The Buying Process
OUR PROMISE TO YOU: NO DETAIL OVERLOOKED!
There are two very important goals that must be achieved in the process of buying property – you must love the property and it must make financial sense. Our goal is to guide you and pay close attention to your specific criteria so that we can explore the best available options. We’ve worked with multi-million dollar investors, first time homebuyers and relocating families so we are prepared to help you through every step of the buying process.
What is the Process?
Surf! Yes, the web is the perfect place to start. The good news for buyers today is that there are a multitude of real estate web sites out there so look them over, find any properties that interest you, write down the pros and cons. By getting a general idea of the type of property you are attracted too we can do the fine tuning We will narrow down a list of possibilities; a house with a five minute walk to the beach, a historic home tucked away downtown, a sprawling waterfront estate. We’ll do some preliminary “number crunching” and make sure our list includes properties within the budget. Once we have our list of possibilities…off we go.
The fun begins ... Now we experience first hand what those properties look like, we’ll check out the views, meet the neighbors, and walk the secret path to the beach. You’re buying your home and making a lifestyle choice in the process so it’s important to spend some time in a property you could potentially be moving in to. If you know at first sight a home isn’t right we’ll move on, if it seems like the home you’ve always dreamed of then we’ll spend an hour or so. Don’t forget, sellers want to sell their home, so the longer you linger the better the chance that you feel comfortable with a decision.
We didn’t find it. Yes, sometimes even though we have researched, made lists and paraded through dozens of homes we still haven’t found the right home. That’s ok. New inventory hits the market every day and since we work in cooperation with the other local real estate agents and the multiple listing service, we will be know when a property that meets your criteria hits the market.
We found it! It’s time to write an offer to purchase the property. We’ve done this literally hundreds of times and through experience have learned that every offer is specific to each client. No boiler plate language and general stipulations. We will protect your interests and make sure that we have addressed all of the proper contract law and contingencies in the process.
How much for your property? Another tool for buyers today is access to public information. Remember our homework earlier when you searched the web sites and made lists of available properties? Well that was the first step in learning the market value for the area. The public records also allow you to look up the owner to see how much they paid for the property, when they bought it and if they have a mortgage. Pretty important stuff. Our job will be to supply you with recent sales data so that you can compare what is active and what has sold in a particular neighborhood. We also have statistics available to show you what the average homes are selling for compared to their list price. With this information we you can make an informed decision in how much to offer.
Rejected! Wait, we’ve done our research and made an offer based on all of the statistics available, what happened? Sometimes sellers don’t negotiate. Some are motivated and some are not. We will supply the seller with the data we have complied to detail how we came up with our offer to purchase. Usually this helps to take some of the emotion out of the transaction. Sellers are usually proud of their properties, as they should be, however in the end it is the market that determines the property’s value.
Accepted! The seller has agreed to your terms and the process now switches to one in which you will be communicating with us quite a bit until closing. You can typically expect a closing to take place between 30 to 60 days. During that time we generally have the contingencies in the contract to meet such as:
1) Home Inspection. If required usually takes place within 14 days of acceptance. We will review the home inspection with you upon completion and address any issues that may have come up. Typically we have negotiated with the seller in our contract so that the seller will contribute some money for any needed repairs. If you have purchased the property “as-is” then we will determine the extent to which the repairs could effect the value of the home and get repair estimates accordingly.
2) Financing. If you are not paying cash for the property then we will recommend some lenders to help you find the right loan for you. Once you’ve found the lender you are most comfortable with, they will order an appraisal of the property and begin the financing process. Typically this takes 30 to 45 days.
3) Title Insurance. In Florida the seller typically pays for the Title Insurance so the seller will choose the company to close the transaction. The Title Company and bank will work together insuring that the bank has all of the necessary loan documents signed at closing.
4) Property Survey. Even if you are not getting a loan, we highly recommend obtaining a boundary survey. It’s important to know exactly where the corners of your property lay and you want to make sure that your neighbor is not encroaching in any way on your property and vice versa.
5) Insurance. Generally you will need to get a homeowners policy a windstorm policy and if required a flood policy. There are many local reputable insurance companies that offer competitive rates.
Closing Time. Loan’s been approved; the survey show the neighbor’s fence is in fact on their property, you’ve secured excellent property insurance. Let’s get the pens ready. Closing takes place at a local Title Company or attorney’s office however if you are out of state and need to close long distance that’s not a problem. The closing package can be sent to you and the Title Company will give you instructions on where to sign, how to get it notarized and sent back to them.
Take the Keys. You now own a home in St. Augustine. Welcome Home. As a new resident in our area you will probably have some questions or need some tips on where to shop, eat, access the beach, etc. No problem. We are happy to point you in the right direction and offer you some tips in the process. We love St. Augustine and are happy to offer you our years of experience.