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WE’LL GUIDE YOU STEP-BY-STEP
Okay, so you found your dream home and you can’t wait to move in…but, wait, not so fast! You may have thought finding the perfect home which meets all your criteria would be the hardest part; but, the hard part has just begun. Negotiating and closing can also be tedious and frustrating. ofTroy and his team are excellent at guiding you through each step and making it as painless as possible. This page gives you a little preview of what to expect and what you can do to facilitate the process.
FINANCES: CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRICE
Usually, before you start looking for a home, you need to know how much you can afford or want to spend. If you aren’t already working with a mortgage broker, Troy can recommend someone who can help you. Basically, you need to evaluate your income, assets, savings and other financial resources and get “pre-approved.” The lender will review your documents and will determine how much your loan can be which will help determine your price range. This can be done quickly and confidentially. Later, with a full evaluation of your finances, the mortgage broker will determine your interest rate and how much your monthly payments will be.
LET’S GO SHOPPING!
This is the fun part. A good real estate agent is a good listener. After spending some time with you and getting to know your wants and needs, like a bird dog, Troy gets to work to find your home. You are going to see a lot of homes in different conditions and neighborhoods. There will be a lot of strengths and weaknesses to consider. It may help to keep a journal and take photos so you can keep track of details.
NEGOTIATING AN OFFER
Negotiation is the key to a good deal and that’s where Troy’s experience comes in. He knows how to negotiate financing, concessions and improvements to ensure that you get the best deal possible. Price and terms are both important. Once you and Troy’s team have researched the “comps,” (prices for which similar houses in the area have sold), you are ready to make an offer. Experts are available to help you evaluate the condition of the plumbing, electric, basement and property lines. Some homes, known as “handyman specials” need a lot of work while others may have “good bones” and need just a few aesthetic improvements. Being mindful of your budget, improvement plans, and closing costs when you consider purchasing a home will help you get it right.
Escrow is a way of protecting both parties in a transaction by having a third party hold the money until all terms are met. Important business happens during escrow. Your accepted, signed purchase and sale agreement is turned over to a title company. The title company acts as an objective party, working for both the buyer and the seller. The title company will give you an order confirmation and introduce themselves to all parties in a timely manner. The title company will begin a title search on the property as a first step in providing title insurance. You and Troy can have a conversation about title insurance. In Idaho, the seller usually pays for title insurance; but it is negotiated. Your title company will give all parties a preliminary title policy, usually within the same time period as your due diligence and inspection. This should be read carefully and understood. The title company works with the buyer to receive money and will provide paperwork for both parties to sign, changing ownership.
Inspection is so important that it deserves its own paragraph. Troy recommends that every purchase has serious due diligence, and at the very least, a quality home inspection. After you have made an offer, Troy and the team can help you arrange for a home inspection. This will give your home a thorough “going-over” and evaluate hard-to-see aspects that could be hiding serious problems. The inspector will check the plumbing, electrical, HVAC system, roof, basement, building code compliance, pest damage, and anything else that may cost money to repair. Both you and the seller will receive a written report. Then you may have the option to renegotiate your offer, ask for certain repairs or concessions, or even withdraw your offer if the sellers won’t agree to repair any damages or deficiencies.
Once all contingencies have been met and both the buyer and seller are happy, the escrow officer will be instructed by the buyer and seller to move forward with the closing. A meeting will be setup, usually after the buyer’s funds are available, and not before. The buyer and seller usually meet separately at the title company with their escrow officer. For the buyer, if there’s a loan involved, this meeting might take as long as 2 hours because of lender paperwork. The seller might be done with this meeting in 30 minutes, not having as much paperwork to sign. When the buyer and seller have signed everything, the escrow officer will simultaneously give the seller the money and record the new buyer’s ownership documentation at the county courthouse. After it has recorded, Troy will be notified and he will call you and inform you.
Congratulations! You are now officially a proud, new homeowner!