The listing agent represents the interests of the seller in a transaction and would be the one you list your home with; they will market your property, present, and respond to offers and help guide you through the decision process.
The buyer agent represents the interests of the buyer in a transaction and would write offers (counter offers) and help guide you through the decision process to make sure your offer is competitive and help you with the rest of the buying process.
The dual agent represents the interests of both the buyer and the seller in a transaction. This occurs when a buyer finds a property that is listed by the listing agent and is not working with a buyer’s agent.
Some ways to begin looking for your new home
- School District
- Word of mouth
- Visit new development sites
- "For Sale" Signs
- Work with a Realtor "The best way."
- Keep Records
- Think Twice
20 Things First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know
- Get pre-approved with a Mortgage Lender or bank. Make sure you are pre-approved NOT just pre-qualified before you make an offer to buy.
- Know what your credit score is. Don't shop lenders-each time they run your credit, your score goes down.
- Find the right agent who's willing to help you through the home buying process.
- Don't go Open Housing to find the right house, An agent will take you to all the best homes for your family at the price you can afford.
- Don't start looking for a home 6-8 months in advance of your purchase, the market changes too much.
- Don't wait for a better market and interest rate.
- Understand the importance of location, Understand the "Re-Sale-Ability".
- Not getting what you want because you're impatient.
- Not acting quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
- Have a professional Home Inspection by a qualified inspector.
- Don't purchase the "Upper End" of homes in the neighborhood.
- Overlooking an inferior floor plan for an attractive exterior.
- Overlooking how the house will function for your family.
- Understand buyer agent representation.
- Understand the "Art" of negotiation.
- View Real Estate as a serious investment.
- Make the offer look appealing to a seller.
- Not buying at all.
- Don't think that this home is your last purchase.
- Don't get discouraged the right home always comes along.
Making An Offer To PurchaseAfter you have found the home you want to buy, you need to give the Seller an Offer to Purchase. Once it has been written and gone over by you and your Realtor, you will sign the document, and the Realtor will submit it to the listing agent on your behalf.
The Acceptance Process
What Happens After You Make An Offer To Purchase?Once your Realtor submits the offer, there are five possible outcomes.
- Response 1
- Response 2
- Response 3
- Response 4
- Response 5
Competing OffersIn certain market conditions, consumers may find that more than one buyer is interested in a property. This is a competing offer situation and creates unique conditions in a real estate transaction. Both sellers and buyers need to consider how to respond when presented with a competing offer situation. Working closely with your Realtor to ensure that you understand the process.
Understanding the Escrow Closing Process
An escrow is "closed" on the day that the Grant Deed is recorded in the official records at the County Recorder's office. The moment the Grant Deed is date-stamped by the County Clerk is considered the moment that ownership of the property changes hands.
It is important to realize that "closing" does not mean the day the buyer signs loan documents, and it does not mean the day the lender funds the mortgage loan.
Both of those events are essential parts of the process, and both of those events absolutely must occur before the Grant Deed is released to the county recorder for recording.
Understanding how much time to allow for the final closing process will help reduce some of the stress and frustration that can accompany closing an escrow.
After the appraisal of the property has been made; after all the buyer's financial documents have been reviewed the Loan Processor, or Loan Officer will advise all parties that final approval has been obtained and that the lender is ready to "draw docs." The "docs" being the note and deed of trust, and all accompanying disclosures and addendums that the buyer must sign before the lender delivers the funds.
It can take up to 48 hours from the time the final approval is given until the documents are received by the Escrow Officer.
The Escrow Officer will contact the buyer for an appointment to sign the documents. Buyers are well advised to sign loan documents as soon as possible.
After the buyer signs the documents, the Escrow Officer will "package" them with other documents from the escrow file, such as an estimated closing statement, and return all the documents to the lender. The lender will most likely receive the documents back on the day after the buyer has signed them.
After the lender receives the signed documents back, it can take up to 72 hours for the lender to check the documents in and review them. After the lender reviews the documents to be sure they have been fully and correctly signed, the lender will issue the funds.
The funds are wired by the lender to the Escrow Company. Recording of the Grant Deed is scheduled for the next business day after the funds are received.
Additionally, as stated above, an escrow is considered "closed" on the date that the Grant Deed, transferring title from seller to buyer, is recorded at the County Hall of Records.
There is no closing table and no settlement room. The Grant Deed is delivered to the County Hall of Records by a Title Insurance Representative, who waits in line at the recording window.
When the Representative reaches the window, the Grant Deed is handed to the county clerk, who stamps it with a date and document number.
The Title Insurance Representative will then notify the Title Insurance Officer that the recording is completed; the Title Officer will, in turn, notify the Escrow Officer; and the Escrow Officer will notify buyer, seller, and agents that "We have confirmation".
When the Title Insurance Company receives confirmation of recording from their representative at the hall of records, the Title Company will wire transfer all funds they are holding from the buyer's lender to the Escrow Company.
At that point, the Escrow Officer will begin the process of balancing the file and disbursing funds to pay off the seller's existing mortgages, liens, and any other payments - such as a pest control company - that the Escrow Officer has been instructed to pay through escrow.
The buyer becomes the legal owner of the property the day the Grant Deed is recorded. However, it is not unusual for a purchase contract to allow a seller any extra one or two days after the close of escrow to vacate the property.
Once you're handed the keys to your new home these things, items should be on your to-do list.Changing the Locks,
When you move into your new home, you'll want to change the exterior door locks for security. After all, you want only the people you choose to have the key to your new home. You can change the locks yourself or call a locksmith to do the job.Cleaning
Your new home should be given a thorough cleaning. Whether you're buying cleaning supplies and doing it yourself, or hiring someone to clean for you, the costs can add up. Plan for this expense.Decorating
You might want to re-paint, replace some light fixtures, refinish the floor, re-carpet, or do any number of other decorating tasks. Plan your budget, and consider postponing some projects for a period.Appliances
If your offer to purchase didn't include appliances, and if you don't have your own, you will have to buy them when you move into your new home. Some appliances might have installation charges.Tools and Equipment
When you own your home, you can no longer call the landlord to do repairs. You'll need to own some basic hand tools and possibly some gardening equipment.