The Multiple Listing Service
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has detailed information of all the single families, multi families and condominiums on the market in real-time. This is the most accurate home searching tool on the market. Every other real estate website on the internet gets their property information second-hand from the MLS. In a competitive real estate market, you need the most up-to-date and accurate information. If you're searching on a website that uploads their information a few days after it goes on the MLS, it could be too late! You need to go straight to the supplier.
Why Use a Buyer's Agent?
Purchasing a piece of property can be a very complicated process. If you've only gone through it once or twice (or not at all) it's very easy to make a mistake. Having a real estate professional on your side will help ensure you don't make mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars. Our duties include:
- Notifying you immediately when real estate in your desired criteria goes up for sale
- Handling the logistics of all the showings for you
- Helping you examine the overall condition of any properties you are interested in
- Pulling statistics on the neighborhood, town, and statewide real estate conditions
- Helping you ask all the important questions about each property
- Analyzing the positives and negatives of each piece of real estate with you
- Recommending fantastic lenders, attorneys, and home inspectors
- Putting together a comparative market analysis before you make any offers
- Using expert negotiation tactics to help you get the property at a lower price
- Helping you handle problems that might arise from the home inspection
- Filing the correct paperwork and contingencies for your offer
- Keeping the timeline of your transaction on schedule
Step 1 - Get Pre-Qualified. You have to know what you are approved to buy before you start searching. Otherwise you could end up spending months looking four properties, then realize you're unable to submit an offer because you can't get a pre-qualification for that amount. CONTACT US for a list of recommended mortgage brokers and loan officers.
Step 2 - Start searching the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS has detailed information of all the single families, multi families and condominums on the market in real-time. This is the most accurate home searching tool on the market. You can also sign up to get daily updates for properties that fit your criteria. CLICK HERE to begin.
Step 3 - Request a Showing! Call or email us and let us know what property you'd like to see. Before the first showing we will sit down and go through the details of a typical transaction. There is absolutely no cost to you when working with a buyer's agent!
What Happens after my offer is Accepted?
Once a buyer has had an offer accepted on a piece of real estate, it goes into the next stage of the home buying process. A sales transaction can be a long and confusing process, so we have created a sample timeline that will help you understand the different stages in the purchase process. The timeline below is based on a typical 45 day transaction. Transactions can be shorter or longer if mutually agreed by both buyer and seller.
- Day 1 Offer Acceptance - You have found the property you want and agreed on a purchase price with the seller. The first of two “good faith” deposits is given to the seller to bind the offer contract. This amount goes into an escrow account and is typically around $1,000.
- Day 7-10 Home Inspection - This is an optional step in the process but is highly recommended. You will want to hire a licensed home inspector to find out if there are any defects in the property that you were not aware of. These items may be brought up to the seller for repair or renegotiation.
- Day 10-12 Mortgage Application - In the period between your offer acceptance to now, you should have been researching which lender best fits your needs. Now it’s time to submit the full application. It is very important that your application is submitted in a timely manner in order to make your contingency dates and close on time. Your lender will most likely ask for additional documentation throughout the process and it is essential that you provide them promptly with what they request.
- Day 12-14 Purchase and Sale Agreement - The Purchase and Sale Agreement (often referred to as the P and S) is a legal document specifying the final terms of the sale. It contains more language than the original offer and is typically drafted up by the attorneys. Your second “good faith” deposit is due at the signing and goes into escrow with your original $1,000. The second deposit is significantly larger and is usually equal to 5% of the purchase price.
- Day 18-20 Appraisal - Your lender will conduct and appraisal on the property you are purchasing. Since they are loaning you money to buy the property, they want to make sure that the market value is equal to or greater than the purchase price.
- Day 30-35 Mortgage Commitment Date - This is the date you are required to get the full approval from your lender. If your lender can’t issue a commitment by this date, then the seller needs to grant you an extension, or you need terminate the transaction to retain your deposits.
- Day 44 Final Walkthrough - It’s important to check the property one last time before you sign the closing documents. You want to make sure that the property is in the same condition it was in before, any repairs that were requested were finished, and that the current owner has vacated.
- Day 45 Closing - Make sure to ask your attorney to provide you with the HUD settlement statement a day before closing for your own review. The actual closing will take place at either the attorneys office or the registry of deeds. Once the deed is recorded you have crossed the finish line. Congratulations!
Common Buyer Mistakes
Purchasing a piece of property can be a very complicated process. It can take months to find the right house, and then take another two months to close the purchase after an offer has been accepted. Most people will go through only a couple transactions in their lifetime. If you do anything only once or twice, it’s very easy to make a mistake. This is why it’s VERY important to use representation from a buyer’s agent. We’ve been through hundreds of transactions and know how to avoid mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars.
Some common mistakes are:
- Not asking the right questions: As a buyer, you want to know everything about a property before making an offer. If you don‘t do the right research, it can result in getting stuck in a transaction that you want out of. We will make sure you are looking at all the positives and negatives about a house before taking the next step.
- Overpaying: 99% of buyers will only compare prices on listings that are currently for sale. This is NOT the correct way to determine an offer price. We will do an analysis on what has actually sold to establish the true market value of any properties you’re interested in.
- Poor Paperwork: Incorrect paperwork can be the difference in either losing or keeping your earnest money deposit if a transaction goes south. That deposit is usually 5% of the purchase price so it can be a loss of well over $10,000. This is devastating to a buyer who has been saving to put that money towards a house. We make sure that from the initial offer to the closing, your deposit is protected and can’t be kept by the seller for liquidated damages.
- Picking the wrong lender, attorney, or home inspector: Having not been through a lot of transactions, you have no idea if the person you are hiring has a good track record. Picking the wrong professional can severely damage your transaction. We have a strong list of professionals we can recommend that we have already worked with and can deliver great results.
Did you know?
It’s absolutely free to work with a buyer's agent? Our commission is paid from the listing agency’s office so we don't have to charge our buyers a dime! In addition, the seller has the same amount of closing costs whether or not you have a real estate agent, so you're doing yourself a disservice when you have no representation. When you work directly with the listing agent, you are working with someone who financially and legally represents the best interest of the seller, NOT you.
Would you want to go to court without an attorney? Absolutely not unless you don't have the money, but what if attorneys were free?
You'd be crazy not to!