Buying a home in Jackson, Gwinnett, Hall, Barrow, Walton or Forsyth
I specialize in helping people find great deals on homes !!
Attention First Time Home Buyers!!
Let me help you walk through the entire home buying process, at no costs to you!
As a potential first time home buyer, you may feel a little overwhelmed with the entire process of buying your first home. My goal is to empower you with the information and resources necessary to give you the confidence and financial help needed to make the dream of buying your first home become a reality. The more you know about the home buying process, the more likely you will be able to purchase the home of your dreams.
Before you seriously start looking for a new home you should pre-qualify for a mortgage. Getting pre-qualified does several things to your advantage:
- Helps your real estate agent narrow your search to homes in your price range. You, and your agent, don't want to waste time looking at homes that will over-extend you or those too small for your needs. You might be pleasantly surprised at the amount of home you can afford.
- Lets sellers and their real estate agent know that you are serious when you make an offer.
- Avoids delays in the negotiating process. In a hot market you can't afford to wait for a loan approval when you are making an offer. Other offers can come in on your perfect home and be accepted while you are waiting for approval.
- Helps you set up a budget. If you know what your maximum monthly mortgage payments may be then you can plan for other monthly expenses.
There's a lot to think about when you are looking to buy a home, as a real estate professional I can help guide you through the entire transaction.
If you need help locating a mortgage lender or have questions, please let me know. I'm here to help.
If you haven't yet applied for a mortgage and are worried about your credit rating, here are some tips to help clean up your credit and get the loan you need.
- Eliminate credit card debt as much as possible and pay down as many as you can. Having a balance on multiple cards will hurt your credit score.
- Get a copy of your credit report to see what the lenders will see. You can get these reports at minimal cost and in some states you get one free. Two of the major credit reporting companies are Equifax and TransUnion.
- Review your credit report, it may show you credit or charge cards from gasoline companies, department stores, etc. that you never use. Cancel these unused cards; this potential debt on your report will hurt your score.
- Also look at your past credit history for errors and get them corrected with the credit-reporting agency.
- Don't fill out every credit card application you receive in the mail, every application will result in a check on your credit and this is recorded in your credit history. A mortgage company will ask why you're trying to take on more credit card debt.
- If you have any tax liens, bankruptcies or court judgments that have been paid or dismissed and are over 7 years old then contact your credit reporting agency about getting them removed from your report.
- If you don't have a good credit history (or none at all) then you need to establish one. Apply for a credit card at a local department store or a small loan with your bank or credit union. If you're denied credit then you might ask a friend or relative to co-sign on a loan with you.
- Be wary of companies that say they can repair your credit. Unless there are errors on your credit history they cannot get bad debt removed from your record. Check with your state attorney general before contacting a debt repair company.
Hopefully this information has reassured you of your ability to qualify for a loan.
If you need help locating a mortgage lender or have questions, please let me know. I'm here to help.
WHAT IS A BUYER'S AGENT? A SELLING AGENT? A LISTING AGENT?
Q: What is a Buyer's Agent?
A: A Realtor who represents you and your interests EXCLUSIVELY when you are purchasing real estate.
Q: Is it necessary to have a Buyer's Agent?
A: Not unless you prefer having everyone working in the Seller\'s interests
Q: Can't the Seller's Agent represent me as well?
A: Yes, that's called Dual Agency, (prohibited in some states, for good reason). Caution! The Sellers and their agent have had a longer contractual relationship, so can you be sure that the Seller's Agent is going to negotiate a good deal for you?
Q: What does it cost me to have a Buyer's Agent represent me?
A: Absolutely nothing! Zero! But he/she could save you a small fortune!
Q: How does a Buyer's Agent get compensated?
A: When a seller "lists" his house (puts it on the market), he agrees to pay the listing broker a certain commission. The listing broker, will in turn, list the house in the MLS system and disclose what he/she will pay to any other broker who brings the buyer. Otherwise the listing broker keeps all of the commission if he/she finds a buyer.
Q: Do Buyer's Agents and Seller's Agents have the same qualifications and licenses?
A: Yes! They have to sit for the same examinations and continuing education classes and generally belong to the same associations.
Q: Are there any other differences?
A: Not really. Seller's Agents are typically very good at, and prefer, the marketing challenge of selling a house. Buyer's Agents are very comfortable with investigative analysis of real estate, and counseling Buyers. Many agents can do both very well.
Q: If a house catches my eye and I want to investigate further, what steps do I need to take?
A: Contact a Buyer's Agent FIRST, before contacting the Seller's Agent. This will ensure a smooth transaction for you should you decide to purchase the house.
Q: If I walk into a sales office for a new community being built, can I negotiate a discount because I don't have a Buyers' Agent?
A: No. Each builder has contracted to pay a set fee to the marketing company (sales office) on each house sold, irrespective of the number of agents involved (even if you should negotiate directly with the builder, he still has to pay the same fee to the marketing company).
What can you expect from me?
As Your Agent, I Will:
- Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria.
- Guide you through the entire home buying process, from finding homes to preview, to getting the best financing.
- Make sure you don\'t pay too much for your new home and help you avoid costly mistakes.
- Answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.
Before You Start Looking For Your New Home:
- Check your credit rating.
- Straighten out any errors on your credit report.
- Determine a comfortable monthly budget for your new purchase, including down payment and monthly payment.
- Find a loan program that meets your needs and get pre-qualified (preferably pre-approved).
- Choose a REALTOR© that you trust and who understands your needs.
- Determine what neighborhood best matches your needs.
- Identify important features you need your new home to have.
Closing Costs to Expect:
- Lender fees include charges for loan processing, underwriting, preparation and establishing an escrow account.
- Third-party fees include charges for insurance, title search, and other inspections such as termites. Government fees include deed recording and state & local mortgage taxes.
- Escrow and interest fees include homeowner\'s insurance, loan interest, real estate taxes, and occasionally private mortgage insurance.
What You Can Expect From Me!
A Buyer's Agent (or Representative) works only for you and has NO legal or other responsibility to the Seller. On the other hand, a general real estate agent has LEGAL obligations to the SELLER even though they can help the Buyer with the transactions such as presenting the offer or doing the paperwork on any property you choose. THEY STILL REPRESENT THE SELLER AND BY LAW MUST GET THE SELLER THE BEST PRICE FOR THEIR HOME.
As Your Buyer's Agent, I will provide you with maximum information about buying a home, including but not limited to, disclosing specifics about location, property values, offering price, negotiations, counteroffers, contingencies, financing and the entire closing process.
SO IS THERE REALLY A FEE TO USE A BUYER'S AGENT?
Please remember that services to the Buyer are always FREE. The Buyer's Agent is compensated through the listing (or Selling) agent's commission.
DO HOMEOWNER'S NEED THE HELP OF A BUYER'S AGENT?
Absolutely! When buyers work with a Buyer's Agent who is 100% loyal and completely committed to them, the entire home buying process will go smoothly with more buyer satisfaction. Problems can arise, and you will have a Buyer's Representative that is legally responsible to YOU, and committed to helping protect your best interests in the purchase. As Buyer's Agents, we are fully qualified, experienced and highly skilled in the back and forth negotiations and financing queries that precede the closing of most real estate transactions. In addition, we will be forthcoming with any negative aspects about properties that you're investigating for purchase. Armed with such vital and detailed information, you'll be thoroughly prepared to make decisions that are right for you and your family!!
CAN A BUYER'S AGENT SHOW US PROPERTIES?
Yes, a Buyer's Agent can show you every home listed in the Realtor's Multiple Listing Service, MLS, FMLS, Bank or Corporate owned properties, and For Sale By Owner properties. In addition, a Buyer's Representative can also show you NEW construction homes and unlisted homes. When you find that special home, we'll discuss the best strategy regarding negotiations, offers, counteroffers, financing, inspections, and closing. We will help you prepare the offer with the terms and stipulations weighed on your behalf. Our goal is to help you get the best home for the least amount of money! For your convenience, we will provide listings by email. We pride ourselves on repeat business and hope you'll come to understand why.
MUST I SIGN A CONTRACT WITH A BUYER'S AGENT?
NO. Buyer's Agency is NOT a contract. It is an agreement of written permission to have a Real Estate Professional in your corner! Georgia Law only requires written permission and the Buyer's Agency is minute to minute.... YOU MUST BE SATISFIED or you can cancel the written agreement at any time in the homebuying process.
Red Flag Items to look for when buying a home!
These will affect the value of your home and will make it more difficult to re-sale!
- Synthetic Stucco
- LP Siding
- Style of home not typical for area
- Undesirable or no-preferred school district
- Poor curb appeal
- Located near or in view of power lines, water towers, radio towers
- Located on or backs up to a busy street
- Property has a steep driveway, either below or above grade
- Suspect structural defects ( i.e. chimney leaning)
- Evidence of past or present water damage
- Audible street or high noise presence
- Maintenance of homes surrounding property and neighborhood
- Mobile Homes or trailers nearby
- Commercial or apartments/condos in neighborhood
- Property view is undesirable
- Property taxes are not typical for area
- Located near railroad tracks
- Junk or abandoned cars on neighboring properties
- Mold or musty odor evident
- Existence of competing new construction
- Abundance of foreclosures in neighborhood
- Property is over improved for neighborhood
- Polybutylene Piping
- Aluminum Wiring
- Property located near designated waste or environmental sites
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Email at SarahProuty@REMAX.net
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