Dear Valued Client,

This homebuyer’s resource is meant to help you with the process of buying a home. Whether you have purchased a home in the past or this is your first time buying, this guide will show you the steps involved in the home buying process.

Buying a home is a big commitment and I am hopeful the steps laid out in this guide will make the process easier to understand and make you feel more at ease about your purchase. Listed within this guide are things we will go through to complete your transaction from start to finish. Below is a general list of items that we will discuss during the home buying process;

Finding a REALTOR
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage
Finding that perfect home
Writing a purchase agreement
Finding an attorney or settlement agency to coordinate your closing
Going through the inspection processes for your home
Notifying local municipalities such as electric, cable, telephone, water/sewer and other vendors to have your home ready for move-in.
Being prepared for the closing of your home
And of course, last but not least, MOVING IN!!
During this process I encourage you to ask as many questions as possible. I want to be sure that you are understanding of the documents involved in buying a home and want to you to be comfortable and knowledgeable with buying your home.

Tim Hudson
Associate Broker – Keller Williams Realty
540.320.5499 Cell/Text

There are several ways a REALTOR can work for you as a homebuyer. A REALTOR can either work as a Seller’s agent, a Buyer’s agent or in some cases as a Dual agent. I will give you some basics on agency but you will also find a copy of an Agency agreement form following this page.

An Exclusive Buyer’s agent is a REALTOR who is working for your best interest to get you the best price, terms and conditions for you, at no cost to you. When you “hire” a Buyer’s agent, their commission is paid by the Seller who has their house listed. This arrangement applies mostly to homes listed through our local MLS system. FISBO’s or For Sale by Owners will often offer a Buyer agent a commission for selling their home, but if not, then the Buyer agent’s commission must be negotiated within the contract.

A Selling Agent is a REALTOR who is working for the Seller’s of homes listed. A REALTOR who is a participant in our MLS network is automatically working for the Seller unless the Buyer’s are wanting full representation during the home buying process.

A Dual Agent is a REALTOR who will be working for both the Buyer and the Seller during the transaction. In this case, both Buyers and Sellers must agree that the REALTOR may work for both parties during the transaction. This agency arrangement is found when a REALTOR has a home listed and has a Buyer who would like to purchase that home.

Getting pre-approved for a home mortgage is a very important step in the home buying process for several reasons.

First, it gives you the Buyer an advantage over other buyers that you are a serious qualified Buyer for the price of the home you are wanting to purchase. It is also important to a Seller to know that you are qualified to purchase their home or they may not consider your offer very serious.

Second, it will also give you a good look at your credit history. There are times when a credit report may show items that are not suppose to be on your history. It gives you an opportunity to review your report to be sure all items listed are correct.

Being pre-approved may also make the difference in a competing situation for a home that you and another buyer may want at the same time. Below is a list of local lending institutes that will be happy to assist you in your qualification process.

Let the search begin! Now that you are pre-approved and know your price range it is now time to start the search. This is probably the most exciting part of buying a home. This gives you the opportunity to have a look at all of the listings offered in our MLS system that may suit your needs. It also gives me the opportunity to hear your comments on homes that may or may not be to your liking. It is important for me to listen to your concerns, ideas and what will make the perfect home for you. During our search we will look at the overall condition of the home. Some homes will have a lot of what you want and others may need some “TLC” or remodeling to make it your perfect home. Either way, it is my job to be sure you find the home that best suits your needs. I can show you any home listed in the area even if it is not listed with Long & Foster. Being a REALTOR and having access to our local MLS system, it gives me the ability to show you all listing whether it be with RE/MAX, Century 21, Coldwell Banker or any other agency that has a home listed. The internet and local magazines are also a good resource for finding a home. One thing to remember about the magazines, they cycle on a monthly basis. What this means to you is that you may see a home for sale in a magazine, but that listing may not be available anymore due to the monthly cycle. Say for instance I have a listing in the February magazine. I would have had to place the order for the magazine in January to make the February issue. Keeping you up to date through our MLS system will give you the most up to date listings available.

Okay, we have found the perfect place for you. Now it is time to write the purchase agreement. This process is probably the most important, and the most time consuming. The purchase agreement will consist of approximately six pages for the contract and several other documents pertaining to disclaimers and disclosures of the property you have choose. I have copied the purchase agreement in the pages that follow for your convenience. Once the purchase agreement is submitted and accepted we move onto the inspection process.

The contract has been accepted and we are ready to find a closing agent to prepare the closing documents for your home. The closing agent will work closely with your REALTOR as well as your lender. It is their job to make sure all of the documents are in order for the closing. There are two types of closing agents. One is a settlement agency that does not involve an attorney but performs the same tasks. The other option is to use an attorney to prepare the closing. Both are acceptable to REALTORS and typically your lender.

In some cases a Purchaser may want to hire a third party inspector to review the home’s contents. An inspector will go through the entire house checking electrical, plumbing, heating and air condition units, attic and crawl space and the over all well being of the home. An inspector can also check the Radon levels in the home as well. Radon is an inert gas that forms in pockets underground and may be harmful to your health in large doses. Please note that the cost for the home inspector is an upfront typically non-refundable charge paid directly to the inspector at the time of inspection.

Now that all of the lender requirements, inspections, and attorneys are all in line and set to close it is time to get things ready for moving. There is nothing more frustrating than closing on your home and trying to move in in the dark! I suggest calling utilities such as cable/dish networks, telephone, electric company, gas company if applicable, town utilities for water and sewer about a week in advance. Most of the time the electric company and town utilities can have their items changed in a day, but cable and telephone companies usually will be a week delay.

You’ve done it! Closing day has arrived. The closing will happen in the settlement agency you have chosen. There will be a lot of documents to sign so be ready to spend about an hour at closing. You will be given the chance to review your settlement statement to be sure everything is correct. If you are required to bring funds to the closing, it will have to be in a certified check or money order. It is also possible to have your bank wire the funds to the closing agent but we will need to know this a day or so in advance. Once the documents are signed and the deed is recorded, the home is yours! Congratulations!

I hope you have found this information to be helpful in your search for a new home. It is important to me to be sure you have understood the entire process and want to Thank you for using my services.

Please enjoy your new home, and remember, I am never to busy for a referral.

Best regards,

Tim Hudson