Our Team's 10 Step Guide to Home Buying!!!

 

Introduction

          Welcome to our team's 10 Step Guide to Home Buying! We realize that you may only be in the information gathering stage at this point and not ready for the help of a real estate agent. When you are ready to interview agents for buyer representation, we would love the opportunity to meet with you! This guide contains an overview of the services clients receive who select Maryland’s Property Team and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage to represent their best interests. After review, we hope that you will contact our team to Schedule Your FREE No-Obligation Home Buyer Consultation!

          Having a real estate agent with a proven path to success is critical during your home search. Our team strives to make sure that our clients have a positive home buying experience! With our 45+ years of local knowledge and experience, we created our team's 10 Step Guide to Home Buying! From the beginning to the end we make sure our clients fully understand the home buying process, provide information needed to make informed decisions, always give an honest 3rd party professional opinion and constantly communicate what is going on throughout the process. If you have any questions or there is anything that we can help with, Contact a Member of Our Team. Always the best!!!

 

The Benefits of Representation with Maryland's Property Team

  • 2 Associate Broker's representing your best interests!
  • 45+ years of local knowledge and experience!
  • Our team's 10 Step Guide to Home Buying!
  • Coldwell Banker, the #1 broker locally & globally by sales and volume!
  • Our Performance Representation Agreement
    • Our team's services are FREE to you!
      • It is customary for the seller to pay the buyer’s agent's commission!
    • No upfront fees!
    • Nothing is owed if you do not make a purchase!
  • If Maryland’s Property Team does not perform as described in our team's 10 Step Guide to Home Buying, client reserves the right to cancel their agency agreement per the terms of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s representation agreement.
  • Our Team's Vision & Past Client Testimonials!

 

Schedule a FREE No-Obligation Home Buyer Consultation!

  • Review our teams 10 Step Guide to Home Buying!
  • Step 1- Our Initial Buyer Interview!
    • Discuss your goals and any concerns you may have
    • What are you looking for in a real estate agent? 
  • Step 2- Developing Your Customized Home Buying Plan!
    • Define your specific home search criteria
    • Make sure you are aware of the best available financing options
  • Step 3- Finding Your New Home!
    • Make sure you are the 1st to know about new listings, properties coming soon & price changes!
      • Set up instant alerts through the local Multiple Listing Service
        • Know about homes before Zillow, Realtor.com or anyone else
      • Search on your own and set your own alerts
    • What buyers should know in today’s market
  • After our consultation you have a decision to make about representation
    • If you like what we have to say, we would love the opportunity to help you find your new home!
    • If you would like to go in another direction, we wish you the best and if anything changes in the future we will always be here to help!

 

Outline

  • Step 1- Our Initial Buyer Interview
  • Step 2- Developing Your Customized Home Buying Plan
  • Step 3- Finding Your New Home
  • Step 4- Showing Appointments
  • Step 5- Selecting 'The One'!
  • Step 6- Negotiating the Purchase Agreement
  • Step 7- Planning from Contract to Closing
  • Step 8- Guiding the Purchase to Closing
  • Step 9- Closing
  • Step 10- Turning Your House into Your Home

 

Step 1- Our Initial Buyer Interview

          When deciding to buy a home it is important to choose an agent and brokerage that you feel comfortable with and trust. There can be great differences in the level of service offered to the client not only between different brokerages, but also between agents in the same office. Real estate agents, like many other professional services, true value often comes from years of knowledge and experience. While buyers have access to more information than ever before, Zillow and the internet still have not found a way to account for the personal and emotional considerations of purchasing a property that you will call “HOME”! Our team makes it a priority to inform our clients of how we are going to work together to accomplish your goals during the entire transaction at the very beginning. We like to begin by learning a little bit about you and sharing some information about ourselves. Some of the things that we will cover and discuss are:

  • Our Initial Buyer Interview
    • Why are you buying?
    • Who will be involved in the purchase?
    • When would you like to purchase by?
    • Where would you like to buy?
    • What would you like to buy?
    • What would you like your real estate agent to help you with?
    • Any specific questions or concerns you would like us to cover?
  • What you should know about agency in Maryland
    • Listing agents always represent the seller!
    • You have the right to buyer agency representation!
  • The benefits of representation with Maryland's Property Team
    • 2 Associate Broker's representing your best interests!
    • 45+ years of local knowledge and experience!
    • Our team's 10 Step Guide to Home Buying!
    • Coldwell Banker, the #1 broker locally & globally by sales and volume!
    • We provide our services through a Performance Representation Agreement
      • Our team's services are FREE to you!
        • It is customary for the seller to pay the buyer’s agent's commission!
      • No upfront fees!
      • Nothing is owed if you do not make a purchase!
    • If Maryland’s Property Team does not perform as described in our team's 10 Step Guide to Home Buying, client reserves the right to cancel their agency agreement per the terms of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s representation agreement.
    • Our Team’s Vision & Past Client Testimonials!

 

Step 2- Developing Your Customized Home Buying Plan

          Our team recognizes that every buyer has different needs and goals when purchasing a home. In this step we will begin Developing Your Customized Home Buying Plan to achieve your goals and create a path to success. Common items found in our team’s customized home buying plans include:

  • Specific home search criteria
    • Location
    • Price range
    • Property type
      • Detached
      • Townhouse
      • Condo
    • # of bedrooms
    • # of bathrooms
    • Square footage
    • Lot size
    • Community amenities
    • Lifestyle features
    • Specific needs to even considering purchasing
    • Wish list
  • A time line to get you moved in according to your schedule
    • Research market
      • We recommend approximately 6 months ahead of desired move in date
    • View houses
      • According to the National Association of Realtors, the average buyer spends 10 weeks looking at homes. Of course, this can vary greatly from buyer to buyer.
    • Need to go under contract
      • If there is a loan involved, will probably need at least 30 days to go through the mortgage process
    • Desired closing date
      • In Maryland you legally own and take possession of property at the end of settlement
      • Customary for a closing date of 30-60 days from contract acceptance but always negotiable
  • Making sure you are aware of the best available financing options
    • Foundation for your negotiating position with sellers!
      • Sellers are unlikely to consider an offer without proof of financing
      • Proof of financing tells sellers that you are ready, willing and able to purchase
    • How are you planning on financing your purchase?
      • Proof of funds
      • Pre-approval letter
        • It does not cost anything to get pre-approved by a mortgage professional
          • We can recommend professionals if needed
        • Most approvals allow you to search for several months
        • Recommend shopping options
          • Will not hurt your credit!
      • Truth-in-Lending RESPA Integrated Disclosure - TRID
  • Costs to consider when purchasing
    • Utilities
      • Electric
      • Heating/Cooling
      • Water
      • Sewer
    • Homeowners association or condominium fees and inclusions
    • Special assessments
    • Front foot fees
    • Inspections
    • Moving costs
    • Move in repairs
    • What if fund
    • Recommend speaking with your accountant about tax advice!

 

Step 3- Finding Your New Home

          The real estate market and how buyers search for homes has changed tremendously due to increases in technology! If you have not purchased a home in the last few years, you may be surprised by how much information is available. Being able to access so much information allows you to focus on properties that truly meet your needs. You need to be the 1st to know about properties coming on the market and ready to go look when something of interest comes on. Some of the benefits of working with our team when Finding Your New Home include:

  • Listing alerts from BrightMLS
    • The Multiple Listing Service that agents use!
    • Be the first to know about new listings, price changes and more...
      • Updates before Zillow, Realtor.com or anyone else
    • Set to specific home search criteria of your choice
    • Search on your own and set your own alerts
    • The most up to date & accurate data
  • Homesnap
  • What buyers should know in today's market!
    • Inventory is low
    • Well priced listings in good condition don’t last long
    • Need to be ready to go look when something of interest comes on
    • Things that can be changed
      • Appliances
      • Lighting
      • Kitchens
      • Baths
      • Paint
      • Flooring
      • Roof
      • Siding
      • Cosmetics
    • Things that cannot or are difficult to change
      • Location
      • Neighborhood
      • Property features
      • Lot size
      • Square footage
      • Floor plan
      • Community amenities
      • Lifestyle considerations
      • Distance to work
      • School district
    • Almost all buyers compromise on something
    • Many homes need some updating
    • If a need can happen now and a want can be changed, we would suggest not to rule a property out online
    • It is unlikely that a buyer will find exactly what they are looking for, priced perfectly and not have competition

 

Step 4- Showing Appointments

          Sometimes nothing can give you the true feeling of a home like viewing it in person! While properties may seem similar online, they can be very different in real life. Whenever there is a home that you would like to see we will be responsible for Showing Appointments. We can be extremely helpful to you during this stage in many ways including: 

  • The ability to show you any property listed for sale
    • Online
    • New construction
    • For sale by owners
  • Contacting local agents about properties coming on the market soon
  • Contacting homeowners to see if they are interested in selling
  • Scheduling all showings
  • Always being present and looking out for your best interests
  • Honest 3rd party professional opinion
  • Pointing out important features, benefits and red flags
  • Access to detailed property information
  • Access to community amenities
  • Information on neighboring
    • Locations
    • Local attractions
    • Amenities
  • Answering specific questions and providing additional facts
  • Your impressions of each property will help us fine-tune the search process
    • We will ask you your positives and negatives after each showing
    • Why didn't we buy this one?

 

Step 5- Selecting 'THE ONE'

          Few things in life are more exciting than walking into a house that you want to call Home! There are also many important considerations to account for. Buyers tend to purchase on emotion and justify with facts. When you select Maryland’s Property Team, it is our job to make sure you have the knowledge to make informed decisions when purchasing. Some things that our team can help you with when Selecting 'The One' are:

  • 2nd showing appointments
  • Access to additional information so that you can make an informed decision
  • Loan Estimate
    • Needed down payment
    • Closing costs
    • Monthly payment
      • Principle
      • Interest
      • Taxes
      • Insurance
  • Utility costs
  • Community amenities
      • Water access
      • Beach
      • Boat launch
      • Piers
      • Pool
      • Golf
      • Common grounds
      • Walking trails
      • Tot lot
      • Basketball courts
      • Tennis courts
  • Homeowners association or condominium fees and inclusions
    • Water & sewer
    • Heating & cooling
    • Maintenance & Insurance
      • All-Inclusive
      • Drywall In
      • Exterior
    • Snow removal
    • Security
    • Storage
    • Private roads
  • Understanding what any potential offer would address
    • Contract states
      • Property is to be sold in as-is condition per the date of contract ratification
      • Personal belongings are not included in the sale
      • Property to be delivered free of trash & debris and broom clean at settlement
      • Seller is not obligated to change or fix anything unless negotiated in contract
    • Items contract does not address
      • Professional cleaning
      • Steam cleaning
      • Paint
      • Nails in walls
      • Picture hangers
      • Mounted TV’s
      • Fixtures that require tools to remove generally are considered included with the property
      • Items of question should be addressed in the contract as inclusions or exclusions
    • Inspections
  • Ways to improve the property
  • Things that may affect the use
  • Any specific questions you have? Let us know and we will find the answer!

 

Step 6- Negotiating the Purchase Agreement

          When it comes to negotiating, there are no one size fits all strategies. Our team will provide you with information so that you can make an informed decision. Some of the things our team will help with when Negotiating the Purchase Agreement include:

  • Informing you of negotiation strategies
    • Showing you ways to increase favorable responses from sellers
    • Striking a balance; motivated but not too eager
    • Structuring the offer to your advantage
    • Looking beyond just price
    • Keeping the big picture in mind
  • Preparing the purchase offer
    • Complex and involves various legal issues
      • We do not offer legal advice. Only attorneys can give legal advice!
    • Make sure all property disclosures and mandatory forms are included
    • Summary of most important items
      • Purchase price
      • Seller closing help
      • Escrow deposit
      • Date of closing
      • Financing
        • Proof of funds
        • Preapproval letter
          • Loan type
          • Down payment
      • Inspections
        • Buyer's right to ask for repairs
        • Buyer's right to terminate
  • Presenting the purchase offer to the listing agent and/or seller
    • What May Happen?
      • Accept
      • Reject
      • Counter
    • Communicating the seller's response to you and if necessary, suggest further negotiating options
  • Reach an agreement that is acceptable to you
  • Signing of appropriate documents to ratify the contract

 

Step 7- Planning from Contract to Closing

          Congratulations if you have successfully negotiated a ratified contract! This can be a very exciting time as you make plans to move into your new home! Before closing can occur, there are generally numerous contingencies and obligations which need to be fulfilled by both parties. Our team will make you aware of what you will be responsible for and develop a plan to make sure that everything is taken care of. Typical things our team will help you address include:

 

Step 8- Guiding the Purchase to Closing

          It's not over until it's over. When Guiding the Purchase to Closing our team will track and inform you of the progress of your transaction. Our experience allows us to rarely be involved in uncharted waters and to navigate even the most difficult circumstances that may arise successfully. Some things that our team will be available to help you with are: 

  • Track completion of all contingencies
  • Property inspection remedies
    • Review the inspection reports with you
    • Items not in proper working order should generally be fixed
      • Seller must agree!
      • Not cosmetics
    • Suggest specialists if necessary
  • Work with the lender to complete financing contingencies
    • Mortgage underwriting
    • Appraisal of the home by an independent certified appraiser
    • Required inspections
      • Termite
      • Well
      • Septic
    • Lender required repairs
    • Loan commitment
    • Closing Disclosure
  • Timeline to review homeowner's association or condominium documents starts from receipt
    • 5 days for resale homeowners association
    • 7 days for resale condominium
  • What to do if during title review there are clouds on the title
    • Flaws in prior transfers
    • Liens
    • Encumbrances
  • Having utilities and services set to be transferred
  • Attending the final walk-through
    • Making sure the property is in the same condition as the date of contract acceptance
    • Receipts for any agreed upon work or repairs
  • Any help you may need, please let our team know!

 

Step 9- Closing

          The day of closing is a very exciting day in the purchasing process. The title company of your choice will be conducting the settlement. At the end of closing, you will own your new home! For closing to go smoothly it is best to know what to expect. Here are a few things to know about the day of closing:

  • What to bring to settlement
    • Funds needed to close
      • Do not wire funds without calling and verifying instructions with the title company!
    • Photo ID- needed to verify your identity
    • Checkbook- just in case
    • Copy of homeowner's insurance policy and payment
  • The settlement company’s responsibilities
    • Prepare all documents to transfer title
      • Deed
      • ALTA settlement sheet
    • Witness all parties signing of documents
    • Exchange all necessary funds
    • Provide all parties with copies of the settlement documentation
    • Ensure that the title is properly recorded in the local records office along with any mortgage liens
  • When all the documents are signed you will own your new home!
  • Receive keys and possession of property!

 

Step 10- Turning Your House into Your Home

          Maryland’s Property Team does not believe that our service to our clients should end at the settlement table. Our team believes that service after the sale is equally important. We want you to be our clients for life! Some things our team will be available to help you with long after settlement include:

  • Answering real estate questions you may have
  • Your personalized 'Homebuyer Book'
    • Hard copy of the most important documents regarding your purchase!
  • Continued access to our network of real estate related services
  • Applying for the Homestead Tax Credit after 6 months of ownership
  • Tax Assessment Appeals
  • Yearly market data on how your investment is doing
  • Follow us on social media for
    • Tips on home ownership
    • Local market trends and insights
    • Real estate related updates
  • Being available for any real estate needs your friends, family or self may have!
  • FREE No-Obligation Seller Consultations & Property Evaluations!

 

In Conclusion

          Thank you for taking the time to review our team's 10 Step Guide to Home Buying! We hope this resource is of valuable assistance when purchasing your new home. To schedule your FREE No-Obligation Home Buyer Consultation or if there is anything we can help with, Contact a Member of Our Team! Always the best!!!