Stage 1: Finding Your Home
Getting Pre-Approved or at Least Pre-Qualified
By getting pre-approved, you know exactly how much home you can afford. There is nothing worse than finding your dream home, only to find out that you cannot qualify for a loan to buy it. A pre-approval also strengthens your bargaining power when negotiating with a seller.
Determining your Wants and Needs
I have several methods to help you determine your wants and needs. I have found the most effective method is for everyone who will be living in your home to fill out my wants and needs worksheet. This will encourage you, as a group, to really analyze everyone's expectations in your new home and begin to formulate a group wants and needs list.
The Search Begins
At this stage, I will compile a packet of information and pictures of all of the properties available that match your wants and needs. Most people wind up selecting a handful of properties you would like to look at on our first tour of homes.
Oftentimes after our first day of looking at homes, you will gain a clearer insight on what it is you want and need in your new home. If this is the case, I will get you a new packet of homes and we will begin the process again.
After touring homes with you, I usually have a pretty good idea of what you are looking for. At this point, I will preview all of the remaining homes that match your wants and needs profile. Together we will tour the homes I feel best fit your criteria. If you wish you can also drive by of all the available homes and give me a list of the ones you want to get inside of.
New Properties On The Market
In addition to checking the MLS database at least once a day, I input your information into the MLS database, which notifies me via e-mail when new properties are added that match your search criteria. Once a new property is available, I will tour the property with or without you (your choice).
If your search criteria is narrow enough, I will send postcards to all of the homeowners who have properties that match your wants and needs letting them know that I have a qualified prospective buyer interested in homes like theirs. This method has proven to be very effective for buyers with limited options.
Determining Your Offer Price
Once you have found the right house, I will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on the property to help you determine the fair market value of the property.
Stage 2: Making an Offer
Writing the Offer
Our goal is to get your preferred home on your terms which includes things like closing dates, items or parameters to be included in the sale, and of course price and earnest money. I will explain your contractual rights and responsibilities, talk about different negotiating strategies and give as much advice as I can. The offer will spell out how much you are willing to pay for the home, what type of financing you will obtain and a myriad of other important details and dates relevant to the purchase of the property.
Negotiating with Sellers
After we complete the paperwork, I will deliver your offer to the Sellers or the Sellers agent. This is an important step because it gives me an opportunity to explain the offer, overcome objections, build rapport and answer any questions the sellers may have. The Sellers will do one of three things: Accept, reject or counter the offer. Often times negotiations will go back and forth several times before the offer is accepted or rejected.
Stage 3: Taking Care of Contingencies
Home Owners Association
If the property is a part of a Home Owners Association, you will have an opportunity to read and accept the Documents pertaining to the association. Basically, these documents describe the rules, regulations and finances pertaining to the association.
The sellers of the property will provide you with a Title Insurance Policy. This policy protects you, the buyer, against loss arising from disputes over ownership of a property. You will have an opportunity to review the policy and determine if there are any exceptions to the policy that you find objectionable.
You have the right to have an inspection of the property prior to closing. I recommend you hire a professional inspector to help you with this task. If you find any problems with the property, you may be able to ask the seller to repair them or compensate you for future repairs.
I will work with the appraiser to make sure he or she has all the information about the property to make an informed and fair appraisal.
Stage 4: Closing and Possession
The "closing" is actually comprised of two separate closings, however they happen at the same time - the securing of the loan and the transfer of the property. At the real estate closing you and the seller will sign closing documents relating to the transfer of the property.
The loan closing takes place after you sign the loan documents. After all documents are signed, the transaction is submitted to the county for final recording of title, and is finally closed. The home is yours!