The Art of Buying

So you are ready to begin looking for your new home. Great! But there are thousands of homes on the market. Where do you start? Call Margaret! 

 
 
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the art of knowing you

Searching for a new home can be overwhelming. That's where I come in! First, I want to get to know you. The REAL you. We will discuss how you live, where you work, where you go, what is important to you in your home, neighborhood, and activities. Do you like the suburbs, or are you a downtown kind of person, or do you crave some land? What is your tolerance for traffic? How important are schools to you? And many others... I get to know you, and your family, and your lifestyle so I can guide you into the right areas and neighborhoods, and ultimately the right home.

 

the art of financing

It is really important to get your financing started EARLY in the process. You will need to be pre-qualified with a lender before we can make an offer on a home, so better to get that out of the way early, before you fall in love with a home then have to scramble and hope no one else makes an offer on your home while you try to get financing in place. Do it early! Then we know you are qualified, know what your payments you are comfortable with, and then we can move forward as soon as we find the right place!

 
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the art of searching

We will start with a custom Home Search Portal. I will take the home criteria we discussed and create an online search portal. You will be notified by email any time there are new homes to look at, and you can categorize them and make comments on them. A great way to get the search started and let me know what you like and don't like as the homes come on the market.

 
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the art of looking

Now it is getting fun! We start looking at homes. If your search criteria are broad, the first trip out will include a couple of homes from several different areas or different styles and ages of homes. Based on your reactions, I then further revise the search criteria to narrow down the search to homes that are likely to be most interesting to you. Sometimes it only takes one or two trips to find the right home. Sometimes, it takes months. My goal is to find you just the right place - and it it takes a while, that is OK!

 
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the art of negotiating

When we find a home you are interested in, then we write up a formal offer for the home and I present it to the seller and we negotiate as needed until all parties agree and all of the details are agreed to on the written contract. At that point, earnest money is paid and option money (if any) is paid, and you are officially under contract. Now we celebrate, right? Hang on...not quite yet. 

 
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the art of inspecting

Before we celebrate, there are a lot of details to take care of. Inspections. Repair negotiations. Appraisals. Financing. Insurance. Utilities. Home Warranties. Getting things done and turned in in a timely manner is super important. But don't worry - I will help you through each step so you know what you need to do, who you need to contact, and when it needs to be done. We will typically do a final walk through just prior to closing, to make sure the house has been vacated (unless the seller is leasing back), cleaned, and repairs are complete. 

 
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the art of closing

The day of closing is an exciting one! Closing is where you sign your life away - or at least promise to repay your mortgage loan. Lots and lots of papers to sign. If you want to read every word, let me or the escrow agent know ahead of time so you can read them before you get to closing. Once the signing done, you are "closed". But wait...you don't own the house yet. All those papers get sent to the lender for review. Once they verify that everything is properly signed and initialed, then they will release the money, which is called "funding". Once funding has occurred, the seller gets their money and the you get the keys and you are officially a homeowner. NOW you can celebrate and move in!!!

 

The Art of Selling

So you might be ready to sell your home? Congrats. Now what? At what point should you get me involved? As early as possible! My job as a listing agent is to work with you to maximize the value of your home, make it appeal to the largest group of likely buying candidates, and market your home to prospective buyers and buyer's agents. Here is what you can expect:

 
 

The art of knowing you

An in-home, face-to-face meeting is a critical part of the home selling process. This visit has two very important purposes. First, it lets me see the details of your home - the features, the flow, the location, the condition of your home. Equally important is meeting with YOU. I want to understand what is going on with you and the reasons for your move and the timing of your move. Our strategy for selling your home could change dramatically based on your situation, so it is critically important for me to fully understand what is most important to you so that I can know how to best take care of you! When should this happen? As soon as possible so that you have plenty of time for preparation and we can strategize about the very best time to get things rolling.

 

THE ART OF pricing

After I know the details of your home and understand your situation and goals, then I can dig into the numbers and make recommendations on pricing and marketing strategy, and we can discuss timing and showing instructions and begin gathering information I will need to properly market your home.

 
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THE ART OF STAGING

Your home is a personal reflection of you - your style, your interests, your family. These things are perfect when you want people to get to know you when they visit, but not so good when you want to make another family to feel like it is their home! My business is typically split pretty evenly between buyer clients and seller clients. Showing buyers helps me stay in touch with what the market trends are and the styles that appeal to today's buyers. I take that knowledge and help you tailor your home to appeal to the largest number of buyers as possible. 

  

 
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THE ART of presentation

As soon as the majority of the staging is complete, we will schedule photography. Great photos are a MUST in today's market as so many buyers are searching for homes online. After photos are taken, it takes a few days to prepare all the marketing materials - flyers, marketing booklets, signs, virtual tour, Facebook advertisements, e-flyers, etc. During this time, we can list your home as "Coming Soon" in MLS. This alerts buyers that your home is coming, but allows you a bit more time to put the finishing touches on before buyers can come view your home. 

 
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THE ART OF showing

As soon as the photography and listing information is ready (and YOU are ready), then we will go live in MLS. This means that buyers can see your home online and they can come view it in person. This time can be difficult - especially for those with kids and pets - but hang in there. Being a little extra tidy for a while will pay off! When buyers come, please have all the lights on and don't be at home. Buyers will be much more comfortable are more likely to make an offer if you are not there. I will market like crazy - as outlined in our pre-listing meeting. 

 
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The art of following up

I will follow up with each and every agent who shows your home to get feedback and keep in touch with what buyers think about the house. We will use this feedback to tweak the marketing or make any needed changes to help us find the right buyer for your home.

 
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the art of negotiation

Yay! We got an offer. Something to work with! We negotiate and check on financing, and get all details written up into a contract. All parties initial and sign. Buyer pays the earnest money to the title company (and option money (if any) to you). We are done, right?! Don't celebrate quite yet. There are a few critical steps that need to happen before we can put up the "SOLD" sign!

 
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the art of making it through inspections

As soon as we go under contract, the buyers will likely schedule a home inspection. Make sure all of the utilities are on and the inspector can get into the attic and access the water heater, HVAC, and electrical panels. If you have information that will be helpful for the inspector or buyer, leave it for them, but you should plan to be gone during the inspection, which will typically last 2-4 hours (depending on the size and complexity of your home). There is frequently a second negotiation surrounding repairs. Expect this, and don't be annoyed. If you can get through this phase, things are looking pretty good!  Then we make sure that the lender is moving things through underwriting for financing approval. I will be in touch through this whole process and will keep you informed about what is happening. Once we have "clear to close" from the lender, we can start getting excited.  

 
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the art of closing

You will need to be out of the house, and the house cleaned for the new buyers prior to closing (unless we have arranged for a leaseback) so that the buyer can do their final walkthrough. All repairs need to be made by this time as well. Closing is where all parties sign the paperwork, and keys are typically left with the escrow agent for the new buyers. After both parties have signed the paperwork, we wait for funding to happen. If it is a cash transaction, then it might fund immediately. If there is third party financing involved, typically the title company will need to send the signed papers to the lender for review, then they release funding. Typically, funding will occur within a few hours of closing. Once funding happens, the house officially belongs to the buyer, they get the keys, and the seller gets their money. Now you can truly celebrate!