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Home Buying Information:

  • We invite you to review our summary 7-Step Plan for Buying a Home:

    Step 1: Analyzing the Numbers
    Step 2: Finding Your Home and Location
    Step 3: Making the Offer
    Step 4: Understanding the Costs
    Step 5: Applying for a Mortgage Loan
    Step 6: Qualifying for a Mortgage
    Step 7: Closing and Settlement

  • We also have for your convenience a network of lenders that you can apply for and negotiate your mortgage loan:




  • Need to understand the mortgage process?

    Simply link to our Home Mortgage Center for a quick guide on home mortgage lending and type of home mortgage products:

    link to: PickMyMortgage.com

    view: mortgage calculators
    view: mortgage rates

  • And don't forget to visit our Home Improvement Gallery for decorating ideas:

Home Selling Information:

Home Building Information:

  • We invite you to review our complete
    7-Step Plan for Buying a Home:

    Step 1: Analyzing the Numbers
    Step 2: Knowing Where to Start
    Step 3: Designing the Construction Plan
    Step 4: Get Financing
    Step 5: Qualify for a Construction Loan
    Step 6: Manage the Project
    Step 7: Closing and Settlement

  • We also have for your convenience one of the nation's leading home construction lenders -- low rates, convenient processing and management, quick decisions:




  • Need to understand the construction lending process?

    Simply link to our Home Mortgage Center for a quick guide on home construction loans and types of residential mortgage products:

    link to: PickMyMortgage.com

    view: mortgage calculators
    view: mortgage rates

  • Don't forget to visit our Home Improvement Gallery for home building ideas:

Find Pest Control Services:

Working with a Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home


Once you find your agent, check them out by applying some basic principles. Examples include:
  • Does the agent return phone calls promptly?
  • Does the agent show an interest in you and your needs? Do they work to find the right home at the right price?
  • Does the agent provide you updated computerized multiple listing (MLS) of homes? The MLS is a listing of homes that are being sold by several brokers in the area. The MLS will list those homes that match your needs.

When you visit prospective homes, does the agent spend time showing you the home and its feature? Is the agent willing to discuss other options if you are not interested?

  • Does the agent spend time explaining the home buying process?
  • Does the agent inform you that they acting as a seller's agent?
  • Does the agent provide maps of the area and point out places of interest?
  • Does the agent investigate and discuss any potential problems in the area?


What Can the Agent Do:

Here are some additional services an agent might provide. If they don't volunteer the service, ask for it:

Analyzing Your Financial Situation:
Before you look at your first house, the agent should sit down with you and estimate what you can afford. They will review the price of homes based on your anticipated monthly payment and discuss potential closing costs.
They Will Screen The Listing:
This is probably one of their greatest services. They will screen the large listing of homes and provide you the homes that fit your style and price. They can also provide you with comparative listings of homes that sold in the area.
They Will Show You the Neighborhood:
Good real estate agents will show you around the neighborhood. They will point out the shopping centers, the schools, parks, and other services that make the neighborhood nice.
If You Are Moving to the Area, the Agent will Act as Your Personal Guide:
They will meet you at your hotel and personally drive you around the neighborhood. Take advantage of their hospitality. There is no better way to become familiar with the area than a personal pickup service by an agent.
The Agent Will Arrange the Showing:
Just mention when you are available to see a house and the agent will handle all the details.
Negotiating the Contract:
Agents present your offer to the seller and communicate counteroffers. They are able to point out differences so that you and the seller can negotiate in good faith.
Mortgage Application Assistance:
Sometimes you will need assistance with the mortgage application. They will discuss financing options and lending arrangements, and they will keep in contact with the lender to see that your paper work is completed.

Help with the Inspection:
Before you close on any home, you will want to have the home thoroughly inspected. The agent can refer you to several recommended inspectors.
Closing the Deal:
They can assist with your closing to make sure you understand the terms and procedures. In some areas, the agent may accompany you to the closing.

Working with a Real Estate Agent When SELLING A Home

Once you find your agent, test them out by applying some basic principles. Examples include:

  • Does the agent return phone calls promptly?

  • Does the agent show an interest in you and your needs? Do they work hard to estimate the best selling price for your home?

  • Where does the agent work? Are there settings pleasing? When you visit the agent at the place of work, do the phone rings or are there other agents on the phone working. Idle phones or agents spells trouble.

  • Does the agent spend time explaining the home selling process? Do they provide help sheets on getting your home ready to sell?

  • View the agents past work, especially the Sales Sheet, the information that describes your home. This is going to be a big piece of your promotion to prospective buyers. It must look good.

  • What other marketing materials does the agent provide — sign, take-ones, etc. Again, check their work for professionalism.

  • Finally, check the agent's references. Talk to some other home sellers who have used their services.
Ask those relevant questions:
  • How long have they been in operation? Ask to see a listing of comparable homes that they have sold in the past.

  • Inquire about the homes they represent? Are they comparable to yours?

  • How do they pay cooperating brokers who represent the buyer? Generally the cooperative split is down the middle. But if they pay a smaller percentage, other cooperative agents may not work with them.

  • What is their list-to-sale ratio? List-to-sale ratio is the difference between the list price of the home and the actual price. Compare this ratio with other real estate firms.

    You want to avoid firms whose ratio is high — means that they generally price your home high (to win your business) but eventually lower the price to sell the home.

  • Inquiry about the time from market to sale? This can vary by-home, by-neighborhood. But they should give you a true opinion on how fast they could possibly sell your home compared to other sales on the market.

 

 

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