Richard A. Zuber Realty takes pride in the experience and knowledge each of their agents has to offer. Most of our realtors grew up in the area and have a thorough knowledge of the immediate and surrounding areas and what each has to offer. Our experienced support staff offers knowledgeable assistance to our clients, customers, and agents. When you are ready for your home purchase, here are some guidelines to help you navigate the home buying process.
Choose an Agent
Choosing the right real estate agent is important as you’ll be working closely with your agent throughout the home buying process. Select an agent based on their knowledge and capabilities. Your agent can qualify you to help you decide the appropriate price range for a house. Although agents are not lenders, they should have knowledge of possible programs available for your personal financial situation or recommend a local lender who does.
Use a local agent who is familiar with the neighborhood you are searching. This is beneficial because they will know the ins and outs of that specific market. Through data exchange and multi-list cooperation, your agent typically shows you properties listed by other agencies as well as their own. Your agent should also be a full-time professional and have the availability to be a resource to guide you throughout the home purchasing transaction. Choose an agent who can use modern technology as well as ‘tried and true’ methods. Above all, be loyal to your agent and your agent will be loyal to you.
Select a Lender and Get Pre-qualified
Your lender is a crucial piece of the homebuying process. Try to obtain a local lender who will keep you informed and attend your settlement in case there are issues. Otherwise, you may be stuck with unforeseen fees and changes. A local lender feels more accountable to you. Internet lenders often have fees or charges above the range of local lenders. You want to know your interest rate and your APR (the larger the difference, the more fees that the lender is charging you). Have the lender review with you the amount needed for the home purchase including the down payment amount and settlement costs. Your lender and realtor should have open communication with you and each other for a smooth transaction.
You can research homes online, but remember although often deemed reliable, information online is not always accurate. Let your realtor be your guide to help you with your home search. When you find a house that suits your needs, contact your agent to learn more about the property and schedule a showing.
Submit an Offer
Your realtor prepares and goes over the terms of your offer with you. They provide expertise such as comparable sales prices, costs, offer comparisons, and suggestions on how to make your offer better than another. Always put your best foot forward in your initial offer as there may be another offer or competing offers against your bid. You may not get a second chance to change your initial bid. This is important depending on the type of market we are in. You need to decide if an inspection is important to you and if an inspection is required by your lender and type of mortgage. Sometimes you need to forego inspections to get the home you want, but remember the risk involved in doing so.
Proceed Through the Transaction
Your realtor should help you watch for time restraints in your agreement of sale. Stay on top of these dates. If delayed, you may have to waive some of your rights. You will order an inspection, apply for a mortgage if applicable, and proceed with any other items included in your offer. Promptly take care of replies, obligations, or requests so the sale is not delayed. You will need to get homeowner/fire insurance and title insurance, order transfer of utilities into your name, and reserve a settlement place and time. Your realtor is a good resource to help with these items.
Be sure your realtor has given you the amount you need to bring to settlement in advance as well as the form of payment (i.e. some title companies need the funds wired while others accept a bank or cashier’s check). Most do not accept personal or certified checks. You will always want to conduct a pre-settlement inspection to be sure the property is in the condition in which you agreed to purchase it. You and your realtor should attend this inspection together. Make sure you have the required identification needed for closing from the title company. Usually, a buyer will need two forms of acceptable identification. Then proceed to the settlement table. At the end of the process, you walk away with keys and ownership to your new home!
After settlement, remember to set aside funds for the ongoing costs of homeownership. Be aware of solicitation companies trying to solicit services that you may or may not need. A common misconception is that you will need to pay to get a copy of your deed. You do not have to pay for a copy. You should receive your copy of the deed as well as title commitment in the mail 30 to 60 days after completion of settlement. If not, direct your questions to the title company that conducted your settlement.
Live happily in your new home. If a time comes for you to move or change, feel free to call on us again to sell your home or offer suggestions on refinancing.