Buyers – What to expect / the process

You can expect that your RE/MAX Mountain West agent will fight hard to get the property you want at the best price.  Once you have chosen your RE/MAX Mountain West agent, they will be by your side through the entire process.  

Is it time to buy?

This may be the largest financial transaction of your life.  Buying property is a complicated legal transaction with a long timeline so you want to be ready to get the best that you can with the funds that you have.  Working with a licensed agent will make this process a LOT more smooth and less time-consuming, so you can start loving your new property as soon as possible!

Prioritize the features you are looking for — make a list.  MUST-haves, and nice-to-haves.  Share your thoughts with your agent; this will make it easier for them to target properties that match your criteria.

No matter what kind of market it is, you may have competition from other buyers for the property you want!  Put yourself at the top of the pack and turn yourself into the most desirable buyer by being prepared:

  • Getting ready means getting your financial documents in order.  Assemble proof of income, bank statements, and develop a budget that clarifies how much you can spend each month.
  • Get your earnest money ready so you can write the check at ANY time.  
  • If you will be getting a loan to purchase your property, Get.Ready.NOW.  Find a lender who will work with you and the type of property you want to buy.  Shop around to see what rates are offered by different lenders.
  • Do your homework.  Certain lender products (downpayment assistance, rehab assistance) require training that you can do from your home.
  • If you are getting a loan, get pre-approved by your lender.  If you are buying a property with cash, make sure those funds are available now so you can close smoothly.

If you have done this work, you are a much better-positioned buyer than someone who hasn’t.  

BE READY.  Have the funds in place, and your checkbook in your pocket, when you start looking for properties. 

Pick the best Realtor® for YOU! 

A couple of points for you to think about: 

  • Agents are permitted to represent BOTH the seller AND the buyer in a real estate transaction.  However, in these cases, the kinds of information the agent can share with both buyer and seller is limited.  This might be acceptable to a seasoned buyer who has done many real estate transactions, but for most of us, this could be problematic.  In this scenario, you can’t get the deep-level “insider” counseling and advice that you need.  So, you might want to get your OWN agent to represent you.
  • It’s really important that you feel comfortable with your agent, that you communicate well together, and that you feel like your questions are addressed.  Don’t work with someone who talks down to you or doesn’t take the time to explain things, or who doesn’t return your calls.
  • Real estate transactions are about so much more than just trading money for keys.  Because these transactions are so significant, sometimes we refer to this as a “relationship business”.  Agents want to develop and keep long-lasting relationships with the folks they work with.  A word of advice:  don’t be the buyer who calls 3 different agents at the same time and goes on showings with all 3 of them.  This doesn’t look good from a relationship standpoint, so don’t do it in your business dealings.  

Let’s go shopping!

Remember when you look at properties that it’s difficult to be objective.  One home might be cluttered, or not cleaned to your standards; another home might have your one dream feature but several significant defects.  This is why it’s important to identify your goals in advance, so you can weigh the pros and cons of each property.  If you and your agent have signed up for an exclusive relationship, then your agent can give you an opinion about the list price of a home and can help you negotiate.

Go under contract on a property.

You make an offer, and it’s accepted!  This means you are now “under contract”, in a legally binding agreement to buy the seller’s property.  

No matter the condition, terms, price or timeline, we strongly encourage each buyer to have the property inspected.  (You have to pay for this when it’s done, and prices vary.  Use the inspection report to negotiate with the seller to make repairs, change the price, or to terminate the contract.  This is one area where your agent is so important.

During this time, if you are going to get a loan, you need to work with your lender.  Having your financial information organized and at your fingertips will help.  If there are issues with you getting the loan you want, this could jeopardize your contract, so communicating with your agent is important.

Preliminary title work for the property is ordered for your review.

Prepare for the closing.

Right before closing, you will walk through the property to make sure any open items have been resolved and that the property is in the condition you expect.  

Most often you’ll go to the title company’s office to sign all the paperwork.  Depending on how you and your agent negotiated with the seller, you may be getting the keys at the closing table.  Your agent can be with you at the closing in most cases.  If there are any issues or questions, we will be there for you!