Tips, Tricks and Helpful Info for Buyers and Sellers
Buyers 1. Define your needs Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home! Before you go house hunting, it’s a good idea to define what kind of home and neighborhood would best suit your desires and needs and make a wish list. The finer the details, the more effective your home search will be. To further define your needs; whether it’s a primary residence, investment property, or a vacation home, you may want to divide your lists into negotiable and non-negotiable items, so that our agents can operate with some flexibility when scouting for homes on your behalf. 2. Get preapproved Now that you know what you want in a property and neighborhood, you need to find out what you can afford. We work closely with some of the top loan officers and attorneys who will look out for your best interests. Get preapproved for your mortgage. In most markets, preapproved buyers are preferred by sellers over those who are pre-qualified. Your preapproval letter lets the seller know that you have gone through an extensive financial background check. This figure will not only be a more reliable estimate of what you can afford, but your preapproval also indicates that a lender is willing to do business with you, pending the purchase price, market appraisal and the underwriting process. The likelihood of unexpected obstacles regarding financing is minimal. 3. What should I ask when shopping for a lender? We will have a loan officer who we are willing to introduce you to. This lender will be someone we have done business with in the past, and feel comfortable recommending. However, if you decide to do a little comparison shopping and look for a lender on your own, here are a few important questions to ask a lender: • What loan programs do you offer and which one do you think is best for me? • How long will the loan approval process take? • What line items of the loan agreement, if any, are negotiable? • What is your policy for locking in interest rates, and will you honor a lower rate if it declines during the lock-in period? • Are there any fees for prepaying my loan? 4. Let the house hunting begin! The search for a property can prove overwhelming if not approached with some planning and organization. The most effective way is to allow us to do the initial scouting for you. Using your wish list as a guide, our team will alert you of new and existing listings that are strong possibilities. If you have a sincere interest in a property, our realtors will arrange home tours at your convenience. We will send alerts via email, sometimes daily, depending on the available inventory in your market. You can choose how you would like to receive these alerts, by phone, email or fax. Sellers Selling a property takes time, knowledge of neighborhood trends, and negotiating skills. Our agents’ chief tasks are to help set the right price and then get buyers in the door. We have access to the most up-to-date information about recent sales of comparables and competing listings in your neighborhood. Our team will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis of comparables detailing the original listing price, how much the property actually sold for, and how long it was on the market. The market is shifting every day. It’s our job to keep abreast of those changes. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. When a buyer sees your house for the first time, a critical first impression is made. It is important to maximize curb appeal, make necessary repairs, de-clutter the property, and finish up with fresh coats of neutral color paint on interior walls. We market aggressively. That means recommending staging techniques to make the place look great, maximizing the listing with professional-quality photographs, and showings to prospective buyers. Most important, we will vet potential buyers so that you can deal only with serious prospects. Once we have found a buyer, our team will negotiate counter-offers, track the paperwork, and assist through the most nerve-racking part of the process.
5. Make an offer When you are ready to present an offer, we will help you determine the offer price by reviewing recent sales of similar in size, quality and features. We will draft a written contract that outlines what needs to be done by both parties to execute the transaction. If the seller accepts the offer, the document becomes a binding agreement. Therefore, it is imperative that you carefully review it. It’s important to note that if the seller changes any terms of the offer, it is not a binding agreement until the buyer agrees to the seller’s changes. 6. Strike a deal In some rare instances, the seller accepts your offer as is. However, on most occasions, the seller will make a counteroffer. This is where our experience in negotiations will be invaluable. Remember, almost everything is negotiable when you are buying a property. This can give you a great deal of leverage during negotiations. Remember that negotiating is not a winner-takes-all deal. It is a business process that involves compromise and mutual respect. Some items you may negotiate include price, financing, closing costs, move-in date, repairs, appliances and fixtures, landscaping, painting, etc. 7. Prepare for the closing Once an offer becomes a binding agreement, we will help you tackle the checklist of action items that you, as the buyer, have agreed to prior to closing. Buyer responsibilities often include conducting a property inspection and getting an appraisal. Finalize your financing. Secure title insurance. Having these procedures completed in a timely and professional manner is a must, as any delays could threaten a successful closing. Our team will assist you in selecting service providers. 8. Close the deal The moment you’ve been anticipating has arrived. The closing is where home ownership is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. It is a formal meeting that most parties involved in the transaction will attend. Closing procedures usually are held at the title company’s or lawyer’s office. The closing attorney will coordinate all the document signing and the collection and disbursement of funds. A few days before your closing date, your lender will provide a final closing statement that outlines your closing costs. Our agents will review this document with you to ensure its accuracy, as well as review any necessary documentation that you will need to bring to closing.
Renters Hiring an agent to help with your search for a rental apartment may be a big-city phenomenon, especially in places like Boston. We help renters find suitable accommodations just as we help buyers find houses. More importantly, we can make the search process a lot easier. The best deals change daily, and market trends can be highly localized to specific neighborhoods or even streets within the same city. Every case still requires a scheduled physical inspection of the premises. Agents can relieve you from a lot of legwork. We bring other benefits to the search. We do our best to develop a personal relationship with a particular landlord or staff member, and as such, we may learn about upcoming availabilities before they are officially listed. Good deals are hard to find for people who spend a few weekends a year looking for an apartment or house. Our rental agents are in the trenches every day, all year long, previewing properties. We know who’s willing to negotiate not just on the rent, but on other lease terms such as the security deposit. Some landlords prefer to deal with agents or only tenants who come through an agent. That way, the landlord doesn’t have to do as much of the paperwork or screening. With vacancies falling practically everywhere, competition is fierce for decent places, so it helps to have professional representation.
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