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Helen Lyons, GRI, CNE, ASP®

helen.lyons@lnf.com
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Helen Lyons, GRI, CNE, ASP®
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helen.lyons@lnf.com
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Working with an agent

 

Buying a home is one the most significant purchases you'll ever make.  You're not only choosing a place to live, but also investing a large percentage of your assets into this exciting venture.  Searching for a home can be both exhilarating and stressful at the same time.  Without the right resources and information, the buying process can become chaotic and frustrating.

 

This brief introduction to the home buying process will, I hope, make you feel more prepared as you begin your quest for a home that meets all of your needs.  It is my mission to help you become an educated buyer and to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

 

 

What I can do for you

 

·       Help you determine your buying power

·       Identify properties that meet your criteria, including ones not advertised in the MLS

·       Arrange private showings

·       Provide objective information about each property

·       Help you negotiate the best price, financing, date of possession, and terms

·       Provide due diligence during the evaluation of the property

·       Help you understand different financing options and identify qualified lenders

·       Maintain regular contact with the listing agent to make sure that deadlines are met and all agreements are adhered to between the time of contract and the date of closing.

·       Keep you informed on all issues that arise, whether with the seller, the lender, the home inspector, or the title company, and remove obstacles that may interfere with the closing process

 

How I will work with you

 

We will meet at a location convenient to you to review your overall needs in searching for a home.  We'll discuss your timetable, your price range, your needs and wants regarding desirable features such as number of rooms, location, convenience, etc.  At that time I will review the home buying process with you, how to go about getting loan pre-approval, and discuss neighborhoods and types of properties, so that I have a good sense of your situation and we can have an efficient property search.  We will also discuss buyer agency so that you will have a good understanding of representation in the home buying process.  At this point we will also talk about how you want to be contacted, what times are best for you to tour properties, and what you are looking for in a realtor.

 

 

Preparing your offer

 

In reaching the decision to purchase a home, you will benefit from having done your homework.  I will make sure that the decision you make is a very well informed one.  This means I will have provided you with a detailed Comparative Market Analysis showing recent nearby market activity for similar homes.  This will help you decide on a fair offer price.  I'll assist you in making decisions on contingencies and other terms to include in your offer.   You will receive the seller's property condition disclosures and we will use that information in preparing your offer.  I'll present your offer to the seller and their listing agent and assist you in negotiating and responding to or making counter-offers.

 

Details, details...

 

Here's a general overview of the typical flow of activity from the moment you decide you want to make an offer until the moment you leave the settlement table with the keys to your new home.

 

Offer and Acceptance:

 

·       We prepare and present the following specifics, which will be included in writing to the seller:

o   Offer Price

o   Settlement Date

o   Earnest Money Deposit (usually 3-5% of the sale price)

o   Inspection Contingencies

o   Financing Contingencies

o   Name of Title Company

·       We negotiate any terms and conditions arising from a counter-offer

·       We initial every change in the original terms and conditions and obtain initials from seller

·       We deliver notice of acceptance of changes.  Once there has been final acceptance and delivery of notice, we begin the time-sensitive processes related to contingencies in the ratified contract

 

From Contract to Closing:


You've reached an initial sales agreement with a ratified contract, and now begins a series of time-sensitive steps that must be fulfilled in order to reach the settlement table.   Both buyer and seller have obligations and deadlines that must be met on a strict timetable in order for the terms of the contract to be satisfied:


·       Home Inspection (occurs between 3-7 days from final contract ratification)

o   Buyer and agent present

o   Buyer pays inspection company directly

o   Licensed home inspector presents written report to buyer

o   Prepare list of issues and repairs to negotiate with seller and submit to seller along with a copy of the inspection report (usually within 24 hours of inspection)

o   All but the most minor of repairs (e.g. replacing light bulbs) will be made by licensed contractors, and the seller will deliver receipts for the work done

·       Seller's Response to Inspection (3-day time limit in which to respond to buyer's repair requests)

·       Obtain HOA or Condominium documents and budgets for review (3 days in which to review and respond if resale, 15 days for new developments)

·       Make mortgage application -- this process should begin within 3 days of receiving an accepted offer

·       Appraisal of property -- this will be ordered by the lender soon after your loan application is complete

·       Once all contingencies have been removed or have expired, arrange for a hazard insurance policy (lenders will require this) and make sure the insurance company has provided a "binder" to your lender

·       As soon as your settlement date is confirmed, make arrangements to connect utilities:  phone, gas, electric, water, telephone and cable, etc.

·       I will obtain preliminary HUD-1 from title company and review details with you, making sure that you have sufficient liquid funds to complete settlement on time (ideally at least 3 business days before settlement)

·       Accompany you to conduct a final walk-through of the property a few hours prior to settlement

Keeping Your Settlement on Schedule:

 

Your title company will hold your earnest money deposit and will credit that amount toward your settlement funds.  I'll be keeping a close watch on several things to make sure they go smoothly.  The title company will order a title search on the property you are purchasing, as well as coordinate with the lender to make sure the lender's funds reach the title company ahead of settlement.

 

As your agent, I will make sure that all of the parties involved stay on course and remain in communication with each other.  I will keep track of all details to ensure smooth progress toward settlement by:

 

·       Making sure all contract deadlines are met

·       Keeping in touch with the seller's agent and checking up on all home repairs the seller agreed to make to satisfy the terms of the contract

·       Following up with your lender

·       Coordinating between the settlement attorney and the lender

·       Helping you deal with any unforeseen problems, such as seller's failure to make promised repairs, or latent property condition issues that may not be discovered until making those repairs, or clearing up any cloud on the title that may be uncovered by the settlement attorney

 


Congratulations on your decision to become a homeowner!

 

As you go through the process of purchasing a home, I will be there to guide you through all of the steps along the way, paying close attention to every detail and helping you select the important players in the process.  I will recommend excellent home inspectors, insurance companies, lenders, title companies and other professionals who have a proven track record of service to their clients.