Are you a home buyer? You’re in the right place!
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for homes for sale in Lapeer County or in nearby counties – St. Clair, Tuscola, Sanilac, Oakland, Genesee or Macomb – everything you need to know about how to prepare for a GREAT home buying experience is below. I hope you’ll find this information helpful.
Every home buyer’s experience is unique. If you need the help of trained, expert professionals, and don’t see the answers you need here, that’s what our team is for. Give us a call at (810) 834-6606 and let us help!
Until then, read and enjoy our Buyer’s Guide. Congratulations on beginning the home buying process!
10 steps to Closing
10 STEPS TO Closing
Step 1:Find the
STEP 4:Start home
STEP 6:Order an
FIND THE RIGHT Team
Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases in a lifetime. It is essential to have an experienced agent in your corner, always looking out for your best interest. A buyer agent’s fiduciary responsibility is to represent the buyer and to ensure that their interests are protected.
After all, a seller has someone in their corner. A listing agent has an allegiance to the seller. Their goal is to get the seller top dollar for their home. There is incredible value in having someone working for YOUR best interests when buying a home.
HIRING AN AGENT? HERE’S WHAT TO ASK THEM:
- What education/experience do you have in the real estate field?
- How many recent sales do you have?
- How long have you been in the real estate business?
- How do you assist buyers in closing the deal?
- How can I communicate with you?
- What are your hours?
GETTING YOU IN THE DOOR
We will narrow down the homes that fit your unique wants and needs get you in the door! Looking at dozens of homes every week, I can help you identify potential problems within a home.
BEING ON YOUR SIDE
A buyer’s agent represents your best interests. With a pulse on the local market and a sound understanding of how various amenities effect the value of a home, we make sure we submit a competitive offer on the right house for you.
HANDLING CHALLENGING CONVERSATIONS
When repairs or changes in price need to made, I will be your guide and handle requesting any repairs or changes in price to the sellers.
BRINGING LOCAL EXPERTISE TO THE TABLE
Working daily with inspectors, contractors, and negotiating with sellers, I have the market knowledge you need to get the best results from your purchase. Understanding the local real estate market can go a long way when it comes time to make an offer on a house.
SOLVING PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY START
I work to anticipate and tackle any issues that may arise throughout the entire process to make buying a home a fun and stress-free process for you.
STAYING ON TOP OF THE PAPERWORK
Buying a home involves many types of documentation. I have the experience & knowledge to navigate real estate contracts, ensuring nothing is overlooked, and that you truly understand what a paper means
before ever signing on the dotted line.
Step 2: PREPARE FINANCES
Mortgage lenders recommend you do not stretch yourself beyond buying a home that is more than 3 to 5 times your annual household income. If you are not purchasing a home with cash, you will need a mortgage pre-approval provided by your mortgage lender. A lender will work with you to get a loan that meets your needs. Some buyers are concerned with keeping their monthly payments as low as possible, others want to make sure that their monthly payments never increase.
FINANCIALS AND MORTGAGE PAYMENT
- Study your credit report. Make note of any errors you see and talk to your lender about them.
- Compile necessary documents, including pay stubs, bank statements, and past tax returns.
- Determine how much of a payment you are comfortable with. Don’t forget you will have taxes and insurance on top of your base mortgage payment!
SAVE CASH FOR A DOWN PAYMENT & OTHER EXPENSES
In order to make your dream of buying a home a reality, you will need to save cash for your down payment, earnest money, closing costs & home inspector
- A Down Payment is typically between 3% & 20% of the purchase price.
- Earnest Money is money you put down to show you’re serious about purchasing a home.
It’s also known as a good faith deposit.
- Closing Costs for the buyer run between 2% & 5% of the loan amount.
- A Home Inspection costs $300 to $500.
Comparison shop from a diverse group of reputable lenders in all 50 states, ranging from small, regional providers to larger, well-known brands such as Citi and Bank of America. You’ll get a personalized quote and can read lender reviews and ratings to help gain insights into which lender is right for you. Find out if you qualify for a special loan, such as a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan or any special home buying financing options through state or federal programs.
Make sure you get that mortgage pre-approval letter — it’ll make you a more competitive buyer.
Note: Being pre-approved, unlike being pre-qualified, means you’ve actually been approved by a lender for a specific loan amount. You will need to provide documented financial information (income, statements, assets, debt & credit reports etc.) to be reviewed & verified by the lender.
How to Prepare for a Mortgage:
- Find out if you qualify for a special loan, such as a VA, FHA, USDA or HUD home buying program.
- Request quotes from multiple lenders and comparison shop for loans.
- Get preapproved for a mortgage and receive your letter.
step 4:start home shopping
Make a list of the things you’ll need to have in the house. Ask yourself how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need and get an idea of how much space you desire. How big do you want the kitchen to be? Do you need lots of closets and cabinet space? Do you need a big yard for your kids and/or pets to play in?
Once you’ve made a list of your must-haves, don’t forget to think about the kind of neighborhood you want, types of schools in the area, the length of your commute to and from work, and the convenience of local shopping. Take into account your safety concerns as well as how good the rate of home appreciation is in the area.
How to Begin the Shopping Process:
- Get a head start by compiling your home wish list.
- Spend time in each area, imagining yourself living there.
- Find properties in your price range in your preferred neighborhoods.
- Visit open houses and have one of our team members schedule private showings.
Other Things to Check & Consider:
We will make sure to check out the little details of each house.
Test the plumbing.
Try the electrical system.
Open and close the windows & doors to make sure they work properly.
Evaluate the neighborhood and surrounding areas.
How much traffic is on the street?
Is it conveniently located to schools, shopping, restaurants, & parks?
Step 5:MAKE an OFFER
6 strategies to getting your offer accepted:
A good rule of thumb, specifically in a seller’s market, is to start strong. To do this, we will assess the property’s market value with a CMA (Competitive Market Analysis) and determine what it’s worth in the current market.
This deposit signals how serious a buyer you are. Try doubling the amount that the seller requests or that is customary in the area. So, be sure you do not back out of the contract for no good reason. If you do, you’ll lose your earnest money.
GIFT OF TIME
Express your willingness to work with the sellers’ timetable to go to closing. We can ask the sellers when their ideal closing date is so the offer will make them feel like they are winning!
Tell the seller why you love their home. Is it the neighborhood park or access to top-rated schools? Maybe the kitchen size and design is everything you’ve dreamed of?
Speak up! Establishing rapport with the sellers can tug at their emotions. So, help them to remember your name when they review potential offers.
Contingencies can add time to the negotiation process. They’re beneficial to buyers, but can be a nuisance to sellers who are ready to move on fast. It’s important to avoid any unnecessary contingencies. The National Association of Realtors suggests the offer with the fewest contingencies is often the most
An escalation clause is a way to
automatically escalate your bid by a
certain dollar amount, up to a certain dollar amount over any other offers. Keep in mind, your “cap” amount needs to reflect the top dollar you are willing to pay for that home knowing if you do not get
your offer accepted, you are okay with the outcome. We get one shot in a competitive market and I have the tricks of the trade!
step 6:order an INSPECTION
A home inspection can help identify deficiencies in a home you’re considering purchasing. If the inspection reveals problems are at work or repairs are needed, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to fix those issues.
During the inspection period, we will schedule an inspection with a reputable home inspector to do a thorough investigation of the home. Once this is complete, the inspector will provide us with a list of findings.
NEGOTIATE FINAL OFFER
Did your home inspection reveal problems with the home? Here are your options on how to proceed:
- Ask the seller to make the repairs themselves
- Ask for credits toward your closing costs
- Ask the seller to reduce the sales price to make up for the repairs
- Back out of the transaction (if you have an inspection contingency in place)
- Move forward with the deal
In order to negotiate for repairs or credits, start by getting an estimate from a local contractor or construction professional for how much the repairs will cost. If you’re working with a buyer’s real estate agent like me, I will handle the negotiations on your behalf. Make sure your agent has a copy of the inspection report to use as leverage when working with the listing agent and their sellers.
STEP 8:appraisal oRDERED
An appraisal is an independent party of the bank and is not a part of the process that consumers are able to choose.
When your home is under contract with a financed offer, you can’t move forward with the sale until an appraisal is done on your home. The outcome can affect whether or not youMake it to closing without further negotiations.
step 9:schedule your move
step 10:closing dAY
FINAL WALK THROUGH
We will do a final walk through the home within 24 hours of closing to check the property’s condition. This final inspection takes about an hour. We will make sure any repair work that the seller agreed to make has been done.
We will be sure to:
- Make sure all appliances are working properly
- Run the water in all the faucets and check for any possible leaks
- Open and close garage doors with opener
- Flush toilets
- Run the garbage disposal and exhaust fans
Who will be there:
- Your agent
- The seller
- The seller’s agent
- Your loan officer
BRING TO CLOSING
- Government-issued photo ID
RECEIVE YOUR KEYS
Congratulations! It was a lot of hard work but you are now officially home owners!! Time
to throw a party and get to know your new neighbors!
Chantel Fick, Associate Broker
Realty Executives Main Street, LLC
1022 S. Lapeer Road
Lapeer, MI 48446