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Buyer’s Guide:

The following information is intended to provide an introduction to the unique purchasing process. At The Holyfield Company, we can assist you with every step of the process from getting pre-approved to the final steps of making the purchase. It is recommended that you choose a professional real estate agent you feel comfortable working with and rely on their experience and knowledge in making the final decision to purchase your home.
Preparation and Groundwork:

Work with your agent to complete the following:
  • Speak with a Mortgage Lender/Broker and obtain written pre-approval for a loan. This helps you determine your purchasing power and enables you to act expeditiously and with confidence when you identify the property you would like to purchase. Additionally, a pre-approval assures the seller that you are qualified, providing you with an advantage when making an offer and negotiating on a home.
  • The customary deposit or earnest money upon making an offer and executing a real estate sales contract is $1,000.00. Ideally, be prepared to have those funds when you begin your search. The balance of the down payment will be due upon closing.
  • A good rule of thumb is that your total annual housing costs should not exceed 25-30% of your gross reported income, and your total debt should not exceed 35-40% (except in the case of substantial liquid assets). Housing costs include: mortgage interest, secondary residences and any other mortgage in which your name appears.
  • Review your credit report. Remove all disputed claims and clear up any debt if possible, especially outstanding credit card balances.

Strategies for finding your home:

  • Define your search parameters. This typically includes price range, location, size, type of ownership and building amenities (if appropriate). Ultimately, flexibility will only work to your advantage.
  • Choose an agent to work with. Since agencies have almost all the same listings, working with one agent allows you to efficiently schedule appointments to see only those properties that meet your needs.
  • Talk to your agent. Be specific about your needs, price point, locations of interest and any other amenities you require in your new home.
  • When scheduling appointments, try to be available during the week. Evenings, early morning and late afternoon are also good times to schedule appointments. In addition, by avoiding weekend and open house showings you allow yourself to view properties without fighting crowds of people (competition), which gives you more opportunities to ask questions and get a "feel" for the property.

Choosing an Agent:

The job of your agent is to support you in finding the right home with the best possible terms, and to aid you through the entire process. Your agent will explain the process of buying a home, and familiarize you with the various activities, documents and procedures that you will experience throughout the transaction.

Your Real Estate Professional should be:

  • Knowledgeable about the communities of interest to you.
  • Aware of the local and state requirements affecting your transaction.
  • Effective in multi-party, face-to-face negotiations.
  • Highly-trained, with access to programs for continued learning and additional certifications.
  • Technology driven.
  • Supported by professional staff.

Financing:

Most real estate professionals and mortgage lenders recommend pre-qualifying for a loan before selecting a home to purchase. This process will help you:

  • Determine the price range you can afford.
  • Understand the types of loans you qualify for.
  • Determine what your monthly payment will be.
  • Estimate the down payment and closing costs.
  • Maintain an advantage in the negotiating process.

The Loan Process:

Your agent will help you to select a mortgage lender. Once you have made your decision, these are the steps of the process:

  • Application - All pertinent documentation is obtained. Fees and down payments are discussed, and the borrower will receive a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and a Truth-in-lending statement (TIL), itemizing the rates and associated costs for the loan. You will be asked to provide certain documents to your lender in order that your loan can be processed in a timely manner.
  • Loan Submission - Once all the necessary documentation is in, your completed file is submitted to a lender for approval.
  • Loan Approval (Underwriting) - Loan approval, or underwriting, generally takes 24 to 72 hours. Parties are notified of the approval and any loan conditions that must be received before the loan can close.
  • Closing - Once all parties have signed the loan documents, they are returned to the lender. If all the forms have been properly executed, the lender sends the loan funds by wire transfer. At this point, the borrower finishes the loan process and actually buys the house.

Finding and Choosing the Right Home

Based on criteria that you and your agent establish together, your agent will help you find the perfect home. There are many factors to consider in selecting a property:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Room count
  • Amenities
  • Schools
  • Shopping and entertainment
  • Cost

Your agent will apply their extensive community knowledge and professional resources to research available properties, and show you the homes that best meet your needs. If you find a property that interests you through the Internet or your own research, let your agent know so that a showing can be arranged.

As you view different properties, your criteria may change. Open and direct communication with your agent is a key element of a successful property search.

Making an Offer

Once you have found the home that’s right for you, your agent will use their real estate expertise to conduct research necessary to help you structure an effective offer. This is when your agent’s negotiation skills and superior market knowledge come into play. When an offer is made, the seller will have the option of accepting, rejecting or counter-offering. With your input, your agent will negotiate the best possible terms for you.

Your agent will draft the real estate sales contract and advise you about contingencies, customary practices, and state and local codes and regulations. Home warranty, title and escrow arrangements will also be detailed in the offer. Although your agent will give you advice and information, it is your decision as to the exact price and terms that you wish to offer.

Managing the Escrow

When the real estate sales contract agreement is accepted and signed by all parties, your agent will open escrow for you and your earnest money will be deposited in escrow. Your earnest money will be held in escrow and distributed upon closing or as otherwise required by the real estate sales contract and by law.

Removing Contingencies

Prior to closing, all of the contingencies of the real estate sales contract and underwriting requirements must be met. Your agent will coordinate this process. Typical contingencies include:

  • Approval of the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement.
  • Approval of the preliminary title report.
  • Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property.
  • Physical inspections of the property.
  • Repairs
  • Pest inspection and certification.
  • Acquisition of homeowner's insurance.
  • Other terms may be negotiated as contingencies for the protection of the parties.

Closing and Moving In!

When all of the conditions or contingencies have been met, you will sign your loan documents and closing papers. You will tender the balance of your down payment and other closing costs and your lender will tender the balance of the purchase price. The closing attorney or non-lawyer closing agent will conduct the closing and assume responsibility for documents, disbursements, and recording at the County Probate office. Upon closing you will take ownership and possession of your home. Your real estate agent will remain a point of contact after closing and is a valuable resource for planning and coordinating your move and final details. Do not hesitate to contact them for assistance after closing.


 

 
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