Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime. Choosing the right real estate agent is critical. Typically, buyers want to work with a real estate agent who is dependable, accountable, available and communicative as well as a great negotiator. In my eyes, these are not exactly distinguishing qualities as they should be a standard level of service.

What buyers will find out when choosing an agent is that they also want to work with someone they like, someone who they trust and someone who delivers a white glove service regardless of their price point. Keep in mind, you will be spending a lot of time together in the car, on the phone, looking at houses, etc. so getting along is a key ingredient to a smooth transaction.

Just because someone you know and trust refers a real estate agent to you does not mean that he or she is a good fit. There still needs to be an interview process and it would be smart to meet with this real estate agent to get a good sense of who they are. Any real estate agent can say what you want to hear, but you will not know if they are a quality agent until you actually start working with them.

Your Experience Working with Me

Going above and beyond for my clients is just in my blood. When we are looking for houses, I will be contacting you weekly, but when we are in escrow we will be talking almost every single day. Staying in touch and being available to discuss items pertaining to the transaction is very, very important once we are in escrow. If you are going to be out of town, it is important for me to know just like if I will be going out of town, you need to know.

The best feedback I receive is that I am always available and very responsive. I do pride myself on that because I want my clients to know that even if it is eight o'clock at night and they want to see a house in Mesa, I will be going out there to open it up (in my pajamas, of course!). The worst feeling on the planet would be for a client to miss out on a home because I was not available to show them.

Most buyers have a lot of questions about time lines, deadlines, the inspection, the appraisal and the general process. I will do my very best to explain everything so you understand it. After teaching yoga for four years, I have learned that how you explain something to one person may not resonate with another person; therefore you have to find a different way to say it. I'm very patient (:

your experience working
The interaction between real estate agent and client is very intense from the time we start looking at homes through the closing on your new home. Once we close on your new home, you are moving, organizing, furnishing and focused on your new crib while keeping up with everything else in your life. It can be a lot. 

It is important to me that you know that just because the transaction is over does not mean our relationship is over. I will still call you to say hi and see how you are doing, how the move went, how the new house is coming along. It would be great to see the house we so carefully sought out turn into your home, but that does not always happen and that is perfectly fine! As long as you are happy.

Choosing a Lender
Since I am not a lender, I will refrain from a lot of detail, but I can tell you that similar to choosing a real estate agent, it is important that you like and want to work with your lender. I have many great relationships with lenders so I can give you plenty of referrals if you need them. No pressure! Make sure that you shop and compare rates so you end up with the lowest and best rate for you.

Choosing a lender
Once you have chosen a lender, the next step is to become pre-approved for a mortgage. The lender will review your income, your credit and your employment history to determine which loan program you qualify for. The pre-qualification process is free and is necessary for two reasons. The first reason is we need to know what your maximum price point is when we are looking for houses. The second reason is we need a pre-qualification letter or form from your lender when we put an offer in on the house you choose!

Learning About the Transaction
Each transaction is unique but all transactions follow the same protocol; therefore, my goal is to make every buyer's experience the best that it can be. While I take care of things to ensure a smooth transaction, you, the buyer, can continue to focus on your life, family, career, travel and have confidence that what is going on behind the scenes of your real estate transaction is being well taken care of.

To make things easier, I have put together this timeline for you. This will give you an idea of the life of the transaction once we have an accepted contract. Naturally, I will be reiterating all of this to you as we go, but this at least maps out the transaction!

Upon Contract Acceptance:
Escrow Opened within 24 hours of contract acceptance or next business day if accepted contract is on a weekend or holiday.
Buyer to deposit Earnest Money with Escrow Company as soon as possible upon contract acceptance and escrow has been opened.

Within 3 Days After Contract Acceptance:
• Loan Application- must be completed within 3 days after contract acceptance.
• Buyer to grant lender permission to access Credit Report within 3 days after contract acceptance.• Sellers Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS)- Delivered to the buyer within 3 days of contract acceptance.

Within 5 Days After Contract Acceptance:
Insurance Claims History Report- Seller to deliver to buyer within 5 days of contract acceptance. Buyer to provide notice of any items disapproved within the Insurance Claims History report within the Inspection Period or 5 days after receipt of the claims history, whichever is later.
Lead Base Paint Disclosure- Seller to deliver to the buyer within 5 days of contract acceptance. Buyer has 10 days after receipt to conduct or obtain a risk assessment or inspection then within 5 days after receipt of LBP information or 5 days after expiration of Assessment Period cancel the contract.
Seller to deliver SPDS to buyer within 3 days after contract acceptance. Buyer shall provide notice of any SPDS items disapproved within the Inspection Period or 5 days after receipt of the SPDS, whichever is later.

About the Transaction

Within 10 Days After Contract Acceptance:
Loan Status Update (LSU)- Buyer shall deliver to Seller an LSU within 10 days after contract acceptance. Future updates are provided upon request.

Inspection Period:
Inspection Period- 10 days unless otherwise noted on line 213 of purchase contract. Buyer to complete any and all due diligence during this time. Prior to expiration, buyer delivers to seller items disapproved.
Seller has 5 days to respond in writing to any items buyer disapproved of from inspection. If the seller does not agree to correct all items the buyer has 5 days to accept or cancel after in receipt of the seller’s response.
Buyer to apply for Homeowners Insurance during the inspection period.

Dates That Vary:
Loan Processing During Escrow- Within 10 days after receipt of the Loan Estimate, Buyer shall provide lender with notice of intent to proceed with the loan transaction in a manner satisfactory to the lender.
Changes- In the event of any changes in the loan program or status buyer must provide notice immediately to the seller.
Appraisal- If the property fails to appraise for the purchase price, the buyer has 5 days after notice of the appraised value to cancel the contract and receive a refund of Earnest Money.
Title Commitment and CC&R’s – Buyer has 5 days after receipt of the Title Commitment and after receipt of notice of the Prelim to provide notice to the Seller of items disapproved.
Low Appraisal – buyer may cancel in the event of a low appraisal within 5 days after notice.
Buyers final walk through.
Buyer to order Home Warranty.

Choosing a lender
3 Days Prior to Close of Escrow (COE):
Loan Contingency- Buyer to obtain loan approval without Prior to Documents conditions no later than 3 days prior to the Close of Escrow.
Unfulfilled Loan Contingency- if the buyer is unable to obtain loan approval no later than 3 days prior to the COE buyer shall be entitled to a refund of the earnest money.
Seller to complete repairs (if any) 3 days prior to COE and receipts are due to Buyer 3 days prior to COE.
Buyer to sign Loan Documents no later than 3 days prior to COE.

Closing Day:
Buyer to have funds in Escrow to allow COE.
Recording of Documents by the County Assessor’s Office.
Seller to deliver possession, existing keys, garage door openers, mailbox keys and location of mailbox (if necessary), etc.

Cure Period- If a party fails to comply with any provision in the contract, the other party can deliver a notice to the non-complying party. The non-complying party must cure their non-compliance within 3 days of notice.Failure to comply is a breach of contract.
Days- all days reference in the purchase contract are calendar days beginning at 12:00 AM and ending at 11:59 PM.

Thank You For Your Time and Consideration!

Nothing makes me happier than hearing from clients that they love their new home! Sometimes the journey is easy and there is not a single obstacle. The buyer and seller agree, the loan funds on time and the house appraises. Other transactions are nail biting from start to finish. Either way, we are in it together. I become just as emotionally invested in your transaction as you do! 

referral buyers
Although I have not experienced every single possible scenario possible in the real estate world (has any agent seen it all?), my experiences as a seasoned agent have taught me how to handle a wide variety of situations. I am always thankful for the “easy” transactions, but I really do love it when challenges are presented. Those are what make me grow, expand my knowledge and give me the opportunity to be a better real estate agent. Who is going to complain about becoming better? Not me!

As a fellow home owner, I understand what it is like to be in your shoes. Buyers tend to experience the whole range of human emotions and I can relate to it. Buyers feel like they are in a dark room and can not see where they are going and I am here to clear those unknown factors up. If there is something you need to know that I do not have an answer to, I will find out for you. Whatever I can do to make your life easier, I am here to get it done!

As always to my past clients, thank you so much for your referrals!!!