HOW TO BUY REAL ESTATE
Deena has “The Facts”
Thank you for visiting my website. Home-buyers have it great in Colorado.
Housing prices are among the most affordable in the nation and owning a home is often less expensive than renting. There are several programs available to help you buy a home. My hope is that this page will explain the home buying process to you. Please look at some of my other pages for additional information. CHECK OUT "BUYING IN A NUTSHELL" PAGE.
Selecting a Realtor®: Perhaps this is the most important step in finding the right home and having a problem free transaction. As a general rule, any agent can generally show you any listing - even if it is listed with another company. Perhaps the strongest recommendation I can make is that you get someone who works as your representative in the transaction. This person is usually called a buyer's broker. This person is normally paid out of the commission already spoken for in the transaction. The buyer's agent is obligated to work to your benefit, not the seller’s. Many agents still work for the seller - even if they are working with the buyer.
Just because you get someone practicing "Buyer's Agency", doesn't mean you still shouldn't select your agent carefully. I strongly recommend that you get an experienced agent. This experience means that the agent is a top-producing agent and probably has the ability to solve problems. Your agent should also be able to explain financing and mortgage options to you in detail.
So, should you call a big company or a small one? I have found that there are excellent agents in companies of all sizes. Generally, only one agent in 40 is going to do enough business if you follow my recommendation above. Sometimes you'll find good agents at small local offices or in the big franchises. In the big companies, the excellent agents are often surrounded by 30 or 40 less experienced peers. Remember, if you don't ask for someone specific when you call into a real estate office you get whoever is on phone duty or whoever’s advertisement you called on. Most top agents I know are not on phone duty! They are out in the field working with their clients. If you have to wait a day or so for a good agent to call you back, it will be worth the wait.
Naturally, I would hope that you would consider me as your Realtor®. I have a team of people ready to make your home buying experience rewarding, fun and hassle free. I offer buyer’s brokerage, tremendous experience and a personal attention to your needs. If you are buying somewhere else, send me E-mail and I'll get you in contact with an agent in that area that meets our demanding standards for excellence in customer service.
Pre-qualification: This should be the first thing your agent discusses with you during the initial client consultation. The agent should discuss your income, credit, funds available and your personal situation. Then your agent should analyze the best mortgage product for you and advise you about the types of financing you should qualify for. It is amazing what a difference financing can make. The wrong type of financing could cost you thousands of dollars in interest and fees. Determining if you can get a loan at the start will save you lots of time, frustration and money if for some reason you can’t qualify.
I offer free pre-qualification to all my clients. I can recommend many financing products and possible other programs to save you money. If you have had some credit difficulties, I will attempt to help you resolve them so that you can own your own home . We will discuss what type of home your financial situation will allow you to buy. I will advise you what government programs may help you with your home purchase. My client loan approval rate over the last 20 months has been over 97%! Compare that to an approximate industry average of 60%. If you would like an initial assessment of your situation, free of charge, please send me E-mail or call us at (719)510-4445.
Finding a home: Part of your initial consultation should be a discussion of your housing needs. You should be asked about price or payment range, number of bedrooms, approximate square footage, number of baths, garage, location, schools and type of community that appeals to you. You will be asked to list your "must haves" and "want to haves". Then your agent will access the Multiple Listing Service and search for homes that meet your criteria and budget. You will the be given a list of all available properties or taken to see the ones your agent thinks best meets your needs. With any luck, after seeing 5 or 6 homes you should find one or more that will work for you.
Negotiations: Congratulations, you have found a home you like. You should probably make an offer on it. If you are working with a "Buyer's Agent", your agent should advise you what a fair offer is after looking at neighborhood sales and finding out what he can about the seller’s motivation to sell. If your agent is representing the seller in any capacity, the agent's advice will be to the benefit of the seller. Some factors to consider in making an offer are: concessions the seller is to make, what inspections should be done, what comparable properties have recently sold for, what the seller’s motivation is and what the market conditions are.
Saving money by making a low offer, when warranted, is OK. However, if you offer too low, you could lose the home to someone else. However, if your agent does an accurate evaluation of the sold comparable properties, you should have a good guideline on what a fair price for the house is. Remember any closing costs that you ask the seller to pay reduces his bottom line the same as if he lowered the price. Oftentimes, you may get a counter-offer if the seller isn’t quite willing to take your proposal. An offer that is too low may insult the seller and ruin your bargaining power. If you need financing, make the offer contingent upon getting financed. Always make sure the agreement is contingent upon a thorough inspection of the house and the seller providing evidence of good title.
When I structure an offer for a client, I always try to understand what the other party’s situation is. Are they in a bind and need to close quickly? Have they purchased another house or have been transferred? Is it an estate situation or a divorce? Or, are the sellers in no hurry and just testing the market? When making an offer, the more you understand about the other party the more you can use it to your advantage.
Inspections: Inspections help you determine if there are any faults in the property you are buying. They are generally done after you reach an agreement with the seller. Typically inspections cover termites, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, roof, electric systems, drainage, windows, built-in appliances and the structure of the property. Remember that the mortgage company appraisal is to protect them - not you. I strongly recommend that you have professionals conduct your home inspection. If you do it yourself, you run the risk of missing major items that may need costly repair. Some inspection companies even offer warranties for a limited time on the inspected components. Warranties for longer periods of time are normally available through your agent. Inspections are generally money well spent.
Financing: Normally if you require financing, you will make loan application shortly after your initial interview with your Realtor®. Even if you haven’t found a house yet, it is good to get the loan application out of the way. If your loan is approved prior to finding a home, you have an additional negotiating tool. Financing a home is not difficult, and you have nothing to be apprehensive about if your agent has conducted a good pre-qualification interview. Typically the mortgage company is looking for adequate collateral value (the house), employment stability, credit stability, and enough income to handle the payments. Loans can take from one hour to 60 days to be approved depending on the type of loan and your lender’s sophistication. Typical approval for most loans should be within 3 weeks.
Title Work: During your loan processing a title company will be checking to make sure that the title of the home is clear. The title company will make sure all liens are clear at closing and that you receive "marketable title".
Closing: After your loan is approved and your inspection repairs are completed, you should be ready to close on your home! Most closings occur within 30 - 60 days of the time you reach agreement with the seller. Typically, you may move into the home on the day of closing. The closing is the final step where you sign all the mortgage and additional purchase documents. The seller will sign the house over to you. When closing is complete, you are a homeowner.
I specialize in helping people buy and sell residential real estate in Colorado. My goal is for my clients to have an enjoyable "hassle free" real estate experience. I would like to do business with you. Please call me at (719) 510-4445 or (800) 620-7325. Or you can send me E-mail at Deena@DeenaMinyard.com.
Thank you for visiting my web page, I am happy to be able to serve you.
If you are buying or selling elsewhere, send me E-mail and I will refer you to a competent and caring agent that can help make your home buying experience a positive one!
Welcome to Colorado!