buying a home

Home Closing Steps: Contract Ratification, Money, and More

Home Closing Steps

After Your Contract is Ratified In the home buying process, a real estate contract is “ratified” once the buyer and seller have both agreed to terms, but have not completed the final execution. This takes place after an offer has been accepted and earnest money has been exchanged. Once the contract has been ratified, it…

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Understanding Closing Costs: Your Agent Can Help

What are closing costs, anyway? Closing costs are essential factors in real estate transactions, but inexperienced home buyers may not consider them when planning their home search. The term is broad, but can include many different fees and costs that the buyer is expected to pay out-of-pocket during the purchase process as opposed to financing …

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A Buyer Broker Agreement—What is it?

buyer broker

A Buyer Broker Agreement makes your relationship with your agent official. It outlines the services an agent will provide as you search for a home—in essence it’s an employment contract between you and your agent. Before signing and “hiring” an agent, you can ask questions and discuss your expectations, so you don’t have any surprises.…

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The Home Search: Where to Live?

Where to Live

Location, Location, Location Where do you want to live? Seems like a simple question, but it’s an extremely important one to ask when considering a home purchase. Ask yourself—do you want to be close to: Your place of work? A specific school? Your preferred grocery store? That coffee shop where you spend way too much…

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Title Insurance: What is it and why do I need it?

When it comes to your home, better safe than sorry A clear title to the property you’re buying is essential to completing the transaction and taking ownership. In some cases, unknown issues can arise during the title transfer process; this is where title insurance can protect you and your mortgage lender. Read on to learn…

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Buying a Home: Things to Do and Things to Avoid

Buying A Home

Act with Care to Prepare Buying a home is most likely the largest financial decision you’ll ever make. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind a few tips for things to do and things to avoid as you begin the process. To Avoid: Don’t apply for any credit cards. Applying for new credit can…

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Affordability: More Than Just Sticker Price

Sticker Price

The Unexpected Can Add Up Fast The sticker price of a home is just the starting point of its actual cost in the short and long terms. Here are a few more costs to factor into the equation as you answer the question of whether you can afford a home: Things to Think About Closing…

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Understanding Appraisals

Understanding Appraisals

…and what to do if your home doesn’t appraise for its purchase price by Lisa Merritt It can be a bit of a surprise if your home turns out to be valued at less than the purchase price offered, but this type of thing can occur in an appraisal situation. While this can change everything—from…

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Buying in a Seller’s Market

seller’s market

Tips to get a leg up as a buyer by Lisa Merritt Home buying is often made either possible or unreachable due to the local and national economy. Fortunately, what goes up, must come down. So, for buyers who can wait, economic changes in supply and demand can create opportunities. These shifts in real estate…

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Beyond the Closing Table

Beyond the Closing Table

Agent Advice is Priceless Phew! You made it through the process of buying a home. Along the way, you’ve worked closely with your buyer’s agent, who has worked hard to earn your trust. As you settle into your new nest, consider these reasons to maintain a relationship with your agent—beyond the closing table. Your agent…

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