10 Step Guide to Purchasing Your Next Home!

Buying a home is a big decision & there's so much that goes into ensuring a smooth and successful transaction.  

Here is our 🔟  step guide to help break down the process. 🗓

1. Find a Qualified Buyer's Representative

Most people only buy or sell real estate a handful of times (at most) during their lifetimes.  

🔥 Successful REALTORS handle that many transactions or MORE in just a MONTH. 🔥

Experience=Success

In most transactions, the seller is represented by a "listing agent."  That real estate agent works on the SELLER'S behalf.  

🚨The listing agent is working in the best interests of the Sellers - NOT the buyers. 🚨 

A designated buyer's representative working for you protects your best interests throughout the transaction.  They are a buffer between you and the seller/seller's agent and serve as an advocate for you.  Based on their experience, they might help point out features/benefits in a home or areas of concern that you might not notice.  A buyer's representative should help you determine fair market value, help you negotiate an offer to achieve a fair price and protect your best interests by including clauses that create protection for mortgage contingencies, inspection contingencies and more.   

Our team has extensive experience helping buyer's find and purchase their next homes throughout the state of RI and Southeastern MA.  

Check out a map of our sales here ⬇ 

 

Nick has an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) designation which was obtained by completing specialized training & education offered by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC) and completing a minimum number of successful sales where he was the buyer's agent.     

📣Check out our past client reviews & recent sales on our Zillow page or see more testimonials by following the link below ⬇

Testimonials | The Nick Slocum Team at Slocum Realty

Read Reviews about The Nick Slocum Team at Slocum Realty...

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 Start your search below or contact us to get together and devise a game plan specific to your goals!

Search | The Nick Slocum Team at Slocum Realty

 For a list of questions to ask when considering which buyer's representative you would like to choose, see below.

Questions to Ask your Realtor...

🏠Buy Side  Are you a full-time agent? Can you provide ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ reviews from past...

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Does it cost you 💰 to work with a buyer's representative?

With us, NEVER.  

We are paid whatever the listing agent advertises in MLS as compensation to a buyer's agent for producing a ready, willing and able buyer.  

Some other agents might charge you a minimum fee and if that's not covered by what the listing agent offers to buyer's agents as compensation, you would make up the difference.

Do you make me sign a contract or buyer agency agreement? 🖊

With us, NEVER.

We work on a 🤝 and find it amazing how many buyers sit down with an agent for twenty minutes, barely know them and sign a contract to work with them, no matter what, for a period of time.  During that time period, that agent has a right to be paid if you buy a home no matter how hard they work for you.  How do you know how hard that agent will work?  Will they be as communicative as you hoped for?  Do they deliver on what they say they will do?

We feel we have to prove ourselves each and every day.  

All we ask is that we set some mutually agreeable expectations and we know that if we do our job, everything will work out in the end for all parties.  

2. Assess Your Credit & Finances 💵

💲The next step is one of the most critical - getting pre-approved.💲

Getting pre-approved is critical for many reasons.  In today's market, listings that are in good shape and priced well, sell ⏩ FAST.  If you hope to submit a competitive offer on your dream 🏡 when it hits the market, you'll need to be prepared to include a pre-approval if your purchase is contingent upon your ability to obtain a mortgage.  If you wait for that home to hit, then go through the pre-approval process, you run a high risk of losing out on that home to buyers that are more prepared.

Beyond that, it's important to know what goes into a mortgage payment and how that equates to a monthly a payment.  Your mortgage will consist of your principal loan amount, interest, real estate property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and possibly private mortgage insurance.  

We feel it's important to work with a knowledgeable, experienced and local professional, as it often alleviates headaches 🤕 down the road.  They are in tune with the local market, know the areas and have a track record of success. 📈

For a list of our preferred lenders, contact us!

3. Assess Your Wants & Needs in a Home

Searching for and finding a home is exciting🕺🏽 but deciding what you truly want and need - while fitting inside your price range - can sometimes be challenging.  Sit down with your agent to determine the best search criteria for you.

Some things to consider when setting up your search criteria:
➡Price Range
➡Bedrooms/Bathrooms
➡Preferred areas, school districts or communities
➡Square Footage
➡Style of Home
➡Garage Spaces
➡Age of Home
➡High Priority Features (central air, fireplace, updated kitchen, etc)
➡Proximity to schools, restaurants, shopping, etc.
➡Views (water view, waterfront, walk to water)
➡Lot Size

4. Search for Your New Home 🔍🏠

Pictures, virtual tours, 3D tours, and floorplans available online help paint a picture and narrow down potential homes that you are interested in.  Once we narrow those down, we'll want to get out and take a look 👀 at the homes that look most interesting.

Pro Tip: Always keep ONE 🏠 on top

When looking at many homes, they can tend to blend together.  We have found a great way to combat this confusion is to keep one 🏠 "on top".  If you consider one home the "front-runner", every home you see from that point can be compared 🆚 the front-runner and the front-runner only.  

One of our favorite things as a REALTOR is seeing our clients find THE ONE.

You often know it right away and seeing that on our client's faces never gets old!

Pro Tip:  Try to Keep Your Poker Face On

Even when you enter the home and you know right away that it's "The One"... Try to keep your poker face on.  It will help in the upcoming negotiations if we don't give away our hand by letting the listing agent know that you're absolutely smitten 😍


5. Make an Offer, Negotiate Terms & Execute a Purchase & Sales Agreement 📝

Once we've found the perfect property for you, it's time to make an offer.

We'll start by running a comparable market analysis and counsel you on market conditions, price ranges and negotiating strategies.  This will help us determine if the seller's listing price is higher or lower than prices of comparable sales and adjust our strategy accordingly.

Pro Tip: Items to consider when negotiating beyond price:
➡The Closing Date
➡The Earnest Money Deposit
➡Inspection Contingencies (Physical/Mechanical, Radon, Termite, Septic, etc.)
➡Closing Costs & Who Pays Them
➡Mortgage Contingencies
➡The Mortgage Contingency Date (if applicable)
➡Appraisal Contingencies
➡Appliances to Remain
➡Window Treatments & Other Personal Property
➡Length of Time the Offer is Valid
➡Contingencies of Selling Current Property (if applicable)

In today's market, it's common to see multiple offer situations.  We have proven strategies to help your offer stand out from the others.

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Once we're able to come to an agreement, we'll execute the Purchase & Sales Agreement.  This agreement will break down all of the pertinent details of the transaction and we'll review this together so you're aware of all of the important dates and deadlines referenced in the agreement.

6. Complete Your Inspections 🔍 🔦

Inspections are a critical part of the process and we're happy to make some recommendations on inspectors that we've had good success with.  

This is a critical time that we want to look for MAJOR surprises and make sure we're buying a quality home.

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We always encourage our buyers to try to be present at the inspections so you can hear everything first hand as opposed to just reading it in a report.  

In addition, you learn quite a bit about your new home!

7. Obtain a Mortgage

Right around the same time as when you book the home inspection, you'll want to reach out to your lender to schedule a time to formally apply for a mortgage on the specific home that you're buying.  Since you were already pre-approved in step 2, you're one step closer to obtaining the mortgage.  There are numerous documents and details that will need to be completed specific to the home you're buying.  Our best advice is to be in regular communication with your lender and provide to them any requested documents as soon as possible in order to stay on track.

Pro Tip: Don't take out any new credit, finance any new cars or sign up for 0% financing on your furniture until AFTER the closing date!

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One of the requirements that you'll need secured prior to your mortgage contingency date is an insurance binder.  Please feel free to contact our other division, The Slocum Insurance Agency, to obtain insurance quotes from multiple carriers!

8. Prepare for the Closing Day

Prior to the closing day and after the mortgage commitment has been obtained, there are still some tasks to complete.

✅You'll want to have the closing attorney review all of the final figures with you prior to the closing.

✅Obtain the certified check for the closing with the amount indicated by the attorney. 

✅Set up a time and attend a final walkthrough to ensure any repairs have been completed (if applicable), the sellers have moved out, the home is in a broom clean condition & the house is as you expect it.

✅Call National Grid (in RI) to have the electric and gas (if applicable) transferred into your name. 💡

✅Don't forget your driver's licenses! 

9. Close

The actual closing usually takes place at the closing attorney's office at a mutually convenient time and location.

It's common for the following people to be in attendance at the closing:

✅ You, The Buyer(s)

✅ The Seller(s)

✅ The Closing Attorney

✅ The Seller's Attorney

✅ The Listing Agent

✅ The Buyer's Agent

✅ The Mortgage Broker

Get your signing hand ready!  You'll be going through all the mortgage documents after you complete the documents that require both the seller and buyer's signatures.  It's common for the selling side to sign their documents and then leave allowing you to complete the closing.

This is a great opportunity to ask any final questions, find out when trash day is and which neighbors to invite over (or which ones to avoid).

Once everything is signed and all monies are accounted for, you'll obtain the keys!


10. Move & Celebrate! 🍾

Congratulations! 🎉

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Thanks for reading.  We hope you found this guide helpful.

As always, we'd love the opportunity to sit down, discuss these in more detail and answer any questions that you may have.

📆 Schedule a time to get together with Nick, Jon or Meredith.