Helpful Hints for Buyers

The purchase of real estate is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Become an informed and educated buyer is more important than ever. We have seen over the last 10 years just how drastic the real estate market can fluctuate. There is no doubt that information is at your fingertips through the Internet – but having a real estate professional working on your behalf will help take the confusion out of the process. Your REALTOR® will be able to guide you through what can sometimes seem a very complicated transaction.

As agents, we often see our customers and clients fall in love with a house before they objectively evaluate the real estate market data and/or what their financial situation is and what their long term goals may be. It is imperative that you take time to identify your long term goals, what are your needs and wants (are they the same), and do you have the financial resources to meet both your goals and needs. Buying and selling a home is a difficult process. With the guidance and team work of your real estate professional, building inspector, lending specialist you will reach your goals of home ownership.

  1. Begin by identifying your specific needs
  2. What is most important to you? The town, neighborhood, school, proximity to healthcare, and/or ability to pursue your leisure activities.
  3. How much space do you need? Consider not only the number of bedrooms and interior amenities, but also your space needs outside – Do you have pets that require space? Do you have a classic car to store? Do you love to garden?
  4. Before you start to look at property, sit down and talk with a mortgage specialist. With the assistance of your mortgage specialist you can determine just what price range you can afford and then you can begin the search.
  5. Understanding your needs and financial objectives, your agent can go to work for you to help you identify potential homes to show you.
  6. Inspect each home with a critical eye making sure you look from “top to bottom”, ‘inside and out.” Look beyond the bright pink paint in the bedroom – is the layout and space what you are looking for – paint is a cosmetic change.
  7. Once you find “the one” it will be time to work with your REALTOR® to determine the market value of the home you select and what the appropriate amount to offer the seller is. By using market data, your agent’s knowledge of this area, and your opinion - an offer can be made. Your REALTOR® will write up a Purchase & Sale agreement for you. You will be required to make an earnest money deposit.
  8. Once both buyer and seller have agreed on the terms and signed the purchase and sale contract, your earnest money check will be deposited into a non-interest bearing escrow account.
  9. Your REALTOR® will then guide you through the “due diligence” period of the transaction any and all contingencies of the contract must be dealt with in a timely manner according to the terms of the contract. You will most likely have a licensed building inspection. If you will be obtaining financing, you will need to meet with your lender and make formal loan application. Your lender will guide you through this portion of the transaction.
  10. Once all the contingencies in the contract have been met and the mortgage lender has made the final mortgage commitment, a time and date will be set to pass papers and transfer the property from the current owner to you. Your agent will be with you every step of the way to guide you through this process to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.