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Home Buyer’s Guide

Buying a home can be an exciting, stressful, confusing, wonderful process all rolled into one! When working with an agent from The Sarah Leonard Team, you can rest assure that you will have an educated professional to guide you through each step of the process, making your transaction as smooth and enjoyable as possible!

Preparation

Decisions, Decision, Decisions! When purchasing a home, you will be faced with a variety of decisions to make. How much to spend? What amount of carrying costs for maintenance, taxes, and improvements am I comfortable with? Does a finished basement outweigh a 4th bedroom? Does the location meet all of my family’s needs?

Take some time to outline what you want, and then examine your finances to make sure they match up to your plans. Be prepared for these expectations/goals to change as you move through the home search stage and gather more information on the current real estate market.

Consult with our team. We will help prepare you for the buying process, including assisting with your pre-approval, setting up and modifying your home search as needed, and answering any questions along the way.

Having your pre-approval complete prior to actively viewing homes is a huge bonus for you as a buyer. First off, it helps present you as a serious buyer in this competitive market. It also gives you the opportunity to decide not only the price range you can purchase, but what your monthly payment would be, along with how taxes and association fees might impact that.

Search

We will have you set up in a search for homes that meet your specific needs.  Your agent will consistently review this information and change the guidelines as your individual needs change throughout your search. They will be able to help gather more information on properties that peak your interest, such as tax information, association restrictions, and agents or major mechanicals.

Once you begin visiting potential homes, be sure to keep an open, honest dialogue with your agent, so that they can best help you fit your needs. Building a personal knowledge of what matters most to you and your family allows your agent to provide maximum value.

Once you have found a property that feels like home, you’re ready to make an offer.

The Offer and Negotiation

Your Sarah Leonard Team agent will review the property and market details with you, in order topresent the appropriate offer. Your offer contract can include items such as purchase price, earnest money amounts, specifications for your loan, and your desired closing date. Your agent will serve as your contractual expertand continue to follow through with the negotiations until an agreement is reached. You will also provide an up-to-date pre-approval letter with your office, to let the seller know you are able to move forward with the deal.

While your agent will break down the terms, be sure to review all contracts personally and familiarize yourself with changes made to the offer. Once your offer has been accepted, you will be well on your way to home-ownership (with your agent assisting you of each and every step along the way; from the delivery of earnest money to the inspection through closing).You will also work with a real estate attorney, who will help oversee the contract, review inspection items and send over any requests that may come up, and assist all documentation for a successful closing.

The Closing

Prior to the closing, your agent will guide you on a final walk through of your new home. Together, you will spend time to confirm your [soon to be] new home is in the condition you expect it to be, and that all appliances and fixtures included in the purchase are still inside.

You can expect a combination of any at the table: the seller, buyer’s agent, seller’s agent, buyer’s attorney, and/or seller’s attorney. The title company representative and mortgage loan officer may also be in attendance.

Once all paperwork and loan processing (if applicable) are complete, you will head out to your new home!