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Home Buyers

Arizona Home Buyer Information

Before looking for a home…

Determine your wants vs. needs. This is the all-important first step to a home purchase. Buyers tend to buy with emotion, so evaluating your situation will help you make a more logical decision between the expensive 3 bedroom home with the granite counter tops, and the practical 4 bedroom with lots of closet space. When are you planning to move? Maybe a new construction is the best choice for your time frame. A builder spec-home is a good alternative to an existing home if you need to move quickly. There are still some amazing incentives on quick-delivery homes in some areas of the Valley. This step is also where you take into consideration any large or unique furniture pieces that your new home will have to accommodate.

Determine your buying power.

When shopping for a home loan, the terms of the financing being offered (such as fees, length of contract, and pre-payment penalties) are just as important as the rate. This is where knowing your wants vs. needs first come into play. Knowing how long you plan to hold the property will help you determine the right financing for you. Then you can evaluate programs based on how much the loan will cost to acquire and how much it will cost you while you remain in the home. I am well-versed in various financing programs and can help you understand what each program means to you.

What’s available?

Now that you know what you are looking for and have your financing in place it’s time to see what is available meeting your preferences. Finding your dream home is easier than ever before. I provide free access to the Arizona Regional MLS using IDX technology, which allows home buyers to search MLS listings in real time. You will find other options available on the internet through companies like REALTOR.com and AZCentral.com that have a 3-5 day information delay. This is on purpose. The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service is a subscription service allowing REALORS® to better serve our clients in a timely fashion, and offers access to organizations as a continued benefit to promote our clients homes for sale.

Another option is to sign up for our VIP Buyer auto-search service. This is a free service provided to Buyer’s who know what they are looking for and want to monitor specific areas without performing manual searches throughout the day. My VIP Buyers receive better-than-daily email updates of all new properties meeting their preferences. The auto-search runs 4 times per day and automatically loads all new listings into a personalized web-portal. As a VIP Buyer you will then be able to access your web-portal to review the new listings and flag a home as a favorite or possibility, make notes, or reject the property listing if it is not what you are looking for.

Let’s go shopping!

A buyer’s tour of homes is exactly what it sounds like. You have identified a few properties that seem to be perfect matches on paper and merit a closer look. A typical buyer’s tour lasts 2-3 hours and usually consists of the top 4-6 homes on your list. You let me know which properties are your favorites and I will arrange private showings for us to visit the properties. I also provide you with a packet of the homes we are visiting so you can take notes when visiting the homes. Notetaking is a great way to ensure you remember the details after a few days pass.

What should I offer?

CMA’s, they’re not just for sellers anymore. Once we have found the home you want, I will prepare a Comprehensive Market Analysis of the property. Though it’s not an appraisal, it is a good start in determining fair market value of a home. Recent sales of comparable properties in a given area are an excellent indicator of how home buyers perceive the value of the community. Gathering and analyzing as much information as possible will help you make your decision of offer price and terms.

The Contract

Preparing the purchase contract and required addenda to accurately convey the terms and conditions of your offer is the next step. The contract consists of 10 pages and there are typically 2-3 addenda required for each transaction, depending on your situation and the area/condition of the property. I will explain each paragraph of the contract and addenda so you know what each means and can move forward with the confidence of knowing what your obligations and protections are during the purchase process.

Negotiating your offer

As your agent I owe you a fiduciary duty, the highest standard of care imposed at either equity or law. I am obligated to put your interests first, even ahead of my own, throughout the course of your home purchase. So you can rest assured my only goal is to negotiate your best price and terms.

Due diligence

Your safety net when purchasing a home is the inspection period. This is your time to find out anything and everything that could affect your decision to purchase the home. Aside from issues such as school district, HOA rules, and crime rates, there are two preliminary inspections that should be performed before moving forward with your purchase. A wood-destroying organism inspection is required by most lenders before they will fund your purchase. This inspection looks for any active infestations or conditions conducive to an infestation, both of which must be corrected before the sale can occur. The second is a home inspection, which should be performed by an Arizona certified inspection company that meets the minimum standards of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Home inspectors are well trained in all major components of a home and can usually spot potential problems within the initial 3 hour inspection. They will then deliver a report of their findings with suggestions of items to be repaired, replaced, or inspected further by a specialist.

Requesting repairs

Inspectors are obligated to report all of their findings on the inspection report, regardless of how minor the issue may seem. The terms to keep in mind when requesting repairs on your new home are 1) safe and 2) functioning as designed. Asking for everything on the inspection report may upset the seller and cause them to reject all of your requests, putting the purchase in jeopardy. While not asking for enough may cause you undue hardship and extra dollars out of your pocket due to the sellers’ deferred maintenance of the home. I help you by negotiating the right balance of seller repaired items and which items you can repair yourself after moving in to keep the purchase moving forward as smoothly as possible.

Coordinate move-in

I provide you with a checklist of items that are typical when preparing to move. Items such as switching the utilities into your name, coordinating movers with the date of possession, address change with the postal service, etc.

Final walk-thru

The final is usually conducted without the help of a professional inspector. The purpose of a final walk-thru is to re-inspect the home ensuring the property is in reasonably the same condition as when you agreed to purchase it, and to ensure the requested repairs have been completed to your satisfaction. The final walk-thru is usually scheduled to occur 2-3 days before the close of escrow.

The signing

A day or two before the home is scheduled to close the escrow company will call to schedule the signing. The signing will consist of your loan documents, tax forms, and ownership transfer documents. The escrow company will prepare all of the documents necessary and send me a copy of the settlement statement (form HUD-1) for review. The settlement statement is an accounting document showing who paid for what and the amounts of each. This is where you will see the itemized costs, both to you and the seller, of your home purchase.

The Close of Escrow (COE)

After signing the closing documents the escrow company will package the loan documents and send them back to the lender for review. A typical lender in Arizona will hold the documents for 24-48 hrs before authorizing the release of funds to the escrow company. Once they receive the funds and release authorization from the lender the escrow company will record the sale and transfer ownership to you. When I receive the call from the escrow company that they have completed the transfer I will release the keys to you and the home is yours to enjoy!

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