Start with a Plan. And a Buyer's Agent.
WE'LL BACK YOU UP.
Buying a home is a major decision and we welcome the opportunity to assist you in the process of finding the right home for you. As a Buyer's Agent, we can help make this a pleasurable experience and help you navigate the home buying process more efficiently, and with less stress.
Real estate can be complicated, as contracts and related laws are always changing. It's important to consider the whole process; as Buyer's Agents, we are trained professional negotiators with the experience and skill to guide you to the best deal on your perfect home. When and how much should you offer? Should you make a counter offer? These kinds of decisions are much easier to make with a Buyer's Agent representing you.
WHAT IS A BUYER'S AGENT?
A Buyer's Agent is a real estate sales associate who strictly represents you, the buyer. Agents for the seller (Listing Agent) lead almost all of today's real estate transactions. The listing agent is contractually bound to obtain the price and terms most favorable to the selling party. This puts the buyer at a significant disadvantage. The listing agent works for the seller; a Buyer's Agent works for you.
WHAT DOES A BUYER'S AGENT DO?
As your Buyer's Agent we stand ready to assist you in every possible way, from beginning to end. Our service begins with getting to know your needs, preferences and requirements so we can focus the search on only the properties that meet your criteria. You can count on our knowledge about local communities, neighborhood schools, market trends and more. As your Buyer's Agent can notify you as properties that meet your needs come on the market and help you find just the right home for you.
We can assist you with your home selection, financing, and construction details in the event you decide to build a new home. Your Buyer's Agent is the only source you need to make your move successful.
WHERE DO I START?
Let us invite you to begin your search for a new home with our new mobile app. You can set up custom searches and save your searches – all from your smart phone or tablet. You can even search by Drive Time or Walk Score!
What You Should Know About Agents Representing the Seller.
You may be the type of buyer who enjoys spending the time doing the hours of research required to find just the right home. You might like idea visiting open houses, builder's model homes or Parade of Homes events. You may even be the type to call to listing agents or builders' representatives directly to see a particular property. That's fine, but you should be aware that in order to have independent representation, you need to avoid direct contact with builders' representatives or listing agents. This includes registering at new home neighborhoods or attending open houses. Should you desire independent representation, you need to make choosing a buyer's agent one of the first steps in your home search. By signing a buyer's agency agreement you insure that the real estate professional of your choice represent you in the transaction.
Guarantee Your Right to Independent Representation.
You must tell a listing agent or builder representative that you want retain your right to independent representation and that you already have an agent. Give his or her name and phone number to the seller or builder's agent. AND tell them your agent told you about the property. Have the date and method by which you were told about the property (i.e., by phone, in person, e-mail).
START WITH A PLAN
Start planning the moment you think about buying a home. Home buying is a time-consuming and demanding process, and it's good to plan far ahead.
Get a copy of your credit report and examine it for errors. Clean up any discrepancies before you talk to a lender. If you are currently renting, check your lease terms for an early release clause. If you are subject to early termination penalties, try and time your closing with the expiration of the lease.
Consider your life over the next few years. Are you planning to start or grow your family? Will your parents or other relatives move in with you? Will you need a home office? The number of bedrooms and other features you require will depend on your answers.
If you plan on qualifying for financing based on dual incomes, will you be able to survive on one salary if necessary?
The answers to these important questions will help you direct the process.
ASK LOT OF QUESTIONS
Asking lots of questions will help you understand the home buying process. Choosing the right real estate agent, who has experience and is willing to explain the entire home buying process, from viewing homes to negotiating, financing, escrow and closing is vital.
FIND OUT HOW MUCH HOME CAN YOU AFFORD
Staying within your budget when searching for a home is crucial. You can avoid becoming enamored with homes that are out of your price range by truly examining your income and expenses. Develop a budget that realistically reflects your lifestyle. A real estate agent can help provide insight into home expenses and taxes.
Get pre-approved, rather than pre-qualified, for a mortgage. Pre-qualification tells how much you should be able to afford. Pre-approval goes a step further and tells you how much you can actually borrow. Your lender will thoroughly evaluate situation and then approve you for a loan of a determined amount. Having your loan pre-approved gives you a huge advantage and more attractive to the seller.
Just because you've been approved for a certain amount, doesn't mean have to spend it. Do the payments really fit your budget? Your new home should give you comfort and pleasure, not hold you hostage.
Tell your agent your price range and ask to view properties only within that range. You'll avoid disappointment in the long run.
DON'T MAKE EMOTIONAL DECISIONS
Think with your head, not your heart. Curb appeal can be a powerful. To counter its emotional effect, you must learn to be objective.
View a property and list the positives and the negatives. Make certain your furniture will fit into the space. Visit at different times of day to see how much natural light enters the home. Check the traffic patterns, especially during rush hour. Hire an inspector to thoroughly inspect the property.
Think about how long you plan to own the house. Will it be difficult to resell? List the negatives. Can you eliminate or reduce them?
Explore the surrounding areas in which you are thinking of buying. Is it convenient to work, schools and shops? Ask about current zoning and that vacant lot across the street. Will the highways nearby be widened in a few years? Do your research.
NAVIGATING THE FINANCING
Homebuyers have an assortment of mortgage types and understanding the a jargon can be a challenge. Your real estate agent can be a great resource in this area.
Request every detail in writing, in particular, the lock-in rate, points and fees. And request a copies of everything for your own files. You should get an estimate of your closing costs, which generally run between 3% and 6% of your loan. Ask about prepayment penalties. The lender can attach an addendum to your contract that specifies that no penalties will be imposed for prepaying the loan. This important document step could save you a good deal of money later on.
Read all the documents related to the purchase of the property, and have a professional review them as well. You're signing a binding, legal document. Make certain you understand the all the conditions of the loan.
Remember to use your selling agent as a trusted resource. Ask him or her to explain anything you don't understand. We are there to educate & guide you, and to protect you and your interests.