Closing and Contingencies

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Once you’re moving towards closing on a home, either as a buyer or a seller, there are a few things to know.  Your Realtor® will help you with all of these, but it’s good to know the timeline of how things will pan out.

There are deadlines for the contingencies listed in the offer.  If they are not heeded on time, there are consequences for both the buyer and the seller.  Inspection contingencies have a ten day period where the buyer and seller must agree to whatever may need to be fixed.

Once the inspection is completed, the buyer will need to look in to acquiring homeowner’s insurance.  This is required by lenders.

The buyer may also be interested in purchasing an extra home warranty that will protect against unforeseen defects and repairs that may pop up in the first year after purchase.

There’s a lot involved in the purchase and sale of a home.  Your Realtor® will help you with all aspects and will put your mind at ease, knowing all deadlines and paperwork will be sure to be completed on time.

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Making An Offer

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You’re ready to make an offer!  Woo hoo!  These are exciting times for you!

Some tips to remember:

  • Inspections are totally normal and expected and should be done by buyers
  • Once you make your offer, the offer can be accepted, rejected or countered
  • Ask your Realtor®, but serious offers should be within 90% of asking price, if not higher in this market
  • Most houses are selling within 95%-98% of asking price in this area
  • Make sure your Realtor® has done a CMA (comparative market analysis) on the home you want to make an offer on, to assure the home is priced right

Good luck!!!

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Contingencies

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Once you make an offer and it is mutually agreed upon, there are contingencies in place to protect the buyer and the seller.  Here’s a short list of some common contingencies:

  1. Financing
  2. Appraisal
  3. HOA rules and regulations
  4. Inspection

Buyers are protected with a financing contingency that states they are not liable to owe the seller anything if their financing falls through.  There are dates written in the contract that must be met by your loan officer to let the seller know when final approval is scheduled.

The bank loaning the money is protected by an appraisal, which must meet the sales price offered in order to get financing.  If the appraisal comes in lower than the amount offered, the buyer would otherwise be liable to make up the difference without an appraisal contingency.

If the home is a Townhome or a Condominium, there will be rules and regulations set by an association.  There is a contingency that once these rules are received by the buyer, there is a ten day period in Minnesota where the buyer can walk away if the rules do not meet his/her needs.

Buyers purchasing a home they plan on living in should always have an inspection performed.  Your Realtor® will have a list of inspectors he/she recommends.  Not having an inspection will put the buyer at risk, so I highly recommend having one.

Watch the above video for even more valuable tips.  Really, I watched it, myself, and there’s good stuff in there!  It’s only a few minutes long, and well worth your time.

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Closing Time

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You’ve made an offer and you’re ready to close!  Yee Haw!

So, get your coffee and your energy bars stocked because you’re going to need them!  Oh yes, closing is a long, tedious task, but it will get you your keys to your new home!  So, hang in there soldier.  You can do this!  Grab a hand squeezer exercise thingy to strengthen up those writing muscles and get ready to sign your life away!

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Before You Buy…

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There are some serious steps you need to take before you dive into buying a home, or even getting pre-approved.  Be aware that the process, itself, of getting approved will affect your credit.  In order to get pre-approved, your loan officer will need to run a credit report, which will, in turn, ding your credit.  The more times your credit is checked by companies, the more it is affected, so keep that in mind.  Don’t just willy nilly have your credit checked every month by other companies to see how your rating is if you are looking to buy a home soon.

Use this same advice for applying for any new credit cards.  Restrain yourself from applying for new credit cards to “save that extra magical percent off your next purchase”!  Department stores are notorious for these kinds of offers.  You must resist!!  It will affect your credit rating in a bad way to have open credit cards, so close the ones you don’t use and pay off the ones you do use.

Banks look at debt-to-income ratios, so be informed as to what yours needs to be by asking your preferred loan officer.  If you don’t have a loan officer, your Realtor® will happily refer you to a good one.  You may need to work on paying off some debt before going further in your home buying process.  Have no fear though, it might not take as long as you think!

Watch the video above to get extra tips as well.  Enjoy!

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Know What You Can Afford

It is important to know what you can afford before you start looking at homes.  Make sure your new payments do not go over one third of your income.  Make sure any promised raises in your pay are in writing or already in effect before implementing into your proposed budget.

You will also need a down payment, so make sure you have that set aside.  Your loan officer will be able to tell you exactly how much you’ll need.  Work closely with your Realtor to make sure all bumps and obstacles are smoothed out for you along the way.  lisa.maxwell@results.net RE/MAX RESULTS

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First Time Buying A Home?

There are programs available to you, as a first-time homebuyer, to be able to get into your home with much less money down than conventional loans, which typically require 20% down.  You can get much lower down payments if you qualify.  Asking a Realtor® who will give you a good referral to a loan officer or your own preferred mortgage loan officer will give you specific answers to all these questions.  RE/MAX RESULTS

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Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Have you fallen in love with a new home?

Have you fallen out of love with the one you’re living in now?

Why not make this the year you make that move?

I can help you find the home to fall in love with.  I can also help you find a buyer who will fall in love with your home if you are ready to move on.  Whether you’re empty nesting, moving South where it’s warm, upsizing, downsizing, moving because of a job, or whatever the reason, give yourself the gift of freedom by making that change.

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♥Lisa

You’re Ready to Start Looking!

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So, you’re pre-approved and ready to start looking!  How exciting!  Hopefully you have yourself a Realtor® picked out.

It is important to have a full-time Realtor®, as you don’t want to be left hanging if your Realtor® is not available to get back to you right away.  Make sure you ask if they are a full-time Realtor®.

You are going to be hiring this person and you want to make sure they are going to work for you and are available to you.  You can easily test this by seeing how fast they get back to you when you reach out to them, before signing a contract with them.  Until you sign a buyer’s representation contract, you have not hired them, so do your homework and test out your prospective Realtor’s® availability.  This will be important to you when you want to make an offer.  Test at different times of day and nights and weekends.  Be reasonable, don’t expect an immediate answer back at 2am, but you can expect an answer back to your attempted contacts within one day for sure, and within hours and even minutes (outside of sleeping time)!

A qualified Realtor® will have access to tools and resources a non-Realtor® may not have available to them.  Also, Realtors® are held to higher standards than agents that aren’t Realtors®.  So, my advice is to definitely go with a qualified Realtor® and check out to make sure they’re licensed here: Dept. of Commerce License Check  Just type in last and first name and it should show whether your prospective agent is a Realtor® or not.

Happy house hunting!

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Groundhog Day!

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Groundhog says “Home Buying Season Is Upon Us!”

It’s here!  Homes for sale are upon us. If you are a buyer looking to buy your next or first home, here’s a quick list to help you get started:

1.)  Get pre-approved with a good lender. You can get good faith estimates from more than one loan officer and choose which has the best options for you and your needs. Shop around.

2.)  Find a full-time Realtor® who is recommended to you by people you trust. If you don’t know of any, start asking around. It is important to find a full-time agent so you aren’t left hanging if they are only working part-time and you end up missing out on your dream home because your agent wasn’t available.  If you need one in the Twin Cities area, give me a call or text at 651-683-2467 or email me at lisa.maxwell@results.net.

3.)  Narrow down what criteria you must have, can’t live without, and expand it in a list format so you know exactly what you’ll be looking for.

Example:

MUST HAVE:  2 car garage, 2 bathrooms minimum, at least 3 bedrooms, fenced in yard for Fido, within 30 minutes of work

WOULD LIKE:  extra office or guest room, extra bath, mature trees, heated garage

4.)  Call a trusted Realtor and if you don’t have one, call/text/email me at: 651-683-2467 or lisa.maxwell@results.net.

There ya go!  You have your start to your new home search!

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