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Steps to Buying a Home With Me
Buying a Home
Buyers approach me from various stages during their home search. For some, they have begun to look at property online already but do not know what type of financing they qualify for, or how much they can afford. Others come prepared and have already be prequalified through a reputable lender, ready to be matched with listings that suit both their needs and also the lenders criteria (this typically applies to first time buyers using Rural Development, FHA, NHHFA or a combination of these).
Some first time buyers buyers are required to take a home buying seminar prior to closing on a property. For these buyers, the loan is likely to be a Rural Development Guarenteed or Direct loan offered through USDA. The Direct RD loan is for buyers with lower incomes who match the lender requirements. It is a government loan and may be as low as 1% interest rate with 100% financing! There is even a rehab option which means that the buyer may opt to perform certain repair projects on the home after closing, and finance the cost for these repairs within their purchase loan. The Direct RD loan is offered only through the Concord USDA office. The Guarenteed RD loan has a higher interest rate and may be offered by most any lender. For more information on how to qualify for these loans, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
1. When a buyer gets prequalified, they are ready to begin their search with me. First I make a full disclosure of available Agency Relationships:
- Buyers Agency= I represent buyer exclusively
- Facilitator= I do not represent buyer but buyer may opt to hire me as their buyer agent anytime prior writing their first offer on a home
2. I take the time to ask important questions of the buyer and depending on whether or not I represent them at this time, I can help them answer some serious questions that may speed up the process and help them find the most suitable homes to view. Representing a buyer allows me to learn about the buyer from a more holistic position, and gives them the ability to leverage themselves more strongly when writing an offer and negotiating.
3. Time to view homes! The buyer usually has driven by the homes already and selected their top picks. It's important to stretch themselves a bit and choose homes that have certain qualities but might not meet others. This helps them to prioritize their criteria and also to have a broader variety of homes to choose from.
4. Once they have found a home they like, I offer to sit down with the buyer at the office to write up a tentative offer. Then they can take it home if they'd like and discuss the terms without feeling pressured. Some buyers at this stage go right ahead and ask me to present the offer!
5. When the offer is presented, a deposit is required. The amount of deposit is dependent on several factors, price of home, amount of down payment they are placing on the home, and seller preference are all possible factors though there could be others. The deposit will be held in escrow by the listing firm only once the offer is fully acceptable by buyer and seller and signed by both parties. I usually notify the buyer that their deposit check will be cashed on this day so they are aware.
6. Negotiations take place. In this current market, the negotiations feel like everyone has given all they can give, and then some! Sellers are selling lower than desired, of course, but buyers have also reached their max in many situations (foreclosures are different, as are short sales). Every negotiated transaction is significantly varied, and there are what I like to call "points of leverage" where I might add to an offer as the buyer agrees to higher prices. In other words, if my buyer pays more, they get more too! This is a give and take process.
7. Acceptance! After the agreement is signed and deposit is placed in an escrow account, the countdown begins and we go through a period of activity to move forward on the purchase of the home. This includes having inspections done, applying for financing, and verifying that the property is insurable while comparing insurance quotes. The first 2 weeks or so are always a bit stressful to the buyers, but they get through it and I help them through some careful coaching and professional advising.
8. The wait is hard for many. For some, the next couple of weeks are easy and they go on with their ordinary lives until about two weeks before closing. But I'd say for most it is a period of stress once again, especially first time buyers or buyers who are also in the process of selling their home! It's time for gathering boxes, preparing for the move and calling up utility companies to set up new accounts. Meanwhile the home is being appraised and a title search is going to be conducted.
9. Alas! Financial commitment! This important date usually lies between 3-5 weeks after acceptance of an offer. It means you have completed your inspections, your lender has verified your income and performed the necessary credit checks required to accept you as an approved buyer, AND the home has been appraised. This is a great day for everybody.
10. If you haven't done so already, it's time to select your homeowners insurance provider and pay one year of premium so that the insurance binder can be given to the lender. It is, after all, a condition of your loan. Your lender or agent will call you with a final figure and may explain how that final figure was derived. The document you will see at the closing is called a HUD and will spell out all of the fees adding up to this final figure. Your closing date will be set in stone and hopefully there will be no undue stress until then besides packing!
**Closing Day!!!* Congratulations, you make it one way or another to your final goal!
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