- Choosing an agent. Representation is important whether you are a first-time home buyer, relocating to a new area, investor or you need to purchase anonymously. You are best served by a buyer’s agent who puts your needs and desires first. A buyer’s agent, especially one who knows the local market can assist you to find your home quickly and help to make the entire process go smoothly.
- Choosing a lender. Getting pre-qualified and/or pre-approved helps you to define what your purchasing power is and lets the seller know you are a serious contender.
- Defining the search. Research the area, schools, the style of home you prefer and its features and neighborhood amenities in the community you wish to live. Your buyer’s agent can point out potential “issues” that you may otherwise miss.
- Making the offer. I cannot stress it enough. Be prepared. Review the comps provided in order to make a knowledgeable, not emotional decision about pricing, to present your offer. Be prepared financially to offer earnest money as well as inspection and appraisal funds needed, if accepted. Your buyer’s agent is there to help negotiate and present the offer on your behalf.
- Contract acceptance. This is the time to review your contingency time frames. It starts with the binding agreement date, due diligence period (inspection), appraisal and financing contingency. Be aware that missing any contingency date may cause the loss of earnest money funds if contract is terminated.
- Contingency removed. The contract is complete and earnest money funds become non-refundable.
- Finalize dates. Finalize the date, time and location of the closing that is mutually agreed upon by all parties.
- Plan your move. Select moving company and establish date and time of move.
- Set up utility services. Choose and/or contact utility companies to establish service in your new home.
- Final walk-through. At least three (3) days before closing, check that all stipulations in contract have been met.
- Arrange funding for closing. Review and sign disclosures; wire funds needed to the closing attorney.
- Closing Day. Be sure to bring identification, such as driver’s license or passport, and be prepared to sign many documents. Get your keys!
The best way to select the right real estate agent, is to meet with him or her in person. Ask questions. See if there is a good fit. Not every real estate agent can painstakingly assist you throughout the process. My clients say that I do. They also tell me how much they appreciate my professionalism, expertise and accessibility.