Who Pays for What?
Why Do You Need An Agent?
Real Estate Glossary
Tools for buying a new home
Summer is the busiest time of year for home sales. If
you want to buy a house this summer, spring is a good time to
get the ball rolling. It takes time to get all the financial
stuff prepared and fixing any credit errors. You can check out www.freecreditreport.com or www.consumerinfo.com
Whether your buying your first house or searching for
your dream home, we want to make buying a new home easier for
you. Look over these steps and tips below:
- Define what you want start by creating
a prioritized list of features you want in your next home
and the reasons why. Use it as your search guide, but remember
that depending on your funding, you will probably need to make
some compromises. In addition, you will need to consider where
you want to live. Location is a huge part of any move. We can
help you narrow down the choices by sharing market trends and
local information like community links.
out what you can afford you can
start by crunching the numbers. Lenders generally stipulate
that you spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income
on a mortgage payment or 36% on total debts. Other factors
include, the amount of cash you have available for the
down payment, your credit history, current interest rates,
closing costs and cash reserves required by the lender,
and the type of mortgage you select. Contact us and we
can help you with several types of calculations including
Affordability Calculator, amortization Table and Monthly
Mortgage payment Calculator. Email us with any questions.
- Shopping for Homes Once you know what community
you'd like to live in and have an idea of how much house you
can afford, its time to start checking out actual properties. Contact
us and we can narrow your search and do virtual tours.
Next, we can begin visiting homes in person that are in
your target area and price range. When comparing homes, make
sure to look at all aspects of the property. Is the property
tax approximately the same? Are both the houses renovated? Do
they both have the same amount of bedrooms and bathrooms? Are
both houses located on the same or similar streets? Does either
house have any encumbrances?
- Making An Offer Once you find the home
you want, you need to make an offer for the house. Typically
this is a very difficult and trying time since both parties have
totally different goals. In most cases it is better to have an
agent do the negotiating. If you do have any personal interaction
with the homeowner, don't give out any information about your
move, your current housing status, financial status or your feeling
about their property positive or negative. This could hurt
you in future negotiations.
This might also be a good time to consider purchasing
a home protection plan. These insurance policies can be purchased
by the buyer or seller and help protect against unexpected
costs or home repairs during the listing period or in the initial
years after a home has been purchased.
and Insurance After your offer
is accepted you will need to set up, coordinate and interpret
various inspections, including insect, radon, building quality,
oil tank, title, etc. You will also need to arrange for homeowners
insurance and finalize the mortgage.
is a major step in the buying process and there are many potential
problems that can be discovered during this period. These include
a leaky roof, radon gas, termite damage, a foundation problem,
and wall cracks, to name a few. These problems happen all the
time. The difference between closing on your dream home and
starting the process all over again is what occurs during the
negotiations between you and the seller. You will also have
the option of a walk through before the closing. This is your
last chance to make sure that all of the items that you have
agreed upon were completed to your satisfaction.
Final Closing Before you arrive at
the closing, make sure all the necessary paperwork and deposits
have been completed. If not done properly, this could result
Once you close, it's official you
own the house. But there might be a few things you want to
do before you lay out the welcome mat. These include arranging
for an alarm system, turning on the electricity, subscribing
to the local paper, cleaning or replacing the carpet, arranging
for lawn services, etc.
Home Buying Tips
- Know your seller's motivation they
may need to sale quickly.
- The listing or asking price
is what the seller ideally would like to receive; however,
it's not necessarily what he or she will settle for.
- Before you make an offer, know the market
value of the home.
- Be flexible. Never say, Take it or leave
it. An attitude like this can ruin the deal.
- Each time you increase your offer price;
ask for something in return such as repairs, appliances, even
- Take a tip from poker players and never show
your hand or reveal your next step.
- If you plan to pay cash or have a tentative
commitment for a mortgage loan, use your strong financial position
as a bargaining tool.
- Don't let your emotions get in the way of
negotiating the best deal. Leave your pride, fear, anger and
emotional attachments at home.
Q What is the first step to buying a home?
A - Make sure you are ready psychologically and financially.
Ask yourself the following questions: Do I have a steady income?
Is my debt lower than my total income? Do I have enough money to
pay for the down payment and closing costs? Am I working hard enough
to improve bad credit? Do I have the time for the necessary upkeep?
Once you can answer, Yes to these questions, you are several
steps ahead of the game and that much closer to becoming a homeowner.
Q Should I lock in the mortgage rate?
- Because the interest rate market fluctuates constantly and
is subject to quick movements without notice, locking in a mortgage
rate with a lender certainly protects you from the time your
lock is confirmed to the day it expires. Lock-ins make sense
in a rapidly-rising rate environment or when borrowers expect
rates to climb during the next 30 to 60 days, which is typically
the amount of time a lock-in remains in effect. A lock-in given
at the time of application is useful because it may take the
lender several weeks to prepare a loan application. Some lenders
require you to pay a lock-in fee to guarantee both the rate and
the terms. If your lock-in expires before you close on the loan,
most lenders will base the loan rate on current market interest
rates and points.
Q What is a Statement
A The statement
of Information provides the title company with the information
they need to distinguish the buyers and sellers of real property
from others with similar names, thereby eliminating judgments,
liens, or other matters in the public records which otherwise
may affect the title.
Q Is it possible to buy a home below
but do not hold your breath. It takes a lot of determination
and time to find a real bargain. Some likely targets may be
foreclosed property, a fixer-upper, hard to sell new homes in
a housing development.
Q What will I need to bring with me when
I go to sign my papers?
A You will need to bring a valid driver's license.
This will be needed in order to have the papers notarized. If
you need to bring money to close the escrow, these funds must
be in the form of a cashier's check.
Q What contingencies should appear in
you look to purchase a home, anticipate potential problems. But
protect against them so that if something does go wrong, you
can cancel the contract without penalty. This is what contingencies
allow you to do. They should be included in any offer your present
to buy a home. Most offers include two standard contingencies:
A financing contingency and an inspection contingency. Without
contingencies, a buyer could forfeit his deposit under certain
circumstances if he backs out of a deal.
Q How long will my signing appointment
allow 45-60 minutes for signing the loan documents. More time
may be necessary for additional escrow papers to sign.
Q When will I get my deed showing proof
A The grand deed is recorded at the office of the County Recorder
on the day escrow closes. Congratulations you are then a homeowner.
It may take 3-6 weeks for you to receive the original deed, which
will be mailed to you directly from the County Recorder 's office.
Learn the basics Steps & Tips
The first impression that the house makes on people is
the one they carry away with them. To a prospective buyer, the
total value of your home isn't limited to the price paid. When
looking at possible new homes, the buyer is motivated by what
the house will do for his or her family. Don't rely on the buyer
to use his or her imagination. It's charm, soundness, comfort
and attractiveness must be obvious from the minute they view
the house from the street to the time they walk out the back
- Creating a marketing Plan create a marketing
plan for your home that will help distinguish it in your
local marketplace and attract buyers to your property. We can
help you customize a personalized selling program.
the price A key part of the marketing
plan is setting the list price. If a home is priced too low,
it may cost you money. If a home is priced too high, potential
buyers may be scared away. To determine the best asking price
review the cost of recently sold homes, evaluate the competition
and study marketplace trends. We are trained to use this information
to help you reach the right asking price.
- Showtime Now
it's time to get your home ready for the spotlight. Start
with a good cleaning, then eliminate any clutter, add a fresh
coat of paint and tidy up the yard. Making your house appear
as attractive as possible from the street is important. Below
are a few tips:
Maintain the yard
Address the flowerbeds
Shrubs should not obscure windows
Straighten up the woodpile
Remove any piles in the yard
Driveway should be in good condition
Fill cracks in concrete or asphalt
Walkways should be trimmed and clean
Paint outside of house if peeling
Add potted or hanging plants to give entry a cheerful
Ask your friends to do a walk thru and make suggestions
Carpet should be clean and odorless
Be sure house is well lit
Clean all light fixtures
Pack away personal belongings and repair any nail holes
If you have pets, it is absolutely essential that your
house does not smell like you have them You want the
first response to be pleasant
Show off the entryway
Clean the fireplace
Paint any room that shows wear
Talk up the best features of the house
Kitchen must be spotless
Run lemon through garbage disposal and trash compactor
Floors must be clean
Remove clutter from kitchen countertops
Fix dripping faucets
Bathroom must be spotless and odor free
Hang pretty towels from racks
Eliminate any extra furniture from bedrooms
Garage should be neat and organized
Make a list of extra features and inform potential buyer
In Summary, 13 Ways to make your home look like a Million
- Make an entrance
- Conquer Clutter
- Make Less is More your
- Float Furniture
- Furniture Mix
- Rediscover Lost spaces
- Let the Sun Shine In
- Light the Way
- Make a Splash with Color
it black Makes a great trim on accessories
your Art Sing
- Accessorize with Flair
- Bring the Outdoors In
- Protecting Yourself
- Ask for ID
- Ask for pre-approval letters
- Lock up and hide collectibles and valuables
- Do not allow your children to open doors
- Control your pets
- Remove any dangerous items
- Making the Deal A buyer has made an offer now
it is time to negotiate. We can help guide you through this process.
We can help you arrive at an acceptable price, terms and conditions.
Once you have accepted an offer, help keep the deal together
by meeting deadlines and criteria, including home inspections,
appropriate buyer visits, scheduled deposits and other steps.
As the closing nears, you may also need to perform repairs or
do additional work to the house as agreed upon in your contract.
In addition, you will need to have the house broom clean prior
to the closing so that the buyer can complete a final walk
through. When you finally arrive at the closing table, come
prepared with the appropriate certificates and approvals as
required by the town.
Q Do sellers have to disclose the terms
of other offers?
A Sellers are not legally obligated to disclose the terms of other
offers to prospective buyers.
Q How is a home's value determined?
- An Appraisal is a professional estimate of
a property's market value based on recent sales of comparable
properties, location, square footage and construction quality.
On average, an appraisal costs about $300 for a $250,000 house.
- A comparative market analysis is an informal
estimate of market value performed by a real estate agent based
on similar sales and property attributes.
- You also can get a comparable sales report
for a fee from private companies that specialize in real estate
data or find comparable sales information.
Q What are the two most important factors
when selling a home?
A Price and condition are the two most important factors,
even in a down market.
Seller Transaction Checklist listed in order task is
- Pre-qualification issued & loan
- Property previewed and selected
- Offer presented
- Contract ratified
- Escrow Opened; Check deposited; Preliminary
- Loan application taken
- Inspections ordered
- Credit Report ordered
- Appraisal ordered
- Contract reviewed & dates
- Escrow instructions/amendments drawn
- Escrow instructions/amendments signed
- Preliminary report reviewed
- Disclosure package provided
- Preliminary Report reviewed
- Loan program selected
- Inspections reviewed and/or contingencies
- Loan contingencies released; Deposit increased
- Receipt of increased funds
- Final accumulation of documents for loan
- Escrow Officer clears appropriate title report
- Package forwarded for underwriting
- Discussion regarding selection of hazard
- Loan approval
- Loan documents ordered
- Loan documents delivered to escrow
- Hazard insurance ordered
- Discussion regarding moving date and moving
- Realtor provides final instructions to escrow
- Loan closing conditions reviewed with Escrow
- Funding package reviewed
- Loan funds issued
- Team decides what final actions are required
- Documents prepared for recording
- Escrow calls all parties to notify everyone
- Escrow closed; Final accounting; checks written
and forwarded; closing statements prepared
- Final walk through inspection
- Signed loan documents returned to lender
with hazard insurance policy
- Final Funds from buyer deposited to Escrow
at day end
- Documents recorded with County Recorder
- Keys released to new owner
WHO GENERALLY PAYS FOR WHAT?
Seller Real Estate commission
Shared ½ escrow
Seller Premium for Owner's Policy
of Title Insurance
Seller Documentary transfer tax
Seller - Document preparation
Seller - Payoff of all loans in seller's name
Seller - Accrued interest
to lender being paid off
Seller/Negotiable Termite inspection
Seller/Negotiable Home Warranty
Seller any judgments, tax liens,
etc. against the seller
Seller/Buyer Tax proration
Seller/Buyer Unpaid homeowners
Seller Homeowners assoc. transfer
Seller Any and all-delinquent
Buyer Premium for Lender's Policy
Buyer Notary fees
Buyer Recording charges for all
documents in buyer's name
Buyer All new loan charges
Buyer Interest on new loan from date 30
days prior to first payment
Buyer Beneficiary statement fee
for existing loan
Buyer Insurance premium