Real Estate Buyers Guide


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Real Estate Buyers Guide

  1. 1. Real Estate Buyers Guide of Naperville Lola Jefferson Realtor 1200 Iroquois Ave. Naperville IL 60563 Direct: (708) 296-7430 E-mail:
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. 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 application process. • Search for homes in the Multiple Listing Service, FSBO and all other publications. • 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 climate. • Provide pertinent information about issues that affect the value of the property. • 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.
  4. 4. 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 stressful. 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 the property. invaluable resource if you remember your responsi- bilities: 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
  5. 5. 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 as possible. 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”.
  6. 6. “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
  7. 7. 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 dollars. 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 month. 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 closing.
  8. 8. 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 and locale. • 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.
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. 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?
  11. 11. 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 local residents.
  12. 12. 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 listing. 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 gets done. Real Estate Maximum