Buying a home can be either a stressful or an enjoyable experience. Finding an experienced real estate agent from our company can help you purchase a home and help avoid many of the loopholes in real estate transactions.
Ask for Seller Property Disclosure and HOA Disclosure before making an offer. Read the disclosures very carefully and let your buyer agent ask the listing agent questions for any unclear issues in the disclosure.
For example, if the Seller Disclosure states that the HVAC is leased, you should ask what is the lease payoff amount and negotiate the unit to be paid off by the seller. If you don't ask and negotiate with the seller to pay before signing the agreement, the HVAC unit lease will be part of the home purchase contract to transfer to you. You have to pay off the lease or take the lease to pay month by month. You should make sure you understand all disclosure information before you sign. Another example is HOA Disclosure. The closing HUD could show a HOA initiation fee of $1000 and an extra assessment HOA fee of $3000 for some improvement for the community, and you will find yourself short on cash before the closing.
Ask for 7 days to 14 days Due Diligent time to get a qualified licensed inspector to inspect the property in the contract. This will give you the right to terminate the contract if the inspection finds structure problems. This gives the right to get your escrow money deposit back if you terminate the contract within the Due Diligent time. For a new home purchase, it is better to have a reliable licensed inspector who has building code knowledge to inspect the home.
Ask for 21 days for Financial Contingency and Appraisal Contingency to guarantee your deposit is refundable within 21 days if you are not 100% confident about your loan.
Ask the refrigerator to stay with the home if you want sellers to leave it for you. A refrigerator is personal property and the seller can take it before closing if it is not specified in the contract. Other kitchen appliances, such as stoves, vent hoods, and dishwashers are fixtures and sellers have to leave them in the home. Washers and dryers are personal property. If you want them to be included in the home purchase, you have to specify them in the offer contract.
Ask sellers to purchase a one year home owner transfer warranty, such as American Home Shield Warranty, or 2-10 Warranty, to cover system issues, electricity issues, plumbing issues, appliances issues that can happen within a year after closing to prevent unseen problems at time of inspection.
Make sure to ask sellers to fix property problems found in inspection reports within Due Diligent Time. You have to terminate the contract within Due Diligent Time if you cannot reach agreement with the seller for repairs, otherwise you have to take the home As-Is or lose the deposit if you decide not to close later.
Make sure to do a final walk through before closing to make sure all the items that sellers agree to fix have been fixed. It is also to make sure that the home is still in the same condition as the time when you made the offer. For example, if a power wind blows away the roof before closing, it will be the sellers responsibility to have their home insurance to cover the repair even after closing because the damage date is before closing.
Make sure to double check your closing HUD to make sure that your escrow deposit amount is credited to you at the closing with the right amount. Some things to check would be that your names are correct on the HUD and title, your contact information to HOA and government are correct so that you can get your title and so that the HOA can mail to you properly.
Make sure to get the home keys and remote controllers from the sellers at the closing. And make sure to change all the keys for your doors after closing for safety.
Make sure to apply homestead exemption before April 1st in your county and city to get property tax credit if the home is your primary home.
Follow HOA rules such as keeping your lawn tidy. If you want to change the exterior color of your home, apply for an exterior painting color permit from the HOA.
Lastly, have a good relationship with your neighbors, and enjoy your new home!
Find a good listing agent to represent you to sell your home and sign the Exclusive Listing agreement so that your home can be listed on FMLS - a Georgia specific professional real estate website. It will be populated to realtor.com, zillow.com and many other websites after the listing is active on FMLS.
Make sure to have your property updated before putting it on the market. It will sell at the best possible price in a shorter time if the home is updated with a moving in condition. If your home has been well maintained with a moving-in condition and is less than 5 years old, it may be fine with just a general cleaning and paint touch up.
Ask your listing agent to search and email you subdivision sold data within 180 days and discuss the reasonable asking price with your listing agent based on the data. The price will be adjusted based on updates other homes have done, the original home price sold difference, and the market condition difference. An overpriced home will be on the market for a much longer time and only sell at the market price. A lower priced home will get multiple offers and only sell at the market price. A well priced home will sell at the full possible price.
Find a good photographer to take pictures of your home for the listing. You or your listing agent can take the pictures as well if you are good at photography and wish to save money.
Fill the Seller Property Disclosure form very carefully. Type words instead of handwriting them. Any uncleared words by hand writing will generate issues for the property during the pending time and after sale. If you have done any updates for the home, list them in the Seller Disclosure. If your home has a basement leak, be sure to disclose it. There is no need to disclose cosmetic issues, but fixing them before listing it on the market will make your home more attractive to buyers. Here is the link for you to understand the scope for cosmetic issues:fedhomeloan.org
Fill the Community HOA Disclosure very carefully. Make sure to call or email the HOA to get accurate HOA initiation fee, closing letter fee, HOA fee, and contact information and fill the correct information in the form. If you don't verify with the HOA for the fee charge and leave these spaces empty, the closing lawyer will let the seller pay all the above fees at the closing. The HOA initiation fee is normally a buyer cost, the closing letter fee is a seller cost.
Provide your listing agent correct information for your home listing, such as bedroom number, bathroom number, heating and cooling system age, roof age, water heater age and if it is gas or electric, public sewer or septic tank, etc. A copy of the warranty deed will provide legal description for the home which is needed for part of the sales contract.
Verify all listing details to make sure they are correct after your listing agent puts your home on market. The listing is changeable after it is on market by your listing agent but make sure to fix any details that are incorrect.
If the home is not getting offers after several showings, more updates will be needed for the home to attract buyers, or a reduction in asking price. It is better to update the home instead of dropping the price to attract buyers. You will also get a better deal by upgrading and selling rather than just lowering the price. Many buyers are busy with work and other responsibilities so they would rather buy an already upgraded property for a premium rather than buy a property and upgrade it themselves.
If you have an open mind and are willing to work closely with your listing agent to follow the market feedback, you will have your home sold.