The Home Buying Process
Buying a new home can be one of the most exciting and challenging decisions you can make. With the right help, it can also be one of the most rewarding. I’ve found there are several key decisions that need to be made when searching for a home. They revolve around financing, selecting the right home, negotiating the price and terms, and navigating the closing process. My job is to assist you with each decision and guide you through the entire home buying process.
Financing Your New Home
Selecting the right mortgage is one of the most important choices you’ll make during the home buying process, and it can also be one of the most confusing. There are dozens of different products designed to meet the needs of every home buyer imaginable. Having a background in finance and accounting, I’ve always enjoyed pulling apart and analyzing “the numbers”. Whether you choose a Conventional or FHA, Conforming or Jumbo, Fixed Rate or Adjustable Rate mortgage, I will help you sort through the numbers so you can make an informed decision.
Finding Your New Home
This is typically the most enjoyable part of the home buying process. We’ll work together to outline exactly what you’re looking for, and I’ll screen as many homes as possible that meet your criteria. I’ll also ask you to send me any homes that you may have found to build a comprehensive list. Now, it’s time to schedule viewings. As we walk through each home, I often ask my buyers subtle questions. I’ve found this to be the most effective way to tease out exactly what is most important to each of my clients. This can save a lot of time and helps my buyers dial in exactly what they want.
Offers, Counteroffers and Negotiations
Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, we need to make sure we get it for the best terms possible. There’s more to this than just negotiating the price of the home. Items such as closing costs, repairs, inspections, contingencies, and earnest money also need to be addressed and negotiated.
Determining the best offer price needs to be done carefully, and it should be backed up with solid research supporting our position. During the last 2 years, we’ve seen a very strong Sellers’ Market, and over 60% of the deals I’ve worked on have ended-up in a multiple offer situation (where a seller receive offers from several buyers at once). These can be nerve-racking, but I’ve done extensive research on how to effectively win these bids, and have had success even when we didn’t submit the highest bid.
Another item that needs to be addressed during the home buying process is the inspection report. Once we have negotiated the contract, the buyer typically has the opportunity to hire a professional to inspect the property for any defects. As a buyer, you’ll have a specific time period (usually 10-14 days is negotiated) to complete this inspection and ask the seller to correct any defects. This is often called the “second round” of negotiations. An experienced agent will have already laid the groundwork for this round by identifying potential issues (such as the age and condition of mechanicals) and taken them into consideration during the original contract negotiations.
Navigating the Closing Process
Once the offer has been accepted, and the inspection process completed, it’s time to work towards a smooth closing. This period is generally fairly quiet but there are things we need to keep an eye on to ensure we don’t run into problems. Staying in close contact with all parties during this time is paramount, because a delayed closing can create big problems for everyone. Having dealt with last minute flood plain discoveries, HOA changes that impact underwriting, financing difficulties, water leaks, etc., I know how to scan for potential problems and eliminate them before they become an issue.
Closing and Moving into Your New Home
After you’ve closed on your new home, you’ll probably still have many questions. How do I set up the utilities? What happens to any mail that isn’t forwarded correctly? What if there are problems with appliances? These are just a few of the most common questions that come up after closing. Just because you’ve settled into your new home doesn’t mean my job is done. I like to stay in close contact during the first week or two after closing to make sure everything is going smoothly, but I also encourage my clients to call me any time they have questions.
My goal is that you’ll have such a wonderful home buying experience, you’ll refer me to your friends and family should they ever need help navigating the home buying process.
Have more questions about the home buying process? Click here and send me a note.
Additional Buyer Resources and Related Articles
First-time Homebuyer’s Guide
Atlanta Homebuyer FAQs
5 Tips for Buying a New Construction Home
Atlanta Real Estate Predictions for 2017
Are You Being Watched? …Buyers Beware