Friday, March 20, 2009

Open Letter to Home Buyers

Dear Future Home Buyer,Wow...interesting times out there! Short sales, foreclosures, changing loan's so hard to know what to do. Is this the right time to buy? Or should you wait? Where should you go to find answers.

If you are reading this, you already know there are many websites which are available to give you some insight. You can now find home listings, mortgage rates and even your credit report online. But what you still need to know is how to put all this information together to build a coherent plan of attack. A good buyer's agent can help you do this. And a buyer's agent represents you free of charge. Their commissions are paid by the seller.

A buyer's agent is not someone who necessarily rejects real estate listings, but in your case will be someone who is representing YOU and only YOU. This is not someone who is representing both buyer and seller in the same deal. That, in my opinion, is a recipe for trouble...and something I never do.

A buyer's agent will help bring a team of experts together to work with you depending on your needs. This might include a tax consultant, a mortgage broker, and/or a credit counselor. It will certainly involve a comprehensive discussion of your home needs. You will explore cities, size of home, community amenities, school districts, resale values...all the things that should go into an educated home purchase.

This can be done in various ways. I like to set up a custom website for each buyer and load it with a personal search. Using this site, you will receive all the listings directly from the MLS which suit your criteria. On this site, you can save, sort and make comments on the listings...and send them directly to me by email if you have specific questions....or see something you'd like to view. Once we develop a working list...we can go see them.

This is all the things you would expect a real estate agent to do for you....but do you know what happens after you find the perfect home?

During escrow...your buyer's agent is there for you too! We not only negotiate the price in the offer, but represent you during the escrow period too. You will have a home inspection. There might be repairs needed. Although most listings now say "as-is" even banks recognize that sometimes making repairs for a buyer ready to close is better than holding firm and risk starting from scratch with a new buyer. Especially if the problem is severe.

A good example is mold. Most banks, regardless of whether it's a short sale or foreclosure, will address a mold problem. Once they have been made aware of the existence of mold, they must disclose it to every new buyer...they might as well handle it with us. There are other major problems that can be addressed in a bank approval situation too. If we are working with a seller with equity...there is even more room to negotiate repairs, or credits, to handle problems with the home condition.

Other issues which might occur during escrow include insurance quotes, appraisal problems, title discrepancies. All situations your buyer's agent is prepared for, and experienced in solving. Can all problems be solved? of course not...but your agent will have the experience and resources to guide you during the entire process.

In short....if you are ready to buy a new home, or if you are ready to THINK about buying a new home. Start talking to a buyer's agent.

Good luck with your new home purchase and we are here to help when you are ready.


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