BUYER'S GUIDE

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ABOUT GABLES & GATES, REALTORS®

The Key Mission of Gables & Gates, Realtors® is to match our clients not only with the perfect home, but with the community that best suits their needs and desires. We believe we are able to do that better than anyone else.

THE HOME BUYING PROCESS AT A GLANCE

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FINANCES

  • Obtain a financial pre-approval (proof of funds for cash purchase).
  • Prepare for additional costs.
  • Get a good faith estimate from lender detailing costs and monthly mortgage payment.

 

F I N A N C I N G

A mortgage lender will be able to take your financial information and determine what amount you will be able to borrow. Having your pre-approval letter in hand, as well as a good faith estimate, before we start searching will save us time and make sure we don’t miss out on the perfect home opportunity. The pre-approval letter will accompany an offer.

 

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C A S H

If you've got the money in the bank and you are ready to purchase your home in cash, that's great. I will inform you as to your closing costs and we will need a proof of funds to supplement any offers. You can acquire a proof of funds from your financial advisor or your banker to show that you have a balance that meets the purchase price.

 

 

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SEARCH

  • As your buyer's agent, I will set you up a home search based on your wish list and a portal to help you keep a checklist of what you would like to view.
  • Preview potential properties online.
  • Schedule showings and view the properties you are most interested.

 

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Once you've got your finances in order, the fun of looking for the perfect home begins! I will set you up on an automatic search through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the database that Realtors use to list and search for homes. The moment a home that fits your search criteria is listed for sale, it will be sent to your email inbox. If we ever need to adjust the search criteria, just let me know and I can make any change you need. Make sure to let me know which homes pique your interest and we will set up some showings.

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Questions to ask before searching for a home:

  1. Where do you want to buy?
  2. Is there a specific school district you'd like to be near?
  3. Are you interested in new construction or a resale home?Is the age of the home important?
  4. What style home?
  5. How many bedrooms, bathrooms, or minimum square feet?
  6. Do you want a garage?
  7. What size lot?
  8. Pool or no pool?
  9. Would you like a patio or deck?
  10. What 3 features of a home are most important to you?
  11. What it your budget?

 

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OFFERS & NEGOTIATION

Write an offer to purchase on your favorite property. In order to write an offer, we will need the following information:

  • Pre-qualification letter or proof of funds.
  • Offer price.
  • Escrow/Trust deposit.
  • Financing Amount.
  • Closing date.
  • Inspection period.

 

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  • Negotiate the terms of the offer.
  • Accept the contract. Get a copy to the lender & title company.
  • Deposit Escrow (deliver, mail or wire) within 3 days.
  • Complete Loan Application.
  • Obtain Homeowners Insurance quotes.

 

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Escrow/Trust Deposit

What is the Escrow/Trust Deposit?

The escrow/trust deposit is also known as the "Good Faith Deposit" and is paid up front to show that you are serious about the purchase. The higher the escrow, the more attractive the offer is to the seller.

Where does it go?

As soon as we have an executed contract, you have approximately 3 days (unless negotiated differently) to get the Escrow/Trust Deposit to the real estate company. That company holds it up until closing, then it will be counted towards your balance due at closing. You can submit your deposit by check.

 

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INSPECTION PERIOD

  • Conduct Inspections.
  • Resolve/Negotiate any issues from Inspection.

During the inspection period, the buyer has the right to hire a professional to inspect the condition of the home that would have otherwise been unknown.

The standard home inspector's report will cover the home's heating system; central air conditioning system; interior plumbing and electrical system; roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and provide a written report of the inspection. You may be present for the inspection if you would like to ask the inspector any questions.

 

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Additional inspections you may need:

  • Termite | Inspections Ask your lender if your loan requires a termite inspection.
  • Lead-Based Paint Inspection if the home was built prior to 1978, a lead-based paint inspection is recommended.
  • Radon inspection You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. Testing is the only way to find the home's radon levels.
  • Irrigation Inspections this is not covered under a home inspection.
  • Pool Inspection if the home has a pool you may need to be sure it's in good working condition.
  • Stucco Inspection if the home is synthetic stucco or "EFIS", you may want to consider an inspection. 

 

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FINANCING PERIOD

  • Your lender will order the appraisal.
  • Obtain Homeowners Insurance.
  • Loan will go through underwriting.

Appraisal:

An appraisal is an estimate of value of the property by a licensed professional appraiser. Once any problems during the inspection are solved, the appraisal will be ordered by the lender and paid for by you. The goal of the appraisal is to verify the value of the property for the lender and to protect you from overpaying. The contract is contingent upon whether the appraisal comes in at or above the purchase price. If the appraisal comes back short, we go back to the negotiation table.

 

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Obtaining a Mortgage:

You have 5 days from the date of contract execution to begin the mortgage loan application. During the 30-45 days before closing, the lender will be finalizing your mortgage. It is very important not to make any major job changes, major purchases, or open new credit cards or lines of credit, as any of these activities could alter your qualifications for a loan. Don't buy furniture until after closing!

Home Insurance:

Your lender will require you to obtain a homeowner's insurance policy. You will need to get the lender this information before closing.

 

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PREPARING TO CLOSE

  • Title company will conduct title search and order survey if required.
  • Receive closing statement/clear to close 3 days before closing.
  • Wire funds to closing company.
  • Conduct a final walk-through of property and close.

SURVEY:

Unless the seller already has a recent and acceptable survey of the property, the buyer is required to pay for the survey if he wants one. However, the survey is no longer required by the lender. The title company can order this for you. The survey is a sketch showing a map of the property lines/boundaries and easements. The survey will show if there are any encroachments on the property.

 

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TITLE:

The title company will conduct a title search to ensure the property is legitimate and find if there are any outstanding mortgages, liens, judgments, restrictions, easements, leases, unpaid taxes, or any other restrictions that would impact your ownership associated with the property. Once the title is found to be valid, the title company will issue a title insurance policy that protects lenders or owners against claims or legal fees that may arise over ownership of the property. This is also a part of your closing costs.

 

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CLEAR TO CLOSE!

"Clear to Close" is excellent news. It means the mortgage underwriter has officially approved all documentation required to fund the loan. All that remains is the actual closing process. Here is a checklist to ensure a smooth closing:

SMOOTH CLOSING CHECKLIST

    • Make sure you've obtained homeowner's insurance and provide the lender with the information.
    • Review the closing disclosure and sign 3 days before closing and ensure you have the funds for closing
      costs.
    • Final walk- through.
    • Wire funds to closing company - verify wiring instructions by phone.
    • Bring your driver's license or passport to closing table.
    • Take your keys and move in!

Work With Janet

I work with Buyers & Sellers in all price brackets and believe I have a reputation for professionalism, integrity, and a commitment to placing the needs of my clients first.

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