THE BUYING PROCESS
1. Pre Approval & "Red Flag Analysis"
I will request that you get either a mortgage pre-approval or a "Proof of Funds" letter if you are paying cash. If available, I would also like to have a "red flag analysis" from your lender. This is for two main reasons: A) Leverage for you when making an offer and B) my own safety. I work with lenders frequently and if you have not already begun the pre-approval process, I will be able to help you find the right one!
A pre-approval is not the same as being pre-qualified. Pre qualified is when you plug your income numbers in somewhere, subtract your debt and you are given an estimate of how much you have to shop with. A pre-approval is when you have established a relationship with a lender and have already submitted PROOF of income, two years of tax records and a credit report has been run. The lender will then give you and me the amount that you have actually qualified for, so we know where to shop, and can expect a smoother transaction. A "red flag analysis" is actually part of some pre-approvals where lenders will look for potential problem areas in your credit reports, income stability and assets. While none of these items guarantee a loan will move successfully to closing, they definitely increase your chances and are looked more favorably upon by sellers. To explain further:
A) Leverage - When there is a lot of interest in a particular property, Sellers are going to take the offer that is the best for THEM. Often, it may not be the highest offer, but the most sound offer that will close the fastest and with the least potential for problems. When we make an offer with a pre-approval letter (or a proof of funds letter if paying cash), that's showing the Seller they can expect that smooth & sound transaction from us, giving YOU the edge in a competitive negotiation. My job is to make sure we go into negotiations with the best chance possible.
B) My Safety - It's a crazy world sometimes, and if you're pre-approved then I know you have been verified by a third party and I am happy to invest my time and experience working for you! I will not have my first meeting with a client in a vacant home without having any background information. If you're not yet pre-approved, then we can meet at the nearest Dale Sorensen office to get to know each other a bit first, and take care of any preliminary paperwork.
3. We make an offer
When you decide you'd like to make an offer on a home, I'll run a market analysis on it so that we can offer the most realistic price without offering too much. Based on the property condition, I may write certain conditions into the contract without making it so difficult that the sellers will reject the offer. It's a fine balance! Then we wait..... If your offer is accepted, then I will give you a checklist of items that need to happen, including scheduling inspections and surveys. At this point, timing is everything! I will be following the process, working with you and your lender, and answering any questions you may have along this exciting journey! Should we run into any "snags" along the way, as a Brevard County resident since 1965, & long-time local business person, you can bet I'll know who to turn to for the right kind of help!
2. I listen to you, then we shop!
Once I know you're a safe and serious buyer, then we'll meet and I will listen to your wants and needs, and together we will prioritize them. We'll talk about your property desires and what could be deal breakers. We will establish a communication schedule and then I'll get to work searching for your dream home! When we find properties you would like to visit, I'll schedule time to view them and meet you there. Once we've seen them, I'll give you my honest input based on experience and market conditions.
4. The closing
If all goes well, approximately 30-45 days after the offer is accepted, we will do a final walk-through of the property just before closing. If things are as they should be, then we head to the closing table! We'll meet at the title company or attorney's office and after signing what seems like mountains of paperwork (if you're financing) you'll be handed the keys to your new home! You have not seen the last of me though! I'll give you a week or so to get a bit settled before I check in on you. I'll have another checklist of items for you, like how to file for homestead exemption, and maybe another item or two to remember me by. Chances are we'll be pretty good friends at this point!
Frequently Asked Questions...
Q: What if we are driving around by ourselves and we see an open house or a new construction model home that we want to view?
A: By all means, go in and look around! Just be sure to tell the host that you are working with another realtor. I'll even meet you there if I am available. I'll give you extra business cards that you can give to open house & construction model hosts if I cannot be there. Most open house hosts honor other buyer-realtor relationships as long as they know about them up front! For new construction models, be sure to put my name on the registration form. I'm happy to schedule a day to look at model homes with you if you like, I love model homes!
Q: What if we see a "For Sale By Owner" that looks really great to us?
A: Call me! I am still happy to work on your behalf as far as the law will allow. I am happy to run a market analysis, tour the home with you and give you my opinion of what the price should be based on the condition. I will be somewhat limited as to how much assistance I can offer, but I very much understand that your dream home is YOUR DREAM home and as a decent human being, I will still help you as much as I can!
Q: What if we are driving around and see a for sale sign in a yard on a house that was not on our "shopping list", and we want to see it?
A: Chances are, if it was not on our shopping list it's because it did not meet the criteria you gave me, but you never know! You can either call the agent on the sign and tell them up-front that you are working with another realtor, or you can call me and I'll look up the data for you and schedule a showing if it is within your price range. In any situation, the most important thing is to let other agents know you are already working with another realtor. This will eliminate loads of problems down the road!