forBUYERS

ARE YOU BUYING A HOME? THEN YOU’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE!

If you are searching for homes for sale in Lapeer County, or nearby counties St. Clair, Tuscola, Sanilac, Oakland, Genesee or Macomb – everything you need to know about how to prepare for a great home buying experience is below. I hope you find this information useful.

There is no such thing as a typical home buyer. My team and I are trained, expert professionals and we can provide the answers you need if you cannot find them here. Please call us at (810) 691-0731 if you need help!

Until then, read and enjoy our Buyer’s Guide. Congratulations on beginning the home buying process!

        

10 steps to Closing

10 STEPS TO Closing

Step 1:Find the
right agent

STEP 2:Prepare
finances

STEP 3:Get
pre-approved

STEP 4:Start home
shopping

STEP 5:Make
an offer

STEP 6:Order an
inspection

STEP 7:Negotiate
final offer

STEP 8:Appraisal
ordered

STEP 9:Schedule
The move

STEP 10:Closing
daY

Step 1:
FIND THE RIGHT REALTOR

The purchase of a home is one of life’s most significant purchases. It is imperative to have an experienced agent on your side, always looking out for your best interests. A buyer agent’s fiduciary responsibility is to represent the buyer and to protect their interests.

A seller has someone on their side. Listing agents have an allegiance to the seller. The goal is to get the seller top dollar for their home. The value of having someone working for YOUR best interests when buying a home can’t be overstated.

HIRING A REAL ESTATE AGENT? ASK THEM THESE QUESTIONS:

  • What education/experience do you have in the real estate field?
  • What education/experience do you have in real estate?
  • Have you been in the real estate business for a long time?
  • How do you assist buyers in closing the deal?
  • What is the best way to communicate with you?
  • What are your working hours?

MY COMMITMENT
TO YOU

OPENING THE DOOR FOR YOU

Getting you into a home that fits your needs and your unique wants is our goal! Every week, I inspect dozens of homes, which allows me to identify potential problems.

WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE

Buyer’s agents represent the interests of buyers. By keeping an eye on the local market and understanding how various amenities affect the value of a home, we make sure to submit a competitive offer on the right house for you.

HANDLING THE HARD CONVERSATIONS

If repairs or changes in price need to be made, I will act as your guide and request repairs or changes in price from the sellers.

PROVIDING LOCAL EXPERTISE

Because I work daily with contractors and inspectors, as well as negotiate with sellers, I have the market knowledge you need to get the best results from your purchase. Making an offer on a house is easier when you know the local real estate market.

SOLVING PROBLEMS, EVEN BEFORE THEY START

Throughout the entire home buying process, I anticipate and address any issues that may arise to make it a fun and stress-free experience for you.

KEEPING ON TOP OF THE PAPERWORK

A home purchase involves many types of documentation. I can navigate real estate contracts, ensuring that nothing is overlooked, and that you understand what each paper means before ever signing on the dotted line.

Step 2: PREPARE FINANCES

Mortgage lenders recommend that you do not buy a home worth more than 3 to 5 times your annual household income. If you are not purchasing a home with cash, you will need a mortgage pre-approval from your mortgage lender. You will work with a lender to get a loan that meets your needs. While some buyers want to keep their monthly payments as low as possible, others want their payments to remain stable.

MORTGAGE PAYMENT AND FINANCIALS

  • Check your credit report. You should note any errors you see and discuss them with your lender.
  • Compile all necessary documents, including pay stubs, bank statements, and past tax returns.
  • Decide how much payment you are comfortable with. Remember that you will also have a mortgage payment plus taxes and insurance!

PREPARE CASH FOR A DOWN PAYMENT & OTHER EXPENSES

To buy a home, you will need to save money for your down payment, earnest money, closing costs, and home inspection

  • Typically, a down payment is between 3% and 20% of the purchase price.
  • Earnest Money is money you put down to show that you are serious about purchasing a home. It’s also called a good faith deposit.
  • For the buyer, closing costs range between 2% and 5% of the loan amount.
  • The cost of a home inspection ranges from $300 to $500.

step 3:
 Get pre-approved

Take advantage of online tools when you’re looking for a new mortgage for your home purchase.

You can compare offers from a variety of reputable lenders in all 50 states, ranging from small, regional providers to large, well-known companies such as Citi and Bank of America. You’ll get a personalized quote and be able to read lender reviews and ratings to determine which lender is right for you. Learn if you qualify for a special loan, such as a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan or federal or state-sponsored home buying programs.

Get that mortgage pre-approval letter — it’ll make you a more competitive buyer.

Note: In contrast to being pre-qualified, being pre-approved means that you have been approved by a lender for a specific loan amount. To be reviewed & verified by the lender, you must provide documented financial information (income, statements, assets, debt & credit reports, etc.).

Prepare for a Mortgage:

  • Check if you qualify for a special loan, such as a VA, FHA, USDA, or HUD program.
  • Compare loan quotes from multiple lenders.
  • Get preapproved for a mortgage and receive your letter.

step 4:start home shopping

Make a list of the items you’ll need in the house. Think about how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need and how much space you’d like. What size do you want the kitchen to be? Do you need a lot of closets and cabinets? Would you like to have a large yard for your kids and/or pets to play in?

If you’ve made a list of your must-haves, don’t forget to take into account the neighborhood you want, the type of schools in the area, the length of your commute to and from work, and the convenience of local shopping. Be aware of your safety concerns as well as the appreciation rate of homes in the area.

Begin the Shopping Process:

  • Prepare your home wish list in advance.
  • Spend some time in each area, imagining yourself living there.
  • Find properties in your price range in the neighborhoods you prefer.
  • Visit open houses or schedule a private showing with one of our team members.
Check & Consider:

  • We will pay attention to the details of each house.
  • Check the plumbing.
  • Test the electrical system.
  • Make sure the windows and doors are working properly by opening and closing them.
  • Analyze the neighborhood and surrounding areas.
  • Is there a lot of traffic on the street?
  • Are schools, shopping, restaurants, and parks nearby?

Step 5:MAKE an OFFER

Finances are in order, your ideal neighborhoods have been identified – the next step is to find your perfect home and make a competitive offer. Most importantly, one that is accepted over other offers. More and more people are becoming homeowners, so it’s important to prepare yourself for the mortgage process, home search, bidding wars, and what to do if you don’t get the home of your dreams.

6 strategies to getting your offer accepted:

COMPETITIVE OFFER

In a seller’s market, starting strong is a good rule of thumb. With a CMA (Competitive Market Analysis), we can assess the property’s market value and determine what it’s worth in the current market.

EARNEST MONEY

Your deposit shows how serious you are as a buyer. Double the amount the seller requests or what is customary in the area. Make sure you don’t back out of the contract without good reason. You’ll lose your earnest money if you do.

GIFT OF TIME

Please express your willingness to work with the sellers’ closing schedule. By asking the sellers when their ideal closing date is, the offer will feel like a win for them!

MAKE A
CONNECTION

You should tell the seller why you love their home. Is it the neighborhood park or the top-rated schools? Perhaps the size and design of the kitchen are exactly what you’ve been looking for?
Speak up! Establishing rapport with the sellers can stir their emotions. When they review potential offers, help them remember your name.

LIMIT
CONTINGENCIES

Negotiations can be delayed by contingencies. Although they can be helpful to buyers, they can be a nuisance to sellers who are eager to move on. It’s important to avoid unnecessary contingencies. According to the National Association of Realtors, the offer with the fewest contingencies is often the most attractive.

ESCALATION
CLAUSE

An escalation clause allows you to automatically raise the amount of your bid by a certain dollar amount, up to a certain dollar amount over any other offers. If you do not get your offer accepted, your “cap” amount needs to reflect the most you are willing to pay for that home. In a competitive market, we only have one shot, and I know the tricks of the trade!
An inspection can identify defects in a home you are considering buying. You may be able to negotiate with the seller to fix any issues that are revealed during the inspection.

step 6:order an INSPECTION

An inspection can identify defects in a home you are considering buying. You may be able to negotiate with the seller to fix any issues that are revealed during the inspection.

A reputable home inspector will inspect the home during the inspection period. Following this, the inspector will provide us with a list of findings.

step 7:

NEGOTIATE FINAL OFFER

Did your home inspection reveal any problems? There are several ways you can proceed:

  • You can ask the seller to do the repairs
  • Ask for closing cost credits
  • To compensate for the repairs, ask the seller to reduce the sale price
  • (If you have an inspection contingency in place) Back out of the transaction
  • Move forward with the transaction

To negotiate for repairs or credits, get an estimate from a local contractor or construction professional. I will handle the negotiations for you if you’re working with a buyer’s agent like me. Ensure your agent has a copy of the inspection report to use as leverage when dealing with the listing agent and the sellers.

STEP 8:appraisal oRDERED

An appraisal is performed by an independent party of the bank, and is not part of the process that consumers can choose from.

When your home is under contract with a financed offer, an appraisal is required before you can move forward with the sale. Whether or not you make it to closing without further negotiations depends on the outcome.

step 9:schedule your move

step 10:closing dAY

Closing Day

At closing, you sign ownership and insurance paperwork and receive your keys to your new home! Closing typically takes four to six weeks. Your purchase funds are held in escrow during this time, where your money is kept safe until the transaction is complete.

FINAL WALK THROUGH

We will perform a final walkthrough of the property within 24 hours of closing to make sure it is in good condition. The final inspection takes about an hour. If the seller agreed to make repairs, we will make sure they have been completed.

We will be sure to:

  • Make sure all appliances are functioning properly
  • Check for leaks in all faucets and run the water
  • Open and close garage doors with the opener
  • Flush the toilets
  • Start the garbage disposal and exhaust fans

CLOSING TABLE

Who will be there:

  • Your agent
  • The seller
  • The seller’s agent
  • Your loan officer

BRING TO CLOSING

  • Government-issued photo ID

RECEIVE YOUR KEYS

Congrats! I know it was a lot of work, but now you can officially call yourself homeowners! It’s time to throw a party and get to know your neighbors!

contactDOUG FERRELL

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    Office Location

    Doug Ferrell, REALTOR®
    Realty Executives Main Street, LLC
    1022 S. Lapeer Road
    Lapeer, MI 48446

    (810) 691-0731

    DOUG@LAPEERREALTY.COM