Tips for Home Buyers
Congratulations on your decision to buy a home! Buying a home is a very exciting time in one’s life. We hope to make the process a smooth and exciting one for you!
Below you will find information on the purchase process that will help you navigate the journey to homeownership.
The most important decision, second to which home you purchase, is the person you chose to represent you in the process.
The job of our Broker Associates (referred to as your “Broker”), and our company, is to provide a support system and guide you through the entire process. Your Broker will explain the home purchase process from start to finish. They will familiarize you with various documents and procedures you will encounter throughout the purchase process.
One of the most important pieces in finding an agent is finding someone that understands your wants and needs. You will be spending a lot of time with your agent, especially in this competitive market, so it’s important to find someone you trust and that will listen to what you want and represent you with the highest skill and care.
Some other reasons to select an agent would be based on their knowledge about the communities you are interested in purchasing. This is especially important if you are relocating to Colorado from out of state.
A Broker should be continuing their education year over year to ensure that they are highly trained and up-to-date with the latest state and federal real estate policies and procedures. It is important to seek a Broker that places a high emphasis on continuing education.
Lastly, behind every good firm is good legal counsel. Pick a Broker that is supported by professional legal counsel. At Price & Co., our Employing Broker is also a licensed Colorado attorney.
Many people do not know that there is a difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR® but there most certainly is!
What sets the two apart? REALTORS® are held to a higher ethical standard set in place by the National Association of REALTORS®. REALTORS® must adhere to the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics. To review this code, please click here. The code is extensive and those who have vowed to uphold it take it very seriously. Negotiation is tricky so leave it to a REALTOR® to make sure you get the most out of your money!
At Price & Co., we require all of our Broker Associates to belong to the National and Local Board of REALTORS®. In our company, our brokers are members of South Metro Denver Board of REALTORS®.
Unless you have purchased a home before and have a good relationship in place with a lender, call your agent for recommendations. Bear in mind, our agents has seen both the good, and the very bad, lenders. When you work with one of our preferred lenders, you can trust that we will be monitoring their work closely and making sure they are on top of things every step of the way. Give your broker a call and discuss what your goals are for purchasing and they can provide a few different lending options to explore to find your best fit.
It’s important to get pre-approved. The preferred lenders we work with will put you through a basic pre-qualification process first to make sure you are a candidate for a home loan. Once they have the basic information and have verified you are eligible for a home loan, they will put you through an entire pre-approval process (i.e. you will go through underwriting to find any nuances that need to be addressed that could prevent you from getting a home loan). You will get a pre-approval letter and this will be your ticket to begin the home searching process! At Price & Co., we do not like to take any buyers out before they are, at least, pre-qualified so we can make sure we are only showing you homes you are truly eligible and comfortable purchasing.
At Price & Co., we have developed a system that provides you with access to homes the minute they are listed. In this case, there is no reason to spend hours navigating untrustworthy websites like Zillow or Trulia for outdated data. We can set you up with direct e-mails with new listings or provide you with an app for your smartphone or tablet that allows you to search for homes on your own – or better yet, we can provide you with both! We aim to provide our clients with reliable and immediate data. In this market, it’s imperative to stay on top of the home search and try to see properties as soon as they are listed. We feel that, by putting the control in your hands, we are able to take out the unnecessary step of the properties coming to us before we send to you. This typically allows us to get you scheduled for a showing in 24 hours’ time (or less in many cases) from when a property lists.
We will ensure that you are only seeing homes that fit your criteria. We are not a firm that allows our brokers to bring clients to homes that exceed their budget. We don’t feel this practice is fair, nor is it conducive to finding you the home of your dreams. We will never push you to purchase something you aren’t completely sure of. Our brokers are here to support you in the process and make sure the transaction goes smoothly. Once you find the home of your dreams, leave it to our agents to skillfully negotiate and get you under contract!
Once you make an offer on a home and that offer is accepted, you are considered under contract. For many this is an exciting time, but for the new buyer, it can also be a time for panic! Have no fear, your broker will explain the entire closing process, what you can expect and what your rights are as a buyer. They will make sure you understand everything you are signing (and will review anything with you any time you need, however many times you need!). Normal purchase closings using a loan take anywhere between 30-45 days (sometimes shorter, sometimes longer). You will have a few fees that come up during the transaction such as the inspection fee (standard inspection, sewer scope, radon testing, etc.). These fees will be paid directly to the vendor at the time of service. You will also be required to write a check for earnest money (the funds will be cashed and held by the listing agent firm or title company to show that you are truly “earnest” in your intent to purchase this home). The required earnest money differs from property to property but it is usually around 1-3% of the purchase price.
Your lender will provide you with a loan estimate of all of the fees you will be expected to pay associated with the loan aspect of your purchase. These fees will usually include the following:
Down Payment – The funds you want to put down will be established in the pre-approval process. This is the money that is due at closing.
Lender Associated Fees – appraisal fees, charges for loan processing, establishing an escrow account, etc.
Government Fees – include deed recording, state mortgage tax, etc.
Escrow Fees – homeowner’s insurance premiums, loan interest, real estate taxes and in some case mortgage insurance premiums depending on the loan type.