Finding a Perfect Home
Island Properties will work with you as your partner, trusted real estate consultant & advisor to help you buy a home. We make buying a home a smooth, pleasant & profitable experience.
- Discuss your specific requirements, including style, location and price
- Refer you to a reputable loan officer to help determine your buying power and to get you pre approved. When we find your home, we will be ready!
- Set up a personalized web site to email you new listings that meet your criteria the moment they become available
- Provide information on all homes available in the area of your choice NOT JUST THOSE LISTED!
To Help You CHOOSE a Home We Will:
- Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each home in relation to your specific needs and goals
- Run a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) to help determine a fair price
- Give you a complete estimated settlement expense sheet. There will be NO surprises!
To Help You to LIVE With Your New Home:
- Provide the information needed to help in transferring all utilities and services
- Notify your friends and neighbors and throw a house warming party for you
To Help You BUY a Home We Will:
- Use our years of experience to write a strong offer and negotiate on your behalf
- We and our team members handle the detail work, carefully explain all written documents, and give you a copy of everything you sign
- Look out for your best interests in arranging inspections or tests; inspection of such things as: the home & its systems, termites, structure, septic and/or well tests, dry rot, lead testing, etc
- Have all the financial alternatives to find the lowest cost financing available on the home you choose explained to you by your chosen loan officer
- Be present at escrow for signing (closing)
THE HOME BUYER PROCESS
You are ready to buy, so let’s talk about what to anticipate and how to be ready for the road ahead!
1. Make a decision to buy
2. Get organized
3. Shop for a home
4. Make an offer
5. Get a loan
6. Close on the home
Shopping For a Home; it’s a Partnership
There are several phases in purchasing a home. As your real estate consultants, we’ll be right there with you through all of them. We will need to work together, like partners.
The majority of buyers find the home they eventually purchase on the internet. We will set you up with your own personalized website. It is important to check the website daily. We may find the home you love, or it may be you who finds it: through word of mouth, visiting an open house, a different internet site. Either way, we can help you and will be there to help you evaluate its merits.
When evaluating a home that you like, have a list of questions ready to fire off. Your questions might include the name of the school district, what type of taxes are paid, why is the seller selling, what is the neighborhood like, and how the neighbors are. You might also want to know the condition of the house, the age of the mechanical systems (electrical, plumbing), the amount of necessary house repairs or replacements, the builder, and date the house was built.
Next, research the neighborhood. Walk around and converse with the neighbors. Find out if the atmosphere fits your needs and family’s desires.
When you find the home you desire, prepare an offer.
This is when you need an experienced agent. You want to place a bid on the home, but do not want to pay too much. Before you prepare to start bidding, identify the maximum amount you can afford. This will prevent you from getting overly excited or making too high of a bid, which will then fail to satisfy you later. It is critical that we offer the appropriate amount for the home. To offer too little could mean losing your home to another buyer. To offer too much could mean a bad investment.
Deciding the value of a property is not an exact science. Real estate appraisers spend many months in training and apprenticeships, and still will tell you an appraisal is an educated, but subjective, value. We will prepare a Comparative Marketing Analysis, or a CMA, of the neighborhood to show you what similar homes in the area have recently sold for. We will also look at how long the house has been on the market to try to determine how motivated the sellers may be. All of these factors will help you decide on the offer you wish to make. Once you have decided on the amount, we will present the offer on your behalf, emphasizing specific negotiating points.
To add strength to your offer, include the letter of pre-approval from your lender. If you have contingencies or conditions, attach them to your offer. Be ready to include a deposit, or earnest money, with your offer, which will be part of the down payment if the deal goes through. Earnest money shows the seller you are sincere in the offer. It is the opportunity to say you really do have the means to purchase the property, and intend to go through with the contract unless something unacceptable is found during the property review period.
The seller may accept, reject, or counter your offer within hours or days, depending on the quality of your offer, the number of other offers and the seller’s desire to sell. You can then accept the counteroffer or “counter the counter.” Once the seller accepts, a neutral third party (an escrow or title company) completes the transaction with your Realtor and your lender.
Time to Get a Loan
If you’re not pre-approved, it’s time to get approved. You will have the choice to get a loan from the company who gave you the pre-approval or to shop elsewhere. This can be done through a lender or mortgage broker. A mortgage broker acts as a middleman between the borrower (buyer) and the lender. Do not take this process lightly! Examine the different types of available loans. Find the best rate, compare, and be well educated on your decision.
Close the Deal
Speak with an accountant if your closing date is near the end of the year. Your accountant will identify future savings with owning a home and will recommend a future closing date or earlier date for tax purposes, as well as identifying the tax advantages of owning a home.
We will ensure that you receive an estimate all your closing cost to avoid any surprise. Costs range between 2-7 percent of the purchase price of the home.
The escrow agent receives written instructions (within the contract), which determine under what conditions and at what time the agent will distribute the documents and the money to the proper parties. The purpose of escrow is to ensure that the seller receives the purchase price, the buyer receives clear title to the property, and that the lender’s security interest in the property is protected.
We will be there for you at escrow on signing day, 3 to 5 days before the home records and becomes yours. There we will go over and sign all paperwork. Three days later the house becomes your new home!”