The Buying Process can be complicated, but we break it down here to make it easy!



The Buying Process can be complicated, but we break it down here to make it easy!

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?

  • Financing – ensure you’re getting the best possible Interest Rate and Loan Terms.
  • Searching – only Realtors here in the Phoenix area have access to the real MLS… plus we have other means to search and find your right home.
  • Negotiations – these are done up front on price, concessions, warranties, repairs & inspections, possession, etc.
  • Guidance – this can be in terms of advice, reviewing contracts & documents, referring to trusted contractors and professionals.

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.

Pre-Qualifications to Buy

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.

Here’s how:

  • Negotiate Price
  • Negotiate Lot Premiums
  • Negotiate Incentives
  • Negotiate Upgrades & Features
  • Give Suggestions and Input from Experience
  • Review Contracts
  • Help with Inspections
  • Monitor Financing Process & Closing
  • Here to Answer Your Questions Throughout
  • I Get Paid by the Builder at NO Cost to You!

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?

Who Pays the Buyer’s Agent?

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.