Buying Smart

When it comes to purchasing a new home, buy smart. Since this may be a process you don’t often encounter, I’m here to help. Below, I’ve itemized a very straightforward approach that will provide you with the insight, understanding and success in achieving your ultimate goal (the best home for the best price with the best terms).

1 Know your Course of Action. Without it, buying a home would be much like taking a trip from Cleveland to California – without a mapped-out route. Review the following:
  • Get pre-approved
  • Prioritize your wants vs. need in a home and neighborhood
  • Preview homes and narrow the search
  • Purchase your new home
  • Conduct home inspection(s)
  • Remove contingencies
  • Attend closing for transfer of title
  • Move.
2 Establish a Limit. In my opinion, this is the most important step in purchasing a home. Often buyers become pre-approved without first establishing a budget. Please know that the information obtained for pre-approval is not as thorough as that of a well-planned budget. Therefore, you may be misguided. Please review What’s Your Limit.
3 Understand Agency Disclosure. Agency Disclosure is required by state law.The purpose of this law is to advise you whom the agent(s) represent. It does not obligate you to work with any particular agent or broker. For example: If you and I were to enter into a listing agreement, I would be acting solely on your behalf as a Seller’s Agent. If you and I were working together in the purchase of your new home, I would be acting solely on your behalf as a Buyer’s Agent. In either case, I would be seeking the best price and terms for you, and would owe you the duties of loyalty, obedience, confidentiality, accounting and reasonable skill and care. It’s important to know that not all brokers and real estate agents practice alike. There are various forms of services that can be offered under Ohio law.
4 Familiarize Yourself with Abbreviations. What’s this? 3 BR, 2 BA, large LR, private MBR with WBFP and BRK exterior. If you’re stumbling to understand this property description, you're not alone. Here’s a list of some of the most frequently used abbreviations to help you understand a BA from a BR and more.

BA

Bath

FDR

Formal Dining Room

BR

Bedroom

LR

Living Room

MBR

Master Bedroom

DR

Dining Room

FP, frplc, fplc

Fireplace

FR

Family Room

WBFP

Wood Burning Fireplace

LL

Lover Level

Entr

Entrance

grmet kit

Gourmet Kitchen

Dck

Deck

Pvt

Private

Gar

Garage

pwdr rm

Powder Room

Brk

Brick

Upr

Upper Floor

HDW, HWF, Hdwd

Hardwood Floors

5 Recognize the Emotional Impact of Buying a Home. It’s an odd parity, because of our emotions, buying a home can be extremely exciting and at the same time, can be extremely distressing. All I ask is that you keep this in mind. When the time comes that you’ve found your perfect home, you may find yourself a bit biased. Not to worry, either you’re going to remember this tip on emotions or I’ll be there to guarantee an objective outcome.
6 Understand the value of a professional Realtor. First, unless otherwise agreed upon, working with a professional Realtor can cost you very little, if nothing at all. In Northeast Ohio, it’s still customary for the fee or commission to be based on the sale price and paid out of the seller's proceeds of the sale. This fee or commission is then shared between the seller's agent and the buyer's agents. Sometimes, there are specific services required that may provide for the buyer to pay their agent/broker directly; if so, this arrangement should be set forth in an exclusive agency agreement that the buyer signs when engaging the broker. Next, there really is a good reason that the real estate industry has been around for 100+ years. Quite simply, most people don’t have the time, resources or want of learning the entire buying and selling process. When working with a professional, your time is managed efficiently, your options are expanded and your interests are protected. Now, instead of “having to” drive-thru neighborhoods, read newspapers, and search online, it’s - if you want to. The beauty in my service is that we are always on the same page – what I know, you know. For a complete list of services provided, please contact me.
7 Don’t underestimate the Value of a Home Inspection. I cannot stress enough the importance of a home inspection. Many times, buyers assume that if a municipal point-of-sale inspection is completed, or, that the sellers Residential Property Disclosure form was accepted without items of concern, that a home inspection can be overlooked. This is absolutely incorrect. Remember, this is your final opportunity in assuring the home is in the condition in which you negotiated the terms of your purchase upon. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to be introduced to your new home. It’s always nice to know where the main shut-off’s are located for water and electrical; or to understand the servicing that is required for items such as sprinkler systems, mechanical systems or even the appliances. And finally, it’s a great way to establish a budget for maintaining your home. Even if a home appears in superior condition, there can always be underlying issues that simply have not yet become visible. Therefore, even the seller may not be aware of a defect. Always be on the side of caution and hire a professional home inspector you can count on. Consider asking someone you know and trust for a reference. The average cost for an inspection is $300.00 (depending upon the size and type of home). The inspector should provide you with proof of his qualifications, certifications and memberships to home inspection organizations.
8 Plan Ahead – You’re Moving! When it comes to moving, planning ahead is a key factor. In addition to a moving checklist, I’ll provide you with a CD which offers in-depth information and fabulous advice on the entire moving process. In the meantime, start un-cluttering and discarding items you no longer need. They say if you haven’t worn it or used it in the past year, discard the item. You may want to also consider donations to local charities and organization in need of clothing, furniture and/or household miscellaneous.