Time To Work With A Realtor®

Last month, we talked about how hiring a professional, experienced Realtor® can save you time AND money. The more you and your Realtor® work as a team, the greater the chance you’ll end up with the home of your dreams. Here are some more tips to keep in mind to keep the process quick and fun:

  • Be up‐front with your Realtor®. First, let them know if you want to see a dozen homes in a day, or just a few per day
  • Establish your ideal time frame for moving. Just as a buyer does not want to be rushed into a home, a seller does not want to be rushed out
  • Let your Realtor® know when it is most convenient to view homes: it may be necessary to schedule showings a few days in advance
  • An experienced Realtor® can set you up online with their VIP Buyer Profile System. This helps match your needs and criteria with new listings as they appear. As you become more comfortable with the system, you may find your expectations change. Homeowners also like to use websites. Do your own research on sites like Zillow.com and Trulia.com.

    While those sites have value, they may not have the most current listings. Agents have to pay to have them listed and may not have done it – which is why using my VIP system is ALWAYS a better search option

  • Driving by homes prior to going out with your Realtor® will help get you familiar with the neighborhoods and if you like the outside of that particular home. Pictures can be deceiving, and it save everyone time if you can eliminate certain homes that don’t have curb appeal
  • Once inside the home, it is important to be as objective as possible. Bring a notepad along to list the “pros” and “cons” associated with each home. This will help you if you decide to make an offer.

    You could also write your notes on the back of the listing sheet your Realtor® will provide to you

  • Take pictures if you’re seeing many homes. A picture is worth a thousand words and after seeing a lot of homes, having a picture or several pictures of each home will help

Knowing the Up‐Front Costs

Once the right house has been found, you need to be aware of a couple pre-closing expenses.

  1. The earnest money deposit:

    Also called a “good faith deposit.” This money is held in escrow until closing. Assuming all other contingencies in the purchase contract are satisfied, the earnest money will be applied toward the amount the buyer brings to closing.

    Since a contract to purchase a home is a legal and binding document, failure to follow through with the purchase may result in the forfeiture of your earnest money deposit. While the amount of this deposit varies by region and value of the home being purchased, it can be thousands of dollars.

  2. The home inspection.

    Most home, pest, well and septic inspectors require payment on the day of the inspection. While a prospective buyer may not be required to perform these inspections, it is highly recommended. A good Realtor® should make their clients aware of these fees and any other costs that are common in their area.

  3. Possible Attorney Fees.

    If you live in a state that requires closing attorneys, you should hire an attorney when the right house is found and you’ve written a contract. Lawyers have a variety of specialties, and it is a good idea to hire an experienced attorney who specializes in real estate.

    A good Realtor® will know of an attorney they have worked with in the past. The attorneys are responsible for approving or disapproving the contract, preparing the title, and organizing all the necessary paperwork to be signed by the buyers at closing. If a potentially expensive issue is discovered during inspections, it is the attorney’s job to negotiate with the seller’s attorney to cover those costs, either as a credit at closing or a renegotiation of the sales price.

    In the event the buyer has a legitimate reason to back out of the deal, the attorney will negotiate the release of the earnest money deposit for the buyers. Proper attorney selection is vital to help ensure a smooth transaction.

  4. Ok, you’ve written out your house criteria, gotten pre-qualified for a loan, selected a Realtor®, and begun to look at homes. Technology these days is your house hunting friend. Next month, we’ll tell you about some sites and apps you might want to use to your advantage.

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