Buying or Selling a Home
We know buying and selling.
At B-town real estate, we can help you buy or sell a home. We've got your best interests covered. We know the process sounds daunting between moving, cleaning, meeting with an agent, and the inconvenience of having potential buyers look through your home. Here are some steps to take when you are ready to move onward:
Step 1: Find an Agent
Find an agent to work with who cares about your needs and not just selling you on a house. How do you know who is good and who is not so good? Meet up with them over coffee or a beer and get to know their personality style; get to know them like you would any date (minus the awkward dating history). We will guide you through the entire home buying/selling experience. We'll be there to calm your fears, reduce your stress and encourage you to find the place that suits all of your needs. We can tell you market trends, what's a good buy (or not), we can talk about appraisals and with B-Town Real Estate, we can tell you how to repair potential problems. We're pretty unique in that we're often hired on to do remodel projects after you buy your home to make it as cozy as you dream.
Step 2: Organize your Documents
Organize your documents. You'll need to get a pre-approval letter from your chosen lender (we suggest IU Credit Union, who is locally based and honest-to-good). The pre-approval letter shows all sellers and agents that you are serious and willing to buy a home. With this letter, it lets you and your own agent know what you can afford so you won't waste time looking at places above your means. Use our mortgage calculator to the right and see how much your payments would be based on your pre-approval!
Step 3: House Hunt
If you love HGTV as much as a normal American, you're going to love the house hunting process. Among all your options, consider:
- Your proximity to work, school, or your children's school district. This gives you the best practicality for an easy commute and less stress day-to-day.
- Location background. Do you want to live next to the mountains, beach, or in the woods? If these are must-haves, this must be at the top of your list.
- Traffic of any given area. Are you located right near the exit of an expressway that makes getting home tough? Consider how long it takes to get to the hospital--just in case.
- Proximity to local shopping districts, grocery stores, and outdoor recreation spaces.
- You probably won't get every feature on your wish-list, but you can always make the upgrades once you move in! We're great at making your home your perfect home with renovations.
- Believe it or not, the average American doesn't live in their home for more than 7 years! This could be due to job-relocation, a growing family, or wanting something completely different. So, suit what needs you have for now and worry about the rest later.
- This is the place where you will spend most of your time. Don't settle if you don't need to settle.
Step 4: Make an Offer
"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse" --Vito Corleone
This is where your agent comes in handy. How do you know what's appropriate to spend? It depends entirely on market value assessments, comparables in the neighborhood of homes that match the same style/arrangement, and the location. Your agent should be well-versed in the area's housing market, the condition of the home, and repairs needed to make the place how you want it.
- Are you in a competitive market? There might be a bidding war. This means that multiple buyers are going to put in their best offer, but a great agent might have the means to get around this with personal connections.
- Are there lots of homes in the area for sale? This might mean you have negotiating power to score a house for lower than the asking price.
- Are there a lot of issues to fix? It's possible that a great agent can write these remodeling terms into the contract. Win for you!
- Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get your dream house? This might require you put in a full value offer or even higher.
With B-town Real Estate, it's our general policy to make all offers contingent on home inspections so you know exactly what you're getting into. Our remodeling team is ready and able to fix nearly anything in/around the home!
Step 5: Pick your Loan Terms
Since you already have a preferred lender at this point, you and your lender will come to terms with the best loan option: will you choose a 30-year fixed rate or 10-year ARM? Are you getting an FHA loan or qualify for a Veteran loan? After you come to an agreement, your lender will have an underwriter review all of your financials and make sure any necessary documents are reviewed. You'll get a GFE back (Good Faith Estimate) which shows the cost of closing the loan and mortgage terms.
Next, you need to settle up that downpayment. Typically, you need 20% of a home's value, but it can change depending on your loan. Be careful of your spending, because all of your finances are being watched.
- Any significant purchases might cancel the terms of your loan depending on your lender.
- Any significant money deposited in your bank will have to be filtered as a "gift" to prove that you won't have any added debt to repay later on.
If you have 20% or more of a downpayment, you drastically decrease your chances of paying Private Mortgage Insurance. You'll save a lot of money because your lender trusts that you won't default on your loan.
Step 6: Home Appraisal
You are SO close to closing that loan! A third-party appraiser has been contacted by your lender and will come to the house to assess its value. This is important so all parties involved know that you won't be paying extra on a house that isn't worth its weight. An appraisal will also let you know if there is anything structurally wrong. Depending on your loan type and local housing standards, repairs might be needed.
No problems? A certificate of occupancy is ordered and a title company will come in to make sure the title is free of any liens, debt, and that you can legally transfer the title. Think of it like a high-valued assessment of trading cars with someone. You want to make sure the "car" isn't stolen and they can legally sell it. After the title clears, you are DONE! Congratulations!
Contact our agents today if you are interested in buying or selling a property.