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As first time home buyers, my husband and I were overwhelmed by the numerous things to consider when venturing on a project about which we knew very less. Teri made the entire process simple and stress-free by assisting us in every step. Right from educating us about various mortgage options ...read more
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Skip Navigation LinksJR Sato Realty >> Buyer >> Tips For Buyers

Before you begin your search for a home……


Talk to a lender and get Pre-Approved:

Shop lenders. Ask about fees, interest rates, and their service. Fees and rates will depend on your financial situation and the lender. Don’t sacrifice a good interest rate for poor service and high fees. 
There is a difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval. Pre-qualification does not guarantee you a loan. It only establishes how much you can pay for a home. Pre-approval is given after a lender has reviewed in detail your credit and financial situation. This guarantees you a specific loan amount and informs you of the monthly payment.
If possible review your credit report and correct any errors prior to talking to a lender. You can obtain a copy of your credit report by contacting one of these major credit bureaus: Trans Union 800-888-4213, Experian 888-682-7654, and Equifax 800-685-1111.
Obtain a Good Faith Estimate of the closing costs from selected Lenders. There are recurring costs that are included in the monthly payment such as homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. The monthly payment consists of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, referred to as PITI.
There are one-time closing costs that include the origination fee, usually one point (or 1% of the loan amount) and any other points, sometimes called discount points (the more points, the lower the interest rate), the appraisal fee, credit report, and other lender fees, such as document preparation, and the underwriting fee. Note: Sometimes the closing costs can be negotiated in the offer of the home you are purchasing, requesting they be paid by the Seller.


Hire a Real Estate Agent:

Consider JR Sato Realty for your Agent. We are required by law to act in your best interest as a buyer and will work to ensure you get the best property for the best value. We will provide you with additional information about the property and will be objective about the positives and negatives of property.


Begin your home search:

We will send you homes via email obtained from the local multiple listing service based on your criteria specified by you for your home search.
It is better to drive by properties you are interested in first, and then make an appointment with us to look at them. This will save you time and ensure you aren’t looking at properties in undesirable neighborhoods.
Take good notes when looking at properties you are interested in. It is difficult to keep details of each property “in your head”.
Be careful of listening to a buying committee. Family, friends and acquaintances will have many opinions but don’t have the expertise of a Real Estate Broker.
Remember many Sellers put their home on the market that shouldn’t have. Some of the homes you look at may not be in their best condition.
Many Sellers will be home when you preview their house.


Once you have selected a home write an offer:

When making an offer determine what is the max amount you are willing to pay for the home. Determine where you will start and after counter offers where you will end. Leave some room in your first offer for negotiation. We will provide a detailed market analysis to help you determine the appropriate purchase price.
Determine the amount of earnest money, if any, you want to give the Seller when the offer is presented. Earnest money is a deposit which shows the Seller you are serious about buying the property. There is no minimum or maximum requirement.
We will write up the Real Estate Sales Contract
We will negotiate all the terms and conditions of the contract with the Seller and the Listing Agent for you.


After an accepted offer:

An Escrow account is opened with the Title Company specified in the offer using the earnest money and copy of the contract itself.
Order a home inspection. Price will vary depending on the Home Inspector you hire. Home inspections are necessary for every property; old and new. The Seller is not always aware of every flaw or problem in the home and an inspection will help catch them. Don’t have a family member or friend with some experience look over the home. They may overlook serious problems which could end up costing you money down the road. Home Inspections are paid for by you at the time of inspection. (A list of inspectors has been provided to you with your buyer’s packet or you may elect one of your own).
Some Sellers won’t leave during an inspection and may follow you and your inspector from room to room.


Additional tips:

There are tax advantages to owing a home. But to benefit you must understand them and report properly to the IRS.
Signing with the Title Company is two to three days prior to the closing date. Most lenders need 24 to 48 hours to fund and close the loan.


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