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Help! I Think I Might Be Ready to Buy a House! -- What's the First Step?

Couple sitting on steps of new home

Help!  I Think I Might Be Ready to Buy a House! -- What's the First Step?

So you've either recently decided to purchase a home in Greenwood -- or are at least considering the possibility.  You'll be joining the ranks of hundreds of families who realize that home ownership offers a number of benefits including building equity, saving for the future, and creating a welcoming environment for your family. But where do you begin?

Are you checking out Open Houses and searching for homes on-line?  Are you wondering how this whole process works?  What's the first step?  When do you actually start looking at homes?  Maybe you're driving through Greenwood neighborhoods trying to find the right location.  Are you reading blogs to find answers?  Maybe you've found a home you love on-line but wonder how you go about taking a look inside.  What's a pre-approval and how do you get one?  How long does it take to find a house, close and move in? 

Sound familiar? The thought of buying a home may seem a bit overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be!  The first step is to find an agent who will sit down with you, answer your questions and put together a plan based on your needs and time frame.  Then when you're ready to begin looking at homes, your agent becomes your "go to" contact.  You don't need to call every listing agent to schedule a showing, -- YOUR agent does that for you!  So how much does it cost to "hire" a buyer agent?  That's the best part -- nothing !  -- In central Indiana, the seller pays both the listing and buyer agent's fees.     

But even more importantly, when you're working with a buyer agent, they will be representing you, not a seller.  They won't be striving to "sell" you one particular house, but instead, working to find the "perfect place for you"!  Plus, it's just more convenient to work with one person throughout the transaction.  You will begin to build a relationship with your agent.  I know that after showing several homes, we begin to get a true understanding of what our buyers are looking for -- what neighborhoods, types of houses and features are important.  Then when something new comes on the market that looks like a good fit, we're quick to give them a call!

Here are some examples of what The Hoagland Group does when representing a buyer:

  • Meet with you prior to looking at properties to answer your questions and ensure you are comfortable with the process.  Often we meet for a "coffee chat" (or dessert, if you're not a coffee drinker!) just to get acquainted.
  • Give you a Buyer Handbook to Home Ownership for future reference.
  • Review a transaction time line -- when do things happen? 
  • Go over a Purchase Agreement, so you will know what to expect when you find your dream home.
  • Explain how Indiana "in arrears" property taxes work
  • Share what a pre-approval is and why it's important
  • Introduce you to a great lender who will help you with the financing aspect of your purchase.
  • Help you evaluate different financing options to ensure the perfect fit for your financial situation.
  • Provide an estimate of your closing costs.
  • Put together a realistic "wish list", location and price range for your home search.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of new construction vs existing homes
  • Introduce you to great builders if you decide to consider new construction
  • Get you started on a custom home search - you can register to save searches and receive email or RSS feeds daily. 
  • Visit properties together at your convenience - that includes any home for sale, even New Construction and those For Sale By Owner.
  • Assist you in evaluating houses and neighborhoods -- which areas have the best re-sale? 
  • Help you determine the right price and write an offer when you find the "Perfect Place for You"! 
  • Represent you through the negotiating process
  • Provide a custom checklist with all of the buyer "to do's" for each transaction and check in periodically to see how things are going and offer assistance as needed
  • Introduce you to excellent Home Inspectors and coordinate scheduling as necessary
  • Write a Buyer Response to Inspection and be your advocate ensuring all necessary repairs to the property are completed prior to closing.
  • Follow up with appraisers as needed
  • Provide your lender with all requested documents
  • Recommend a Home Owners Insurance Agent if needed
  • Assist with information and timing to transfer the utilities
  • Review the HUD Settlement Statement with you prior to closing
  • Attend your closing -- we call it the "Celebration Table"!
  • Follow up to ensure the possession of the property goes smoothly and everything is as expected

Having a great agent as your advocate from beginning to end makes all the difference!

 

 

Originally posted by Steve and Tonda Hoagland on the Hoagland Team Active Rain Blog

 

Unless otherwise noted, blogs are authored by Tonda or Steve Hoagland

 

 

Comment balloon 0 commentsTonda & Steve Hoagland • August 13 2010 02:27PM

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