WHAT EVERY BUYER NEEDS TO KNOW:Because buying a home is one of the single greatest investments most people make during their entire life time, it is important that you avoid costly mistakes and make informed decisions throughout the entire buying process. Whether you are a first time home buyer or an experienced investor, you should ask as many questions as you can and obtain as much information as possible. The articles below contain some valuable information about "buying real estate" that you might find helpful. If you have any additional questions or need more information, Click Here to contact us.
FINDING THE RIGHT PROPERTY:One of the first steps in buying real estate (that many buyers often overlook) is knowing what you are looking for. We suggest you make a written list of the things that are important to you (for example: does the home need to be on one level, do you prefer a certain area, how many rooms do you need, what price range are you in, etc. If you're not sure what you want or what you can afford, then you need to do some research and get prequalified by a good lender before you meet with your real estate agent. Once you have a "wish list" or a clear idea of what you want, prioritize the list. Put the most important things at the top of the list. Once you and your spouse have a clear understanding of what you want and what is most important (and you know what you can afford), then you're ready to put your real estate agent to work for you.
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NEGOTIATING WITH THE SELLERHere's a few tips to help you negotiate with the seller.
- Know the market and negotiate accordingly. Your agent is the best source of advice in this area.
- Never negotiate directly with the seller. That's what your real estate agent is for!
- Always provide a prequalification letter from the lender with your offer if you will be getting a loan.
- Always have your agent prepare a Seller's Net Sheet to present with the offer.
- Make a list of things that will need to be fixed, replaced, or that are damaged.
- Find out as much as you can about the seller's motivation and reason for selling.
- Never let the seller know how much you like the property.
- In a hot market, ask for an acceptance/counter upon presentation of offer.
- The more you put down as earnest money (without conditions) the easier it is to negotiate terms.
DOING YOUR DUE DILIGENCEOnce you have an accepted offer (hopefully with a due diligence clause), you should consider hiring a property inspector to inspect the property. You can also do a walk through to visually inspect the property. During the due diligence period, you should check all appliances, water faucets, hoses, toilets, AC, Heater, Hot Water, etc. You will also be able to review a Seller's Disclosure with your agent to see what the Seller knows about the property. By law, the Seller must disclose in writing any material fact that would adversly effect the value of the property. You should also meet with a title company or escrow officer and review the title to make sure that the person selling the property is the legal owner and that there are no unknown encumberances or problems with the title.