After I wrote this article, I decided to come back and REALLY encourage you to read through this. You do not have to memorize it or even refer to it again because we have done it so many times. Think of AREG as your pilot. You need to show up and do your part, but we will make sure we get you safely home.
The first step is one you take on your own. Some questions that you should ask yourself are;
1. Are you settled in your employment or retirement enough to put down roots? Generally you will need 2 years
of employment in order to qualify for a loan.
2. What is your budget? If you are not buying cash, you should determine a monthly payment amount that leaves
you with enough left over to “live”. It is very difficult to live comfortably if you are house rich and cash poor.
3. Ask yourself what features are very important for how you live and why. Put them in order of priority
i.e Must haves/Needs, would like, would not like, Will not consider. It is important to know what your deal
breakers are. You may not know this going in but will get there in the process.
- Now sit down and meet us. We will tell you about AREG and you tell us about you. This first step can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as 2 hours. It all depends on how long it takes us to determine if it is a "fit" or not. We will spend some intensive time together, so this is an important step.
- We can move right in Fact finding OR we can leave you with our Buyers Manual and make an appointment to come back. This is where we "get into your head" and start to assimilate who you are and what you need.
1. Location, neighborhood preferences.
2. Financial parameters.
3. Needs and Preferences. Please refer to the Needs/Want checklist tab (or click on this link) under BUY to
help you get a start. Feel free to add all the detail you wish.
4. Determine categories of property to pursue, i.e. Pre-foreclosure, Foreclosure, MLS, Private Referral,
REO, Short Sale
- Buyer-Broker Agreement. Now that you get a feel for how we work, we have gotten to know you, our next step is to agree to work together by signing a Buyers Agency Agreement. You can read it on the FORMS tab in the web site. We use this to officially commence a relationship that protects you the buyer and us as your agents. It creates a fiduciary relationship that creates buyer confidentiality for your private information and reserves our resources to work for you.
- Get Pre-approved to finance your real estate by one of our Mortgage specialists or by your own financial contact. We have multiple that we have worked with and can recommend. We recommend you talk to a few and choose the one you like. The only caveat here is if you are interested in pursuing foreclosures as one of your property sources, yours needs to be familiar with financing out of hard money if you are not able to pay cash at the auction.
- Now let’s schedule some time to start looking. The first time or two we will choose an assortment designed to help us hone our searches. It is VERY IMPORTANT THAT ALL PARTIES INFLUENCING THE CHOICE ARE INCLUDED IN THIS PHASE. Now I don’t mean minors that will not have input. It is actually hard for children to see places and not get attached. But Husband and wife for sure.
- Commence looking for you. Now that we have gotten into your head, we will do a lot of searching and looking for you. Our goal is to show you what you are looking for. This is instead of dragging you all over just to find that the listing was not what it was cracked up to be. Some of this can’t be avoided, we just try to limit it and do the work for you.
- Now you have found the house you are ready to make an offer on. At this point AREG goes into hyper drive to get the offer put together, signed and presented as quickly as possible. Your part is to HAVE YOUR CHECKBOOK with you so you can write an earnest money check right then. NO, it does not get cashed right away, but a copy of it goes along with the offer.
- OFFER- You must deep in the rhythm of the market. If it is a seller’s market, you must work fast and present a strong offer to even be considered. If it is a buyer’s market we can come in with a more aggressive offer. This step is critical and this is one area AREG really excels. Negotiation is a joint effort of both brokers and the buyer and seller. BUT you must rely on AREG to drive the bus. We are really good at winning deals and making sure not to leave any money on the table while keeping the deal moving the direction you the buyer wants.
- MUTUAL AGREEMENT- is when both buyer and seller have agreed to all terms, Part of the terms are your contingencies. CONTINGENCIES are particular to each transaction but under most circumstance include at least; Inspection, Finance, and Title. All the rest are specific to the property. The clock starts at MUTUAL AGREEMENT.
- The first thing we do is schedule an INSPECTION. This is usually $350 to $450 depending on size of the house and location. You must bring a check or cash for this to pay the inspector on the spot. Most inspectors will not accept credit cards or a check from AREG.
- Then we respond to the seller regarding the inspection. This is where we accept the report and continue with the transaction or request the seller do work or deduct money from the deal. EVERY property has some things wrong with it. Inspection is not the place to get every tiny thing taken care of. It is to determine if there is a major item and determine between buyer and seller how that item will be addressed.
- The next steps regarding the property transaction are mostly taken care of by AREG. Items like review of Title and preparation of docs for escrow and a million little coordination’s to keep the transaction moving toward close. I will not bore you with a list. Your focus now switches to FINANCING.
- FINANCING is a laundry list of documents that are required by the new underwriting laws. Your loan officer will be putting together a package to present to the underwriter. There are a lot of moving parts here so the more prompt you are at providing what they are asking for the better. In many cases some of your information will then prompt the request for clarification etc. On important RULE OF THUMB. Once you have provided your bank statements, you will need to document any deposits as to where the money came from. Keep that in mind. AND DO NOT BUY ANY MAJOR ITEMS FROM THIS POINT UNTIL YOU CLOSE. EVERYTHING SHOWS AND THEY PULL THE RECORDS AGAIN RIGHT BEFORE YOU CLOSE.
- Now there will be a lull while everyone is working on your file. So you can be packing and preparing to move. One important thing to take care of is setting up your UTILITIES accounts under your name. You should have a list of who they are on your form 22K in your contract. Just ask us if you can’t find your copy.
- Lender DOCS ARE SENT TO ESCROW. And now you will need a signing appointment. Since you have chosen your closing date (or the bank chose it for you) you need to be VERY available 3-4 days prior to your close date.
- ASK YOUR ESCROW OFFICER to see your HUD1 Statement. If you want to know more about how to read it go to How to read a HUD linked here or under tab Title and Escrow. This is where you find out how much to bring to your closing. It is usually the last line on the page CASH FROM BUYER.
- Once you have a signing appointment and the amount you need to bring with you to close, now you need to decide how you are going to move your funds. Wire and Cashier’s checks are the most common. Ask your escrow officer which is better in your case. Then ask for wiring instructions if you choose that option. If it is a cashier’s check you will need to know how to have it made out and bring it to your closing.
- Now you wait one to 4 days and then you will get a call from us saying you are closed. Then we bring you your keys to your new house. You move and now it is your new home. Congratulations you made it.