So you have decided to buy a home and you have selected a Realtor. Now what … what are the next steps? Remember, not all realtors are the same but here is what I normally do next with a buyer. Step one – on the phone, I usually get the following general information:
- The area of town the buyer is interested in
- Type of home desired; singe family, townhome, condo, etc.
- Size of home – bedrooms, baths, etc
- Price range as well as desired monthly payment
- Timeframe for moving
- Age of home (Year built)
Step Two: I like to e-mail a Buyer Consultation Form to the buyer. It is a fairly lengthy form (about 5 pages) but it makes the buyer think of all the items that are important in the home purchase. It also helps me understand the buyers’ motivation when they tell me that they need certain items. For example, a buyer may ask for a bedroom on the main level; this is very important if their 80 year old mother is living with them. The bedroom then becomes a real need not just a want. I ask the buyer to complete the consultation form and have it ready for our first face to face meeting. (A copy of this form can be downloaded from the “Buyer Documents” box below)
Step Three: I schedule an appointment with the buyer, usually in my office. All parties involved in the purchase should be at this appointment so that we start off on the same page. This meeting normally takes about an hour and we cover the basic items such as:
- The buyer’s needs and wants in a home based on the completed Buyer Consultation form
- Timeframe for moving; any obstacles in making this happen
- The entire homebuying process from A-Z including shopping for home, inspections, appraisals, etc.
- Understanding the complexities of buying a foreclosure, pre-foreclosure (short sale) a traditional resale or HUD home. Each type of purchase comes with its’ own set of rules that the buyer needs to be made aware of prior to beginning the search
- The upfront cost of buying a home – loan application fees, inspections, earnest money, etc.
- Finances – loan programs, down payment assistance, etc.
- The Buyer Brokerage Agreement
Sandwiched in between step two and step three is normally having the buyer contact a lender for a preliminary discussion of their ability to purchase. The lender will want to pull your credit in order to give an accurate answer as to buyers’ ability to buy now, how much and approximate monthly payment. The lender will also be able to discuss any first time homebuyer programs that fit the buyers’ profile.
Once we complete the initial meeting, we can schedule a time to begin viewing property.
Next Blog: Navigating the Maze: Part III – Understanding the Buyer Brokerage Agreement