Docstoc

Buyer

Document Sample
Buyer Powered By Docstoc
					   Buyer
Information




         By
  Glenn Wisenbaker
     Sales Agent
A Statement of My Policy
I am committed to meet your expectation of excellence. High
professional and ethnical standards have contributed to my success.
My ―Customer First Attitude‖ and attention to detailed follow-up enhance
my ability to be of benefit to you in your real estate transaction.
Any other personnel such as loan officers, insurance companies or home
inspectors, that I may refer you to, are individuals I have selected for their
professionalism, integrity and share in my ―Customer First Attitude‖.
However, you are free to choose whom you want to assist you in any of
these areas.

I sincerely want to make the purchase of your first home as stress-free
and as pleasant as possible. I am not satisfied until you are.

It is my pleasure to assist you with your pending move and transition. The
material in this booklet will provide information for you about the home
buying process. If you have any questions or specific needs please let me
know.

Thank you for this opportunity. I look forward to helping you.

Sincerely,



Glenn Wisenbaker
RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
The Home Buying Experience
For the First Time Home Buyer purchasing a home can be an exciting and frighten
process all at the same time. In actuality, the process can be broken down into 3 major
steps which I have outlined as followed:

   1.   Pre-Qualification for a mortgage
   2.   Searching/Previewing Homes
   3.   Presenting the Purchase and Sale Agreement
   4.   Closing

Pre-Qualification

Unless you will be paying cash for a home, you will need to obtain the services of a good
mortgage loan officer to obtain a loan. Within the last year, most loan officers now have
to be licensed by the state of Georgia.

In my fifteen years of representing buyers, I have aligned myself with a few select
mortgage loan officers who share my ―customer first‖ attitude. Any of the individuals I
will refer you to will make certain you understand the process and guide you to the loan
best suited for your specific purchase. You, of course, are free to choose anyone you
desire and whomever you choose will require the following information before pre-
approving you for a mortgage.

   a.   Your Credit Scores
   b.   Employer and Income
   c.   Savings/Investments Accounts
   d.   Checking Account Information
   e.   Debt (Rent, credit cards, student loans & auto loans)

Once the loan officer has accumulated this information, he or she will determine how
much of a mortgage you are qualified for and provide you with detailed information
outlining interest rate, closing cost and down payment you will be required to provide on
various loan programs available to you. Once the parameters of your loan are established,
the loan officer will provide a pre-approval letter to me to use along with the purchase
and sale agreement in presenting an offer to prospective sellers.

If your purchase will be an ―all cash‖ transaction, a letter from your banker or a copy of
your bank statement showing the funds are available to close, will be submitted along
with the Purchase and Sale Agreement.
Searching and Previewing Homes

Once the prequalification process has been completed I will begin to assist you in finding
the home you desire. Working together we will establish key points such as areas, type
of home, specific features you desire and price range.

As a realtor, I am members of both listing services – First Multiple Listing Service
(FMLS) and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – where all properties listed with real estate
companies will be displayed. Both of these systems update their listings every 24 hours.

There has been a substantial change in the real estate market due to the economic
downturn over the past few years. This economic slump has fostered the growth of the
number of many ―distressed‖, foreclosed or pre-foreclosure (short sale) properties on the
market today. Many are being sold well below the original price of the property and
there has been an increased demand by buyers for these homes sold below ―market
value‖.

Foreclosed Properties
The ―Sellers‖ of these properties will be the financial institution who held the loan on the
properties. The homes have been vacated by the owners who could not continue to pay
their mortgage and have been forced to leave the property. The mortgage lender usually
turns the properties over to ―Asset Managers‖ who assign the listing real estate agents to
market the property for sale. There are several points to remember when considering
these types of homes:

   1. The home is offered for sale in ―as in‖ condition meaning that any repairs to the
      property will be made by the buyer following the closing.
   2. Many times the properties do not have appliances, need new carpets, re-finished
      floors, exterior and interior painting as well as other repairs to roof or systems.
   3. Prior to closing on a foreclosed property, it is the seller’s responsibility to remove
      all liens from the property such as back taxes, association fees and any other liens
      the property may have. Until this is completed, the property cannot close.
   4. It can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to close.
   5. You will have the right to inspect the property, at your expense, to determine the
      repairs needed.
   6. Most asset management companies will provide at no expense to buyer a ―buyer’s
      title insurance policy to protect your home from any title defects or claims that
      might me made in the future.
Short Sale or Pre-Foreclosure Properties
Properties advertised as ―short sales‖ are distressed properties but different than
foreclosures in the following ways:
    1. The owner is still living in the home and he along with the listing agent is
       working with the financial institution to sell the home at a reduced price than the
       mortgage owed on the property. The goal is to sell the property before it is
       foreclosed upon.

   2. Offers made on ―short sale‖ properties are first presented to the owner of the
      home and once that negotiation is completed it is then sent to the financial
      institution for approval. Because financing or mortgage institutions are inundated
      with these types of properties, the approval or rejection process can take
      anywhere from 60 to 90 days. Let me once again point out that the owner of the
      property may accept you offer, however, the mortgage institution does not have to
      accept you offer and can counter the offer.

   3. Due to recent laws passed by the State of Georgia, Real Estate Agents cannot
      negotiate short sales. Most are now turned over to attorneys to handle the
      negotiations.

   4. Short Sales are the most time consuming and difficult to complete.


Regular or Non-Distressed Properties
These are properties that are ―For Sale‖ usually by other Real Estate companies. In the
majority of cases, the owner still occupies the home and wants a prospective buyer to
preview the home and hopefully result in a sale.

Once you have found the home of your choice I work with you to complete a Purchase
and Sale agreement with your offer. Your offer will include the following:

   1. Purchase Price
   2. Amount of Earnest Money and which Real Estate Company will hold your funds
      in their Trust Account. The Earnest Money demonstrates your willingness to
      complete the necessary steps to Purchase the Property. Usually, it is 1% of the
      Purchase Price. If the process is completed, the Earnest Money will be applied to
      your Down payment or Closing Cost.
   3. Closing Cost—You can request that the Seller pay a portion or all of your cost in
      obtaining a loan. With certain loans, like FHA Home Loans, there is a limit that
      the Seller can provide. Another point to remember when asking for any seller
      concessions is that the seller is paying all marketing cost in addition to paying off
      the mortgage or mortgages on the property. In most cases if asking for a huge
      reduction in the Purchase Price and wanting the Seller to pay the closing cost may
      prove to be un-realistic for the Sellers to accommodate.
4. Due Diligence Period—In 2008 all Residential Purchase & Sale contracts by the
   Georgia Real Estate Commission were changed to become more like ―commercial
   properties‖ contract. The contract now spells out that buyers can request to accept
   the property in ―as is‖ condition or request a ―Due Diligence‖ period of a certain
   number of days to have any inspections of the property prior to closing. Most of
   these inspections require the services of a certified home inspector, who will
   check the home’s systems and structural components and provide you with a
   report listing the defects found in the home. Working with the inspector, you and
   I will determine which of the defects we will present to have the seller repair. All
   of this must transpire during the prescribed ―Due Diligence Period‖ as outlined in
   the Purchase and Sale Agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, you have
   the right to either cancel the contract and receive a refund of all Earnest Monies or
   extend the due diligence period to further negotiate. If no action is taken, the
   contract spells out that after the last day of the Due Diligence period expires, then
   the buyer has accepted the property ―AS IS‖.

5. There are other items specified in the contract and on the following pages, I have
   included a copy of the Purchase and Sale Agreement for you to review.
Typical Sales Contract Timeline


   Finding a House
    (One week to one month)

   Negotiating Contract
    (24 to 72 Hours)

   Inspection
    (Complete within 2 to 5 days of binding contract date)

   Negotiating Due Diligence
    (Within 5 days of binding contract date)

   Closing Date
    (Within 30-45 days of binding contract date)

   Move-in Date
    (1 to 3 days of closing date)
Long Term Relationships
   My goal is to be your real estate consultant for life. This is what
    you can expect me when I assist with your real estate needs:

  Fair and honest treatment

  Disclosure of any property defects known to agent

  Willingness to provide information of special interest to you

  Financial knowledge

  Explanation of the purchase agreement

  Showing homes within your price range

  Work within the guidelines of your employer’s relocation policies,
   if applicable

  Special attention to children’s needs, if applicable

  Writing, presenting and negotiating the Purchase Agreements

  Maintaining contact with lender until the sale is closed.

  Repair and maintenance personnel to help with your new home

  Continued contact to help insure happiness with your new home and
   serve all your real estate needs.
How I Work With You

On January 1, 1994, the Brokerage Relationships in Real Estate
Transactions Act (BRETA) became law in the state of Georgia.
This Act clarifies relationships between brokers, buyers and sellers.
It provides full disclosure of the working relationship and legal obligations
between agents and their clients or customers.

For your review, a copy of the ―Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Engagement‖ is
included. It is my practice to establish an exclusive working relationship
with all purchasers with whom I do business. I have found this to be the
most productive method of working through the home buying process. Your
objectives can best be met by making me a member of your team. Please
review the sample agreement and let me know what questions you may have.
I will ask that you sign this at the end of your first appointment.

After finding your new home, I will draft the ―Purchase and Sale
Agreement‖ for your review and signature and provide advice through the
negotiation. I will assist you in obtaining financing, refer you to a home
inspector, draft amendments as necessary, assist in locating the services that
you may require, recommend repairmen if needed and be available to assist
in all phases including reviewing the settlement statement and attend the
closing. I am available to you by phone from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. daily.

In short, your understanding of the home buying process, satisfaction with
your real estate purchase and searching for the property through the closing
is my priority. Next, you will find a copy of the Buyer Brokerage and the
Purchase and Sale Agreement. Please look over and ask me any questions
regarding either of these documents.
Having the Home Inspected

As you will see when you review the ―Purchase and Sale Agreement‖, a
section of the contract allows the purchaser to have the home inspected by a
qualified inspector. It is my recommendation that you have this inspection
performed if the home is a re-sale (not new).

Most general home inspectors do not inspect swimming pools, septic tanks
or plumbing (from the house to the sewer connection at the street), stucco
and synthetic stucco, etc. If you need these types of inspections, they will
probably need to be arranged separately. Please pay careful attention to the
inspector as he describes what his inspection covers.

You should plan approximately 3 hours for the general home inspection. It
is a good opportunity for you to ask questions, learn about the home’s
systems, etc.

Your inspector should be ASHI and CABO Certified and have a lockbox
key to enter the property.

Cost for an inspection usually range from $250 to $375. Prices vary
according to the size of the home. You will need to arrange payment with
the inspector.
Title Insurance
What is title insurance?
Answer: Title insurance is just like any other insurance except that the risk it protects is
against defects in titles to real estate. Some question why buyers need to obtain title
insurance if a title search is in process on the property prior to its purchase. The answer
to this question is that many title problems are not revealed by a title exam.

Defects in title can arise from acts of fraud, including forged signatures on deeds, wills
and other legal instruments; false claims of ownership; or illegal acts of parties such as
trustees, guardians, administrators and attorneys. Another source of defects in title is
human error, such as mistakes in copying, recording, or indexing deeds in the land
records. Other defects can relate to improper wills and/or deeds, including deeds made
by minors or persons not of sound mind, invalid or erroneous will, unsettled estates and
missing heirs. Defects in title can also arise as a result of liens for unpaid federal, state
inheritance and gift taxes; spousal rights, homestead rights and defective foreclosures.
Finally, the title examiner can simply miss defects. One benefit of the title insurance that
is overlooked is that it pays the cost of defending title claims, even when they are without
merit. Since attorney’s
fees can be substantial, this protection can be significant.

How is title insurance different from other forms of insurance?
Answer: The biggest difference between title insurance and other forms of insurance is
that other forms of insurance protect only against loss from events that may happen in the
future whereas title insurance has traditionally only protected against loss from title
defects that are in existence on the effective date of the policy. This basic difference has
begun to erode somewhat as some title companies are now offering protection for
specific events that may occur after the policy has been issued.

Another difference is that the title insurance company charges a one-time premium upon
issuing the policy rather than the periodic premium payments, which other forms of
insurance require. This is because the title insurance company is able to identify and to
reduce or eliminate the risk. This benefits both the insurance company and the
policyholder. It allows the insurance company to reduce the risk it assumes in issuing the
policy, while at the some time reduces the chances the policyholder will be subjected to a
loss or disruption of his/her use of the property.
The Property Survey
The January 2002 issue of Real Estate Executive Magazine published an article written by Clara Fryer
entitled, “And the Survey Says” A Recent Change in Lender Requirements May Leave
Homeowners Unprotected. The following is a portion of that article.

Not long ago, when a person bought a home (and borrowed money from an institutional
lender for the purchase), the lender required that the property be surveyed as a condition
of the loan. A survey is created using information contained in county land records and
is a drawing of the lot based upon physical inspection and measurement of the property.
A survey indicates the size of the lot and any easements, encroachments, or dimension
discrepancies affecting the property.

A survey confirms for the buyer that their visual assumptions about the property
boundaries are correct. Furthermore, a survey may alert the buyer to legal description
discrepancies, encroachment issues or easement violations that could affect the value of
the home. For example, if a house is built over a sanitary sewer line with an easement
violation in favor of the city or county, the city or county has the right to require the
removal of the home. Generally, removal is not necessary, but the city or county will
charge the homeowner the costs of the rerouting the line.

Beginning in 1993, lenders sought to reduce closing costs by waiving the requirement of
a new survey for consumers who were refinancing their home loan and already had a
survey of their lot. This savings was accomplished by negotiating with title insurance
companies for protection for the lender in the ―lender’s title insurance policy‖ from the
expense of correcting problems such as those described above. Although this practice
was originally designed to apply only to those properties where the consumer already
owned their home, the distinction in coverage gradually expanded to include a new home
purchase, as well. Consequently, today’s residential lender will be protected from survey
matters by lender’s title insurance coverage. Consumers should know that a title
insurance company would not offer this same coverage in an owner’s title insurance
policy without a new survey. Further, the lender’s title insurance policy will not protect
the homeowner, since this policy only comes into play if the bank foreclosed on the
property. Unfortunately, since lenders are covered by title insurance, they no longer
automatically require surveys for their borrowers, so the subject is often overlooked by
the purchaser as an issue.
The Property Survey
Page 2

In today’s real estate market, homebuyers must become proactive to ensure their property
is surveyed. Upon the purchaser’s request, most residential real estate law firms will
order surveys as part of the closing process. We review hundreds of surveys a year in our
office and discover items of concern for the buyer in approximately 20% of our files.
The average cost of a survey is $350.00. The Additional coverage and peace of mind
afforded by an owner’s title insurance policy is well worth the investment.
Clara Fryer is a residential real estate attorney in Atlanta. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has
practiced law for over 17 years
Homeowners Insurance
A home is probably the most valuable asset your client will ever own, so it must be
protected with adequate insurance. Your mortgage company will require you to have a
Homeowners Insurance Policy as a condition of your closing.

Homeowners insurance policies should help pay for replacing or repairing damaged,
destroyed or stolen property and belongings. Likewise, it should protect against liability
resulting from an injury or property damage around the home. As some homeowners
unfortunately learn, earthquake, hurricane and flood damage are not necessarily covered
by their policy, and may need to be purchased separately.

“Actual cash value” coverage pays the value of property or belongings at the time they
were lost, taking into account their age, depreciation, etc. “Replacement cost” coverage
provides enough money to replace lost or damaged property or belongings with new ones.
Usually there are replacement limits to certain expensive items, such as furs, jewelry, etc.
When selecting a policy, homeowners ought to calculate the cost of rebuilding their
house after a major calamity. That amount is probably more than what they consider their
home’s current market value.

It is wise to keep a record of a house’s contents, noting their value, date of purchase and
description. Valuables can also be photographed or video taped. This will help determine
their replacement amount later on. Finally, a policy needs to be checked every year. Have
any additions or improvements been made to the house? Has the home increased in value?
If so, more insurance may be required.
What to Expect at Closing
Residential real estate closings are handled in several different ways among various states.
In some states, title companies handle the process; escrow companies predominate in
others. In Georgia, most closings occur with the assistance of an attorney who
specializes in real estate transactions.

1. Representation
The closing attorney represents the lender (mortgage institution). Because of ethical
considerations due to a possible conflict of interest among the various parties to a closing,
an attorney representing the lender should not represent any other party to the closing.
Therefore, if representation is desired by the borrower with respect to the closing or
contract of sale, independent counsel should be obtained. Of course, if a lender is not
involved in financing the transaction, the purchaser will select an attorney to represent his
or her interest.

2. Functions
An attorney selected after signing of the contract of sale to handle the closing will
customarily examine the title to the property, prepare the sale and loan closing documents,
conduct the closing, arrange for the recording of the closing documents, issue the lender’s
and, if desired, owner’s title insurance, and disburse the lender’s and/or purchaser’s funds.
Today most closing attorneys require that buyer’s funds for down payment and closing
cost be sent by bank wire. A few will accept cashier’s check for the purchaser’s net
purchase proceeds

3. Closing Costs
Initially, payment of and limitations on the amount of closing costs are determined by the
contract of sale. If a lender finances the transaction, the purchaser will be responsible for
negotiating the precise amount of closing costs

Nearly all lenders will be subject to certain federal regulations governing disclosure of a
―good faith estimate‖ of settlement charges to be given to the borrower within three
business days following loan application. In order to prevent unpleasant surprises at the
closing, the purchaser should become more familiar with and understand the limitations
of such an estimate. If a purchaser requires more certainty than an estimate, it should be
requested at the time of a loan application since the good faith estimate is the limit of the
federal requirements.
What to Expect at Closing
Page 2

Closing costs are collected at the time of closing, usually by payment of a net purchase
figure that includes the purchaser’s equity, the closing costs, prorations and other
adjustments.

Closing costs and their individual components will vary among lenders and closing
attorneys. For example, certain items included in a lump-sum quote by one lender may
not be included in another’s quote. Thus, a purchaser should at least inquire whether the
initial quote includes all of those cost, which can reasonably be expected to be paid at
closing. Closing costs do not include escrows for property taxes and insurance.
Furthermore, closing costs quoted by a lender usually don not include the cost of an
owner’s title insurance policy.

4. Owner’s Title Insurance

Owner’s title insurance is designed to insure the owner against loss suffered because of
claims made against the title to the property. The policy typically insures against those
matters that were not or could not have been discovered by a proper title examination of
the property, subject to specific exemptions to coverage detailed in the policy. As with
all types of insurance, deciding to purchase is only part of the job; determining, for
example, whether certain exceptions to coverage are acceptable or in accordance with the
contract of sale, takes additional consideration, and an attorney’s advice may be helpful
in such a decision.

In some states, owner’s title insurance is required to be purchased by the seller on behalf
of the purchaser; in others, its purchase is customary. In Georgia, however, owner’s title
insurance is purchased at the option of the purchaser at his or her expense unless
otherwise agreed in the contract of sale.

5. Property Taxes

Property taxes are based upon forty percent of the county’s assessment of the fair market
value of your property as of January 1st of each year multiplied by a rate per thousand
established by the county each year.
The Closing


Real estate purchases in Georgia are typically closed in the office of an
attorney who specializes in real estate and represents the lender.

The buyer and seller and their agents, your loan officer and the closing
attorney attend most closings. You can expect your closing to take
approximately an hour depending on the complexity of the situation.

In the Georgia Purchase and Sale Agreement real estate contract, the closing
attorney is to be specified. Talk with your agent regarding who and why he
or she recommends a particular firm. Usually the agent will select a firm
that has demonstrated their ability in making the closing run smoothly.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:115
posted:6/25/2011
language:English
pages:17