THE HOME BUYING PROCESS
Key advice and frequently asked questions on home buying!
Home Selection Tips
Once financing is complete, and you have determined your purchasing power, I will schedule a home tour. Allow approximately 2-3 hours for your tour depending on your home selection. My experience shows me that most buyers will narrow down their selection to 4-5 homes from which they will choose one. When there are more homes than that on the tour, homes tend to get forgotten and everything starts to look the same. You can help narrow down time by browsing through the photos and home features in the MLS listing that I have sent you and eliminating any homes that are not strong candidates for your selection.
- Have all decision makers on the tour.
- If you have children present, be prepared with things to keep the kids busy on the tour so you can focus on notes and questions.
- Bring a digital camera and take pictures of each home or better yet, capture video. Your smartphone is great for this. I will be happy to follow along and
record for you so you can take notes.
- Have a pen/pencil and notepad to make notes. You will forget. It’s important to
note LIKES and DISLIKES for each home.
Example: Island in kitchen is amazing. Example: 3rd room for office is a bit small
Example: Love the walk in closet in master Example: Yard will require new
- Departing each home, Rank the home on a 1-10 scale on how likely you would be to write a compelling offer.
- During the hot months, frozen bottles of water are a great idea for the trip. Some homes may not have power or air conditioning.
- Don’t wear shoes that you are worried about scuffing.
- Be prepared to write an offer. There is not much sense in touring homes when you are not prepared to buy, as these homes may not be available later. If I have done my job, as your real estate agent, you are prepared, have selected strong candidates, have your financing, have a comfortable knowledge of the process and you are ready to buy. “The home you saw today and are thinking about tonight, is the same home someone else saw yesterday and is writing an offer on today.”
Make an offer on your dream home:
Make the Offer
Buying a home takes many steps from start to finish. From securing a loan to finding a property then negotiating the purchase, it can feel like the process will never end. Luckily, if you have made it to the offer stage, the finish line is finally within reach! Together, we can make an offer on your dream home and hopefully seal the deal. In order to improve your chances at getting the home your offer needs to be thoughtfully prepared considering market conditions and other factors.This section provides insight into things to consider as you work with me to draw up your contract.
Understanding What an Offer Contains
It’s important for buyers to understand the sorts of terms and contingencies a typical offer contains. In addition to the basics–like the address of the home and all of you personal details–the agreement will lay out the sale price, a target closing date, the amount of earnest money you will be required to put up, and any other contingencies that you are asking for. Your offer will also give a timeframe during which the sellers need to respond.
Choosing a Price
Obviously, the element of the offer you are likely to be most concerned about is the price of the home. First-time buyers often have trouble deciding how much money to offer on a home, which is why it’s very important to work with someone you trust. Remember that the housing market determines how much a property is worth, so I will look at similar homes that have recently sold in the area in order to help you come up with a reasonable offer price.
Terms And Contingencies:
While price is usually the most influential factor when a seller decides to accept or reject an offer, there are other terms and contingencies that may impact negotiations. I will recommend that you hire a 3rd party home inspection, this will take place in your “due diligence” period (usually the first 10-12 days upon an executed contract). You may also want to write contingencies based on your ability to secure financing or sell your current house (not an issue for first-time buyers). Something as seemingly arbitrary as your closing date might make a seller more likely to accept your offer–especially if they have already bought a new property and are anxious to move out. As a general rule, you should choose your offer terms carefully based on the specifics of the home you are considering. Make sure to find a balance between making your offer as appealing as possible and protecting yourself against any potential issues. I will walk you through every step of your offer, as a team, we will deliver the best offer possible.
Sealing the Deal
The final step once you have come up with an offer you’re happy with is presenting it to the seller. Negotiations can often feel like a game of telephone as I communicate with the listing agent, and then the listing agent who communicates with the seller. If the seller comes back with a counter offer, you also have the choice to either accept the agreement, write another counter offer yourself, or decline it . Once both parties agree on an offer, you will both be bound in a contract. When you have finally sealed the deal, the home will officially be “under contract” as you await your chosen closing date.
Please, during this time, DO NOT make any financial changes including purchases on a credit card, change of employment etc. Your lender will be constantly checking your credit during the escrow process and any small movement in your score may keep you from your new home.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD)?
The earnest money deposit is money that is placed into an escrow account. It is sort of like a security deposit. It informs the seller that you are a serious buyer. The funds will be applied towards the closing of your transaction. If you don’t have at least one percent of the sales price to offer as an earnest deposit, you should wait on placing any offers until you have the funds available. The earnest money deposit is placed into the escrow account within 24-48 hours upon an accepted offer so you need to make sure you have the funds available for immediate withdrawal. If you decide to cancel the contract while you are in escrow, there is a chance that the seller may be entitled to your deposit. This is why it’s important to have a professional represent you as they aware of such timelines so you do not lose your EMD.
What is Due Diligence?
There will be an agreed upon period of Due Diligence in your purchase agreement (Usually 10 days). You actually request this time when making the offer. You are asking for a short period of time in which you will inspect the home, and investigate anything else that you would need to do before the property closes. Make sure you discuss this with me so you know what is expected or offered during this time.
What is an Appraisal?
If you are getting a loan to buy your home, an appraisal will be part of the process. This is a professional appraiser’s estimated opinion of value of your home. The appraiser will use recent properties that have sold in the area to help determine the value of the home you choose. The appraiser will also consider the condition of your home, age, size and so forth in determining the value. If the home meets or exceeds the appraised value, we continue on in the rest of our contract process. If the Appraisal comes in lower, we will need to contact the listing agent and see what the seller is prepared to do. In some cases, the seller may still hold to their original asking price and ask you to pay the difference in cash. You will not receive a loan amount higher than the appraised value of the home for purchase.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs are the fees charged by mortgage lenders and third parties related to the purchase of your home. They include a fee for checking your credit report, loan origination fee, government recording charges, appraisal fee, title service fee and title insurance. Some buyers are able to negotiate with the seller for a contribution toward these costs; otherwise, expect to pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price in closing costs.
I want to buy new construction, should I use an agent?
Yes! While you can purchase new construction without an agent I wouldn’t advise it. The agents that are in the models and sales offices work for the builder. In Nevada they are not allowed by law to represent you and the builder (dual representation). Of course they can make the sale, but you are not being represented by the builder’s agent. They will not negotiate on your behalf. It is best that you have an outside party represent you. Just make sure you take me on your first visit to each builder so I can register you.
Should I bring the moving truck to our closing appointment?
No. Typically, signings are held in the morning/afternoon. The title company needs to make sure the loan funds. Once it is “funded” it will be sent out to the Clark County Recorder’s office for official recording. This generally happens in the early evening. Once we have recorded the property is yours and I will then set up a time to give you your keys.
You will have many questions along the way. I am here to guide you through this process. It is an honor to help you find your dream home!