Buyers Guide to Success

Buyers Guide to SuccessRedefining real estate service in the carolinasThanks for your interest in purchasing a home. I am excited to potentially work with you.…
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Buyers Guide to SuccessRedefining real estate service in the carolinasThanks for your interest in purchasing a home. I am excited to potentially work with you. Please take a moment to review this guide, as it will answer some of the questions you will have along your home purchase journey. Buying a home in today's market is one that the Janet Sweeney Group understands. While the market can be challenging, hundreds of homes sell each month in the Charlotte region. What's the difference in winning the offer and not? It's all in the strategy and the advice of your Realtor! Whether it's our proven sales approach, effective negotiation skills, or our proven strategy, no detail is overlooked. We pride ourselves in using technology and innovation to help you through the buying process. We created this guide to educate you and empower you to make the best decision when choosing an agent to partner with you when buying your home. When we say "Service First", we mean it. You and your home purchase comes first. There are many parts of a real estate transaction and we will be there for you each step of the way and make sure no detail is overlooked. With a proven track record, the right skill set and years of experience, the Janet Sweeney Real Estate Group has the right tools to successfully assist you in purchasing your new home. If you're serious about buying a home, we're serious about getting the job done! The Janet Sweeney Real Estate Group Guarantee: If are unhappy with our service at any time, just send us a written notice and we will unconditionally release you from any buyer agreement you have with the Janet Sweeney Real Estate Group. Now more than ever, who you work with matters!Janet C. Sweeney, CRS, GRI Broker/RealtorTestimonals Super Helpful In Our First Home Buying Experience Janet was referred to us by a friend and she was great! She was always readily available to answer questions which was super helpful in our first home buying experience. We couldn't be any happier with our new home! -Julianne BoumaThanks So Much For Making Our Dream Come True! Janet has the ability to understand exactly what you want, and the drive to find it for you. Enough cannot be said about her character, honesty, attentiveness, and work ethic. Thanks so very much for making our dream come true! -Bill CorrThanks Janet For All Your Hard Work Janet was a joy to work with on the purchase of our home - we were in a different state when the process started. She was able to find a home that perfectly suited our family. We couldn't be happier with our decision. She was a wealth of knowledge of the areas, schools and points of interest. She made the journey stress-free and enjoyable for the entire family. We would recommend Janet to anyone looking to buy Thanks Janet for all your hard work -Brad and Traci Gilks4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Spring 1. 2. 3. 4.Prices Will Continue to Rise Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage It's Time to Move On with Your LifeAGENCY RELATIONSHIPS When purchasing a home having a Buyer's Agent to work for you is important. In both North and South Carolina a written agreement is required prior to viewing homes with a real estate agent. Both states required an acknowledgement of your receipt of agency relationships in their state.In North Carolina this form is called Working with Real Estate Agents. In South Carolina it is call South Carolina Disclosure of Real Estate Brokerage Relationships. The agent should review the types of agency in each state with you so that you have an understanding of the Buyer's Agents, the role of the Seller's Agents role. A Buyer Agency Agreement will then be executed for you and your chosen Buyer's Agent in order to begin a relationship. This contract between the Buyers Agent and the buyer requires that real estate licensees preform certain duties when dealing with you. Present all offers in a timely manner Account for money or other property received on your behalf Provide an explanation of the scope of services to be provided Be fair and honest and provide accurate information Provided limited confidentiality Disclose "material adverse facts" about the property or the transaction which are within the licensee's knowledge.Buying a Home? Consider Cost, Not Just Price As a seller, you will be most concerned about 'short term price' - where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the 'long term cost' of the home. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Freddie Mac all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic's most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months.What Does This Mean as a Buyer: If home prices appreciate by the 4.7% predicted by CoreLogic over the next twelve months, here is a simple demonstration of the impact an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:Buying Is Now 37.7% Cheaper Than RentingHow Low Interest Rates Increase Your Buying Power The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.With each quarter of a precent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $7,500). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year. Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money.Steps to Buying a Home Pre-Contract Lender Pre-Approval Buyer's Consultation with Realtor View Homes and Find "THE ONE" Write Offer and Negotiate Terms Offer AcceptancePost Contract Ratification of Contract Inspections & Negotiation of Repairs Appraisal Removal of Contingencies Mortgage Finance ApprovalPre-Closing Arrange Movers Switch Utilities Change Address Closing Move Into Your New Home!The Buying Process Details Lender Pre-Approval: This is the first concrete step toward purchasing your new home. Pre-approval makes your negotiation position with the seller stronger and enables a quicker settlement. Most sellers will not even entertain an offer that does not have lender pre-approval. You will also know your price range, closing costs and monthly payments up front. If you try to wait until after you’ve found your new home, you may very well lose it due to the delay caused by loan approval. Buyer Consultation with Realtor: We want to understand your needs and wants. Every client has a particular set of circumstances, desires and lifestyle that must match their new home. Here’s where we ask a lot of questions designed to probe into the why behind your answers so that we can better understand what you really desire. The consultation also gives you the opportunity to learn about the process and what to expect as we move forward. We are here to answer any questions you may have. View Homes and Find "The ONE": Once we have an in-depth understanding of what you are looking for in a new home, we get to work searching for you. There are many resources we tap into including agent-only networks and websites, the MLS (multiple listing service), FSBO’s (for sale by owners), new home builders, and other sources. Please note: If you want to visit a new home developer, you must have your agent present to be properly represented. And don’t worry, builders still pay the commission. Make an Offer: The key to obtaining the home of your dreams is to make a good, credible offer. But before you can make a good offer, it’s vital to know the true value of the home. This knowledge can only come from a thorough investigation of the local market. We perform a comparative market analysis (CMA) to make sure you are not overpaying for the property. A well-presented offer often makes the difference, especially when a seller is examining several competing ones. It is customary to put a deposit check into escrow when making an offer. In North Carolina the contract requires Due Diligence. ( Please refer to pageThe offer is submitted to the listing agent using a standard sales contract, however there are several items open for negotiation. These include price, move-in date, private property such as appliances and furniture, etc. The seller will either accept, decline or counter the offer. The most common response is a counter offer. Great negotiating skills are important in order for you to achieve your goals. Together, we will review each of the items within the counteroffer and decide on the best way to proceed.Acceptance and Ratification of Contract: Once the buyer(s) and seller(s) come to a “meeting of the minds”, both parties sign the documents and the offer is ratified, turning it into a legal contract. At this time you will need to provide the Earnest Money Deposit and the Due Diligence Fee (NC ONLY, check made to the seller) to your Buyer's Agent. Inspections and Negotiation for Repairs: Unless the property is purchased “as is”, a number of inspections are ordered. This may include a general home inspection by a licensed inspector, along with other inspections that may cover pest, radon, mold, roof, etc. If the inspections reveal problems, negotiations take place to decide which party will pay for the repairs or remediation.Removing Contingencies: Contingencies may include financing, home owner association documents, inspections (mentioned above), repairs, purchasers selling their existing home, etc. The ratified contract will set deadlines by which each of these contingencies must be dealt with. If the contingency is not removed by the deadline officially, it is automatically removed by contract. Mortgage Finance Approval: Final mortgage approval typically requires underwriting, appraisal, survey, title search, removal of any clouds or encumbrances on the title, title insurance, and homeowner’s insurance. Arrange Movers: If using a moving company or renting a truck, make arrangements early to make sure it is done on time. Utilities and Address Change: Arrange for the utilities to be transferred for your existing home and the new home on the correct date. It is best if the utilities are transferred versus cut off, especially during winter months. We will provide you with the utility companies servicing your new home to help make the transition easier. Closing: This is the big day when final paperwork is signed by both parties; money, deed, keys, remotes, etc. are exchanged. Bring your down payment and other financial obligations, which are to be paid by certified funds or send via wire transfer, as requested by closing attorney. Additionally, bring your government issued photo identification, social security number, insurance binder and paid receipt. Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of your new home! Move In: Unless you have allowed for a rent back to the sellers, in South Carolina, you are free to move in at any time after closing has taken place. In North Carolina the Deed mus be recorded prior to occupancy, therefore if you plan to move that day or if Friday, over the weekend it is important that we schedule closing in the morning.Home Inspections, What to Expect Congratulations! Your offer was accepted, now it's time for the home inspection. In North Carolina, you are working with a due diligence contract, therefore it is important that all inspections be completed in time to negotiate any repairs prior to the end of the time period. In South Carolina there are specific dates in the contract your inspections must be completed by. Your agent will make sure all dates are adhered to. Your agent will have several inspectors with whom they have worked with and have done excellent jobs, they will provide you with a list, feel free to look these inspectors up online, call them, find out what they charge and their menu of services. suggests that you consider the follow 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you: Qualifications - Find out what's included in you r inspection & if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specalities. Sample Reports - Ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report the better in most cases. References - Do your homework - Ask for phone numbers and names of past clients that you can call to ask about their experience. Memberships - Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these organizations means that there is continued training and education provided. Errors & Omission Insurance - Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.Ask your inspector if it's ok for you to tag along during the inspection. That way, they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed. Don't be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof, crawling around in the attic, or on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, fireplace, the foundation & so much more! Bottom LIne: Work with a professional you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.Closing on Your New Home In North Carolina and South Carolina attorney's are used to prepare the final Closing Disclosures for the Buyer and Seller. Typically the buyer chooses the closing attorney and seller uses the same attorney. The Real Estate Closing attorney will preform the following for the buyer and seller: title search review the contract review the survey prepare the deed get the pay off amount for sellers mortgage prepare the closing documents from the lender prepare the Closing Disclosure for the buyer and seller prepare any additional documents need for the closing write the title insurance pay off any items out of closing funds pay off the mortgage for seller record the deed.Moving Checklist Before you move, be sure to contact the following companies and service providers: UTILITIES INSURANCE COMPANIES Home Health Accidental Life RentersElectric Telephone Water Cable Gas PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Broker Accountant Doctor Dentist LawyerBUSINESS ACCOUNTS Banks Cellular Phones Department Stores Finance Companies Credit CardsGOVERNMENT Internal Revenue Post Office Schools State Licensing LibrarySUBSCRIPTIONS Magazines Newspapers CLUBS Health & Fitness Country ClubCommon Home Buyer Questions What's the first step of the home buying process? The Mortgage Pre-Approval Unless you are paying cash for a house, you will need to get a mortgage. In order to know how much home you can afford, you will need to get pre-approved for a loan. We are happy to make recommendations for lenders that fit your specific needs.How long does it take to buy a home? Around 30 to 45 days The timeline for finding a house varies greatly from person to person. Once you find a house hand have a accepted offer, it usually takes around 30 days to close.What does a Realtor do? Almost everything A Realtor is you most valuable asset when buying a home. They will walk you through every part of the home buying process. They will educate and inform you of all your options. They will represent you throughout the transaction and beyond. There is a difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent; many people do not know this. A Realtor is regulated by the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to a strict Code of Ethics. A real estate agent does not. It is recommended that you work with a licensed Realtor to avoid potential problems.How much do I have to pay a Realtor as a homebuyer? Nothing In most cases, you do not have to pay you Realtor anything to help you purchase a home. The sellers pay their Realtor a fee, and then that listing agent pay the buyers agent for bring the buyer and facilitating the transaction.What's your best advice for first-time homebuyers? Trust the Professional Beware of advice from people who do not work in the industry. Real estate is a popular topic and almost everyone feels like they have some great insight to offer. In reality, the people who know best are the people that work in the business. Good Realtors have sold hundreds of properties. We know what to expect and what to look out for. Friends and relatives have only bought and sold a few homes, if any at all. Buying and selling a couple of homes does not make someone a well-rounded source of information. Be confident in your decisions and trust the professionals.What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home? Usually 600+ A 600 credit score, or higher, is recommended. As you are probably aware, a higher credit score offers better lending terms. This is an ever-evolving topic, however, as loan requirements are constantly changing. There are some lenders who will approve buyers with a 580 score, sometimes even lower. Your loan officer will be the best source to give you a current answer for today's lending requirements.Are there special home buying programs? Yes There are great home buying programs to research. The main ones would be VA loans, USDA loans, FHA loans, NC Housing Bonds, SC Housing Bonds and in some towns they have bonds for certain areas. Knowing the difference between these loan types is very important. Your lender will know the best loan program for your situation and will advise you of these programs should you qualify.How much money do I need for a downpayment? It depends on your loan type. Usually 3% to 5% down. The most common answer is 3% to 5% of the purchase price. FHA loans are 3%, some conventional loans will take as little as 3%. Va loans, if eligible is not money down. Properties in rural areas are usually eligible for a USDA loan, which requires no money down.What other fees are there, besides the downpayment? Mainly loan origination and closing costs. The downpayment is usually the largest cost associated with buying a house. Lending fees are the second largest costs to homebuyers. Homeowners insurance is usually paid upfront for the year, and you will pay title insurance and attorney fees. Your loan officer will be able to help you determine how much you can expect to pay towards loan origination and closing costs.10When do I get the keys? That depends on the state. In North Carolina the deed must be recorded prior to the homebuyer taking possession of the home. This may mean coming back to the attorney's office later in the day to pick up the keys. In South Carolina, once the mortgage has been funded, the homebuyer takes possession. Therefore, the attorney will give you the keys at the closing table.704-877-9063
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