You have decided that it is time to buy a home. Whether you have purchased several times or if you are a first time home buyer, there are opportunities as well as pitfalls to acquaint yourself with. Market conditions and changes in the real estate industry are always prevalent which is why a Realtor is your safest option. Presumably you have been scanning the market and selected a Realtor that, above all, you trust. Purchasing a home is a major event and you must have a trusted agent to help you through the process. Normally, all the work done by an agent costs you as the buyer nothing. Agents get paid after the sale from the sellers proceeds in the transaction.
In our first meeting with customers, we usually meet at our office In Panama City in a confidential environment where customers are comfortable to share their goals. At Full Sail Realty it is our mission to first understand the customer’s needs and then help them get there. In so doing we help you find what is right for you and navigate the obstacles of buying and get you to a satisfactory closing. We as agents will educate you and help you understand the options, but we want you to have what meets your criteria. So early in the process, you should be able to answer the following questions:
1) What is your time frame for purchasing?
2) Do you currently own or rent? If you own now, do you have to sell before purchasing
3) Do you need financing and if so have you been prequalified by a lender?
Now you are ready to identify your property criteria :
4) Description of property desired?
Area of town, square footage, # bedrooms and baths, are school zones important, are the # of floors important, size lot, extra space needed ( example storage or garage ), price range
With these issues answered, we as agents can determine if you are “ready to buy” or need to accomplish a few things before moving forward. With changing markets, buyers often look at properties before “ready” to buy and the property is sold before the customer can qualify or get an offer submitted. For customers not ready, the agent can direct them as to potential properties to review vs wasting time showing a property that is not going to be available or out of the customer’s purchasing range. Once you have focused in on a property, we as agents research the property and determine relevant information relayed to your criteria as well as zoning, home owners association, real estate taxes, flood zone, school districts, etc. If the property, is acceptable the agent arranges a showing to determine suitability. For a desired property, we do a comparative market analysis to determine a proper market value and a possible price when composting an offer. If the customer desires to move forward, The agent will compose an offer for the buyer to sign and submit it to the seller’s listing agent. The offer will either be accepted, rejected or returned with a counteroffer. Once an offer is accepted, it becomes an effective contract and is forwarded to the buyers lender and the title company. The process continues with a professional home inspection, an appraisal, a pest inspection and loan approval. Unless there is a determinant reason the closing is scheduled and the buyers and sellers complete documents and the property is transferred to the buyer.
Throughout the process, the agents will perform a number of duties the buyer will never know about, but that are required to facilitate the transaction. The primary message to you as a buyer is, to be responsive and have a responsive agent. Getting things done on time and in the proper order can mean a big difference in not only closing on time but saving both the seller and buyer money.
Thank you for letting us share.
Bob Douglas, Broker Associate
Full Sail Realty LLC