How Do I Buy A Home?
Pros vs. Cons of a Buyers Agency
1. Q: Debra, what do I need to do before I think about purchasing a home?
A: Get Your Finances in Order
- Annual Income
- Amount of Cash you have for a down payment*
- Other Home Loans
- Credit Card Balances
- Other Loan Balances (Vehicles, etc.)
- School Loans
- Other factors affecting your income e.g. child support, tax payments, dividends, etc.
Often when people are considering buying a home whether it be a first time investment or another home, they believe they can just puchase one like buying a new item for a kitchen. That is not usually the case. Here are some things you should do before you buy a home.
Check with a lender to see what you qualify for.
You should know facts such as:
*Note: Some first time home buyer loan programs do not require a down payment.
2. Q: Debra, Do I need to be prequalified?
A: It is generally a good idea to get prequalified.
Many sellers require a prequalification letter with your offer to purchase. So you should have that readily available when it comes time to make an offer. In general it will make your offer look stronger.
3. Q: Debra, what is the cost of prequalification?
A: There is no cost associated with getting prequalified.
4. Q: Debra, what is prequalification?
A: Prequalification is where you have spoken to a lender about a possible home loan.
This is when you have spoken to a lender, usually over the phone. You will provide them with the information described above. They in turn will give you an estimate of the price of a home that you should buy.
IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE QUALIFIED!!
People often think because they are prequalified they can get the loan when they find the home of their dreams. That is not true. At this point in the loan process they have not run a credit check, or verified any of the information you have provided. There may be things on your credit report that are inaccurate or that you have forgotten about that may inhibit the loan process, or affect the loan amount.
5. Q: If I find a home that is not listed by you can you still show it to me?
I am able to show you ANY home, new or resale, no matter who the listing broker is. If you see a home advertised in the newspaper, or if you drive by a home that interests you, please call me! If you visit an Open House or a New Home Community, please tell the seller’s agent in the home that I am representing you.
Remember, home information is available to me on all homes listed for sale even if it is not a Harry Norman Realtors listing.
6. Q: Debra when we find a house we like how do we buy it?
A: It is a many step process. Here is a brief overview of the process
You will need an earnest money check to accompany the Offer to Purchase. This may be in the form of a personal check, or in some cases a certified check. A minimum of 1% of the sales price is deemed adequate in most cases. When your written Offer to Purchase is presented to the seller, he has three choices:
- He can accept your offer
- He can reject your offer
- He can make a counteroffer.
Negotiations after the initial written offer are conducted until an agreement is reached. When the seller accepts your offer, or you accept his counteroffer in writing, you have a binding contract for sale on that property. Your earnest money will be deposited in the listing broker’s trust account to be held until closing.
7. Q: Debra, is it best to make a really low offer at first?
A: If your offer is too low you may take some unwanted risks.
It is important to remember that if you make a low offer on a home and the offer is rejected or countered, another prospective buyer may submit an offer that may be accepted by the seller before you have the opportunity to submit another offer or accept the seller’s counter to your offer. I have even heard of experiences where a buyer made such a low offer to the seller, the seller was insulted and refused to entertain any more offers from the client.
8. Q: Debra, would it be in my best interest to work with several Realtors and not just one?
A: It is in YOUR best interest to work exclusively with me.
I have access to every home that is in the Atlanta Area Multiple Listing Service. All realtors are self-employed. Agents are paid at the closing of your new home. Your loyalty is appreciated, and in return, you will receive the maximum in service from myself and my team.