First Time Home Buyer Guide
Sacramento First Time Home Buyer, here is Part 2 of the First Time home buyers guide of successful home buying tips.
Real Estate Knowledge is Empowerment!
Buying a house is less stressful with the knowledge of knowing what should be occurring during your home buying experience. The unknown is always stressful and hopefully you are working with a Realtor who will communicate all the steps so there are no surprises.
Choosing a REALTOR
You won’t know if someone is doing their job correctly if you don’t know how the job should be done. I see way too many Sacramento home buyers, that are not being represented correctly. Take the time, to find out what you should expect from your REALTOR®.
- Do you have a full-time REALTOR® working for you?
- Have you Googled their name?
- Or are you using someone who is a part-time agent who may not even own their own home?
- Did you check their license on the CA Department of Real Estate website?
- Did you look for any reviews on the Internet?
You have found the house that you want to place an offer on. Depending on how comfortable you feel with how much money to spend on a house payment, may depend upon the area that you can afford.
Remember, you can always move-up later. This is a stepping stone for you where you will need to maintain a home and stay put for a minimum of 2 years in order not only to gain equity but also to eliminate any added taxes that the government would issue if you stayed less than 2 years.
You’ve already been pre approved by a Mortgage Broker that your relative, friend or REALTOR® has recommended and it’s now time to put all the information together to write an offer.
What a Home Buyer Needs Before Writing An Offer
Your REALTOR® needs to provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of the property that you want to buy. This will help you to determine the offering price. A CMA is a compilation of all the homes/condos within a 1“mile square radius of the house/condo you want to buy that isfor sale, in pending sale and have sold within the last few months (6 months depending on the real estate market).
When looking at the CMA you want to determine if the homes have about the same square footage of living space, the same amount of bedrooms etc. There should be an average sold price along with an average price per square foot. Ask your REALTOR® what price he/she recommends.
Writing An Offer to Buy a House
You never want to insult a Sacramento Home Seller. Your goal is to make an offer that you can afford and feel comfortable with, that is in direct comparison with the CMA while keeping the communication line open with the Home Seller for further negotiations. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot!
On your offer make sure you ask for a 1 year Home Warranty. This will take care of many items such as air conditioning, heating (if added to the contract), stove, oven, refrig (need to add) electrical, plumbing etc.
Ask the REALTOR® to supply you with a pamphlet from a few Home Warranty companies. The pamphlet shows what each home warranty company covers and the cost to the Home Seller for this coverage should they chose to pay for this. You will also be able to see what is considered additional coverage and what is basic.
The timeline (when you want to actually have the house be yours) needs to be on the contract with the proper names that will be on Title. Make sure that you are aware of your current lease agreement and make the dates be in direct alignment so that you have the least out of pocket expense.
No House is Perfect
Inform your REALTOR® that you want to have a Home Inspection. The cost to you of a Home Inspection is directly associated with the square footage of the house and whether or not it is a slab foundation or a raised foundation. Typically, the cost runs $250 for a 1200 square foot home and goes up from there. A Home Inspection is a must and you will need to pay at the time the Home Inspector does the inspection on the house.
I always ask that my Sacramento Home Buyers attend the Home Inspection. Again, the more you know, the less stress and the better for all. No house will be perfect, since none of us are perfect, either. You need to simply focus on the things that are of prime concern. Avoid knit picking the Sacramento Home Seller with everything found on the Home Inspection report. That will not serve you,
On your offer ask that the Home Seller pay and provide a Pest Inspection Report (depending of course on the real estate market at the time) Also, ask that the Home Seller pay for Section 1 items. Section 1 is considered to be active infestation (meaning termites) and/or dry root as well as leaks. These would be costly items for you and you need to make sure that you don’t end up having huge expenses once you move in. Ask in your offer to have the Home Seller pay for section 1 if there is any found when the Home Seller has the Pest Inspection. Remember, that you need to ask if these items are customarily paid for by the Home Seller in each area.
Section 2, in my opinion is not worth knit picking with the Home Seller. As an example a section 2 would be a stain under the kitchen sink that is not currently wet to the touch where there had obviously been a leak in the past but had been corrected. Your Lender will more than likely ask that the Pest company provide what is called a Pest Clearance. If anything is found on the Pest report and the items have been corrected, the Pest company will re-inspect the property and then issue a Pest Clearance.
Some of the other items that you might want to consider addressing on your Purchase Contract to the Seller are (of course it depends whether it is a buyers market or a sellers market):
- Increasing Days of Disclosure Period
- Keeping the Loan Contingency until Funding of the Loan
- Ask the Seller to Pay for Your Closing Costs
- Ask the Seller to Provide a Roof Certification
- Ask the Seller to Provide Heating and Air Maintenance Receipts
- Ask the Seller to have the Home Professionally cleaned before it becomes yours
- Ask the Seller to have the Carpets Professionally cleaned
Now, this doesn’t mean that each and every one of these items should be on your offer, choose wisely. Ask the Home Seller for the ones that would apply and that you would like the Home Seller to address. Remember, you want this to be a win, win for both you , the Sacramento Home Buyer and the Sacramento Home Seller.
Secret Real Estate Tip
The better they feel, the better the negotiations will go and the better the transfer of the property will go. If you want to make some points with some Home Sellers, offer to close on a certain date but not occupy for 2 days after close. That gives the Home Sellers time to vacate the house and have the home cleaned and ready for you instead of rushing out of the house and leaving just in the nick of time befor your moving truck arrives. It takes a little of the stress away for both the Sacramento Home Seller and the Sacramento Home Buyer and it actually benefits you in the long run.
These are just a few of the tidbits that I wanted to share with you to help you realize what should be done during the process of making an offer on the Sacramento home for sale of your choice. There are many exceptions and additional items that would be specific to a house. The more experienced your REALTOR®, the more knowledge they will have at their finger tips in helping guide you with drawing up the best offer for the Sacramento home of your choice. I hope you have found the 2nd part of the First Time Home Buyer guide helpful.
Stay tuned for Part 3 for First Time Home Buyer Disclosures.
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