Marlene Katz
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Whether you've spent years saving and preparing to buy a home, or are unsure if you can afford it, the questions surrounding home purchase can feel endless.
You can find the answers-and peace of mind-by working with Marlene.
Here are some tips to help you become your own landlord.

1. Hire a real estate professional.
Working with a buyer's agent is worth consideration since he or she is legally responsible for representing the buyer's interest in a real estate transaction.

2. Let Marlene recommend a lender.
A difference of even a half a percentage point can make a huge difference in how much you pay over the life of a loan. For example, the difference in the monthly payment on a $100,000 mortgage at 8 percent vs. 7.5 percent is about $35 per month. Over 30 years, that's $12,600.

3. Pre qualify for a loan.
Your third step should be to get qualified, which determines how much you can afford. It allows you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and really can afford to buy the property.

4. Define what you want.

The next step is to create a realistic idea of the property you would like to buy. What features are most important to you? Make two lists: one of the items you can't live without and one of the features you would enjoy. Refine these lists as you house hunt. It is also helpful to search online to see what features are currently available on the market.

5. Visit the properties.
Now you are ready to visit houses. Ask Marlene to arrange showings, and keep track of the properties you've seen.

6. Know the features that help or hurt resale.
In some areas, a swimming pool actually detracts from a home's value and makes it harder to sell. In neighborhoods with two-car, attached garages, a single-car or detached garage may impact the home sale and future value. Marlene can point out features that hurt, and those that help resale value.

7. Rate the houses you tour.
After touring each home, write down what you liked and didn't like. Develop a rating system that will help narrow the field down. For example, pick the house you like best on day one and compare all the other houses to it. When you find a better one, use the new favorite as the standard.

8. Providing market information.
Market value is determined by many factors, including the availability of similar properties at competitive prices, locations, condition-and most of all, the price that a knowledgeable buyer is willing to pay. Marlene will provide market data to help you establish an offering price.

9. Make an offer.
Once you've pinpointed your dream home, it's time to get serious about the financial and contractual side of the purchase. Price may not be the only consideration in structuring a purchase offer. Other things may be equally important to you such as terms and conditions of an offer, amount of deposit and possession date.

10. Negotiating with sellers.

Marlene will help structure a negotiating strategy to create a winning scenario.

11. Arrange for a home inspection.
After your offer is accepted Marlene can set up a home inspection. It's common to find problems, including leaky roofs, cracked walls, insect infestations and foundation problems. Marlene can help find a reputable inspector, and will negotiate to get you the most for your money once the inspector's report is final. If you negotiate repairs as part of the purchase, ask for a "walk through" before finalizing the paperwork. Ask Marlene about home protection plans, which may save you money in the near future.

12. Handling all the details.
A lot has to happen between signing the purchase agreement and moving into your new home. Marlene will attend to the details and keep you in touch with the transaction each step of the way.

Buyer Agency ...

Buying a home is a big decision and a personal one. You need the right person to find a home that suits your needs. Marlene has been an accredited buyer representative since 1994.

So you've decided to buy a home.
Purchasing real estate is a complex and major transaction with many details to be handled. Depending on the laws in your state and the business arrangement you have with a licensed real estate agent, that agent may actually be negotiating for the seller, not you the buyer. The best way to be certain that an agent is working in your best interests is by signing a buyer representation agreement with an agent.

What is a Buyer Representative?
A real estate buyer's representative represents the buyer who is purchasing property in a real estate transaction. Research by the National Association of REALTORS has shown that when a buyer's representative is used, the prospective buyer found a home one week faster and examined three more properties than consumers who did not use a buyer's representative. The buyer's representative works for, and owes fiduciary responsibilities to, the real estate buyer and has buyer's best interests in mind throughout the entire real estate process.

A buyer's representative will:

  • Evaluate the specific needs and wants of the buyer and locate properties that fit those specifications.
  • Assist the buyer in determining the amount that they can afford (pre-qualify), and show properties in that price range and locale.
  • Assist in viewing properties -- accompany the buyer on the showings, or preview the properties on behalf of the buyer to insure that the identified specifications are met.
  • Research the selected properties to identify any problems or issues to help the buyer make an informed decision prior to making an offer to purchase the property.
  • Advise the buyer on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.
  • Present the offer to the seller's agent and the seller on the buyer's behalf.
  • Negotiate on behalf of the buyer to help obtain the identified property - keeping the buyer's best interests in mind.
  • Assist in securing appropriate financing for the selected property.
  • Provide a list of potential qualified vendors (e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters, etc.) if these services are needed.
  • Most importantly, fully-represent the buyer throughout the real estate transaction.
  • The Buyer Representation Agreement It is important for the buyer to discuss the buyer's representative's compensation in the initial interview. In many cases it is recommended that the buyer and the buyer's representative agree to the terms of compensation prior to viewing properties, and sign a written agreement based on those terms. The agreement should spell out the responsibilities of both parties throughout the real estate process.
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Marlene Katz - RE/MAX of Stuart
Sales Associate Licensed in Florida
RE/MAX of Stuart | 729 S Federal Hwy #100 | Stuart, Florida 34994
Phone: 772-631-7775
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