As Your Sarasota Realtor I Will Help You.....

How I help my buyers in Sarasota and Manatee County…

SET AN APPOINTMENTThe first step of the buyer’s consultation.  It’s a short “get to know” session to discuss how the process of purchasing a home works and to find out exactly what they are looking for.

EDUCATE…for my buyers that have been around the block a couple of times you know most or all of this below.  My first time buyers need to be educated on the buying process.

PURCHASING A DISTRESSED HOME VS. A NORMAL HOME…Most buyers have heard the terms before, but don’t know exactly what they mean.  So what are short sales and foreclosures?

What is a SHORT SALE?……A SHORT SALE is when the homeowner owes more on the home than what the home’s current market value is.  A SHORT SALE process will help a homeowner avoid foreclosure, which is very expensive for the bank and will have the most dire effect on the credit report for the homeowner.  The idea is for the homeowner to find a buyer for their home so they can avoid the foreclosure.  The bank may decide that it is in their best interest to grant a SHORT SALE rather than foreclosing on the home.  Don’t forget the bank still has to approve the SHORT SALE.  You as a homeowner have to prove a true hardship to be able to be approved for a SHORT SALE from your lender.  You cannot just simply stop paying your mortgage and sell your house short. 

There are a lot of homes in the Sarasota area that are BANKOWNED OR A FORECLOSURE.  What does FORCLOSURE OR BANKOWNED mean?......When purchasing a home, usually the lender obtains an interest in the home in the form of a promissory note to secure the loan.  The FORECLOSURE process begins when the owner has failed to comply with the agreement between the lender and borrower.  A FORECLOSURE is a process in which a lender obtains a court order for termination of the borrower’s right to the home after they have defaulted on the loan.  When the FORECLOSURE process is complete, the lender can sell the property and keep the proceeds to pay off its mortgage and any legal costs. 

I then inform the buyer that the time frame is different when it comes to a distressed property vs. a regular sale.  With a regular sale certain things are completed in a specific time frame and you will be able to close and move in on a specific date.  With a distressed property there are many question marks involved which affects when you will be closing and moving into your home.

MY TEAM…I have a team of professionals at hand at all times.  From lenders, attorneys, home inspectors, title and insurance companies. 

FINANCING OPTIONS…If you haven’t already been prequalified for the purchase of a home and you do not already have a lender that you work with, I will provide you a list of lenders for you to contact.  Prequalification is very important.  First, we need to find out what the absolute maximum loan amount is that you qualify for.  I do not want to take you to homes that would be over your budget because this can only lead to disappointment.  Second, when we go out and find you the home of your dreams, you need to be prepared and ready to go.  When making an offer, a copy of the prequalification letter or if paying cash proof of funds is needed.  Lenders are only open during business hours so if we are trying to submit your offer in the evening and we don’t already have the letter it could delay the process.  I know that you would hate to lose a home to someone else just because you hadn’t gotten prequalified.   So let’s be prepared from the beginning, so when you find your “dream home” you are ready and can go after it.  No matter what type of home, whether a normal sale, a short sale or a foreclosure, the lending needs to be in place. 

INSPECTIONS…unless you have your building contractor’s license, I HIGHLY recommend you having a home inspection done.  A home may look great but you have no idea what is going on behind those walls.  Once you are under a fully executed contract the home inspection needs to be done in a timely fashion.  Generally within 7-10 days all inspections need to be completed, this way if there are any repairs they can get taken care of immediately. 

ATTORNEY…do you need one?  You decide.  I always recommend an attorney because there is almost always something that comes up.  An attorney will provide you legal advice on how you want to take title on your new home.  Your attorney will go over any and all documents from the contract to your mortgage papers at closing.  They will review the contract to make sure everything is in your best interest.  They will review the survey to make sure that everything looks okay.  They will also make sure that when you close on your new home that you have clear and marketable title.  

TITLE…who chooses the title company?  Every home purchase needs a title company.  If you choose a licensed real estate attorney to help you in your transaction, they can perform the duties of the title company.  If you are going without the attorney then you have to choose who is going to pay for the title.  If the buyer chooses the title company they usually pay for the title.  If the seller chooses the title company they usually pay for title.

CLOSING COSTSBuyers are expecting sellers to pay more because “it’s a buyer’s market”.  It depends on who the seller is though.  If it is a bank, like for a short sale there is a limited amount of pull to be able to get all closing costs coveredClosing costs run generally around 3% of the purchase price.  We can always ask for closing costs to be covered but be prepared if it cannot be negotiated.    

APPRAISALS…are an evaluation of what the home’s current market value is.  The problem with appraisals is quite often the lender brings in an appraiser from out of town that doesn’t know the area.  So the appraisal is coming in lower than the contract price.  I will do my homework to know what the ultimate price will be coming back from the appraisal.  If the home doesn’t appraise for the amount you are purchasing it for there will be issues. 

NEEDS AND WANTS...  How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?  How large of a home are you looking for?  Do you want a pool or no pool?  Location, where do you want to be?  Do you want to be in a specific neighborhood?  Do you want to be at the beach?  Do you want a new home?  Are you willing and able to buy a home that needs updating, are you handy?  These are some of the things we will talk about and we will get more detailed than this as well.

MY JOB BEGINS…After the consultation, I start looking for the best homes for you.  Keeping in mind all of the criteria you have told me you need and want.  We will then make arrangements to go out and start looking at homes. 

Be ready, there are ups and downs during the buying process.   Keep your eye on the prize, be prepared, ask questions and listen to the experts (my “team”).  If you do all this you are going to get a great home, at a great price, and I will be there helping you throughout the entire process.

Any Questions?