12 Days of Christmas my Realtor said to me…this is how to buy a home!
My Realtor friend in Naples gathered up other Realtors from across the country and did this fabulous blog post that we all were able to participate in! My contribution is #5! Thanks Sue “Pinky” Benson…what a fun time we had doing this!
Sue ‘Pinky’ Benson Naples, Florida / ? Florida Real Estate Agent? ? Video Marketing Queen ? ? Fashion Lover ? ? Social Media Marketer ? ? Enjoys all things PINK ?
Need some help from Santa and his elves to find that perfect home?
The end of the year has arrived (thank you Captain Obvious), but seriously what were your goals this year? What do you have planned for next year? Is it buying a home? If so, it can be overwhelming and you may need some eggnog to get you through it. But fear not, some fabulous and festive Realtors from across the country got together and broke it down in this yule time classic. 12 things to know when buying a home this Christmas or New Year, or well anytime of year.
On the first day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “Get a pre-approval letter from a lender you trust. Most the time, your agent has a mortgage person they can suggest. One they’ve used before and know well. (And no the Realtor doesn’t get a kickback from the bank or mortgage broker we suggest, that’s illegal.) You will have to provide them with bank statements and income, so don’t be offended it’s the only way we all know what you can afford. Once you know how much you can really spend, then we can start looking for homes in that price range. And if you are spending cash, get a proof of funds letter from your bank or a statement showing you have the money to spend. This shows us you are serious and more importantly it shows the seller you are a serious buyer!”
–Sue Pinky Benson, RE/MAX DISTINCTION, Pinky Knows Naples, Naples, Florida: https://www.facebook.com/PinkyKnowsNaples
On the second day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “It is important to meet for a buyer consultation, so we can determine the requirements for your next home. We need to know things, such as the type of home, the size, and how many number of beds & baths! Oh and, of course, the LOCATION! At this meeting you will also gain exclusive access to the Realtor’s MLS,which has more information than other online real estate websites. And whether you are naughty or nice, it doesn’t matter as your Realtor will find you a dream home that will make your heart go pitter patter!”
- Shannon Milligan, RVA Home Team with Keller Williams Realty, Richmond, Virginia http://www.rvahometeam.com/
On the third day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “It’s time to go home shopping! Looking at homes online is great, but photos can be very misleading. Sometimes the photographer is a talented magician, and made home look much better than it is. Other times the photos are crappy and the house is better than it looked online. It’s good to pick 7 or 8 homes you liked online, then go see them in person with your Realtor. Of these 7–8, you’ll be able to schedule showings with 5–6, which is the perfect number of homes to see in any single day. Seeing any more than that and they’ll start blending together in your head. Don’t set yourself up for more stress and exhaustion by seeing too many homes at once. Pro tip: take notes about likes & dislikes of each home so you’ll remember later. And don’t be bummed if you don’t find “the one” on your first day of shopping. Some people do, but most do not. Pace yourself, set your expectations properly from the start, and you’ll enjoy the home shopping process.”
On the fourth day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “Time to think about making an offer! This is a big step for a homebuyer, especially if you are doing this for the very first time. There are many things to consider when thinking about what amount to offer. So many variables that come to into play before you give out that magical number here are a couple of things to consider:
- Are there multiple offers?
- Is seller highly motivated?
- Is the property a foreclosure?
- Have you taken a look at what has sold in the area?
- Are you also asking for closing cost to be paid by the seller?
And most importantly, talk to your agent and seriously STOP listening to everyone else’s opinion, advice and tips. YOU are the one that is going to be paying that mortgage every single month BE HAPPY with your purchase.”
-Sonia Figueroa of SeeSonia.com Conlon Real Estate, Chicago IL
On the fifth day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “Nooooooooo LOW BALL OFFERS! It is a seller’s market or at least balanced in most area’s across the country so listen to your Realtor, the sold home comps don’t lie, even with foreclosures. If you love the house, odds are so does another buyer! Counter offers DO happen, so don’t go low and hope the seller counters. And a good faith deposit is necessary! So ask your Realtor what a good escrow amount is for the home you are looking to offer on. Low good faith deposits can tell a seller you’re not really interested. “
Michele Bee Bellisari, RE/MAX Services, Boca Raton, Floridahttp://sipsocialsell.com/
On the sixth day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “Time to get inspections! You have a limited time to get them done and as soon as the contract is signed the clock starts ticking!
There’s a whole assortment of inspections, which you the buyer pay for (in most states) so look this list over and check it twice for which ones you may want to get. But make sure you get at least one! “
1. Home Inspection-General inspection to make certain everything is in good working order.
2. Wind Mitigation Report-Roof inspection to help lower your insurance costs.
3. 4 Point Inspection-Required on homes at least 20 years old for insurance (Roof, AC, Plumbing & Electrical are the 4 points)
4. WDO Inspection-(Wood Destroying Organisms) This inspection checks to make sure the home does not have termites, fungus or wood rot.
5. Mold Inspection-Every home has a little mold. Make certain it’s not the bad kind.
6. Radon Gas Inspection-Very important if you have a basement.
7. Septic Inspection-If you do not have city sewer, get the septic tank checked.
8. Well Water Inspection- Yep, there’s an inspection for that too! This inspection may be required by the lender.
9. Chinese Drywall Inspection-If your home was built in the 2005 & 06 time period.
10. Lead Base Paint Inspection-If you home was built in 1978 or before.
Eric Larkin, RE/MAX Solutions, Cocoa Beach, Floridahttps://www.facebook.com/BrevardCountyRealEstate
On the seventh day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “An appraisal is a necessity and required if you are getting a mortgage. An appraisal is done to insure the home’s value is worth the price you are paying. It is an educated guess to the value of a home and the appraiser (sent by the lender) is done to check the home for anything that can increase or decrease the value of the home. This protects the lender, and the buyer, to insure they do not overspend on a home. The home’s value is based on key factors including, but not limited to square footage, number of beds and baths, condition, location, and what other homes sold for in the area. If the house does not appraise to the contract price, the difference in value can be covered by the buyer, seller, or both. If a compromise is not made, the buyer can back out of the contract if the offer is contingent upon getting financing.”
-Marc Carlson,Keller Williams Central Rhode Island, Providence Area, Rhode Island https://www.facebook.com/MarcCarlsonRealtorRhodeIsland
On the 8th day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “Start shopping for homeowner’s insurance. First, ask questions of the insurance agents, such as what’s your rating? You can check on their financial stability by checking their rating with a financial rating company. The better the rating the better your claim will get taken care of if and when the time comes! So don’t go cheap, just to save a few dollars. They are ranked based on their financial strength and stability. Secondly, check their rates and what deductibles are offered and ask about what may be exclusions in their policies. Third, meet the agent and see if you like them. They’re going to be someone you may potentially be in contact with for many years, so pick an agent you have a good rapport with.
Shawnia Meuser, RE/MAX Marketing Specialists, Shawnia Sells Sunshine, Spring Hill, FLhttps://www.facebook.com/shawniasellssunshine/
On the ninth day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “Be careful what you do from now until closing day. Any changes to your income or credit profile can delay your mortgage process and in some cases even result in a denial of your loan. So this means, don’t get new credit cards, even to buy your new furniture. Don’t quit your job or change your job. It’s best to “freeze time”. How you go into the mortgage process is how you want to come out of it. Even just moving money around between bank accounts, or large deposits, can all be considered negative hits to your credit and income profiles. Underwriters have a set of guidelines that have to match the customers profile in order to achieve a loan approval. If you change that then you are risking your loan approval. Always talk to your mortgage advisor before you make any changes to your income or credit profiles. “
-Jason Frazier, The Real Estate CIO with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, San Ramon, California http://www.realestatecio.com/
On the 10th Day of Christmas,my Realtor said to me, “Title insurance is required! Depending on where you live it will may be paid for by the seller, the buyer or both. So why do you have to have it? While this home is new to you, every home has a history and it’s the title company or attorney to find it out. They will check for everything like unknown liens, missing heirs, undiscovered encumbrances or easements, survey disputes, even forgeries. Once the title is clear then you can rest easy and wait for Santa to come. “
-Karen Hurst, So Flo Livin’, Keller Williams Realty, Miami, Floridahttps://www.facebook.com/pg/SoFloLivin/
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me ,”Do you want a home warranty?
Whether you are buying a brand new home or one that has passed the test of children, pets, and holiday parties, you should consider a home warranty. A home warranty can cover items like kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, plumbing system, central air conditioning systems, central heating systems, electrical system and roof leaks. You can, also, add on to your plan to include things like pools, spas, septic tanks and even wells can be covered! New homes may come with one, so be sure to ask about it! Each home warranty company’s base plan is different so take the time up front and do a little research to save yourself potential frustrations and holiday disasters later.”
Janette Martinez, Keller Williams Realty Southwest, Las Vegas NVhttp://www.lasvegasmove.com/janette-martinez/
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my Realtor said to me, “Congratulations! It’s closing day! The very best day of all, although it doesn’t always come without a little stress. You still have walk thru to perform. You’re checking to make sure the home is left in the condition you saw it when you made the offer. Then it’s time to sign the paperwork, which may look like a mountain. And keep in mind, the closing day may vary depending on the state you’re buying in, but the end result is always getting the keys! Unlock the door to your new home and pop the bubbly. It’s time to celebrate! (Oh, and don’t forget to write that raving review for your awesome Realtor).
-Erin Anderson, RE/MAX Today, Pleasant Hill, Californiawww.ErinForHomes.com