Buyers

Whether you are buying your first home or your tenth, we know you don't do this every year and even if you are a frequent relocator, things change and you probably have a few questions. Here are some frequently asked questions that we get and thought it may be helpful to post them on our website. If you have any questions not addressed here, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Buying a Home

What will it cost me in realtor fees to have a professional realtor represent me in my purchase?

Buyer's Representation is usually a free service to the buyer. Realtor fees are typically paid by the Seller. Homes that are listed for sale in the MLS (multiple listing service), the Sellers have already agreed to pay a fee (% of sales price) to the Broker who represents them and they then agree to share a portion of that fee with the realtor who represents your best interest when buying your new home. If you choose not to use a Realtor, you likely won't save any money on the purchase price, because the sellers have previously contracted how much of a commission will be paid when they listed their home. The listing agent is representing the seller's best interest and would keep all or a majority of the commission that your agent would have been entitled to. It may actually cost you a considerable amount more if you choose not to use a full-time professional realtor. We have the tools to make sure you are: 1)finding the right home, 2) know the fair market value of the home so that you don't pay too much for it, and 3) the negotiating skills to get the home for the best price and terms for YOU!

I'm thinking about buying a home. Where do I start?

As full-time, experienced realtors we can help you through the entire process. Our commitment to you is to always watch out for your best interest, and to make this as hassle free and enjoyable as possible. This is obtained through our hard work and the fact that we have developed a team of professionals (lenders, inspectors, insurers, contractors, etc.) to assist through every step of the process.

The first step for most potential homebuyers is finding a reputable lender. A good, honest lender will help you:

A) Determine how much home you can afford and how much home you should be looking at to stay within YOUR desired budget.

B) Educate you as to the different types of loans available for YOUR particular situation so that you can decide which type of loan is best for you.

C) Alert you to any issues that may affect your ability to secure a loan once you find a home and help you eliminate those issues if they arise.

D) Obtain the home you want. By being pre-approved prior to submitting an offer on a home, you have put yourself in a much better position. Sellers may negotiate with you differently when they know that you can afford their home (you may save hundreds or thousands of dollars). If you end up in a competing situation for a great home, Sellers will usually work with a pre-approved buyer first. Then if a deal cannot be struck, then they will move on to the other buyer. (At least you had the opportunity instead of being the one left out).

E) Help you narrow your search to the homes that you should be seeing. Prevents you from wasting your time and even frustrating yourself looking at homes that you may not realize are more expensive than you want to spend. Unintentionally setting a mental benchmark for what you want in your home, but won't be able to get in your price range.

I've been pre-approved, now what is the next step?

Once you've been preapproved for a loan, it's time to move on to step two, the searching process. As full-time, experienced realtors who embrace the latest tools and technology can save you a tremendous amount of time and stress in this process. You can begin your search for your new home in print ads (not recommended, the turn around time from when the ads are turned in to when they reach you is lengthy and too frequently the best homes are already gone) or online. Through the search engines on our website you can view homes that meet YOUR criteria with regards to price, area, and features. You can also view exterior and interior photos of the homes, get detailed information about the home, learn about how the particular school system ranks, and so much more. We can also email the "listings" to you (you'll still get the photos & maps etc.) so that you don't have to do any searching. Once we have found some potential prospects, nothing replaces going to view the actual homes in person. We will call and schedule a "showing" at a time that is convenient for you (we work evenings and weekends as well as traditional office hours). We will continue to search for homes until we find the one that YOU want.

We found a home we are interested in purchasing, what do we do next?

Once we have found the home that YOU want, it's time to move onto the next step, submit the offer and negotiate the terms that YOU want.

This is another area that an experienced, ethical Realtor can potentially save you a lot of money. The most obvious area is purchase price, but there are other terms and safety nets to protect YOU as well. Some of these other terms and safety nets are called contingencies. There are financing contingencies, inspection contingencies, home sale contingencies (if you need to sell your current home in order to purchase the new one) and more. As a Buyer's agent it is our responsibility to protect your best interests, to obtain the best price and terms that YOU want.

Once you and the Seller have agreed upon the price and terms of the contract, you are now in contract on the home. Don't get too excited yet though, we still have a couple more hurdles to overcome.

We have agreed on the price and other terms of our purchase with the seller, what happens next?

We cannot encourage you enough to hire the best home inspector that you can to inspect the home. If your inspector finds potential issues that they themselves do not feel qualified evaluating, they may suggest bringing in other professionals such as structural engineers, chimney sweeps, HVAC contractors, mold inspectors, etc.. If there are major concerns from your various professional inspections, you will have the option of either walking away from the home or asking the seller to address the issues of your concern. If you and the Seller cannot come to an agreement, then you will be free to move on and continue your search for the RIGHT home.

The inspection process has been resolved favorably, is there anything esle?

If you are obtaining a mortgage (over 90% of our buyers do) the home will need to be appraised. This appraisal is required by your lender to protect you and the lender, to ensure that the home is worth what you are offering to pay for it. If the home does not appraise for the agreed purchase price we may be able to renegotiate the lower price with the Seller or walk away from the transaction. In almost every case we receive an appraisal that is equal to or exceeds the agreed upon price. Once the favorable appraisal has been received by your lender you are ready to close your transaction, the last hurdle.

Good news, the appraised value of the property is equal to or exceeds the price we have agreed to pay, what is this last hurdle?

Buyers, Sellers and their agents meet at a title, attorney, or real estate office and complete or CLOSE the transaction. Before this meeting is arranged the title company will complete a property search and ensure that there are no liens or encumbrances (claims or defects) on the property. In most cases the Seller will also provide you with "title insurance", guaranteeing you free and clear title. At the successful conclusion of this meeting, which normally lasts about an hour, this is when you own your new home. In many cases this is also when you obtain possession of your new home. In some cases though the Seller may negotiate some additional time after closing for them to move their possessions out of the house post closing.

Still have questions? Contact us via phone or email and we'll get back to you promptly with the answers to your questions.

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Harley Haas & Kathryn Dague Realtor ®

 
 

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