First Things First

What is the first thing I should do if I am considering buying a new home? By far the first thing to do is make sure you can afford it…get your finances in order. A lot of people think buying a new home is like buying something at the mall. It’s not….most, if not all people take out a loan…..most lovingly called a mortgage to buy the house and make payment over a period of time. Your lender will more than likely require this information:
  • Annual Income
  • Amount of cash for a down payment (if required)
  • Other home loans (if applicable)
  • Credit card balances
  • Car loans, school loans, ect.
  • other factors affecting your financials such as alimony, taxes, investments ect.

What is a pre-qual letter and who needs it? More commonly called a pre-qualification letter, it is issued by a lender after a preliminary review of your information so you will have it available when you make an offer on a house because most offers are required to be accompanied by a prequal letter.
Does that clear me to get the loan? NO!! A pre-qualification letter is an initial consultation without a credit check even being run yet. After information is confirmed with a credit check and asset and salary verification, you could be issued a pre-approval letter which carries more clout.
If I find a home that is not listed with you can you still be my REALTOR® and continue showing me houses? Of course, I am able to show and sell any home listed by the Multiple Listing Service in which I am a member in good standing. Whether you see it in the paper, internet or on TV, I can still help. Also, if you go to an open house, just tell the agent on duty that I am representing you. The agent on duty works for the Seller.
Would working with more than one agent at a time be more beneficial to me? It is in your best interest to have an exclusive relationship with one REALTOR®. There are many reasons for this, but I will only touch on a few here. I am a sole proprietor and will only be paid when the sale of a house is consummated. Your loyalty is appreciated and in return I work in your best interests to find the home you desire. For more an Agency (relationships between agents and customer/clients) please visit the contracts page and open up the “Working With Real Estate Agents” document. This will help you understand more about why you should only work with one agent in most cases.
What happens when we find “THE” house and want to make an offer? It is a process that can take many weeks to meet at the closing table, but here is a brief overview. You will use the “Offer to Purchase and Contract” form to submit your offer. You will need to submit an earnest money check along with the offer which in most cases should be at least 1% of the purchase price. Once the offer is presented to the Seller, they can either, *accept the offer *reject the offer or *counteroffer. Whatever the case, when the contracts are signed and the earnest money deposited in the Trust Account of the Listing Company the agreement is binding. Negotiations for repairs, inspections, ect. Come up during this period between acceptance and closing many call “escrow”. Negotiations is one of the main reasons REALTORS® are in demand. Once closing takes place and all documents are signed, the closing Attorney will record the Deed and Deed of Trust in the county courthouse and it is official.
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