Real Estate Buyers Guide
1200 Iroquois Ave.
Naperville IL 60563
Direct: (708) 296-7430
Buying A Home
WHETHER YOU FIND A HOME BY...
Seeing an Ad in the Paper
Driving by a “For Sale By Owner”
Visiting an Open House
or Hearing about a Home for Sale
I CAN SELL ANY OF THEM TO YOU!
This is the most important financial decision in your life. I want to be able to
assist you on your decision and in every step of this transaction.
Even prior to finding a home, I can assist you with mortgage and financial information. An astute
buyer is wise to get "pre-approved" for financing in order to be in a stronger and more credible
position when it comes time to write a contract to purchase a property.
Our "One Stop Shopping" program saves you time & hassle by providing referrals of the finest
loan officers, real estate attorneys, home inspection engineers and home insurance agencies.
Buying A Home
AS YOUR BUYERS AGENT, I WILL…
• Meet with you to determine your specific housing needs and budget.
• Provide mortgage qualification assistance to facilitate the mortgage
• Search for homes in the Multiple Listing Service, FSBO and all other
• Schedule appointments and accompany you on all property showings.
• Complete an extensive Market Analysis on any home selected for
purchase, providing factual data on recent comparable sales to assist
you in the offer and negotiation process.
• Assist you in structuring a Purchase Offer and represent your interest
in all negotiations with the seller, maintaining absolute confidentiality.
• Schedule appointments to provide access to the property for inspectors,
appraisers, repairs, etc.
• Constantly review progress, advising of changes in the current market
• Provide pertinent information about issues that affect the value of the
• Share with you all of the information about the seller.
• Present your offer promptly and assist in preparing it.
• Coordinate and monitor the settlement process, such as clear title,
verification of closing fees, attorney schedule, buyer & seller sched-
ule, final walk trough, transfer of utilities, homeowner insurance and
transfer of keys.
• Provide representation at closing to assure a successful conclusion.
Frequently Asked Questions –Buyers
Many buyers do not fully under- An agent may also ask you for other information
stand the home buying process such as hobbies or activities you enjoy, children’s
and what role a real estate agent plays. names, birthdays, etc. This type of information fos-
The following are some of the most frequently asked ters more of a “friend” relationship than a “business”
questions that buyers ask or don’t fully understand. one and makes the home buying process much less
What does it cost as a buyer to use an agent?
The compensation that a sales agent receives typi-
cally comes from the seller’s proceeds. In other Can I go to open houses without my agent?
You can go to open houses without your agent.
words, there is no cost for a buyer to use an agent in
However, you need to make sure that you indicate
a traditional agent/buyer relationship. In a buyer
you are working with an agent already. If you don’t,
agency agreement, there may be some cost to the
your agent might not be able to help you write an
buyer, but even these agreements are usually worded
offer on that property in the future.
so that the agent is compensated from the seller.
How can I find out about new properties?
Can my agent give me information regarding
Your agent should be able to accommodate your par-
properties from other companies?
ticular situation whether it be via e-mail, phone
Yes, if that other company is a member of Multiple
calls, etc. Clients with e-mail capability can receive
Listing Service (MLS) – which most real estate
automatic updates from the MLS system as soon as
companies are. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) proper-
new listings are entered.
ties are not listed in MLS so an agent likely would
not be able to provide information regarding them.
However, with a buyer agency agreement, your
agent may be able to help you purchase a FSBO. What if I am unhappy and want to switch agents?
Let the first agent know that you are unhappy and
the reasons why. See if you can work out the issues
What if I find a property on my own?
with them. If not, tell the agent you no longer want
You should contact your agent and not the property
to work with them and find another agent.
owner or the agent listing the property. Having the
address or the MLS number is very helpful and will
assist your agent in gathering information regarding Summary
When purchasing real estate, a sales agent can be an
invaluable resource if you remember your responsi-
What type of information will my agent need?
• Work with just one agent
An agent will need any type of information regard-
• Make sure you tell your agent everything
ing the property you are looking for that is important
• Always tell other agents you are already working
to you. For example, number of bedrooms, garage
with an agent
size, price, location and number of bathrooms are
common criteria. Other considerations include the • Consider your agent a friend
school district, type of home (ranch, tri-level, etc) If you have any questions regarding purchasing a
and room sizes. Keep in mind that a search that is home or would like me to be your agent, please give
too specific may narrow your list of properties too me a call. I want your home buying experience to be
much while one that is too broad may give you more as easy and enjoyable as possible and will do every-
properties to look at than you have time to go thing I can to ensure you find the home that is right
through! for you.
Lola Jefferson RE/MAX of Naperville (708) 296-7430
Buying A Home
“ SOME HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS”
PUT PEN TO PAPER
Make a specific list of what you are looking for in a home. What are your priorities? A big back-
yard for the kids? A huge master bedroom? A modern kitchen? Know what you want and go
after it. Also, decide where you are willing to compromise and where you aren’t. This will help
in your decision-making.
GET PRE - APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE
Pre-approval lets the seller know you’re serious. If you’re pre-approved, you will be more likely
to make a deal. Make an appointment to today and meet with a Mortgage Loan Officer as soon
DON’T MAKE LOW BALL OFFERS
Sellers get turned off when buyers make very low offers. Make fair offers. Work with your
licensed salesperson to come up with a strategy for the negotiations.
LOOK PAST THE DÉCOR
It’s easy to get turned off by a home that is poorly decorated or dirty. Use your imagination to
picture a clean and well decorated house – it could be your dream home.
BE CREDIT CONSCIOUS
Now that you are preparing for homeownership, your monthly debt ratio can affect the monthly
house payment the lender allows. Start saving right away so the lender sees as much money in
the bank as possible (and as little debt)!
LET US WORK FOR YOU
We are a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This means we can show you any
listing available in northern Illinois, whether it is listed by us or by another company. We are
also happy to represent you with “For Sale by Owner” transactions. This means you do not have
to waste your time calling for information all over town. I can do your legwork for you and
preview the homes with the features you are looking for so you only have to look at the
“cream of the crop”.
“THE PERFECT HOME” PROFILE
Feature (insert specifics) Negotiability
No Opinion ———— Must Have
# of Bedrooms 1 2 3 4 5
# of Bathrooms 1 2 3 4 5
Dining Room 1 2 3 4 5
Dining Room 1 2 3 4 5
Family Room 1 2 3 4 5
Family Room 1 2 3 4 5
Kitchen 1 2 3 4 5
Kitchen 1 2 3 4 5
Basement 1 2 3 4 5
Basement 1 2 3 4 5
Fireplace 1 2 3 4 5
Garage/Size 1 2 3 4 5
Lot Size 1 2 3 4 5
Fenced Yard 1 2 3 4 5
Pool 1 2 3 4 5
Building Style 1 2 3 4 5
Street Location 1 2 3 4 5
School District 1 2 3 4 5
Buying A Home
HOME SALE CLOSING COSTS
Closing costs are simply the fees, costs and taxes associated with the purchasing of a home, the
borrowing of money and the preparation of necessary paperwork to finalize the sale. The total amount of
your closing costs will vary depending on where your new home will be located, what type of property
you are buying, and the price of the home and the complexity of the transaction. It is extremely
important that you work closely with your Realtor and lender in the early stages of the home buying
process to determine what these costs could be, since closing costs can easily represent thousands of
The main categories are:
1. Discounts Points to Buying Down the Mortgage
This fee is optional and can vary significantly from 0.5 to 3 points on the total of the mortgage. It is a
one-time charge that is calculated based on the amount of the mortgage loan. A buyer would pay this
amount up front to reduce the ongoing cost of the mortgage over the life of the loan. This charge is fully
deductible as mortgage interest.
2. The Costs of Originating the Mortgage
These generally include a variety of fees such as the loan origination fee, the appraisal fee and the cost of
credit reports. There are also other fees that you will be expected to pay at closing such as hazard and
mortgage insurance and interest accrued on the mortgage between closing date and the end of the
3. Taxes and other Local Fees
These charges will vary according to the requirements of local governments. Some may demand that
your property taxes be pro-rated according to when you will officially become the owner of the house.
There can also be personal property taxes, homeowner's association dues, and other assessments that are
specific to the area that you are moving into.
4. The Cost of Documentation
You will have to pay for any research involving public records and the title history on the property you
are buying. This insures that the title on your property is unencumbered by other ownership or liens and
can be delivered to you at closing. Other costs include Recording and Transfer fees that cover the legal
recording of the deed to your name.
It is critical that you have a clear understanding of the total cost of your closing. Your real estate agent
or the attorney/escrow company should supply you with a detailed estimate well in advance of the actual
Buying A Home
WHAT IS A REAL ESTATE BUYER'S REPRESENTATIVE?
A real estate buyer's representative represents the buyer who is purchasing property in a real estate
transaction. The buyer's representative works for, and owes fiduciary responsibilities to, the real
estate buyer and has buyer's best interests in mind throughout the process.
It is important for the buyer to discuss the buyer's representative's compensation in the initial
interview. In many cases it is recommended that the buyer and the buyer's representative agree to the
terms of compensation prior to viewing properties, and sign a written agreement based on those
terms. The agreement should spell out the responsibilities of both parties throughout the process.
In some states, legislation has been enacted to protect the buyer to the point that, absent a written
agreement, the buyer's representative represents the buyer throughout the real estate transaction.
WHY USE A REAL ESTATE BUYER'S REPRESENTATIVE?
Purchasing real estate is a complex and major transaction with many details to be handled. In the
majority of cases an agent will represent the seller.
A buyer's representative is responsible for protecting the buyer's best interests. Research by the
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has shown that when a buyer's representative is
used, the prospective buyer found a home one week faster and examined three more properties than
consumers who did not use a buyer's representative.
A buyer's representative will:
• Evaluate the specific needs and wants of the buyer and locate properties that fit those specifications.
• Assist the buyer in determining the amount that they can afford (pre-qualify), and show properties in that price range
• Assist in viewing properties -- accompany the buyer on the showings, or preview the properties on behalf of the buyer to
insure that the identified specifications are met.
• Research the selected properties to identify any problems or issues to help the buyer make an informed decision prior to
making an offer to purchase the property.
• Advise the buyer on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.
• Present the offer to the seller's agent and the seller on the buyer's behalf.
• Negotiate on behalf of the buyer to help obtain the identified property -- keeping the buyer's best interests in mind.
• Assist in securing appropriate financing for the selected property.
• Provide a list of potential qualified vendors (e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters, etc.) if these services are needed.
• Most importantly, fully-represent the buyer throughout their real estate transaction.
Buying A Home
SELECTING THE RIGHT MOVING COMPANY
Step One: Arranging the Interviews
Whether you are moving across town or across the country it is important that you allow plenty of time to go
through the process of selecting the moving company that will best suit your needs.
Make your calls to interview movers as soon as you know when the actual move might take place. If it
appears that the move will occur during a peak moving period, then it is even more urgent that you begin
this process well in advance of your projected move date. Not only will a move during a peak period be
more difficult to schedule; it is also apt to cost more due to the demand that the movers face. Peak periods
may vary per mover and may be influenced by local economies. In general, peak periods include:
• The beginning and the end of each month, since this is when most closings take place
• All Holidays, but especially those where school vacations coincide
• Summer months, since the majority of families will try to orchestrate a move between the end of one
school year and the beginning of the next
Step Two: Conducting the Interviews
Moving companies will agree to visit your home in advance of your move to provide a written estimate of
your move. Inquire as to whether the estimate is binding or non-binding, which tells you whether the
estimate you are receiving during the visit will still be good in two months when you actually make your
move. Also insist that the estimate be written with as much detail as possible so that when you review the
estimates, you can assess the points of differentiation.
If you will be moving within a local or regional area, the estimate will probably be based on an hourly rate.
The company will project how many men they will need to complete the work and how much time it will
take to pack (if you require this service), load, transport the goods, and unload at the final destination. The
more moving companies you interview, the more likely you will get an accurate picture of just what your
particular move will entail and how much it is likely to cost.
If your move is out of state, the estimates will be based on the distance of your move and the projected
weight of your shipment. The mover will need ample time to walk through your home and inspect each
room for furniture and loose objects that will be transported. Make sure that all storage areas in the house are
visited including the garage, basement, attic, and outbuildings. The mover will need to view everything that
will be going to the new location in order to provide you with an accurate estimate.
Buying A Home
SELECTING THE RIGHT MOVING COMPANY CONTINUED
There are many factors that can influence the price of your move. Your ability to impact the eventual price
of the move centers on the services that you will require. Once you have identified the services that you will
require, make sure that each estimate addresses each service individually so that you will have a legitimate
basis for comparison. Some of these optional services include:
• Packing and unpacking: are you willing to do this yourself, or would you prefer to pay professionals
to pack some or all of your loose materials?
• Boxes: most movers will sell you new boxes, and the prices will vary per company. Ask about used
boxes, since some movers will allow you to drive to their site and select previously used boxes that
are remaining with the company after previous moves. If you will need a lot of boxes, the use of
used boxes will represent significant cost savings.
• Special handling: if you have unique pieces (ex. Piano), heavy pieces (ex. woodworking machinery)
or very delicate pieces (antiques), you might need a special quote that identifies special handling.
• Special Packaging: the movers may recommend that certain pieces be packed in wood crates. Check
the cost versus the advantages of this decision.
• Insurance: most movers have some level of liability insurance that covers their moves. However,
additional insurance is worth investigating since it is not uncommon for objects to be damaged
during the move
Step Three: Making Your Selection
Your decision will be driven by several factors. First, there is the issue of price. You will find that price
alone will probably not lead you to making your choice. The weight estimates will probably differ per
mover, as will the prices on the individual services that you request.
Second, there is the issue of availability. In some cases, the mover you prefer to work with might not be able
to work you into their schedule. If you move during a peak time, you may find yourself coordinating your
move to the calendar of the mover, instead of having the mover design his schedule around your move.
Third, there is the issue surrounding reputation and references. The moving business is a service business.
Past customers will have opinions about their moving company. Request references beyond the letters of
recommendations that you should be offered in the interview. If you want to do a little more research, call
the Better Business Bureau or the State Attorney General to see if there are complaints against the company.
Finally, take note of the person who is providing the estimate. These individuals often will act as the key
contact for you up to and during the actual move. Are they experienced, confident, good communicators, and
seemingly interested in satisfying your needs? In short, are they someone that you feel you can work well
with during a stressful time?
Details & Benefits of
RE/MAX of Naperville
RE/MAX of Naperville was opened in 1978 by Jack & Barbara Brennan,
making the first RE/MAX impact in the area.
We are located at; 116 W. Gartner and 1200 Iroquois Ave, and have 165
agents with-in the two locations.
RE/MAX of Naperville has been the Market Share Leader in Naperville for
the past 15 years, and is currently the leader in Aurora, DuPage County,
School District 203 and 204.
We have created a joint venture with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage to give
our customers the advantages of Wells Fargo financing along with the
convenience of in-house mortgage availability.
Max Marketing, our in-house marketing department, creates professional and
convenient marketing solutions to meet all of our customers needs.
RE/MAX of Naperville has been awarded “#1 Office for Closed Volume in
Northern Illinois” for the past 15 years, “Millennium Member” for 25 years of
Membership with the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, “Top
Production Per Associate” from RE/MAX Northern Illinois, and “Top Office
in Northern Illinois” for 18 years.
Jack & Barbara Brennan have been awarded the “Multi-Office Broker/Owners
of the Year” in 1979, 1983, 1984, 1994, and received the rare “RE/MAX
International Distinguished Service Award” in 1993. Jack was also invited as
one of only twelve RE/MAX Brokers to participate in the elite Leadership
Council of RE/MAX.
RE/MAX of Naperville has been a sizeable contributor to the Children’s
Miracle Network as well as to local organizations such as Last Fling, Ribfest,
Exchange Club, Lions Club, Safety Town, JC’s, Junior Women’s, and local
High School teams. We also host of “Pictures with Santa” each year for our
Things you should know about
RE/MAX and its Sales Associates.
RE/MAX is a world leader in residential real estate with thousands of offices
in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, South Africa, Hong
Kong, Europe and the Middle East.
RE/MAX Sales Associates now number nearly 60,000 full-time,
professional agents worldwide.
RE/MAX Sales Associates are among the most experienced in the industry,
averaging over 12 years of real estate service.
RE/MAX Sales Associates are distinguished by attaining, on average, more
real estate educational designations than their industry competitors - a
commitment to professional improvement.
Because of these high educational achievements, RE/MAX Sales Associate
average more sales per agent than other agents.
Over 70% of the business done by RE/MAX Sales Associates comes from
repeat customers or referrals from past customers and friends. This is more
than twice the industry average.
RE/MAX Sales Associates make a personal financial investment in every
RE/MAX Sales Associates competently control the marketing programs for
each of their listings.
RE/MAX Sales Associates take personal responsibility for seeing that the job
Real Estate Maximum