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.
can find the answers-and peace of mind-by
working with Marlene.
are some tips to help you become your own
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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:
the specific needs and wants of the buyer
and locate properties that fit those specifications.
the buyer in determining the amount that
they can afford (pre-qualify), and show
properties in that price range and locale.
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
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.
the buyer on structuring an appropriate
offer to purchase the selected property.
the offer to the seller's agent and the
seller on the buyer's behalf.
on behalf of the buyer to help obtain
the identified property - keeping the
buyer's best interests in mind.
in securing appropriate financing for
the selected property.
a list of potential qualified vendors
(e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters, etc.)
if these services are needed.
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.