Knowledge and experience are the keys to a successful real estate transaction. As your HomeSmart agent I have all of the tools necessary to help make your home-buying process easier and more understandable. My goal is to provide you with the most informative and professional services available, so I have included an overview of what you can expect throughout the home-buying process.
You have already made the smart move by choosing me, a HomeSmart agent to assist you with the process of purchasing a property. Your next step is to speak with a lender and complete a loan application. This will allow the lender to issue a pre-approval letter, which must be submitted with all offers to purchase.
Most transactions require financing to assist in the purchase. A lender can be a mortgage company, a bank, private financing, as well as other options. Whichever you choose, the lender plays an extremely significant role in the transaction. You will be asked to complete an application, provide documentation and verify your income. You may also be asked to give permission for your credit score to be checked and for your assets to be verified. There are numerous steps to take to secure financing, and your cooperation with the lender is a key ingredient to experiencing an on-time, relatively stress-free closing!
Choosing the Right Home
The choice is yours!
A home is more than just a collection of rooms and walls. A home is where you live, raise your family, entertain friends and relax after a hard day’s work. Since so much of your life is spent in your home, choosing the right one for you is an enormous decision.
It is important to consider your priorities and the list of features you are looking for in a home. As your HomeSmart agent I will help you define your search parameters and target the ideal properties for you to consider.
Some things you should consider while creating your list include price, location, and your future needs. Everyone is different, and some of us may trade four bedrooms for a big kitchen! A larger backyard may make up for a longer commute to the office, the number of bathrooms may be more important to a growing family, or a single story home might be necessary for someone who has difficulty climbing stairs.
With over six million new and existing homes sold each year in the United States, the options can be staggering. My job is to help you narrow down the choices and find the property that best suits your needs.
It may be the very first home you look at or the very last one; in either case, I will help you find the perfect place you can call home!
Professional Home Inspection
In general, buyers are entitled to conduct a series of inspections on the property they are about to purchase. After your offer has been accepted, I will assist you in hiring a professional home inspector to conduct an inspection of the property. At HomeSmart, we recommend you choose a home inspector that is certified by a trade association.
Some of the items typically investigated during an inspection are appliances, plumbing, A/C, heating, electrical, structure, foundation, roof, and attic. If any of the previous are areas of concern, you can ask your inspector to address concerns regarding indoor air quality, expansive soil conditions, previous fire or flood, pests, and mold. If you are obtaining a loan, your lender may require specific inspections, such as an inspection to certify that the home is free of wood-destroying organisms.
It is around this time you can expect to be provided with a Property Disclosure Statement from the seller, which contains all information related to the sale of the property. I will ask you to read through it carefully and ask any questions you might have during your inspection period.
Additional inspections you may want to consider are a survey to determine where property lines are located and a claims report, which gives buyers the past insurance claim history on the property (a factor which can affect the cost of your homeowner's insurance).
In addition to formal inspections, buyers should consider other methods of obtaining information about the property. For example, talk to your potential neighbors and drive around the neighborhood during different times of the day. While touring the neighborhood, consider things such as proximity to freeways, airports, and schools.
I can also provide you with resources for obtaining information on crime statistics, city planning and zoning, school information and environmental concerns which may affect your decision to purchase.
Get the guidance you need.....
You have probably gone through quite a bit of searching and preparation in trying to find the home you wish to purchase. We have worked together and looked at properties based on your initial list of desirable features and helped narrow down your options. At this point, you will have found the home you want and will be commencing the process of making an offer on the property.
There are a number of factors that will affect your decision on what to offer on the property. Market conditions are always a factor. For instance, if it is a “buyer’s market,” you will have more negotiating room for the property. In a “seller’s market,” you may want to place your best offer upfront in order to be the one chosen by the seller.
The values of the properties around the one you want are also factors that should be considered. These figures are typically called the “comps” or “comparables.” I will show you all of the properties on a list that have closed or are for sale in the vicinity of the property you are making an offer on. These comps must be analyzed and a realistic value for the property can be established. There will be an appraisal on the property after you open escrow, and often what you are willing to pay for a property and what an appraiser determines as its value are two different numbers!
You will also want to establish the close of escrow date, or date you will actually become the owner, before writing an offer. If you are obtaining a loan, a lender will generally need about 30 days to complete your loan, order and evaluate the appraisal and furnish the closing documents. If you have been pre-approved, this time frame may shorten. You will want to give yourself ample time to conduct any inspections on the property prior to your closing date.
There are other terms to be considered when placing an offer that may affect whether or not the seller is willing to accept the offer or whether you are willing to accept the seller’s terms. Some of the factors to consider are if a pre- or post-possession of the property has been requested, if a home warranty will be included and, as stated previously, what market conditions currently are.
I want you to enter into an agreement equipped with as much information as possible. My commitment to providing you with superior customer service is demonstrated by my training and support programs, which are designed to assist me and in turn help you be the most informed buyer you can be.
An offer to purchase property is a legally binding document that should be explained to you in detail as you are filling it out. You should always feel free to consult an attorney or tax advisor to obtain further information you deem necessary. I want you to be prepared but also enjoy this exciting experience. Anything I can do to help, just ask!