Information for Buyers
Buyers come from near and far. They are your friends with growing families that need a bigger home, or your older neighbors that need to down-size so there is not so much to take care of.
Our buyers move across the county, state and country to relocate to our beautiful area. Buyers purchase more homes here because of job changes, city attractions, child rearing, or just to fulfill their dreams of returning to the place they once called home.
Zimmerman Realty agents are trained experts in their field. They know how to steer you in the right direction with each and every move. We pride ourselves on quality customer service, first-hand industry education and more sold homes than the local competition.
Let's begin the home buying process so that you can understand how easy and hassle-free agents make it for you, our valued client.
You can also choose a link from the list below, or follow them step-by step to learn more:
- Getting Ready to Buy
- Finding a Realtor
- Starting the Loan Process
- Starting Your Search
- Finding Your New Home
- Making an Offer on a Home
- Closing Procedures
- Settling In
#1 Getting Ready To Buy
Are you ready to build the "American Dream?" Preparing to buy a home can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Fortunately, a agent can lead you in the right direction toward the home for your dreams. You first may want to ask yourself these questions:
- What am I looking for in a new home?
- Do I have enough money to purchase a new home?
- How does my credit look?
Before you choose a real estate agent, it is important to do your homework on the real estate companies in your area. One agent can help you with all your real estate needs.
- Search the Internet for local real estate companies.
- Review local publications for agent advertisements.
- Call each company to compare commission fees, marketing campaigns and yearly sales volume.
- Talk to your friends and neighbors. 9 times out of 10, someone you know has sold their home and can provide a credible recommendation to point you in the right direction.
- View a list of Zimmerman Realty's Agents on Zimmerman Realty.com
When choosing a Realtor, do not be afraid to meet with several different agents. They are, after all, competing for your business. This competition is what makes the real estate industry successful.
Feel free to ask them the following questions:
- How many years of experience do you have in this industry?
- What is your selling experience in my community?
- What professional certifications do you hold (ex. Certified Residential Specialist–CRS)?
- What services will you provide for me as my agent?
- How will you represent me as a buyer?
- Can you provide all the information that I need about homes in the area that fit into my price range?
- What is the fee for your services?
- Can you provide all of the different scenarios with the sale of property I may purchase?
- Can you explain the paperwork that I will need to sign.
Once you have chosen an agent, it is important to establish specific goals that you would like to meet. It is very important to communicate with your real estate agent and, in turn, that your real estate agent communicates with you.
#3 Starting the Loan Process
It is important as a buyer that you establish some kind of financing before you make any serious home offer. The "pre-qualification process allows lenders to take a look at your finances and credit history in order to make a general assumption about your qualifying loan amount.
The pre-approval process is when a lender looks at all of your finances (income, debt and savings) and determines the amount of money you could afford for a mortgage.
In order to get pre-approved for a loan, you need to contact a lender. Your agent can help you help you find a lender that you feel comfortable with, and that offers programs best-suited to your needs.
#4 Starting Your Search
Now it is time to start the exciting search for homes! You may want to narrow down your search by asking yourself the following questions:
- Where do I want to live?
- What is the neighborhood like?
- What is the crime rate?
- Do you have a preferred school district?
- Are there any zoning restrictions?
- How far is this home from my job?
- What is my price range?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I want?
- What style of house do you prefer (ranch, multi-level, contemporary, traditional)?
- What other amenities do I desire (ex. pool, fenced-in yard, outbuildings, acreage. etc.)?
- Does this home have potential to increase in value?
Searching for a home is becoming easier than years ago. We now have the Internet as a powerful "home finding tool," as well as the MLS® (Multiple Listing Services) and print advertising. Click HERE to begin your search now on ZimmermanRealty.com
#5 Finding Your New Home
Beginning the search for your new home can be a great feeling. It is important that you directly communicate what you desire in a home to your real estate agent.
You may want to first begin by making a list of the features and benefits that are most important in your pursuit of finding a home. These could be:
Looking for a home in an area where you feel comfortable is key. If appropriate, instruct your real estate agent to look for homes in the specific areas you have designated. Click HERE to begin your search now on ZimmermanRealty.com using the Map Search.
#6 Making an Offer on a Home
Selecting a home should be relatively easy once a home falls somewhere in your criteria and the property is desirable for purchase.
You will want to inform your real estate agent what you like about the house and make a list of your likes and dislikes with the property. Though you will most likely have done this already in a general sense, it is important to do it again for specific homes you have in interest in pursuing a possible offer. .
There are three options in making an offer a home. You can:
- Accept the seller's asking price and have your agent write up the contract at the listing price and your preferred terms.
- Offer a price above or below the seller's asking price and have your agent prepare an offer with your preferred terms.
- Propose to accept or modify other important terms of the listing information including possession, type of financing,, etc.
This is all a part of the negotiation process.
Communicating about the house and how it makes you feel is important when making this decision. It is also important to be realistic when it comes to how much you can afford when selecting "your" home.
Doing your homework about loans will save you both time and money. There are thousands of loans out there to choose from, but it is important to keep in mind several key factors that will help you along the way:
- How much money should I put down?
- How is my credit?
- Is this my first home?
Applying for a loan requires the completion of a loan application and specific financial documents including pay stubs, rental checks and/or tax returns. You can receive a loan from a number of different financial institutions, namely: commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks and insurance companies.
Insuring your home is like making an investment in your future. You work hard to have a home; homeowners insurance protects you and your family from someone or something taking it all away.
There are many different forms of insurance:
- Title Insurance – protects you in the event that the title on your property has a lien, unpaid taxes, or other legalities that would make it have a defective title.
- Homeowners' Insurance – protects your home from fire, theft and other liable coverage.
- Flood Insurance – protects your home from flood damage.
- Home Warranty – offers buyers and sellers the peace of mind that should anything unexpected happen (due to normal, everyday wear and tear) of the home's appliances, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems, it will be repaired (or replaced in some cases) for you without costly fees.
#9 Closing Procedures
The closing process can vary depending on local custom and legal requirements. It is sometimes referred to as "settlement" or "escrow" in different parts of the country. With increased technology, most closings are completely automated and both parties do not have to be present at the same time to sign.
Closings usually take about 30 days to complete if the buyer is using lender financing. It further depends on the buyer's type of financing, a successful home inspection, and various lender or title conditions (ex. title search, title insurance, surveys and appraisals).
The closing process is the transfer of the title of the property from the seller to the buyer. The buyer will receive the keys to the home or your agent will make arrangements to obtain the keys if the seller maintains possession for any time after closing. The recorded deed will arrive in the ail within a few weeks after closing. Of course, the seller receives payment for the property at the closing also. The amount the seller nets is based upon the amount that is still owed on the mortgage, any outstanding fees or taxes, and any additional closing costs. All legal papers are filed with the local county recorder's office.
Prior to the closing, it is important as for the to take a final walk through the property to make sure the property's condition has not changed. It is equally important for both the buyer and seller to make sure the paperwork they will be signing reflects the agreement of the purchase contract.
#10 Settling In
Before you take possession, you will want to contact all of the utility companies that provide service to your new home. Your agent can provide you with a list of those utilities. After moving day, and you have unpacked your boxes, arranged your furniture, and feel complete with your moving tasks, what's next? There is always an adjustment period when you move. It is important to understand that what you, your spouse and/or children may be feeling is completely normal.
Here are a few suggestion that may help:
- Urge everyone to talk about how they are feeling.
- Get outside and tour the neighborhood or take a drive and visit some new places around the community.
- E-mail old friends and neighbors to let them know about your new home and community.
- Start a list about what you like about:
- A list of local community and utility information can be found on ZimmermanRealty.com's Community Page...click here.