There is often more to the buying process than meets the eye, here are a few things that might help…
We encourage our clients to interview a couple/few REALTORS. Buying a property is a team process, and it is essential that you are comfortable with who you have chosen to work with. We begin by providing information about brokerage relationships. This is how we would represent a Buyer or Seller or sometimes both. In some situations, we may have an exclusive relationship with a buyer or seller or could have a more neutral relationship which is called a transaction broker status. We will go into this in more detail once we begin working with you, however here is an example of the 2012 Buyer Disclosure. After discussing your wants and needs, we will select properties (on paper or via email) that we feel that you might be interested in viewing, then we proceed to set up showings when you have arranged a time to view properties. There is a fine line of viewing just the right number of properties, so that you can compare and not forget the specific features of the properties. More importantly, seeing a good cross section of the market so you can easily sift through what is important to you and how various locations or property types compare. Feedback to us during this time is extremely important in order to pinpoint what you like and don’t like. We might know of another property that is not currently on the list, that we think would suit you better. If you find a property that is acceptable, we will plan our negotiation strategies.
Things that will be discussed include:
- What is customary in our area…
- Who usually pays what?
- Is there a local transfer tax?
- Granby Ranch has a 2% tax and the Town of Winter Park has a 1% tax
- What are the costs associated with the closing?
- Multiple offer strategy if needed.
- We will explain what is an Improvement Location Certificate (ILC) and do you need this?
- Is there an HOA (Home Owner’s Association)? How does the HOA effect you? How do you go about researching the HOA?
- What earnest money is required when making an offer?
- We will refer you to your tax advisor for what the tax consequences might be.
- Will you want to do a 1031 tax deferred exchange?
- Making an offer and discussion about price, terms, dates, deadlines, and time of possession.
- How should you hold the title?
- Extra title coverage for the Buyer?
- How are inclusions and/or exclusions handled within a contract?
- How are prorations handled? Taxes, utilities, HOA dues…
We will put together a written offer and deliver to the listing agent. We will negotiate an offer or other scenarios such as:
- Accept competing offer
If the contract is accepted, the listing agent will deposit your earnest money.
Title work will be ordered and checked to see if an Improvement Location Certificate (ILC) is required.
The Buyer’s #1 Priority is to apply for a loan in a timely matter, this is your responsibility. We can recommend lenders that have worked with and know the local market and do a good job facilitating the process. The mortgage application must be done by the contract deadline and it is a good idea to ask your lender for a pre-qualification letter. This shows the Seller that you are working towards getting your loan, and the bank feels that you have a good chance of qualifying for a loan. The lender will order an appraisal. You will give the loan contact info to us and we will pass this information to the title company, so all parties working for the transaction can communicate easily. You will need to keep us in the loop if anything changes during the loan application process.
The Buyer’s # 2 Priority is to call inspectors and order the inspection. Mara and Brenda have worked with several home inspectors who they trust and will be happy to share their contact information with you.
If you are looking at buying land to build on, then you may wish to get the builder and excavator to look at the site, discuss well or septic options or tests. We will share with you various companies, contractors etc…
You will then consider what to do once the inspections are done. We have several options.
- The property is acceptable “as is”
- Negotiate for fixes or credits to fix
- Make a written notice to terminate the contract by the deadline
The realtor and the Buyer’s # 3 Priority is to order a survey or an ILC if required for extra title coverage.
Your will need to take care of any contingencies such as delivering the earnest money by the specified date, getting any loans, and selling any other property. You are also responsible for investigating (due diligence) any Homeowner Association, any governing documents and/or any covenants. You may wish to call neighbors with any questions as well as call the town or county entity. Mara and Brenda will help you with gathering the documents and collecting contact information for people you wish to speak with.
With all due diligence done, and lending moving forward, we will schedule the closing. If done by mail, it will be necessary to determine where the documents are to be delivered. A Power of Attorney will be necessary if one person is not available. The closing may be done in person with the parties present. It will be necessary to have signatures notarized. All work contracted by the Buyer and Seller must either be paid by closing or the contractor has given his bill to the title company to pay at closing. (There will be an affidavit signed to this effect at closing.)
We will check on the transfer of utilities. Seller’s agent normally has all of the account information and will transfer accounts into Buyer’s name.
We will notify you to bring “good funds” (certified bank check) to the closing for the amount to be determined by the lender and the title company or else to supply wire instructions to wire funds to the title company. The Buyer must bring his/her driver’s license to the closing.
If there is personal property included in the sale, it will be settled at closing with a county questionnaire about the value of the personal property. This may affect the loan as lenders do not want this amount included in the real estate loan. It may also affect the property appraisal or valuation. Hint: go for garage sale value.
We will do a final walk-through before closing. If you are not in town or available, we will go on your behalf.
We all will attend if the closing if done in person. Otherwise, we will contact you when all funds are received by the title company and the transaction is closed.
We will then supply you with the keys to your new home and closing contact information.