FIRST TIME HOME BUYER’S GUIDE TO BUYING A HOME

Shannon Holmes TUTORIAL Leave a Comment

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Buying a home for the first time can be both exciting and a little daunting, so I have created a timeline of what to expect as I guide you through the process:

  • Hiring a professional with experience as a buyer’s agent is essential. In much the same way that it would be unwise to go to court without representation, it is also inadvisable to purchase a home without having someone to look out for YOUR interests. After all, your new home is likely to be one of your biggest investments. For this reason, I will ask you to sign a buyer agency agreement when working for you. For more information on this, please refer to my post, WHAT IS A BUYER AGENCY AGREEMENT?” by clicking the link.

 

  • Before beginning a home search, it is best to have been pre-approved by a lender subject to selecting the property. Expect to bring copies of bank statements, tax returns, and recent pay stubs to this meeting. You will also need to have established a credit history.  The lender will be able to let you know the price range of the home you will be able to afford. When making an offer, a pre-approval letter will show the sellers that you are ready and willing to buy.

 

  • At your convenience, we will begin to look at possible home choices.  Rest assured that I will show you all homes that will meet your needs until you have made your selection. I will then prepare a comprehensive market analysis, or CMA, in order to present a strong offer. This means that I will research what similar homes in the area have actually sold for in the last few months. As your buyer’s agent, I will help you draft an offer that will cover all aspects of the transaction, the goal being to get you the home of your dreams.

 

  • At this time, you will be expected to write a check for “earnest money” for about 1% of the purchase price of the home.  Depending on the circumstances, it could be less, and may be part of the negotiations. This “earnest money” lets the sellers know that you are serious about purchasing their home. Further negotiations may be necessary in order to come to an agreement.  Once the offer has been accepted and we have a “contract”, the money will be deposited into a special trust account.  At closing, this will be credited back to you.

 

  • I always recommend that a home inspection be performed as soon as possible after a contract exists.  This will make certain that any issues that come up after inspection can be satisfied before closing.

 

  • The next step will be to order title insurance. Title insurance is ordered to make certain you will be closing with a clear title to your new home, free of any judgments or liens.

 

  • A survey is the next thing to be ordered. This will ensure that no encroachments exist on your property, such as a fence or storage building, and that your property is completely within its boundaries.

 

  • It is advisable to have a home warranty for the first year in your new home.  This could cover any unexpected repairs, and I will ask the sellers provide one at their expense.

 

  • Because we live in the South, and are subject to termites, as well as other wood-destroying insects, it will be necessary to order a wood infestation report.  This inspection is designed to find any previous damage, or currently active colonies. This is another service that I will provide.

 

  • If any issues have arisen upon inspection of the home, an addendum will be written asking the sellers to take care of these matters.  This is especially important should any of these findings relate to health and safety.  Whatever needs to be done, I will make certain that it is accomplished prior to closing.

 

  • As we get nearer to closing, I will be tracking the progress of all aspects of the transaction, including the wood infestation report, title, and survey.  I will also tell you what you will need to bring with you to closing. A final walk-through of the property to make sure contingencies have been cleared, and you will be ready for the moving van!
About the Author
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Shannon Holmes

Shannon Holmes has been featured in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, as well as many other media platforms, for her real estate expertise. Shannon loves new technology, and is an expert at using that technology to have the most effective real estate marketing possible. Shannon services the Greater Birmingham Alabama areas of the Highway 280 Corridor, Mountain Brook, Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Chelsea, Helena, Pelham, and Alabaster. Shannon can be reached at (205) 706-3975, or by email at shholmes@realtysouth.com.

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