Information for Home Buyers

Don'ts for Home Buyers

  • Don’t wait for the perfect house. Compromising & prioritizing are essential elements of the buying process.
  • Don’t buy before comparison shopping…especially if you’re new to the area.
  • Don’t write an unrealistic offer or you will simply be helping someone else’s offer look good (too low of a price…too many contingencies).
  • Don’t feel a need to negotiate if a property is new to the market, priced right and popular…the good ones often go quickly and at full or close to full price.
  • Don’t think all real estate agents and companies are created equal. They are not. Find an agent/company with a great track record and proven home buying system.
  • Don’t be afraid to write an offer above or below the asking price. Offer what it is worth to you.
  • Don’t work with more than one agent. Find one you like and stick with him/her.
  • Don’t wait for the perfect time to buy. The best time to buy is when you have found the right home.
  • Don’t get too many people involved in your buying decision.
  • Don’t wait until you find a home to start looking for the best loan.
  • Don’t wait until after you find a house to be qualified for a loan.

Tips for First Time Home Buyers

  • Be pre-qualified by a lender.
  • Obtain a mortgage pre-approval.
  • Have the necessary funds available to write an initial earnest money check.
  • Have the remaining money for your down payment easily accessible.
  • If you are receiving a “gift letter” for a portion of your down payment, be sure to have the money transferred into your savings account.
  • Pay balances on revolving credit cards.
  • Do not make big purchases (such as a car) prior to getting loan approval and closing on your new home.
  • Have a credit report run by a credit agency so that you can clear up any potential problems.
  • Find an attorney to review an “offer to purchase agreement”.
  • Be aware of the dates you can move on.

Steps to Buying a Home

  • Look for and interview an agent.
  • Clarify your wants and needs with your agent. Let them know your objectives and your timetable.
  • Have the agent help you get pre-approved for a loan.
  • Select the best 3 to 5 properties to see.
  • View each property objectively.
  • Write an offer to purchase when you’ve found the right one.
  • Have your agent present your offer immediately.
  • Handle all counter offers and negotiations positively.
  • Finalize any loan details to get final approval.
  • Order title insurance from the company of your choice.
  • Have any necessary inspections or predications completed.
  • Do a walk-through prior to closing on your new home.
  • Show up early and prepared for your closing.
  • Keep in contact with your agent after closing if you have any questions or concerns.

Common Closing Costs

  • Down payment
  • Loan Origination fee and points
  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit report
  • Flood letter
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) premium
  • Home Owners Insurance premium
  • Mortgage Insurance escrow
  • Home Owners Insurance escrow
  • Property taxes escrow
  • Closing fees
  • Recording fees
  • Mortgage Title policy
  • Owner’s Title policy
  • Mortgage interest adjustment
  • Survey
  • Termite inspection and building inspection fee
  • Tax servicing fee
  • Lender inspection fee
  • Notary fees
  • Federal Express (if needed)

Why do I need an agent?

  • Do you have time to research the residential housing market?
  • Do you have the knowledge to integrate and understand the information available to you?
  • Can you integrate the information available on the real estate Internet sites into useful data that can help you accomplish your goal?
  • Do you have the expertise to negotiate on your own behalf?
  • Do you have the ability to find a qualified home inspector?
  • Do you have the time to research the home loan programs available in the market?
  • Do you have the time to interview mortgage loan officers?
  • Do you have the time and expertise to target market, if necessary, for the type of property you are looking for?
  • Do you know the zoning regulations and building codes pertaining to residential real estate in the area you are interested in?

Services an agent can provide

  • Work with you to find properties that meet your specific requirements such as location, price and amenities.
  • Arrange for appointments and show you the properties you select.
  • Provide you with information regarding the price and value of properties.
  • Provide knowledge of the current real estate market and how it relates to your purchase.
  • Educate you regarding the purchase agreement.
  • Prepare an offer to purchase.
  • Assist in the negotiation of your selected property.
  • Refer you to professional service providers, such as: home inspectors, legal services, mortgage services, title services, etc.

Steps to Selecting the Right Property

  • Approach the home buying process objectively—there is no perfect house; the good ones sell quickly; don’t second guess yourself.
  • After viewing each property, ask yourself: what did you like about it; what, if anything would you want/need to change; could you see yourself owning the property if the price was right and at what price.
  • Use your judgment, the Customized Market Analysis prepared by your agent and the option of an Appraisal Rider to your advantage.


Call Me...Let's Talk Real Estate!

Barb Woodham
(314) 346-Barb
- BerkshireAlliance
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Thanks so much for your help.

We were trying to raise some cash to send a child to summer day camp at my old parish in the city, St. Cronan's.  And we did!  So I guess you could say that it was well worth it.

Thanks again for your support for our annual subdivision garage sale. 


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