Some things I´ll need to know for the purchase part:
Of course if we have to sell your home first, this date can vary. If I have been working with you the whole time, and if you have decided to use one of my lenders, I will already know what you qualify for and will get your pre-approval letter, you will not have to worry about that. Keep in mind that the earnest money check will get cashed as soon as the offer has been accepted by all parties. So, you will have to have that money covered. Some people think it gets cashed when you move into the home. That is not the case, it gets cashed within three days after ALL parties have agreed upon and accepted the offer.
NO! One thing to remember, as a buyer, is that once we have an offer accepted, DO NOT buy anything else until after closing. At the time of closing the lender may do one last credit check, and if you have made a large purchase on a credit card, to maybe buy furniture or something to that effect, it will change your debt to income ratio and can kill the sale. Believe me, I have seen it before and it is not good! It usually happens the day or two before closing and both the buyer and the seller are suddenly without a deal. For the seller, if they´re getting another home based on the sale of their current home, that deal just died. For the buyer, if you´ve already sold your home, or given up your lease or apartment, now you don´t have a place to go either. Bottom line is that when it comes time to start even thinking about looking for homes, STOP buying things. Once you have purchased your home, re-evaluate your situation and if your finances allow it, do what you and/or your personal money manager want to do. Keep in mind that I am not giving financial advice or suggesting how you manage your finances. That is your business, not mine. But just keep all this in mind and keep in touch with your mortgage officer when making ANY buying decisions. If you absolutely have to buy something, run it by the loan officer, get his/her opinion first.
Once we have an accepted offer, we will set up closing. I work with Trademark Title and they are the best, in my opinion. I have NEVER had a delayed closing because of them, and they are extremely thorough and helpful, and will guide you every step of the way. I would not use them if they did not meet my standards. But as it is, they are exceptional and will make sure that you are given title to your new home that is free and clear of any liens and/or encumbrances. They can even help with Title Insurance, to make sure that in case anything is missed, you are still protected. They will also work with me and your lender in arranging the payment for your new home. Together, we will do about 95% of the work, you just sit back and wait for closing day. Let us do the work!!
A title is the document that verifies your legal right to your new home. To make sure there are no past errors or legal entanglements that might affect your ownership rights, all properties are subjected to a title search before closing. This will be done by the Title company, in cases where you ask me who to use, I use Trademark Title. As I stated in the question above, I have had the best of luck with them and they are very good at what they do. In the case that there are "problems" with your Title, it is always a good idea to have Title Insurance.
There are actually two kinds of Title Insurance; a lender's title policy and an owner's title policy. To protect their interest in your property, mortgage lenders require buyers to purchase a lender's title policy. But such a policy does not protect the interest of you, the homeowner. For this you need an owner's title policy. This pays for all court costs and related fees associated with any claim that might come up. Also, if a claim is found to be valid, your actual loss-up to the face amount of the policy-is covered.
With a Trademark Title owner's policy, you have complete protection at a very competitive rate. Plus, you get other forms of coverage that other title companies may not offer:
Gap coverage. The "gap" in gap coverage is the space of time-often up to several months-between your closing date and the date your documents are actually recorded. Until this official recording occurs, the validity of the buyer's title is still uncertain, which could leave you open to claims, fraud and potential loss. Many title insurance policies stop short of the mark, ending their coverage at closing. But a Trademark Title policy covers you through to recording.
Mechanics' lien coverage. A mechanic's lien is a financial hold on a property because of a debt to a trades person, usually for goods or services rendered in home construction or remodeling. If, for example, it turned up after closing that plumbers were still owed money for new bathroom fixtures that were installed, they could try to collect from you, the new owner. A Trademark Title owner's policy would cover such an obligation. A policy from another title company might not-a fact that often comes as quite a shock to new homeowners.
Trademark Title would like to save you money whenever they can. That's why they offer discounts in many circumstances, including dual closings and Closing Express transactions. Also, with their Simultaneous Issue Program, customers who buy both owner's and lender's title insurance policies from Trademark Title save substantially.
So what do I need to bring to closing?
Many people may attend the closing: you, your Remax Realty Sales Associate, the buyer and their real estate agent, and an escrow agent (closer) from the title company. During the meeting, which usually takes an hour, you and the buyer will review and sign all of the relevant closing papers. Then, after the buyer provides a cashier's or certified check for the down payment and closing costs, you pass the keys to the new owner and the net proceeds of the sale are yours.
In the rush of selling/purchasing your home, don't forget to bring the following items with you:
If you're the buyer:
A photo ID
A certified check, made payable to yourself, for the amount specified in your most recent Good Faith estimate you received from your loan officer or lender. This usually includes the balance of your down payment (subtract the earnest money you paid when your offer was accepted), and fees for other services.
Your personal checkbook so if other charges come up, you can write a personal check to cover them.
Your new homeowner's / hazard insurance binder with proof of one year's payment (usually a receipt).
Keys and garage door opener(s)
Code compliance (if applicable)
If more than one owner, all owners need to attend
Now don´t worry, you won´t have to remember all this right now. As soon as Trademark Title gets your information, they will contact you and start the scheduling process, working around your schedule as much as possible, coordinating it with their schedule, as well as the other side´s, whether it´s the buyer or the seller. They will walk you through it every step of the way, and will make sure that you are bringing what you need, getting the items and documents you need, and will even coordinate the mortgage information with your lender; whether paying off your existing mortgage from the sale of your home, or arranging for the mortgage for the purchase of your home, or both. And of course, if you have any questions, you can always contact them, or me, and we´ll make sure you´re taken care of.
This one's easy!! As a Seller, it´s huge! If I have all these listings, imagine the calls I´m getting from them. The more listings I have, the more calls I get. If, when I´m talking to a Buyer, I can´t get them into a listing they call about, I can re-direct them to YOUR home. I know, you hope I´m not re-directing them when they call about yours, right? True statement. But, if they want your home, I won´t be able to keep them out of it, no matter how hard I "try," so to speak.
Conversely, if they don´t want it, no matter what I tell them, they´re not going to buy it. In other words, they either want it or they don´t, and one way or another they´re going to get what they want. But, when they do call me, I get to talk to them directly about why your home is such a great home. Yes, it may be they end up looking at someone else´s if they don´t like yours. But, that may also happen when they look at someone else´s, and I re-direct them to yours! You see, no matter what, you win!
With all these listings, just think of the buying pool I have to choose from! Don´t you want to work with someone who is working with a lot of Buyers?? Remember, we only need one! The more I´m working with, the better it is for you, and the faster we may be able to sell your home, and that´s what it´s all about!
As a Buyer, you will benefit because Sellers are calling me all the time to sell their home, or see if I have anyone out there looking for a home like theirs. So, I may know about the home before it´s even listed. That is a huge benefit for you in assuring that you´re going to know about this home before anyone else, even others in the industry. As soon as a home comes on that fits what you´re looking for, I call you and just like that, we´ve found you a home!!
So, the busier I am, the more listings I have, the more Buyers I´m working with, the better. It´s all good stuff! As a Buyer or a Seller, it´s all good for you, to help us achieve the goals that YOU have set, and it will only help us reach them faster. Everybody wins!
Absolutely not! That is why I have teamed up with all these professionals, to be able to hand over the reigns to them when appropriate and needed. Yes, I´m busy, but never too busy for any of my clients. I´ll always get back to you if you reach my voice mail. I check E-mail seven days a week and my cell phone never leaves my side. There is no such thing as a customer who is not as important, no matter how large or small the transaction. You will get equal attention, I promise! And don´t think that all that activity that I´m involved with won´t help you, it will! The more I do, the more access to home buyers and sellers I have. That allows me to either find you a home faster, because I know it will be on the market, or allow me to sell your home faster, because I am working with a large pool of buyers, ones who will be interested in YOUR home once we get it listed. So, me being busy is a good thing, especially for you!
Anything else I need to know?
Nope, you now know it all!! Seriously though, I think I´ve answered most of the common questions involved with buying and selling real estate. We will run across things as we go through the process, but you won´t be doing it alone. I, along with my team members should you use them, will be with you every step of the way! Any questions or problems that come up we´ll deal with them together. That is why it is so important to have a Realtor represent you, and I will do just that, make sure you are properly represented and taken care of.
My job is to help you with your real estate transaction, whether buying or selling. My goal is to be your one-stop-shop for that, period. I promise to work hard for you and make sure you are properly represented, from start to finish. I have worked very hard getting trained and aligning myself with some of the best in the business. It is this team concept that allows for a seamless and effortless experience for you. At least that is my goal. I´m ok with you being frustrated with the process, the market being slow, or no decent homes on the market. But you should NEVER be unhappy with your Realtor, even if it´s me. I will give you absolute dedication and full service and promise you that you will not be unhappy with me. I pride myself in loyalty and commitment to my customers and that will never change. I truly mean it when I say you can contact me anytime. I work 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Even on vacation I have my phone with me. Just ask my family, they´ll confirm that!! But it´s worth it to me to have you happy.
If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please let me know. I can only fix it if I know it´s broke. I work for you, not you for me, don´t ever forget that. It is my privilege and my honor to be working for you. I know you have a choice and my family and I truly thank you for choosing me and making me your Realtor! Remember, we are both working toward the same goal, whether buying or selling, so when I win you win, and when you win I win!! Doesn´t get much better than that!
I added this section to my website because they are the most commonly asked questions. I also believe in absolute disclosure to you, and that you deserve to know how things work, and right from the beginning. I believe in honesty and integrity and will do everything possible to earn your trust and loyalty as your Realtor!