Your Cole Team Buyer Specialist will spend time with you to explain the buying process in detail. Here is a preliminary checklist to help you get started.
If you're not paying cash, you must get prequalified. Pick your ideal loan program and a price that your ideal monthly payment correlates to. This has to be done before presenting your offer. It is important to have this done before searching for homes. If you don't do this, you may find the perfect home for your family and then lose it because you weren't well prepared.
Before you start looking for a home, you need to know how much you can spend. Getting your mortgage pre-approval is the very first step in the process! It will strengthen your position when you're ready to submit an offer and help you focus on amazing opportunities in your price range.
Consult with your bank and a mortgage specialist (we encourage you to get a second opinion!) They will look at your current financial situation and pre-approve you for a mortgage. We are more than happy to recommend multiple lenders who are fantastic at what they do. The lender doesn't need a whole lot of info from you, but they do need to know how they can most effectively help from the financial documentation that you provide.
It’s imperative that you know the costs to be aware of when buying a home because they can add up quickly (on top of your purchase price.) But don’t worry! Our job is to make sure you are informed and prepared, so we will make sure there are no surprises.
One of the responsibilities of your Agent is to ask you all the right questions that will help you create your home wish list. There are a lot of factors to consider but start with the main ones first:
We can’t wait to invite you to join Collaborate, the latest and best online property search tool that gives you direct access to the same MLS system used by Realtors. You can now search in real time (no more delayed property info) on any device. it’s user-friendly and instant; it looks a lot like your favorite social media tools where you can like, comment, save and share listings. it also allows you to easily communicate with your Cole Team Agent by making comments on a listing or requesting showings. This tool is exclusive, you must be invited by a Realtor.
Now the fun part. Let's look at some amazing homes at your convenience. Thanks to our productive initial consult interview we can tour homes that are not a waste of your time. Any Realtor can show you any home that is available on the market. I'll make sure that we also search for and send you "coming soon" listings and off-market properties (pocket listings). We know you are anxious to look at homes. We like to find out your "bonus items" and "must haves" that will make a house the perfect home. We will go over the current market, current inventory, and how to win in that market. We know how busy life can get and that your time is valuable. We’ll help streamline which properties you see to ensure they meet your criteria and price range so you aren’t wasting your time. You’ll want to keep track of which properties you preview and provide honest feedback on each one to your Agent.
Found the perfect home. Time to write an offer.
We will walk you through the contracts section by section so you know exactly what you are offering and how that applies to you. We need to tailor your offer to our knowledge of the seller's negotiating position. We research liens against the property, how much the seller owes on their mortgage, whether the property is in foreclosure, time on market, and patterns in price reductions to determine their position.
Of course, we will tailor everything to your needs. Do you want/need the seller to pay some of all of your closing costs? Would you like a seller paid home warranty? All of these work into the net amount that we present to the seller.
Multiple offer situations happen occasionally. You do not necessarily have to be the highest offer to win in one of these competitive situations. We will find out as much as possible to make your offer stand out amongst the competition.
Offer presentation needs to be done properly. On our listings, we usually get horribly presented offers. A poorly written offer with a prequalification letter from a crummy lender is not a real offer. Presenting you in a personalized way and as the fully qualified buyer that will easily close on the home is key. That being said, we will make sure you won't overpay for an asset.
You will be walked through strategies for winning in multiple offer scenarios without overpaying, concessions you can get from the seller, financing options, how to negotiate a time frame that works for you, etc. Also, earnest money required at your price range and conditions we put on your offer to protect your earnest money. Basically what to expect and all the methods of minimizing risk.
When you submit an offer (Agreement of Purchase and Sale), the main components for you to be aware of include:
- Offer Price
- Earnest Money Deposit
- This is typically 1%-2%% of the purchase price and payable to the listing brokerage or attorney with the offer, or within 2-3 days of acceptance of the offer, depending on the situation.
- Closing/Completion Date - This is the date that you pay for and take title (ownership) of the property.
- Inclusions and Exclusions - When submitting an offer, your Agent will list items you wish to include or exclude from your purchase
- Terms and Conditions
- A condition is a clause the buyer needs to waive or fulfill by an agreed time in order for a sale to be finalized. The most common conditions are: financing, inspection, lawyer review and status certificate review (condos only). Often in a hot market or in a multiple offer situation it's common practice to submit offers with no conditions. A term is used to clarify what the buyer expects to be done or included with the property. Your Agent will advise on all the necessary clauses and terms to include in your offer to protect you through the purchase process.
- Clauses - Your Buyer Specialist will advise on all the necessary clauses and terms to inclde in your offer to protect you through the purchase process.
Once your offer has been successfully negotiated and accepted by all parties, you now have either a conditional or firm sale. Once firm (conditions have been fulfilled according to the agreement), your firm sale remains pending until Closing/Completion Date of the agreement. You will require a lawyer to facilitate the closing of your property. Your lawyer will protect your rights and ensure that you get what you’re paying for. If you do not have a preferred lawyer to use for this purpose, we will be pleased to recommend one of our partners to you. Most escrows last 30 to 45 days. Great lenders shouldn't need more than 45 days to get your loan clear to close. Your offer is accepted and we now officially have a fully executed contract. Now the real work begins.
Now it's inspection time
One of the conditions we put on your offer is an inspection period. We highly recommend getting a home inspection so that you can determine if the home is in the condition that you expect. If you can't find one or get a recommendation from a friend or family member, we will be happy to recommend a few trusted ones. During your due diligence period, you may back out of the contract for any reason, even if you just decide to change your mind.
Don't forget that your lender has a lot of work to do for you
There are some very cool financing programs out there to fit anyone's situation. Once you're under contract, your lender gets started on the property specific loan. The mortgage company will need some financial information from you so they can process everything. They will order an appraisal, your loan will finish underwriting, and then you get that beautiful clear to close.
Complications pop up all of the time in this process. Again, please use a reputable bank to do your loan. As mentioned earlier, we are more than happy to recommend multiple lenders who are exceptional at what they do.Getting the keys
Signing, funding and recording, and then getting keys is the best part of the process. We love giving my clients a handshake or a high five at the appointment where we give them the keys to their new beautiful home.
The home buying process is full of possible problems. Bottom line folks. Most of the valuable work comes after your dream home goes under contract. The fact that a buyer's agent can show you any available home is great, but that is not the primary reason why you hire someone to help during this emotionally charged period of your life.
The value of a buyer's agent in the modern real estate landscape is absolute. If you are in the market to buy a home and you are calling on yard signs and on Zillow listings you are doing it wrong. Most of those yard signs are under contract. Same goes for Zillow, many of the homes that you see sold months ago.
OK, so you did some research, or maybe this is your 9th home purchase. Good, that means you are better able to determine who to hire, and more importantly, who not to hire as a buyer's agent. All agents start out as buyer's agents, and I don't like to speak ill of others, but the bar is set very low in this industry. The average full-time agent does less than five transactions a year.
Make sure to research real estate agents and check out their testimonials. It's very easy to do. Just google their name. If you use the first agent that you talk to for help on writing a contract, it is like playing Russian Roulette. The likelihood that they closed on a house in the last month, let alone the last year, is much lower than you would think. Experience matters and WHO YOU WORK WITH MATTERS.
Buyer representation is free of charge to buyers. The seller pays the buyer's agent's commission. So you can hire a massively experienced Realtor who handles everything for you without being charged a dime. That's why it's important to find someone you and your family trust because this will probably amount to your biggest transaction both financially and emotionally.
As you interview agents make sure they have a process and can clearly articulate what they do to bring you value that goes beyond opening doors and writing a contract. Every transaction is unique, but we use the same process every single time because IT WORKS.
Ready to get started? Just say the word. CALL or TEXT to get started.