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Buying A Home In Cleveland - Step 4 Making An Offer

by The Schuman Team

When you find that special home, it is time to make an official offer.

This is a very serious step of the home buying process and should be done with the help of an experienced real estate agent.

 

 

MAKING AN OFFER

Any offer must be put in writing as verbal offers are not accepted in the State of Ohio. We also recommend submitting your offer as soon as possible so that another buyer doesn't get the home.

While your agent will sit down and go over all the paperwork, our clients find it helpful to receive a copy of the purchase agreement in advance so they have a chance to review it. It contains a ton of important information and is a legally binding contract, so should be taken very seriously.

The formal offer will consist of the purchase agreement, property disclosures, and State disclosures.

Your agent will need the following information in order to complete the purchase agreement:

1. Names as you want them to appear

2. Price

3. Down Payment

4. Earnest Money

5. Closing Date

6. Inspections

By this point, your agent will have given you market statistics, so figuring out a starting price should be fairly easy. We will talk more about this in detail during the "Negotiations" Step of the process.

We recommend that all buyers ask for a general home inspection up front. Then, based on the results, you will have a right to bring in additional specialists if deemed necessary by the general home inspector.

We also recommend pest and radon inspections. The general home inspectors typically offer these services.

Homes that are on well and/or septic will require additional inspections. Your agent will be able to advise you on this.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

We recommend sitting down in person with your agent if possible to go over your offer and the corresponding paperwork. If you are unable to meet in person, doing everything by phone and email is certainly acceptable.

The process could take 1-2 hours for first time buyers or as little as 15 minutes for seasoned buyers.

Since this is a major financial transaction, you are also welcome to have an attorney review the paperwork, although not necessary in the State of Ohio.

Once the paperwork is completed, things can get really complicated as the next step takes place, "negotiations".

Buying A Home In Cleveland - Step 2 Financing

by The Schuman Team

Step 2 - Getting Pre-Approved For a Loan

 

While Step 1 was to find a qualified buyer's agent, getting pre-approved would be step 1a, it is that important.

Many buyers who have a good job history and excellent credit assume financing won't be an issue and often don't take this step as serious as they should.

These folks opt to start looking for homes and only get an approval after finding a home they love---the wrong way to go about the process!

In terms of qualifications, you may indeed walk on water, but it is still critical to go through the pre-approval process for many reasons.

 

WHY GET PRE-APPROVED

1. Find Out How Much You Qualify For

2. Sellers Won't Accept An Offer Without A Pre-approval

3. There May Be Mistakes On Your Credit Report - Will Take Time To Fix

4. Learn About Different Loan Options

5. Establish A Relationship With A Mortgage Profession - A Valuable Member Of Your Team

The pre-approval process is easy and can be initiated by a brief phone conversation with a loan officer. Save yourself a lot of aggravation and get it done early in the process.

 

WHERE TO GET A LOAN?

 

 

There are basically 3 main places to get a loan:

1. Lender

2. Bank

3. Mortgage Broker

Is one better than another? It depends who you ask. Some people prefer a lender or broker who can shop the market and find you the best rate and terms. Others are more comfortable with a traditional bank.

I am personally a fan of using a company with a vested interest in the local community as I feel they are more likely to have incentive to make their customers happy.

If and when problems arise, an internet based company or one without a local office, in my experience, is less responsive.

At the end of the day, the loan is an important part of the process so find someone that you feel will do a great job.

Your agent or friends should be able to refer to you to a qualified loan officer.

Buying A Home In Cleveland - Step 1 - Hire An Agent

by The Schuman Team

Buying a home in cleveland

Buying a home is an exciting yet complex transaction. The following is part 1 of a 7 part series on buying a home in the Cleveland area.

The first step to buying a home is finding an agent.

 

HIRE A BUYER'S AGENT

While I may appear to be a little biased here, this is advice I would give to my own family members. The following are just a few of the things that a buyer's agent will do for you:

1. Represent Your Best Interests - A listing Agent Cannot Represent You

2. Educate You On Market Conditions

3. Identify Cities / Specific Neighborhoods That Meet Your Needs

4. Give School Information

5. Schedule and Show Homes

6. Point Out Potential Issues With Various Homes That You See

7. Provide "Off Market" Opportunities

8. Provide Resources to Lenders, Inspectors, Contractors

9. Prepare/Explain Purchase Agreement and Corresponding Documentation

10. Handle All Aspects Of Negotiating

11. Provide Oversight Of Inspection Process

12. Manage Deadlines

13. Coordinate Closing

14. Ensure Smooth Title Transfer

15. Represent You In Case Issues Arise After Closing

Keep in mind that this is not an exclusive list, just a starting point of many things a buyer's agent does for you.

 

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN AGENT?

First, you need to define what type of qualities you want in a real estate professional. Do you want someone who is older and experienced? Young and aggressive? A specialist in the area in which you plan to buy?

You will be entering into a fairly intense relationship for several months. There will be hundreds of emails, phone calls and face to face conversations,  so be sure to choose an agent that you feel will have your back at all times and that you will enjoy working with.

 

HOW TO FIND AN AGENT?

There are many ways to find a quality real estate agent. Here are a few quick ways to get you started:

1. Get A Referral From Friends or Family

2. Ask A Co-Worker

3. Search The Internet

Do your homework and use your instincts. Just because your friend had a good experience doesn't ensure you will. His west side agent may not be ideal if you are buying on the east side.

If your co-worker was a first time buyer, their agent may not be the perfect fit if you are buying a luxury home. While not foolproof, the above ways to find an agent are certainly a good starting point.

Once you have an agent (s), contact them in the manner in which you prefer to communicate. If you do business primarily via text or email, contact the agent in the same way and gauge their response time. If they don't respond in a timely manner, what does that say about the level of service you can expect from them?

We also suggest having a face to face consultation with any agent you are considering. There is no substitute for meeting face to face with someone who will be guiding you through a very important transaction.

 

WHAT TO AVOID

1. Hiring A Big Listing Agent - An agent who primarily lists a lot of homes doesn't necessarily work with buyers. They are different skill sets and often times, a busy listing agent will pawn you off on their less experienced assistant. This is not always the case, but something to keep in mind.

2. Hiring A Part-Time Agent

3. Hiring An Agent Who Covers A Large Area

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

In order to have a successful real estate transaction, you need to surround yourself with a good real estate professional. Do your research, ask a lot of questions, and let your instincts guide you.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Contact Information

The Schuman Team
HOWARD HANNA REAL ESTATE SERVICES
3550 Lander Road
Pepper Pike OH 44122
Dan: 216-346-3235
Amy: 216-403-9189
Fax: 216-456-2333