So you are ready to buy a home. Great! Buying a home is a very exciting, but also expensive and stressful endeavor.
Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the process with less stress and potentially save thousands of dollars while doing so? We think so too! How do you do that? Keep reading.
Ok, let’s first look at the most important thing a buyer should do before considering buying a home and visiting available homes on the market. (Of course you have already been browsing homes on your magical internet device, and that’s ok!)
Unless you have tens or hundreds of thousands of $1 bills in suit cases or under your mattress (more likely in a bank account) you are going to need to get pre-approved for a mortgage from a lending institution before buying a home. (Note: You should have a pretty good idea of how much you want your monthly payments to be, so budgeting is key too.) This sounds easy enough, right? Not so fast. What if I told you that lenders are not created equal and that each lender only offers a certain amount of mortgage programs, and that each program has its own credit score and down payment requirements to qualify. How would an uninformed buyer know that? You wouldn’t because you are not out buying a home every other weekend. Keep reading.
Ok great, maybe you found a lender who made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and they have a mortgage program that they feel fits your current situation and your credit score is high enough to qualify, but you have also learned that the down payment requirement to qualify for that program is more than you currently have in your bank account. Game over right? Wrong! There are other programs and techniques available to get you the down payment money you need to buy a home. But you wouldn’t know that because you are not a home buying know-it-all. Not a problem! Keep reading.
So now you are pre-qualified by a lender who, again, made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and you are now ready to start looking at potential homes, right? Wrong! Um, wait a minute… that’s not right. Of course you are ready! Phew! But, before running out and viewing homes on your own, there is one other major thing you need to seriously consider. “Really? This already feels like a lot of information to consider!” I know, but this could literally be a life or death decision. OK, that is not entirely accurate. It is, however, a decision that could help the level of stress you will incur, which in turn will help your relationship with friends and loved ones during this time, and could also help you save thousands of dollars in the transaction. Keep reading.
So, what is this very important decision you will have to make before buying a home?
It is whether or not you will work with a Realtor® to represent your sole interests as YOUR “Buyer’s Agent“.
There is something you need to understand: Around 90% of home seller’s will have their interests represented by a Realtor®, whom they have established a relationship with already. The seller’s Realtor® becomes ethically and legally bound to the seller through their relationship and a signed listing agreement to sell the house, which includes “loyalty” to the seller. You should have loyal representation in the transaction as well (This is especially important when you consider the other 10% of homes that are sold by the owner without representation, or better known as a “For Sale By Owner” property. And yes, most FSBO’s will work with a buyer’s Realtor® too). Another thing to consider is that the listing agents top priority is to sell the home at the highest possible price for their client. Keep reading.
In a healthy real estate market finding a suitable home is usually the easiest, most exciting and least stressful part of the process. What comes after finding the home of your dreams is where it can get more challenging, and where a good “Buyer’s Agent” will shine and make the process as stress free as possible for you. A buyer who chooses not to have their interests represented by a Realtor® will certainly overlook many very important aspects of the transaction that could cost them thousands of dollars. These items include: buyer contract rights, price negotiations, repair negotiations, inspection result details & responsibilities, proper home evaluation, property issues, title issues, permit issues, insurance issues, insurance credits, etc.
Keep in mind that this is going to be one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime and there are legal ramifications when there is a transfer of real property from one party to another that you may not be aware of.
So, what does a “Buyer’s Agent” do for you? Well, I am glad you asked!
A “Buyer’s Agent” services include, but are not limited to:
- Helping you shop around to compare different lender programs and rates in an effort to get you pre-approved.
- Work with you to find a home (whether it be an existing home or helping you with a *new construction home) that fits your wants and needs and provide general information on the prospective homes and communities.
- Research market conditions and perform an analysis to determine the home’s market value.
- Gather information on the home including local government regulations, community association regulation’s and fee’s, property taxes, property assessments, property permit history, potential property lien information, potential insurance premium, etc.
- Discuss an offer strategy. Create, review and explain the purchase agreement paperwork (from at least 12 to over 20 pages) with necessary disclosures, addendum’s, plus other necessary forms and paperwork.
- Negotiate purchase price and purchase terms on your behalf to meet your defined purchase goals.
- Schedule and coordinate access to the property for all home inspectors, contractors, appraiser, surveyor, etc.
- Negotiate any repair items that are needed & based on professional inspector or contractor’s reports.
- Review community association documents, financial records, rules and regulation documents for common concerns that include pet restrictions, lease restrictions, automobile restrictions, common area restrictions, owner rights, board member rights & buying requirements, etc.
- Troubleshoot and help resolve any issues that may arise from lender requirements, inspection results, association documents, liens, outstanding permits, property encroachments, etc.
- Coordinate all necessary paperwork with seller’s real estate agent, the lender’s agent, the closing agent, the title agent, the insurance agent, the appraiser, the inspector, the surveyor, the utility department, etc. and make sure all paperwork is accounted for, filled out correctly and timely delivered to all necessary parties.
- Coordinate the closing procedure including scheduling, closing documents, wiring instructions, closing instructions, etc.
- Conduct final walk through and make sure all required repairs are completed and the house is ready for buyer’s occupancy.
- Attend closing with you.
- Celebrate with you!
(* If you decide to purchase new construction we perform many of the same duties above as well as monitor the build and stay in contact with the builder through the entire process.)
The Sarasota Native Group® is made up of full-time agents; this is not our retirement career nor is this a second job while also waiting tables. Collectively we have been full-time real estate agents going on 15 years. We were born and raised in Sarasota and we know the area and the market very well.
On average The Sarasota Native Group® has helped customers save 3% off the list price ($3,000 for every $100,000) using our years of negotiating experience and knowledge of the local real estate market. (This does not include helping buyers save money by recommending trusted service providers in the area. Our contacts become your contacts.)
Are you not seeing your dream home on the market? Contact us to discuss the possibility of having our team target off-market homes that have high selling potential that match your specific criteria. (We only provide this service to committed customers because of the time and effort we put into finding the home of their dreams.)
The Sarasota Native Group® will negotiate to get you the best deal possible and we would be delighted to work with you and anyone else you know who is currently looking to purchase a home.