Buying A Home
Steps to Buying a Home in Austin and Central Texas
- Buyer’s Agent
- Pre-Qualifying for a mortgage loan
- Selecting area(s) of town-wants and needs
- Writing a/the offer
- Negotiating the terms of the offer
- Inspections and Repairs
- Closing Time
BUYER’S AGENT REPRESENTS YOU
Buying a home is the American Dream and probably one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. The questions you will have surrounding the purchase of a home can seem endless as it calls for many informed decisions. You may have spent years saving and preparing to buy your Dream Home.
When buying a home, you can learn from the knowledge, negotiating skills and good advice from a real estate professional.
Buyer’s agents are almost always paid from the Seller’s or Builder’s proceeds so the service they provide is at no cost to you.
Buyer’s Agent responsibilities when representing you:
- Promote and protect the interest of the client.
- Submit all offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible.
- Preserve confidential information.
- Disclose the amount of compensation to be paid.
- Avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or transaction.
- Loyalty, Reasonable Care and Diligence.
The Seller’s agent or Seller represents the Seller. By negotiating directly with the Seller’s agent you are putting yourself at a severe disadvantage since their agent is legally bound to inform the Seller everything you tell them in order to get the best deal for their client. Don’t risk going it alone for one of the biggest purchases in your life in buying a home without Buyer representation.
Therefore we recommend that you have an agent represent you in your real estate transaction. Once you decide to be represented, the Texas Real Estate Commission believes you should enter into a written agreement that clearly establishes the broker’s obligations and your obligations.
When I represent you as a Buyer I place your needs first and there is absolutely No Cost to you!
Pre-Qualifying for a Mortgage
Shop for mortgage and terms
I will connect you to the best lender with the best rate and service to meet your needs
Prequalification: This determines what you can afford and shows sellers you are serious!
You will be asked basic information in a 20 minute phone call. You will need: social security numbers, tax returns for the past 2 yrs, employment history, bank asset and debt information.
Or even better is Preapproval. This is stronger than prequalification as it shows that your employment and credit history are verified and you are approved for the loan subject to final credit check and property appraisal.
Good Faith Estimate
Ask about all costs connected with the purchase including loan points, escrow or closing day charges, prepaid interest and property tax. The estimate allows you to compare rates and costs offered between lenders when buying a home.
Define what you are looking for
Certain areas are more expensive than others, so selecting neighborhoods in your price range may be an important first step. In Austin, the central neighborhoods may be higher priced while those in surrounding areas are less per square foot.
Commute time/Convenience to friends or family
It may be important to find something within certain travel time to your place of employment
You may be moving to be closer to a relative or friend so the location may be driven by where they are located.
You may be seeking a change. Moving downtown to a luxury condo offers excitement and nightlife. Moving to a golf course community or waterfront retreat may be a change you desire.
Decide which features are most important to you. Make a list of features you must have or can’t live without (number of bedrooms, baths, one story, school district, floor plans). Make a Wish List of features you would like in your dream home, i.e., cathedral ceilings, fireplace, outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, large lot, waterfront.
Our website is your one stop to search all active properties in the Austin area. Searching online saves you time and helps you refine your must have and wish list. The searches you save will inform you when a new listing comes on the market that meets your specific criteria. I will also be sending you select properties meeting your specific needs via email as we work together. I may find out about new properties even before they are advertised and will keep you updated as to any changes in price so you have the advantage.
This is one of the most fun parts of the process!
Now that you have an idea about your ideal home and where you want to live, make a list of the addresses you want to see and call me.
I will help you arrange the showings and keep track of the homes we have seen. I will offer to preview them in advance to assure that your time is well utilized.
We will learn by looking so let’s go!
Preparing the Offer
When we have found the right home for you, we will prepare a negotiation strategy for the property you have selected.
A competitive market analysis will be provided so that you have a feel of what price to offer on the home you have selected.
Once you determine the offer price, we will prepare the contract and any related forms.
I will contact the listing agent and promptly deliver the offer to the listing agent or seller
After the offer is delivered, I will negotiate on your behalf to get the best deal for you.
Inspections and Repairs
We will review with you all inspection reports, seller disclosure statements and documents pertaining to the condition of the property and disclose all defects that are known to us.
We recommend that you obtain a professional building and termite inspection and provide you with names of reputable inspectors. You should attend the inspection if at all possible to learn about your future home. I will be present also.
Once we have completed the inspection you will decide what repairs are important to you, if any. We will submit a list of these repairs to the seller as an addendum to the contract. Repairs can be requested before closing or you can request extra money to cover any needed repairs.
The Day Has Arrived! You are about to become a proud homeowner!
It’s important to check with your lender to make sure you have submitted all of the necessary paperwork.
Make sure you have made all necessary bank deposits
Most closings in Texas occur at a title company that has been mutually selected with the seller.
Sometimes they occur at an attorney’s office. Most closings take about an hour. I will attend the closing with you and will review required forms with you at that time.
Moving In/Making your dream a reality
Usually you gain possession the day of closing. It however is best to give an extra day before moving in.
Pre-move resources are provided as needed (utility service companies, insurance carriers, and alarm companies) to make the preparation for your move trouble free.