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Step by Step Home Buying Guide
I have created a simplified guide to help you with your home buying process.
- The first thing you should do is hire a REALTOR® who has several years of experience and who has completed a large number of successfully closed transactions. It is also a bonus to you as a buyer if the agent has the advanced real estate designations such as CRS® (Certified Residential Specialist), ABR® (Accredited Buyer Representative), e-PRO® (Accredited Internet Specialist) and is a Fine Home Specialist. The CRS® designation is only achieved by 4% of REALTORs® world wide. With its stringent requirements for the number of closed transactions, the extensive classes and education requirements, only 5% of REALTORs® in the United States achieve this highly desired designation. This is very important to you as a buyer because the majority of REALTORs® will have less than two years experience or be part time REALTORs®.
- Get pre-approved for your home loan before shopping for homes. Pre-qualifying is a very good first step, but obtaining full approval subject to selecting the property and appraisal will put you ahead of the competition when you find that perfect home.
- Choose homes to see with me. I will be sure to let you know about every available home that meets your needs.
- Compare other recently sold homes in the area. I will provide you with a comprehensive market analysis, which will allow us to develop a competitive offer. I can make sure you never miss the dream home you have your heart set on, unless of course you don't write an offer.
- I will help you draft your offer to cover all angles of the transaction.
- You will need to write a check for "earnest money". This accompanies your offer in order to show you are serious and ready to buy. Be prepared to write your check at the time of the offer.
- I give the other agent or Seller a little background information in order to get your offer accepted. I try to get your offer accepted out of the gate; otherwise we develop a strategy for a counter-offer.
- Title insurance is ordered to be sure we can close with a clear title with no liens or judgments against the property. Don't worry, I will handle this.
- If applicable we will order a survey to be sure there are no encroachments and the property lies completely within the boundaries. Don't worry; I will take care of the details.
- A home warranty should be purchased to protect your purchase during the first year. As a convenience, I can order this and wrap the cost into your closing cost if we are not able to get the seller to pay for it.
- Shop around for homeowner's insurance. I have developed relationships with local insurance agents who will do their best to meet your needs.
- I highly recommend that you have your home inspected by a licensed certified home inspector. This will protect you from surprises related to the quality and maintenance of your home in the future. I can refer you to the best local home inspectors.
- Clear any home inspection contingencies so the contract can continue on to close. If there were findings from the inspection report that need to be addressed they should be put into an addendum to ask the sellers to take care of them, especially issues related to health and safety. I will help coordinate whatever needs to be addressed prior to closing on your new home.
- Prepare for your closing. I will be monitoring all of the details and will tell you exactly what you need to bring to closing.
- We set a date for closing.
- Arrange for the transfer of utilities from the Seller to buyer.
- I will accompany you to your final walk-through of the property to be sure everything is completed, all contingencies are cleared and your home is ready to move into.
Congratulations, you are now a new homeowner!