Whether you are an experienced home buyer, an investor, or this is your first home, PRG can bring value to your home buying process. PRG is hands on and stays involved with its clients every step of the way. Find out how dedicated our team is and how a high standard of service makes a difference from the start of your search to the end and beyond. Below are a few resources to answer some questions you may have.
Where do I start?
If you are beginning to wonder if now is the right time for you to purchase a home, give us a call. PRG has worked with multiple first time home buyers and can guide you through an easy thought process that will help determine whether you are ready to buy or not. There are many aspects of home buying that you may not have considered yet and PRG can walk you through all of them.
- How do I get a loan?
- How much can I afford?
- How much down payment do I need?
- How do I buy a home when I have another home to sell first?
- What neighborhoods should I look in?
- Should I buy an existing home or build a new one?
- How far can I realistically commute to work?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I need?
- What are the pros and cons of a home with an HOA?
- How much maintenance can I handle on my own?
- When should I make an offer?
- How long does it take from the time I make an offer to the time I can move in?
You should at least start to answer all of these questions before you venture out to look at specific houses. By talking to our team and a mortgage lender, we can have you feeling comfortable that you are fully prepared to search for the perfect home! Set up a buyer’s consultation with us today! We can talk in person or over the phone and we will help put you on the right track. We will discuss all of the questions above, plus we will begin to nail down what you need in a home. Then we can start looking at specific properties
Should I get pre-approved?
YES! One of the most important things you can do early on is talk with a mortgage lender. There is no cost to you and there are multiple benefits. The lender will discuss loan options with you and let you know how much house you can afford. The lender can talk about how much of a monthly payment you are comfortable making.
The results of the discussion with the lender will determine a realistic price range to look for houses. There is no point in looking at homes outside of your realistic price range. Many Realtors will not show you specific houses until you have spoken with a mortgage lender.
If you find a great home and want to make an offer, you having a pre-approval letter is very beneficial! If you have not spoken with a lender yet, in some circumstances you may not be able to put in an offer and the delays will allow someone else to jump in and buy the house before you are ready.
Lastly, even if you have purchased homes in the past and know approximately what you can afford, there may be new programs that you don’t know about that could benefit you.
For all of these reasons, we recommend speaking with a lender very early on in the process. Also, check back in with the lender every 30 days or so. Interest rates change every day and you will want to know that your pre-approval is still valid based on current market conditions.
You have the right to choose your own lender, but here are a couple of excellent local lenders that can help you today:
(I have Two Lenders I would like to add here. They are forwarding me more of their info)
What to expect when making an offer
So you found the right house! Let’s make an offer before someone else does!
First, call your lender and make sure we can get an updated pre-approval letter to submit with the offer. Most sellers will want to know that you are approved for the loan before they accept your offer.
Second, we will sit down with you to go over any (and as much) statistical data you would like to see about the home, the neighborhood, the area, etc. This is how we will determine what price you should offer. Remember…the seller can ask for any price they want…but that doesn’t mean it is what the home is worth! We will do our own research and determine what we think the home is worth including looking at recent sales and what else is on the market.
Third, we will write the contract together. We will go through it together and we will make sure you understand what the contract says. We will determine all of the variables such as price, deposit, contingencies, and if you would like to ask the seller to do anything such as cover a portion of your closing costs. We will also write any addendums necessary for the offer and complete any other forms needed.
Lastly, we put a deadline in the offer and wait for a response from the seller. Real estate transactions are a negotiation. So the most common response is a counter offer. It will be up to you to determine how much you want to negotiate. Although less common, the seller also has the option to either outright accept your offer the first time, or outright reject it without a counter offer.
When both you and the seller have agreed on the terms and have both signed the contract, you are “under contract”!!! Congratulations!
What to expect at closing
Your Lender, settlement agent, and our team will do most of the preparation leading up to closing. The best thing you can do is to be responsive to any requests for last minute information. Once you are at the closing table, it typically can take from 1 to 2 hours to sign all of the paper work. The settlement agent will walk you through the documents and answer any questions you have. In most cases, once you have signed, PRG will hand you the keys to your new home!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Bring your down payment and any closing costs needed in certified funds.
- Bring your picture ID
- Be prepared to be a little flexible. Delays can and do happen.
Leading up to closing, remember the following: Last minute requests for information are common; Schedule your utilities
How does a Realtor benefit me? As a buyer, a Realtor can have a HUGE effect on your home buying experience.
- LITTLE COST TO YOU! – For starters, you get personal representation and expertise at almost no cost to you!!!
- DETERMINING THE RIGHT OFFER PRICE – Our team has access to informational databases that can give you the knowledge you need to make a competitive offer. From neighborhood statistics, historical tax data breakdowns, recent market trends, to comparable home sales, we will make sure you are comfortable with your offer and that you are getting the home of your dreams for the best possible price.
- CONTRACTS & ADDENDUMS – As your Realtor, we take a lot of the technicalities off of your shoulders so all you have to worry about is finding the right home. We will help you write a contract that is fair to you. We will help you write any necessary addendums or forms required. We will coordinate home inspections with qualified inspectors. We will communicate with the lenders, attorneys, other agents, etc. and will coordinate everything to make it as smooth as possible.
- UNDERSTANDING YOUR RIGHTS – As a buyer in Massachusetts, you have certain rights that you may not know about. Working with PRG, we can help protect you in the process. Having someone on your side, representing YOU AND ONLY YOU is priceless.
- EXPERTISE THROUGH EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, & SUPPORT – We have been professionally trained to know how to represent you. That training is valuable as in knowing the timelines and processes to make sure the transaction is handled properly. We have also learned through experience. Each real estate transaction is a little different and as questions arise, we can draw from past experience to advise our clients. Finally, our agents are supported by a team of professionals who will in turn support you! Our agents can draw knowledge and support from their Broker, from attorneys, and from a pool of other professionals who are all here to help make sure you have a positive experience when working with PRG.
Searching for the right home for my family
Today, most people searching for a home start on the internet. People are using websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com more than ever. It is a great way to get a feel for what is out there.
However, still the BEST way to get the most up to date and accurate information is to talk with a member of our Team. Whether you are just now getting curious about the market, or are ready to make an offer, PRG has the tools that can help you reach your goals. And when you are ready to tour homes in person, our team will help you ask the right questions to make sure you find the perfect fit.
After an initial buyer’s consultation either in person or over the phone, our team can set up a personalized website for you. This website will have a list of homes based on search criteria that we define (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, fireplace, school district, price range, etc.). The list will be updated every day. You can go through it at your own pace and mark properties as favorites, possibilities, or rejections. We will monitor what properties you like and don’t like and we can revise the search as needed.
When you are ready to see specific houses, we will help you choose ones that best fit what you are looking for and we will go tour them. There is no minimum or maximum number of houses we can see. It is up to you to determine how many we see before you make a decision. But if we do our job right, it won’t take long before you are ready to put in an offer!
Call PRG today to find out how we can make your home search so much easier!
What to expect when my offer is accepted
Congratulations! You and the seller have agreed on terms and have both signed the contract. There are a few hurdles left to clear before you are officially the new owner.
- FULL LOAN APPROVAL
- ANY ADDITIONAL CONTRACTURAL REQUIREMENTS
- SCHEDULE CLOSING