Sunny Day Real Estate's Buying Guide
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Buying a Home in Austin, TX
Austin, TX is such a thriving, beautiful city! Being a locally grown Real Estate Brokerage Company, Sunny Day Real Estate is living a dream everyday. There is no where else we would rather live, work, and play. From the Parks, Lakes, and Trails to the Live Music, Diverse Restaurants and numerous City Wide Events one can see how Austin is truly a one of a kind city with a culture all its own. That is why Sunny Day takes such great pleasure in helping our buyers realize their own dreams of owning a home in Austin. Then you too can experience all this amazing city has to offer!
Why Hire a Real Estate Agent?
For most Buyers or Sellers, purchasing or selling your home signifies the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in life. That should be a FUN experience! Let an experienced Realtor alleviate the common stresses that frequently come along with the do-it-yourself approach. Stop driving countless neighborhoods looking for
For Sale signs. Put an end to the headaches that come along with searching online home databases late into your evening and weekend hours. There’s no need for you to personally call up the phone numbers on those listings to get detailed information on the home. There are better things that you could be doing with your time. Let Sunny Day do the work for you.
Please also understand, not only will your Sunny Day agent alleviate these stresses, but your agent will be operating with the skill, expertise, and shrewdness of an experienced Real Estate Professional. Sunny Day Real Estate provides each of its buyers with the maximum scope of brokerage services. Not one of your questions will be left unanswered. We are educated on the Real Estate Market and understand the value of homes. We know how to negotiate contracts effectively and how to do what it takes to get all parties to the closing table with the least amount of stress on you.
There is no substitute for the security and comfort that a knowledgeable Realtor can provide you. You simply need to let us guide you through the process. We will help you make informed decisions, and at the end of the day, you should feel like you got the best possible deal with the least amount of effort.
Choosing Your Real Estate Agent
There are so many of us Realtors to choose from that deciding on one can be overwhelming. Sometimes, you might just hire a friend or perhaps a referral from a friend. However one must consider,
Is this really the right Realtor for me? Buying or Selling a home is an expensive proposition. There is typically a substantial amount of money involved, and whether you are a buyer or seller, you need to feel like you are getting the best possible value. Make sure that you are hiring an agent who will represent your absolute best interests. Set up interviews with multiple agents before deciding on one to represent you. Make sure that your realtor can clearly articulate his or her services, knowledge, and understanding of the market as it specifically relates to your needs.
When you meet with a Realtor for a consultation, you need to be asking yourself:
While first impressions can’t tell you everything about a person, they can certainly give you a good idea about one’s personality and the knowledge that individual possesses. As Realtors, these buyer consultations are our chance to impress you. This is our chance to show you that we have the necessary knowledge, skills and personal characteristics to not only help you achieve your home purchase but to also ensure that you enjoy the process every step of the way. You will find that it certainly helps if you enjoy the time you spend with the realtor whom you will be working with closely, and there is absolutely no substitute for an expert’s knowledge and market awareness. Wanna get to know us better? Call Sunny Day Real Estate today!
Getting Approved for a Loan
There is an optimal order of events for Buyers to follow when considering a home purchase. The FIRST thing any buyer should do is to get pre-approved for a loan. Why is pre-approval the first thing you should do? Well, to put it simply, you don’t know which homes you should be considering for purchase if you don’t know how much you can spend? It’s as the old adage goes,
Don’t put the cart before the horse.
An experienced and well qualified Home Mortgage Specialist or Residential Lender can inform you of exactly how much mortgage payment you can afford. These days, a responsible lender will require a prospective buyer’s full financial documentation for a loan approval. You will need to provide your lender with certain financial items (including but not limited to):
Once a lender has this paperwork and has pulled your credit score, he or she will provide you with a pre-approval letter stating that you are pre-approved for a loan up to a certain maximum amount. Now you know what to shop for in terms of price.
Not only does this pre-approval letter arm you as a buyer with the knowledge of how much you can spend, but it will also make you a more attractive buyer to any seller who is considering your offer along with multiple other offers. That seller will know that you will not have issues with loan approval. This if often the difference between getting the home you want and losing that home to a more qualified buyer.
We encourage all of our buyers to speak with at least 2 different lenders regarding pre-approval. It doesn’t cost you a thing to shop around, and ultimately you need to be comfortable working with someone who is so vital to the purchase process.
Hot on the Home Search
All the pre-search preparation is over. You have been pre-approved for a home mortgage loan by a well qualified lender and you have discussed in detail your specific home buying criteria with your agent. Now it is TIME TO SHOP…Hooray!
Your Sunny Day agent will set you up on a custom MLS (Multiple Listing Service) search that meets all of your buying criteria. You will be notified of potential homes by receiving a summary report of available properties to your email. The list may be NARrowed even further by you and your agent at this point. At any rate, you are ready to go out and view these homes with your agent.
Once you find a home or multiple homes that interest you, you can expect your Sunny Day Agent to explain to you in detail their opinion of the home’s market value, as well as the home’s potential for an effective resale down the line given its distinguishing or otherwise desirable characteristics and features.
At any rate, you may soon be making an offer on your next home, and that is EXCITING!!
Making an Offer
So you have found a home that you like. That’s an exciting feeling! Now it is time to make an offer. Well, what do you want to offer? Whatever it is, your offer should not be some arbitrary number that sounds good to you and your agent. Rather, your offer on price and terms for the home should be well thought out and thoroughly discussed between you and your agent. Your Sunny Day agent will provide you with hard numbers derived from market research and a wealth of understanding as it pertains to the improvement value of the structure itself. These numbers will not only support your effective offer price, but will provide you with the comfort of knowing that you are not overpaying for your new home. You as a buyer should be making informed decisions every step of the way, especially when making an offer. After all, it is your money being considered for the purchase. Work with an agent you trust. Call Sunny Day Real Estate today
The Option Period
The option period is a powerful tool for the buyer in a real estate transaction. The option period is a negotiable period of time that begins one calendar day after the effective date of the contract. The buyer pays some nominal consideration (known as the option fee) to the seller. It is during this time that the buyer can fully evaluate the condition of the property and determine whether to terminate the contract or proceed with the transaction.
Get a 3rd Party Home Inspection
Drawing on our experience from buying and selling real estate and building homes (Sunny Day Construction), we encourage all of our Buyers to get their potential future home inspected [during their option period] by a certified 3rd Party Inspector licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission. Even if you are under contract to purchase a New Construction home, get it inspected. By spending a few hundred dollars (typical cost of an inspection), you are providing yourself with the opportunity to discover possible construction deficiencies in the home that may be in need of repair. Once the necessity for certain repairs is determined, your Sunny Day agent may use the inspection report as leverage for negotiations pertaining to repairs. Often times the seller will either make the required repairs or will contribute a certain amount of cash to the buyer for the purpose of repairs. This is all negotiable, and these negotiations should all take place during your option period.
Though rare, sometimes there are deficiencies with the home that may cost a significant amount of money, and neither the seller nor the buyer wants to burden the cost of the repair. If this becomes an issue during the option period then the buyer has the unrestricted right to terminate the contract and receive back their earnest money in full.
Home Insurance is a Necessity
Home owner’s insurance is a necessity. If you have procured a mortgage for your home purchase, then your lender will certainly require you to obtain a Home Owner’s Insurance Policy. In fact, every property you own should have coverage whether it carries a mortgage or not.
There are a number of different insurance providers out there, all competing for your business. So who do choose? Well, we encourage you to go about your selection process in much the same way that you interview and choose your Lender. First you should consider the extent of coverage that you desire. Make a list of valued possessions and the types of coverage that you would generally like to have. Then sit down with an Insurance Broker and determine which coverage option best suits your needs and your budget.
Sunny Day Real Estate is happy to refer you to our preferred Insurance provider. Just
give us a call for more information.
Interesting Article on How to Buy Home Insurance from Realtor.com: http://www.realtor.com/home-finance
Prepare to Close
Now you have: been approved for a loan, defined your search criteria, found a home, had your offer to purchase accepted, and navigated your option period, complete with all its negotiations and inspections. Your Sunny Day Real Estate Agent has been your trusted guide all along, but we’re not through working for you. In the time between the end of the option period and the closing date, you can rest assured that your Sunny Day agent is still keeping your deal on track to close properly and on time. Your Sunny Day agent will be: staying in touch with the seller or their agent to make sure the agreed upon repairs (if any) are being taken care of and scheduling your buyer walk through to verify the agreed upon repairs have been completed, staying in touch with you to make sure that you are applying for the necessary home insurance, staying in communication with your lender, checking on the appraisal, and reviewing your HUD Settlement Statement to ensure its accuracy. We will review the settlement statement with you prior to closing so that you know how much money you will need to bring to closing (if any) and so that you understand all of the credits and debits involved in the transaction as they appear on the HUD Settlement statement. This is just a brief description of some of the things that your Sunny Day agent will be doing for you. If you have any questions at all, we are here for you. No question is a bad question, so please don’t hesitate to call us. At Sunny Day Real Estate, we are looking out for you every step of the way.
Your Residential Service Contract
Buyers have the option to purchase a Home Warranty plan, more appropriately know as a Residential Service Contract. The companies that provide these Residential Service Contracts are licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission, the same state agency that oversees the licensing of Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors, among various other related professional designations. Most contracts provide for the seller to reimburse the buyer at closing for the Residential Service Contract up to a certain agreed upon amount.
So exactly what is a Residential Service Contract? Well, the Texas Association of Realtors defines it as
a product under which a residential service company, for an annual fee, agrees to repair or replace certain equipment or items in a property (i.e. certain covered appliances, heat and ac units, or plumbing systems) There are of course varying scopes of coverage depending on the policy premium. Talk to your Sunny Day Real Estate Agent to find out more about Residential Service Contracts and Sunny Day’s preferred Residential Service Contract providers.