The home buying process is exciting, yet it may seem a little intimidating, but no worries, we have you covered! Below you will find an outline of the home buying process and our commitment to you in each endeavor.
Step 1 - Buyer consultation:
This initial meeting, via Zoom or in-person, will outline the home buying process, detail current market conditions, discuss your real estate goals/what's important to you, and outline the expectations of all parties. The meeting typically takes about an hour and will set you up to make quick decisions in a fast-moving market while giving you confidence in your choices!
Step 2 - Customized home search :
After the buyer consultation, you will receive a customized home search based on your wants, needs, and preferred parameters. All properties that meet the criteria will come directly from our MLS, which will provide the most accurate and up-to-date information. While you may still want to frequent some larger portal sites, remember that our MLS will have the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Step 3 - Preferred Vendor Recommendations :
We have been around a block or two and have the inside track on what vendors will effectively get the job done in a timely and professional manner. We will provide you with a list of our preferred vendors, and you can feel confident that when you work with one of our trusted partners, the real estate transaction process will be much smoother.
Step 4 - Set up home tours:
Once you have identified some potential homes of interest, we will set up the home tours to view them in person, or if you prefer, via FaceTime. Remember that touring property may be overwhelming and have a sense of informational overload; therefore, we suggest we keep our tours to 5 per day, maximum. Of course, there will be some circumstances where we may need to tour a few more, but 5 is usually the magic number before buyer fatigue seeps in. In addition to setting up home tours, we will continue to network with colleagues and check the hot sheets (new listings) to help you identify additional target properties.
Step 5 - Touring Properties:
Touring property is FUN, and it is also when we will work to identify any potential "red flags" and discuss features that may affect resale. Pro tip: wear comfortable shoes with socks (many sellers ask to remove shoes), carry a notebook to take notes, and bring snacks for the car ride between appointments!
Step 6 - Comps:
Once you have selected your home of choice, we will run a comparable analysis (AKA: CMA) of the property to assist you in determining the offer amount and structure a competitive offer. Please keep in mind market conditions ebb and flow, so our recommendations may change per home and circumstance.
Step 7 - Prepare an offer:
Paperwork is plentiful in a real estate transaction, and we will prepare the documentation, including all legal disclosures needed to make an offer on a property. Documentation includes the purchase agreement, summary of rights and responsibilities, residential property disclosure, lead-based paint disclosures, Wire Fraud awareness form, Megan's Law disclosure, and other forms as applicable.
Step 8 - Negotiations:
Once your offer is presented, we will work with the seller's agent to negotiate the terms and conditions of the proposal to create a win-win deal. Please note: the "balance of power," the one with the leverage, is dependent on the current state of the real estate market. A balanced market is a 6-month supply of inventory. Anything under six months skews to a seller's market (seller holds more negotiation power), while anything over six months has favorable conditions for the buyer (buyer holds more negotiation power).
Step 9 - Ratified Traffic Coordination:
Congrats! You are now under contract! With the excitement comes many moving parts with various parties involved, such as your lender, closing company, home inspector, appraiser, listing agent, and seller's closing company. We will ensure all paperwork is routed to the appropriate parties at every step and that all "time is of the essence" deadlines are prioritized.
Step 10 - Schedule home inspection:
The home inspection process is integral in determining the health of your new home. Once you have a home under contract, we will assist in scheduling your home inspection, explain how this contingency will play out, and help you identify the items you will ask the seller to repair and/or credit. Remember: ALL HOMES HAVE DEFECTS, and we will want to focus on structural, mechanical, and safety issues when requesting repairs.
Step 11 - Home repair negotiation:
Once your inspection is complete, you will be provided with an inspection report. We will schedule a time to help you decipher the information and determine what items are essential to ask the seller to repair, focusing on more significant defects such as structural, mechanical, and safety items. Cosmetic items are not a defect. Note: Many items may not meet code today but are "grandfathered" in, and the purchase agreement states a buyer may not ask a seller to perform upgrades to such systems.
Step 12 - Termite, Well, and Septic Inspections
In addition to your home inspection, a termite, well, and septic inspection may be in order. These inspections are the seller's responsibility in most cases, and we will work with the listing agent to obtain reports and receipts.
Step 13 - Reinspect of Repairs
If the seller has agreed to make specific repairs, you may conduct another inspection to certify that the repairs were finished correctly. However, this inspection would only be of the items repaired, not the entire property, and the burden of expense is that of the buyer.
Step 14 - Utilities
We will remind you to call all utility companies to have transferred into your name for the day of closing. Common utilities: gas/propane, water, sewer, cable, internet, waste collection,
Step 15 - Final Walk-Through
Before closing, we will conduct a final walk-through of the property to ensure it is in the same condition, or better, as when you first went under contract. We will turn on the air conditioning/heat (if the temperature allows), verify negotiated appliances have remained, and ensure the seller has removed all personal items. It is customary for some paint to be left behind for the buyer's benefit in their touch-ups.
Step 16 - Value Beyond the Sale
Just because you have closed on the property doesn't mean we are no longer in contact! It's just the opposite when you work with RVA Home Team! You can expect invitations to exclusive client events and other little perks over the years! In addition, we want to help you make intelligent choices in your home to create the most equity, so we will be there to supply contractor recommendations, and we can even help you with paint colors if you so desire!
Ready to get started? Contact Shannon, Danny, or Lynn, today!