Your Home Buyer Guide
YOUR SEARCH BEGINS
Buying a home is one of life’s biggest investments and most exciting adventures. I am your partner in the process, guiding you along the way to make your experience smooth and successful.
This Home Buyer Guide includes helpful information to get you started:
- The Purchasing Process
- The Power of Pre-Approval
- Your Home Search
- Full-Service Support
STEP BY STEP
YOUR PARTNER IN THE PROCESS
When you choose me to represent you, you’ll have someone by your side every step of the way, giving you the insights and information you need to have confidence in your decision.
As your agent, I will:
- Meet with you to discuss your needs and goals, and to plan your property search
- Help you get pre-approved and establish your budget
- Show you properties that meet your criteria
- Keep you informed of new properties that come on the market
- Work with you until you find the right home
- Help you determine your offer
- Negotiate the offer and contract in your best interests
- Facilitate the home inspection and resolution process
- Prepare you for closing and the associated costs
- Keep you updated on the progress of your transaction every step of the way
The first stop on your home search? My website. Not only is it an easy way to check out all the available properties in your preferred area, it’s also another way for me to get to know the types of properties that you like. Simply register on the site, and I will receive updates about your activity. Plus, you can save your search for future access, save and share homes you like, and sign up to receive email alerts when new homes that match your criteria come on the market.
And thanks to its responsive design, you can do it all from your mobile device, tablet or desktop!
My Home Buying Checklist
Whether your dream home is a new construction or existing home, it helps to know what to look for, and have a plan.
I will guide you through the list below to help you conduct a home search, negotiate, and close on a new home.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage, check your credit report, type of mortgage, shop for best rates and programs.
- Determine your wants and needs: style of home, size, price, location, etc.
- Check out the neighborhoods, schools, crime rate, traffic, zoning, and commuting distance.
- Rely on my expertise and resources.
- Do the due diligence and research on your property of interest.
- We will visit the town or city hall to learn of any zoning changes, liens, easements, or other restrictions.
- Have your sales associate prepare a property value study, and ask the seller if there are any other offers and his motivation for selling, deadlines, etc.
- Conduct home inspections and other inspections.
- Prepare your offer and negotiate.
- Take advantage of the inspection contingencies in your offer and get thorough inspections to eliminate any surprises after you move in.
- Use the inspection report to renegotiate, if necessary.
- Conduct final negotiations.
- Do a walk-through inspection prior to closing.
- Visit your new home one last time before sitting down at the closing table to make sure everything is as you expect it to be.
Why Get Pre-Qualified?
1. Pre-qualification acts as a dry run of the loan application process. The mortgage lender will use details you provide about your credit, income, assets and debts to arrive at an estimate of how much mortgage you can afford. The whole process may take only minutes or a few hours at most, and is free.
2. While a "pre-qual" is non-binding to the lender (because the information you provide has not been verified), it does serve as a good indication to potential sellers of your general creditworthiness.
3. These days most sellers will NOT accept an offer without at least a pre-approval letter, so if you are serious about buying this is the first step towards getting you in your new home.
Pre-approval helps you:
- Understand your financial condition
- Know exactly how much home you can afford before you begin your home search
- Strengthen your purchasing power when making an offer
When you find a home you love and are ready to make an offer, your mortgage pre-approval lets the seller know that you’re serious and fully prepared to buy their home, putting you in a stronger position than other potential buyers.
THE PRE-APPROVAL PROCESS
Here are some of the documents that you will need to provide your lender to get the pre-approval process started:
- Current pay stubs, usually for last two months
- W-2s or 1099s, usually for last two years
- Tax returns, usually for last two years
- Bank statements
- Investments/brokerage firm statements
- Net worth of businesses owned
- Credit card statements
- Loan statements
- Alimony/child support payments
The more I know about the type of home you want, the better. Take a minute to think about the features your new home must have, as well as what you would ideally like it to have, and talk it over with me.
MAKING AN OFFER
There are many factors that influence the market value of a home. I will give you the insight and information you need to make an offer you’re comfortable with. Some of the factors to consider include:
- How long the home has been on the market
- If the price has been reduced
- How much the home is worth — your agent will provide a comparable market analysis (CMA) showing the list and sale prices for similar homes in your area
- If there are multiple offers
- Other items that might be included in the sale (furniture, hot tub, etc.)
- The "list to sale price ratio," an indication of how competitive the market is for homes in this area
- Why the seller is selling
- Whether the seller is offering an assumable loan or financing
Once the offer is written, I will present it to the seller's agent. At that point the seller can accept your offer, reject it or counter it to start the negotiation process. I will work with you to plan a strategy to ensure the most advantageous terms and acceptable pricing for you and your budget.
CLOSING ON YOUR HOME
Once your offer has been accepted, the closing process begins. Here are some of the typical steps involved.
Home inspection — Most property sales are contingent on the results of a home inspection, which is paid for by the buyer. The inspection typically occurs within 10 days of offer acceptance, and includes a review of the home’s exterior elements like the roof, siding, trim and windows, as well as kitchen and bathroom fixtures and appliances and major systems like heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical.
If defects are discovered during the inspection, you may exercise the remedy described in your offer or negotiate with the seller to determine what repairs will be made.
Title search — This is a historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of the property to ensure that there are no claims against the title of the property. It is also recommended that you purchase title insurance in case the records contain errors or there are mistakes in the review process.
Appraisal — As a standard part of the mortgage process, your lender will order an appraisal report to ensure that the loan will be guaranteed by the home's value.
Final walk-through — If it's requested in the contract, you’ll be given the chance to look at the home to make sure it's in the same condition as when you signed the sales agreement.
Closing costs — In addition to your deposit and down payment, there are a variety of other costs involved in closing including:
- Loan origination fees, appraisals and reports
- Surveys and inspections
- Mortgage insurance
- Hazard insurance
- Title insurance, notary and escrow fees
- Recording fees and stamps
START TO FINISH
I am your partner in all aspects of the home-buying process. My industry affiliations ensure you receive complete assistance from beginning to end, giving you one-stop-shop convenience.
Guaranteed Rate Affinity provides mortgages across the country and features incredibly low rates, fantastic customer service and a fast,simple process.
A Coldwell Banker Home Protection Plan provides an extra measure of security that makes you feel more comfortable and confident in the purchase of your home.
Castle Edge Insurance Agency offers competitive rates on homeowners, condominium, renters, automobile, second home, vacant home and umbrella coverage.
Our title company partners can research and resolve title issues before the closing to help ensure your transaction closes smoothly and on time.
Your home-buying needs are one of a kind. Using the unmatched resources of Coldwell Banker®, I will develop a custom plan to:
- Provide you with proven, powerful and personal service
- Help you find the right home and negotiate the best possible price and terms for it
- Close the sale in a smooth, timely manner
I am committed to your complete satisfaction, and will represent your interests with the utmost care, honesty, integrity and discretion. Let’s get started!