1. What is important to you?
- Bedrooms, Bathrooms
- School district
- Lot size – neighborhood home or land
- Style – colonial, ranch, etc.
New construction – Your Spotlight realtor can register you with the builder and tell you about spec homes and special discounts.
Move at your own pace—Some people buy the first home they see. Others need to view 10-12 to be certain.
Use the internet as your tool—There are so many great websites to help in your home search but always rely on me for the most accurate information. Often times the taxes, schools, or status information is incorrect.
Client portal—Your agent can set up a special search of the MLS custom fitted to your home search. You will get listings before they go to mainstream. Plus you can save the ones you like and I can see those on my end too.
Property Tours—This is the fun part! We can privately view all of the homes you have saved. I will arrange all showings and we can see all of your saved homes in just one trip.
Open Houses— Feel free to stop in, and just let them know you are working with a buyers agent.
2. Writing an Offer
1. Determine the value/price of the property by looking at comparable properties that have sold in the neighborhood, also known as “comps.” This will help us determine the value along with other things, like:
- The condition of the home
- Taxable value
- How much the seller owes on the home
If there are multiple offers...
- While the price may be the most important part of the offer, there are many other parts of the purchase agreement called “terms.” Some important ones are:
- Inspections (usually 7 days)
- Closing date (usually 30-45 days)
- Concessions (amount seller can contribute to your closing costs – this comes from their bottom line so be careful not to ask for too much – you can ask for 3% on many loans, FHA can be 6%)
- Loan approval or denial (usually 35 days)
3. Multiple offer situation: In a seller's market or for a very desirable home, you may be competing with other buyers. Here are some ways you can make your offer stand out:
- Use a local lender
- Escalation clause: offer to pay above the highest bid
- Appraisal deficiency: offer to pay the difference between appraisal value and purchase price in cash
4. Expect a counter offer. Rarely is an offer accepted exactly as written so be prepared for a counter offer and think about what you are willing to pay for the home.
- You have the right to a private inspector. The inspection usually takes place in the first 7 days after you sign the purchase agreement. Inspections can range in price from $300 to $500 depending on service and size of home. After the inspection, you have a few options:
- Renegotiate the price
- Ask seller to make repairs
- Terminate the contract
- Move on with the contract
- Extend the inspection contingency to get further estimates or other professional opinions
2. You may also want to test for things outside the normal inspection, such as radon, mold, well & septic systems, and sewer lines.
3. Remember anything can be repaired and most deals do not fall apart after inspection unless there are major issues that can’t be resolved.
4. Final Numbers
Look Over Final Paperwork
You should see all of you final numbers at least 3 days before closing. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask your lender or Title Company.
Your agent can help you to the best of our knowledge but they did not prepare these docs – your lender and Title Company have.
Once we have a firm closing date, you will want to have the utilities switched into your home. You will also want to line up any contractors or TV/Internet providers.
- Water (you won’t switch until the day of closing)
It’s almost time. Within 48 hours of closing, we will do a final walk-through of the property to make sure everything is in the same condition as when you viewed the home. This usually takes 15 minutes or less.
The closing of the property usually takes one hour. Please remember to bring:
- Valid ID
- Certified check
At the closing, you will get the keys to the home unless the seller is renting back the property from you. In that case, we will have a key exchange form and release form to sign when possession is given.