Buying & Selling Tips
There are hundreds of homes listed in the Birmingham area. With my
computer access to listings in the Birmingham area, I can narrow your search quickly, and
you can even view pictures of the homes that you want to see. If you are relocating from
another city, I can mail or email this information to you. This will save valuable travel
time and speed your relocation process.
THE HOME BUYING PROCESS
When youre ready to think about buying or selling your property, you need to ask
yourself the following questions: Do you have the time, energy, sources of information,
and contacts to do the job yourself? If you are of the do-it-yourself people,
would the results be as good or better than the would be if you had professional
assistance? Would it have gone smoother? Would it have given you more personal time? Would
you have purchased for less, or sold for more, if a REALTORŪ was involved? Read the
following information and learn how a REALTORŪ can help you understand everything you
need to know about a real estate transaction.
The process of buying a home or investment generally starts with determining your buying
power; that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give your
REALTORŪ some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt,
they can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders, banks, and
mortgage companies offer limited choices.
Once you know how much you can and want to invest, the next step is to find the properties
that most nearly fit your needs. This is the time to choose a REALTORŪ. Your REALTORŪ
has many resources to assist you in that search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is
available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation
by your REALTORŪ to find all available properties.
Your job is to make the final selection of the right property for you. This is when
excitement and emotion run high. Your REALTORŪ can assist you in the selection process by
providing objective information about each property. REALTORSŪ have access to a variety
of information resources. REALTORSŪ can provide local community information on utilities,
zoning, schools, etc. There are two things youll want to know. First, will the
property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the
property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
There are a myriad of negotiating factors, including, but not limited to price, financing,
terms, date or possession, and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings
or equipment. The purchase agreement should also provide a period of time for you to
complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound
to complete the purchase. Your REALTORŪ can advise you as to which investigations and
inspections are recommented or required.
With a negotiated agreement in hand, it is time to complete the evaluation of the
property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites,
dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well test, just to
name a few. Your REALTORŪ can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals
to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also
want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership
of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The
title to most properties will have some limitations, for example, easements (access
rights) for utilities. Your REALTORŪ, title company or attorney can help you resolve
issues that might cause problems at a later date.
As soon as you are reasonable sure the property is right for you, the process of obtaining
financing begins. Your REALTORŪ can help you in understanding different financing options
and in identifying qualified lenders.
CLOSING OR SETTLEMENT
Finally, there is the closing, or settlement, as it is known in different parts of the
country. Again, your REALTORŪ can guide you through this process and make sure everything
flows together smoothly.
WHY A REALTOR?
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of
the National Association of Realtors are properly called REALTORSŪ. REALTORSŪ are
committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORSŪ subscribe to a strict
code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of
buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers
would use the same REALTORŪ again.
USING A REALTOR...You Be the Judge!
Real estate transactions involve one or the biggest financial investments most people
experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,00. If you had a
$100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA?
If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an
attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be
foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a
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