If you’ve been thinking about Buying a Home, then you’ve come to the right place. We have designed this page to contain relevant and helpful information to guide you through the process of Buying a Home.
How Does The Buying Process Work?
- Pre-Move Consultation – We’ll meet at my office to discuss your goals, ideal timeframe for a move, what you’re looking for in a home and set expectations for moving forward.
- Financing Qualification – You’ll consult with a lender to review available loan programs & interest rates, review projected monthly payment figures, source down payment funds and analyze your income & work history. They can then issue you a “Pre-Qualification” letter.
- Search For Homes – We will create your custom home search and set you up on portal access where you can log in to search as well. Plus, you’ll receive new listings automatically as they hit the market within your search criteria.
- View Properties – Now it’s time for us to go see the homes you like online, in person!
- Submit An Offer – Once we find the right home, we’ll analyze the comparable sales together and decide what to offer. The seller can then accept, reject or counter your offer and we’ll guide you through that process.
- Opening Escrow – Once a seller has accepted your offer, it’s time to officially move the transaction forward. Opening escrow means you will deposit your earnest money with the title company.
- Lender Work Begins – Your lender will be requesting updated financial items and you’ll be signing your loan disclosures.
- Inspection Period Begins – Normally we will have 10-days to complete your inspections, which usually consists of a thorough general inspection and termite inspection. The seller will also provide Disclosure Statements for you to review.
- Appraisal – Unless a cash transaction, your lender will order an appraisal to be completed for the home to ensure you’re paying no more than market value.
- Loan Underwriting – Your loan officer and their processor will turn the file over to an underwriter, whom reviews everything to ensure you meet the loan guidelines. If you do (which you should), then loan approval will be granted.
- Signing – Once loan approval is granted and all conditions of the loan have been met, then the loan documents will be sent to the title company, whom will review and then contact you to schedule your signing appointment. This is also when you will bring in your down payment and closing funds.
- Final Walk-Thru – We will meet at the home one more time to ensure all repairs were taken care of and the home is still in the same condition as when we originally viewed it.
- Closing – Your loan will typically fund a day or two after you sign and then the title company can release the recording with the county recorder’s office.
- You Own It! – Once recorded, we will call you to let you know where to find your keys and you should be a happy homeowner!
This is a commonly searched question so I figure I must answer it. I’ll ask this question… Do I need a Doctor to perform Heart Surgery? Technically no, but the end result may not be as desired!
REALTORS® are supposed to be the market experts knowing what current local conditions are, how to secure proper financing, have superior negotiating skills, know the process of buying and selling in their sleep and be able to answer all of your questions. Unfortunately, not all Realtors are created equal, but the good ones are worth every penny. I would like to think of myself included in that mix.
Whether it be your first home, luxury mansion or for retirement, there are countless advantages to using a REALTOR®. Every state handles things a little differently so I am going to talk more about Arizona of course. Here, the seller traditionally pays the entire real estate commission so both for their own and the other side’s representation. This means that as a buyer, it won’t cost you any more to have representation. So, why not have the best on your side?
If you’re like most people, you are wanting to make a move, but have an existing home to sell as well. This can be overwhelming to think about, but that’s why we are here! Selling provides equity you can use for the down payment on your next home. There are a few different ways to proceed when this is the case. A “Pre-Move Consultation” will allow us to properly evaluate your current home, begin the financing pre-qualification process and discuss goals & timeline for your move.
- Financing – Ensuring that you utilize the right program and have the best terms and interest rate available.
- Searching – Using our decades of experience, we will search countless avenues to find the right property for you. Also, our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) isn’t consumer facing so we can explain the process of how other websites obtain their listings and what pitfalls to be aware of, when browsing elsewhere.
- Negotiations – Price, Concessions, Inspections/Repairs, Warranties, Appraisal, Possession, Closing Date, Walk-Throughs, etc.
- Guidance – Offering advice, review & explanation of contracts and documents, laying out the process for a successful game plan, referrals to other trusted vendors & contractors.
As a prerequisite to selling real estate, a person must be licensed by the state in which they work, either as an agent/salesperson or as a broker. Before a license is issued, minimum standards for education, examinations, and experience, which are determined on a state by state basis, must be met. After receiving a real estate license, most agents go on to join their local board or association of REALTORS® and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the world’s largest professional trade association. They can then call themselves REALTORS®.
The term “REALTOR®” is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics (which in many cases goes beyond state law). In most areas, it is the REALTOR® who shares information on the homes they are marketing, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Working with a REALTOR® who belongs to an MLS will give you access to the greatest number of homes.
There are many loan types, but the normal options are VA, FHA or Conventional. There will be many differences when it comes to down payment amount, interest rates and also whether mortgage insurance applies and if so, what the rate of that is. Credit scores and debt-to-income ratios also factor in. A good loan officer will lay out all of your options and then point out the pros and cons to each so you can make an informed decision. We can also help guide you in this regard, to ensure you’re comfortable with your decision.
If funds are limited for down payment, there are some assistance programs out there. They will have various restrictions and stipulations attached including income levels, credit scores, debt-to-income ratios and even the location you’re looking in can become a factor. These programs usually come with a higher interest rate, but can be a good option to get into home ownership.
In today’s market, a buyer must be able to show proof of funds, such as a bank statement, or a Pre-Qualification letter from a loan officer in order to even view a property. This is to promote the best interests of both the potential buyer and seller by not wasting either’s time or having the buyer gain an emotional attachment to a property that sells before they can commit, ultimately hurting their buying experience moving forward.
We can refer you to various loan officers, whom we’ve worked with in the past, if you need a referral, or you are free to use whomever you’re comfortable with. Getting a second opinion is always a good idea. This is your first step in the buying process and can usually be accomplished initially over the phone and through e-mail in a matter of 24-48 hours.
Once your pre-qualification is set, we can begin searching at full speed. This is done a variety of ways, but mainly via the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) where other brokers post their listings in a centralized database. Only agents have access to this and once we fine tune the desired criteria, we can set up your search to automatically update you with new listings or listings that come back available, meeting your requirements. You even receive portal access so you can mark favorites and make notes too.
You’re welcome to look on other online websites as well, although much of that information may be outdated since they receive the info via syndication. I am happy to cross reference any properties you find, just to be sure. If I know of a listing coming up meeting your criteria, this can always be a way to find the right home and my networking with other agents helps also.
While it can be fun to browse the thousands of search sites available to consumers, it can also be frustrating. These sites receive their information via syndication and the systems don’t always speak the same language. Basically, that means you will see a lot of homes showing active, but they really have already sold. We discuss this process during our “Pre-Move Consultation” and are always happy to cross-reference any addresses found outside of our searching methods.
Buying a New Home can be fun and exciting, but it can also be stressful and frustrating. We are here to help guide and navigate that process from start to finish so you know what to expect along the journey. The builder pays us so it COSTS YOU NOTHING, but without proper representation, you’re likely leaving thousands of dollars extra in the builder’s pocket.
Here are some of the ways we add value to your New Home Purchase:
- Negotiations – Price / Lot Premium / Incentives / Closing Cost Concessions
- Explain Contracts & Documents
- Answer Questions throughout the Process
- Be present for Walk-throughs and Inspections
- Monitor Financing & Closing Process
- Provide Advice on Options/Upgrades from Experience
This is where your real estate agent is real important. By them knowing the current market’s pace, inventory, competition, interest rates and many other factors, their guidance is crucial to you making the right offer to the seller. You obviously want to pay as little as possible, but also want to buy the home. There are many items to be negotiated (price, closing date, home warranty, repairs, possession, etc) and open communication between your agent and the listing agent will be key in this process.
In making your decision to work with a real estate agent, there are certain questions you should ask when evaluating a potential REALTOR®. Here are some questions you should ask:
- Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with the Arizona Association of Realtors, Arizona Department of Real Estate and their local association.
- Does the agent belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online home buyer’s search service?
- Is real estate their full-time career and how long have they been in the business?
- What times/days do they have available for showings and does this match up with your schedule?
- Does that agent have past client testimonials?
- What real estate designations does the agent hold?
- In exchange for your commitment, how will the agent help you accomplish your goals, show you homes that meet your requirements and provide you with a list of the properties he or she is showing you?
In Arizona, the seller pays the entire real estate commission traditionally. Therefore, the buyer does not pay for their representation. However, some agents may require a buyer sign a Buyer-Broker Agreement with them, which essentially is a contract and guarantees payment to them. This being said, if you sign a Buyer-Broker Agreement and then purchase with another agent, you often end up paying the first agent out of pocket. We generally do not use the Buyer-Broker Agreement as we expect our clients to be up front and honest with us, just as we are with them.