Set an Appointment – Meeting you and those involved in the buying decision is an important first step. I’ve never had two transactions alike. And, I’ve never met two buyers alike. Every transaction is unique to each home-buyers situation. Every home buyer comes with a different level of readiness so in this initial meeting I’ll have an opportunity to better understand your sense-of-urgency, what you’re looking for in a new home and what you’re looking for in a Realtor too. At this meeting we will discuss your home buying goals, budget, timelines and specifics of your search criteria like location and price range. I’ll be interested in knowing about your current home and what you like and don’t like about it. If you have pictures – bring them with you. Your goals, your “needs and wants” list are all very important to me. I’ll encourage you to be candid and specific. For example, if you’re a pianist and you’re worried about finding a home with a room for a grand piano – please let me know! Or, if you have a 100-year-old Grandfathers clock and it needs an internal wall – YES…. I want to know about that too. If you’re a photographer still developing your own negatives requiring a dark room or basement – this too is important for me to know. You get the idea. Finally, I work all hours by appointment. Yup! That’s right — all hours! If you need to meet at 6AM or 10PM — we’ll do it! I’ll be flexible to meet you at times that work best with your schedule.
Financing – At the initial meeting we will discuss how you are financially prepared to purchase a home. Getting pre-approved is the first step in the buying process. In fact, we can’t visit property until you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage. I will be happy to recommend local lenders that have already proved themselves through other buyers and who I know and trust from extensive experience. Depending on your situation, I have specific lenders who I know do well for example, with 1st time home buyers. Or, lenders who have proved themselves to be excellent at closing VA loans on time. Whatever, the situation, I’ll suggest someone I’m confident can help you with your unique situation. And, perhaps, the most important step is understanding your own budget. I want you to have a firm grasp on what this new home will cost you in a regular mortgage payment. The bottom line — I’ll suggest lenders who best fit your needs and offer loan products appropriate for you.
Sign Your Buyers Agreement — If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to sign your Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement. This is a contract that solidifies your working relationship with the agent. It outlines in great detail what is expected from both parties and although it is very formal, it should be looked upon as a tool that builds mutual understanding between you and your Realtor. This gives you peace of mind knowing what the agent is responsible for and gives the agent peace of mind that you’re committed to them in this process.
The Home Search – There are many factors to consider when looking for your home including size, budget, neighborhood, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, school district, ease of commute to work, resale potential. Many folks I work with, forget to consider resale value. While this is probably a long way off, it should be a part of our conversation. We will make finding a home a team effort. You’ll be invited to the office to look at properties that specifically meet your search criteria from our viewing rooms. In the meantime, you’ll be able to search properties from my website. Likewise, the local FMLS will send you properties that match your search criteria on a regular basis and as properties matching your criteria come on the market. We will schedule appointments to see properties and schedule a tour of homes based on your availability.
Making an Offer — Once we find the right home – the home of your dreams — and you’re ready to make an offer, I will council you on the proper pricing strategy based on current market conditions. Together we will review competitive properties to determine and justify an appropriate offer price. While Zillow, Redfin and others are great tools for home buyers they often don’t reflect an accurate market value or information specifically available to Realtors. By carefully reviewing more detailed information and competitive market value in a specific sub-division, neighborhood, school district and/or zip code as well as looking at Days on Market (DOM) and Sold Price to Original List Price Ratio (SP/OLP%) history you’ll be better educated to determine an appropriate offer price.
Negotiating – Now the fun begins. Sometimes it’s not easy dealing with a seller. Often the negotiation process depends on the seller’s sense of urgency for selling their home and how far along they are in their own moving process. For example, if the property went on the market last night and today they had eight showings and received three offers, you can imagine the challenge. Likewise, if the property has been on the market for six months, the seller may be more motivated to accept our original offer. It’s difficult to anticipate what challenges we might experience, but rest assured we will discuss them and I will always have your best interests at heart.
Under Contract – Your earnest money is due now per terms of the contract. I will help to schedule inspections as they typically need to occur ASAP during your due diligence period. We need to alert the lender that you are now under contract. If you haven’t done so already, this is the time to send the lender the remaining documents he/she has requested.
The Binding Agreement – You’re under contract and a binding agreement – which is basically an agreement of the terms and conditions of the contract between the buyer and seller. A “meeting of the minds” so to speak. We will have a short window of opportunity to schedule and complete inspections and determine ultimately if this home is the right one for you. Inspections will be scheduled to occur within your due diligence period. They can be exhaustive for both buyer and seller as well as the inspectors. The inspection report will typically teach and inform you about the house you are about to purchase. For example, you’ll learn where the utility shut-off valves are located. The inspector will report on maintenance issues affecting the house and when, where and how to perform maintenance procedures. Likewise, if the inspector has specific concerns with the house that could affect your purchase — we will do an Amendment to Address Property Concerns and present that document to the home owner. During this time, I’ll be coordinating with your lender, the attorney’s office, the listing agent and other people involved in the transaction as we move toward closing. Additionally, I’ll be actively advising and counseling you as the process continues. Remember, it’s my job to guide you through the process and get you to the closing table on time.
Closing — Arriving at the closing table is always the goal! And, walking away from the closing table with the keys to your new home will be the cherry on top! It’s always a very gratifying experience regardless if this is your first home or sixth home.
Your Dream Home Awaits — Following these steps will put you on the path to turning the key to the front door of your new home in no time. At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, my team and I use our years of experience and industry tools and technology to help you find your ideal metro Atlanta home quickly and stress-free. Contact us and let’s get moving today!