Securing Your Dream
I love working with buyers! I am passionate about finding you the best property for your lifestyle. My website allows you to explore many saved searches in Livingston, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties, as well as many Advanced Search options. Sign up for Listing Reports (email alerts) for any search you create on this website. Don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance. With my extensive local knowledge, I can help you streamline and automate your search, to ensure that you don’t miss out on the best real estate opportunities. Learn more about working with me or contact me today to get started.
How Much Does It Cost Me To Use A Buyer's Agent?
I’m glad you asked! Buyer’s agents work on commission, so I only get paid with the completion of your successful transaction. And working with a buyer’s agent typically costs you nothing. WHY? Because when a home is listed in the MLS, the seller typically lists their home with the buyer’s agent in mind, and therefore, the buyer’s agent commission is paid by the seller. When we meet, I will discuss my commission fee and the few instances where my commission may not automatically be covered.
It makes sense to use a buyer’s agent when purchasing your home, because the buyer’s agent proceeds through the transaction with the buyer’s interests in mind. As your buyer’s agent, I will provide you convenient access to homes on the market that you are qualified to purchase, at no out-of-pocket cost to you. I am more than happy to answer any additional questions you may have on this subject!
The Home Buying Process
Whether this is your first time purchasing a home, or you’ve “been there, done that” (but maybe it’s been a few years), this overview will help you to understand the process of buying a home. My clients can expect the highest level of service during the home buying process, so it’s important to understand the process, as well as my role in assisting you as a buyer’s agent. No matter where you are in the process, as your buyer’s agent I will be guiding you through to ensure the best possible outcome for your real estate transaction.
- Consultation and Needs Assessment
- Establish priorities for your move, including timeline, whether you need to sell your current home first, home and property features and location(s) being considered.
- Prioritize search area(s); provide guidance on how to narrow search area if undefined by buyers.
- Review the home buying process, including financing and buyer costs (deposit, inspections, closing costs).
- Set expectations for all parties during home buying process.
- Review homes currently available that meet search criteria and/or homes that buyers are interested in.
- Establish criteria for one or more automated home searches.
- Agree on the best mode of regular communication for all parties (Email, phone, or text? Usually a combination of all three)
- Sign Buyer’s Agency Agreement
- Preparation: Mortgage Pre-Approval and/or Proof of Funds
- Buyer obtains pre-approval from lender (if applicable)
- Buyer provides proof of funds for earnest money deposit amount
- Buyer provides proof of funds (for cash sale)
- Home Search
- Refine search criteria in one or more automated searches
- Schedule showings, and evaluate homes seen
- Agent provides feedback to listing agents
- Revise criteria criteria as needed if homes seen are not meeting clients’ needs (home age, features, location, budget)
- Regular check-ins, even if there are no additional homes that meet buyer’s criteria
- Buyers may be encouraged to explore open houses without buyer’s agent present
- Buyers may be encourages to explore other neighborhoods outside the initial target area.
- Offer Phase
- Once the right property has been found, agent will run comps on property, to determine whether the market and property features warrant the current list price. This information will allow offer to be made with confidence, to ensure that clients do not overpay for property, and to get a ballpark idea regarding what the home should appraise for.
- Seller’s disclosures and all associated documents are reviewed, to ensure that there are no surprises and to ensure that offer is in line with property features and condition.
- Terms are discussed, including (but not limited to) financing, earnest money deposit, contingencies, inclusions/exclusions, timeframe for inspections, closing, and occupancy.
- Agent prepares offer, and reviews with buyers. Offer is signed by buyers and presented to sellers. Earnest money deposit check must be written, and ready for deposit into escrow account in the event that offer is accepted. All offers will have expiration date and time.
- Offer may be accepted, it may expire with no response, or it may be negotiated (counteroffer).
- Terms and/or price may be negotiated.
- Agent pays particular attention to terms of counteroffer, including deadlines.
- Agent may provide additional market analysis data to buyers and/or sellers to discuss price discrepency.
- Communication, responsiveness and availability is key in managing counteroffers and deadlines.
- Counteroffer may be accepted, rejected, allowed to expire, or another counteroffer may be made by buyers.
- Offer Acceptance
- Sign off on acceptance (all parties). Firm up any additional documentation. Communicate purchase agreement amount and terms to all parties. Ensure all parties have all necessary documentation.
- One title company may be processing both seller’s policy and buyer’s policy, or there may be two title companies involved in the transaction.
- Immediately following offer acceptance, buyers must begin financing and inspection period activities.
- Inspection Period
- Buyer schedules Inspection(s) within the inspection period (typically within 10-15 days of offer acceptance). Inspections may include (but are not limited to) home inspection, well, septic, water quality analysis, soil, lead-based paint, asbestos, preset inspection(s).
- Inspector(s) must provide written documentation of inspection findings in a timely manner, in accordance with the terms of the purchase agreement.
- If any issues arise during the inspection, buyers may decide to move forward with the original terms of the sale, or they may ask for seller concessions (within the timeframe stated in the purchase agreement).
- If no issues arise during the inspection period, or if the buyers accept the conditions of the property as described in the inspection, the inspection contingency has been satisfied.
- Post-inspection Negotiations (if applicable)
- If any issues arise during the inspection, buyers may ask for seller concessions (within the timeframe stated in the purchase agreement).
- Concessions could include asking the sellers to repair or replace items. Depending on the nature of the repair, it may make more sense to quantify the price of the repair and ask for a price concession in that amount. Sellers must be notified of such requests in writing, and within the time allotted in the purchase agreement.
- If more time is needed to get estimates for repair work, or to discuss the feasibility of the repairs, an extension of the inspection period may be needed. The extension must be agreed to by all parties in writing.
- The home inspection results can make or break a sale. The buyers may decide that they are no longer interested in purchasing the property based on the inspection results, and may opt out of the sale during the inspection period by notifying the sellers in writing. In most cases, the buyers would receive their earnest money deposit back. The buyers would not get their earnest money deposit back if they waived the inspection period, or if they agreed to purchase the property “as is.”
- If all parties come to an agreement on the revised terms of the sale following the inspection period, an addendum is signed by all parties and the inspection contingency has been satisfied. New terms must be communicated to all parties, including mortgage representative and title company(s) involved in the transaction.
- Financing Period
- Mortgage application process begins immediately following offer acceptance. Typically, buyer must begin process within 3 to 5 days of offer acceptance, and a deadline for closing is stated in the purchase agreement.
- The process of securing a mortgage typically takes 40-50 days, but it can take longer, depending on the efficiency of the lender, the appraiser, and any complications that may arise with underwriting approval. Buyers are expected to be responsive to mortgage representative, and notify the buyer’s agent if anything in the process is not going as expected or financing appears to be in jeopardy.
- Appraisal is ordered by the lender. This typically happens after the inspection period has been completed. If the home is contingent upon the home appraising for the sale price or higher, and it does not appraise, the buyer and seller will need to redefine the terms of the sale.
- All contingencies met (financing, appraisal, inspection, sale of other property, or any others stated in the purchase agreement)
- Mortgage application goes to underwriting.
- Following underwriting approval, mortgage lender giver “clear-to-close.”
- Closing Disclosure documents (CD’s) sent to buyers for review. Closing can be scheduled three or more business days following confirmed receipt of CD’s by buyers.
- Closing appointment is scheduled, coordinated with all parties (buyers, sellers, buyer’s and seller’s agents, lender, and title company(s)).
- If closing appointment is scheduled beyond the deadline stated in the purchase agreement, the deadline must be extended in writing and signed off by all parties.
- Pre-closing Review
- All parties review documentation prior to closing appointment, including closing costs, taxes, fees, deed, survey (if applicable), title, all pro-rated items, and escrowed items such as municipal services (water and sewer), if applicable.
- Buyers do final walk-through of property.
- Title company(s) manage the closing.
- Signing of all documents, including financing, and transfer or deed. Transfer of funds from buyer (mortgage lender) to seller.
- Taxes, escrow, final readings for municipal services.
Let’s get started!
Contact me at 248-466-0300 or fill out the form below to schedule your consultation.
Securing Your Dream | Protecting Your Investment | Laura Abramson, Realtor 248-466-0300
Serving Livingston, Washtenaw, Oakland, Western Wayne, and Genesee Counties
I represent my clients throughout the state of Michigan, or I can refer you to a trusted local partner in your target community.
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