more in-depth process, a preapproval letter lets both our team and sellers know that you are prepared and in a position to successfully purchase.
What do I do to get prequalified?
A prequalification can be done online or over the phone. You will be asked to provide basic information about your finances — for instance, your household income, the amount and source of your down payment, a list of your assets and liabilities, etc. With this information, the lender can confirm the purchase price and loan amount you qualify for.
What about getting preapproved?
A preapproval is more involved and we can assist you in preparing your documentation. The lender will perform an extensive review of your finances, requiring pay stubs, tax records, credit accounts, bank statements and more. This figure will not only be a more reliable estimate of what you can afford and be comfortable paying, but your preapproval also confirms that a lender is able to secure financing for you, pending the purchase price, market appraisal and the underwriting process.
What should I ask when shopping for a lender?
Our team has a list of experienced and qualified mortgage lenders/broker that we can put you in contact with should you have a need for it – a shortlist of professional that we have done business with in the past, and feel comfortable recommending. Here are a few important questions to ask.
1. What financing options do you offer and which one do you think is best for me?
2. How long will the approval process take?
3. What line items of the loan agreement – if any – are negotiable?
4. What is your policy for locking in interest rates, and will you honor a lower rate if it declines during the lock-in period?
5. Are there fees for prepaying on my loan?
Contact Usto buy your house:
Making your home wish list
Before the home search begins, your real estate agent will want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you desire. To help your agent better serve you, divide your preferences into “negotiable” and “non-negotiable.” Here are some details to consider:
Type of property (house, condominium, town home, loft):
Age of property:
Preferences in architectural style:
Number of stories:
Type of foundation:
Lot size and/or location:
Landscape preferences (fencing, built-in sprinkler system):
Garage or carport:
Number of bedrooms:
Number of bathrooms:
Minimum square feet:
Electrical or gas appliances:
Formal dining room:
Home office or study:
How much renovation would you be willing to do?
Must your home accommodate any special needs?