(Below are all the steps we will help guide you through, even after you get your keys!)
Here at Integrity All Stars, we truly understand the fun, excitement and STRESS of buying a home and we are here to guide you and mitigate the number of “bumps in the road” you and your family may go through during this process. We are always at your service and work as a team (Rebecca, James, Cherie, Ashley and Dalton) so that we can ensure you have the BEST experience possible and get the BEST home for your money!
REGARDLESS if you’re a first time home buyer OR if you’ve been through this before, it starts with just making the decision that you’re READY to purchase a home. For first time home buyers, it’s great to finally STOP paying someone else’s mortgage and finally experience the tax benefits first hand of owning a home and if you already have owned before- things change often in the Real Estate world, so it’s good to go through the information in this packet still so you will not miss a step in the buying process.
Once you’ve taken the first step – then you need to figure out the HOW and with WHO… and we will help you with that! What we mean by that is you first must have your credit checked and get a mortgage loan approval from preferably a LICENSED loan officer (unless you’re paying with cash). Sellers usually won’t accept offers from Buyers that do not have proof they can actually pay for the home, so this step must be done before we go out to look at homes; not to mention, knowing your buying power is crucial before you fall in love with one! (Avoid the kid in the candy store syndrome)
ONCE we know how much you are able and wanting to spend on your next home, we will set up a saved search for you to receive automatic listings through the Multiple Listing Service that fit your specific NEEDS and WANTS regarding size, location and amenities within your future home and neighborhood. We also have an APP for your mobile device and a Portal log in for you to access the same MLS us Realtors use. We do warn against searching on websites like Zillow, Realtor.com; Trulia, Redfin to just name a few as they get their data from our MLS but many times their info is outdated and they show homes for sale that are already sold or incorrect values on homes. Even Zillow self admits they are wrong an average of 8.9% on values for homes (See http://www.zillow.com/zestimate/#acc). On a sales price of just $300k, that means they could say a home is worth $25k more or less than its real value & a $50k spread is a huge difference! There are lots of homes to pick from out there too, from existing homes to brand new homes; also foreclosure/auction homes or even for sale by owners…. So it can get a little confusing- that’s why we’re here to help you figure out the best option for you! Rebecca has 25 yrs under her belt as a Full-Time Realtor, but combined, we have 42 yrs of experience as a team. Half of Rebecca’s career has been in new home sales, both as a Sales Representative as well as the Sales Manager. IF you have an interest in brand new, we can discuss that process in great length- it is a little different than the below… just let Rebecca know and she will be sure you pick the best builder possible and get the best deal possible with them! It can also be quite an adventure! Some people see the first home and say that’s it and some need to see several before they find the right one. (We don’t mind whether it’s 1 or 100- PLEASE remember that!)
Just to warn you, we may have to bid on more than one home as well… depending on the current market conditions for when you decide the time is right for you to purchase. Is it a Seller’s market or Buyer’s market? What should you offer? Are their multiple bids you’re competition against? What will help you “win” the home you’ve decided is the one? This is where an agent with lots of experience can really pay for themselves ten-fold; negotiating the best deal for you and utilizing our contacts developed over the years can help get you an advantage depending on who we are working with for your next home.
There’s also a lot of paperwork to go through in order for you to buy a home. A lot of it is found here for your reference as we like to give it to you in advance to familiarize you with it before we ask you to sign it. Some of it will be signed in the beginning and some throughout the process. We will let you know what we need signed when- don’t worry!
Once you’re “under contract”, you will need to put down your deposit with the title company selected. We have one we work with regularly and will request them when possible. After that, you will need to work with your chosen mortgage professional to secure your loan and get all requested documentation in to their underwriter for the loan. IF you’re a Cash Buyer, you obviously won’t need to worry about this part other than providing proof of closing funds.
During the first 10 days is the normal inspection period. This is when round two of negotiations take place for an existing home. You will want to hire a home inspector (we also have a great one to recommend) to check out the home for any defects or repairs that need to be made. (IF it’s a new home, we will discuss this one as it’s actually better to have a home inspection done right before your one year anniversary and not before you close escrow.) Then, depending on your situation and what is found in the inspection, we will request repairs from the Seller of the home. IF we can’t come to an agreement, we may have to start over and get a full refund of your earnest deposit made with the title company. But don’t fret! Normally we come to an agreement and complete the rest of the process without issue!
After inspections are done, the appraisal gets ordered and you will need to finish taking care of any outstanding loan items you need to do. (Please refer to our DO’s and DON’Ts we’ve compiled to help alleviate any headaches before you have them!)
After that, it’s time to put in your change of addresses with everyone, plan your move, get hazard insurance, put utilities in your name, and then wait for the loan documents to arrive to the title company for your signing. When that happens, we will do a final walk through to ensure the home is in the same condition as it was at the time of contract (normally it is) and if it’s not, hold up the closing until it is. After monies have been paid and documents signed, the title company will record the transaction and then we are able to GIVE YOU THE KEYS to your NEW HOME! That is our favorite part for sure!
Afterwards, we are here to assist with any loose ends or questions you may have. We will send you a copy of your settlement statement at the end of the year so you have it for filing your income taxes the following year. We will stay in touch via email newsletters to keep you on top of Real Estate news. We will invite you to participate in contests and attend special events throughout the year.
OUR GOAL is that we not only become your Realtors for life, but that you would want your co-workers/friends/family to receive the same TOP service when they are interested in buying/selling a home. After working with us, you won’t hesitate to refer us to anyone you care about. In fact, we hope you insist on it!
After you’ve gotten your keys to your new home, we will ask for you to complete a customer service survey and/or a recommendation we can use for future marketing purposes. IF we didn’t do our job well enough that you’ll be delighte
d to do this for us, then we failed in our books, even if we got paid and you got a home in the end. Being delighted with the experience you have is our GOAL for you (and your family) and we settle for nothing short of that!
NOW let’s go have fun looking at homes together!