DECIDING TO BUY
Purchasing a property is most likely the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Whether this is your first purchase or you are an experienced buyer, this decision must be made carefully. Either way, you need someone on your side.
TEAM COUCH is your best choice for buyer representation. We can help you determine what your dream home should entail and how it should function for you and your family. Together we will determine your specific needs by taking into account your family, desired location along with a multitude of other criteria. These factors determine what you are looking for and allow us to tailor our approach so we can find your dream home as efficiently as possible.
As your real estate agent, we will provide a list of mortgage contacts that will assist you in qualifying for a loan. We will review and explain all of the steps in the home buying process and set up appointments for you to visit appropriate properties.
Once you have decided on a home, we will write an offer suited to fit your needs and your best interest. We will negotiate the offer on your behalf and when the offer is accepted we will help you with the needed inspections and continue to be your advocate until the closing process.
If you’re still deciding whether home-ownership is right for you, consider the following, and when you’re ready, we’ll be here to help you make the best decision for your future.
TAX BREAKS -The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying your home.
EQUITY– Money paid for rent is money you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
FREEDOM – The home is yours. You’ll benefit from your investment as long as you own the home. Decorate how you want!
STABILITY – Remaining in one neighborhood for several years let you participate in community activities, establish lasting friendships and offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.
Before you start shopping for your property, it is a good idea to make some preparations.
The first step in purchasing a home is to talk to a lender and get approved for your mortgage loan. There are all kinds of mortgages available with different rates and features. A Mortgage lender will help you navigate through all available options and find the best loan program based on your needs.
Using a local lender DOES make a difference. If you haven’t been pre-approved for your home mortgage, please refer to our vendor list to find a list of preferred Financing/Mortgage Lenders that have a proven reputation in this area. Because our lenders are local, they can speed the loan approval process which can save you time, money and any problems that might delay your home purchase.
Your credit score will have a huge impact on what type of property you can buy and at what price. The lender will research your credit ratings from the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
Once you are pre-approved, your lender will tell you how much house you can afford. This will allow you to look at homes in your price range. It will also make your offer more attractive when it is presented with a commitment letter from a reputable Mortgage Banker. While working with your lender you will also have peace of mind knowing you are working with a full service lender you can trust – completely.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT AGENT
Buying a property requires making many important financial decisions, understanding complex issues and completing a lot of paperwork. It helps to have an expert in your corner when undertaking such a large purchase. We can guide you through this process and provide you with access to property listings before they hit the general market. As professional real estate agents we provide the following services:
- We are full time agents and we will work around your schedule to help you find the perfect house.
- Provide an initial counseling session to help determine your needs and preferences in a home.
- As your agent, we will promptly return your calls and answer any questions promptly.
- Full time staff to help provide information.
- Provide guidance and suggestions when viewing homes.
- Provide frequent updates for anything “new on the market”
- Provide useful information that will help you prepare an offer (market analysis, pricing comparables, area sales, etc…)
- Preparation and presentation of the contract offer
- Provide Recommendations on professional inspectors and arrange inspections
- Handle all negotiations of the offer on your behalf through objective, third party viewpoint
- Recommendations of contract laborers you may need such as: electricians, plumbers, painters, handyman, etc…
- Arrange final walk-through inspection
- Arrange closing and notification of time/location/specifics to all parties involved
Once you are pre-approved it is time to find the right property for you.
Take a Drive. Get to know the neighborhoods, complexes, or subdivisions, which interest you. Drive around and get a feel for what it would be like to own a property in the area. Start getting a sense of the properties available in those areas.
Narrow Your Search. Select a few properties that interest you the most and ask your real estate agent to set up appointments to view.
When Looking at Homes
● Dress comfortably (including shoes)
● Plan ahead so the agent has time to schedule appointments
● Bring a pad of paper and pen to take notes
● Write down what you do and do not like about each home
● Ask questions – The only bad question is the one that isn’t asked
Ready to Buy Once you have found the property you want to purchase, we can help you prepare an offer to be presented to the seller.
Realtors are often asked: “How many homes should we look at before selecting one?”
There is no predetermined number of homes a buyer should view. We must first remember that, for the most part, there is no home that has absolutely everything you could ever want. However, when we do find the “best” home, one with the features, floor plan, location, etc. that best meets your needs (and will hopefully be a good investment), then you should act on that home. Remember if you like it, someone else may like it as well.
THE CONTRACT OFFER
The standard question Realtors always hear from a client is, “How much should I offer?”
While this is a very important question, the answer is not as simple. Everybody sees a home differently. The buyer who loves outdoor yard work may find tremendous value in the extensive yard and garden…yet the buyer who travels constantly and prefers to spend time on the golf course may see little value in the large yard.
To determine a fair price for a home your agent will prepare a comparative market analysis and then create a negotiating strategy to purchase the home at the best possible price for you. However, ultimately, you are the one who makes the decision on what to offer. Always remember that it takes a motivated seller and a willing buyer to complete the transaction.
The presentation of the offer is fairly straightforward. After the offer is presented, the sellers have three options – accept the offer, reject the offer, or make a counter offer. If they make a counter offer, then you also have the same three options. This process continues until all parties agree on price and terms and conclude the transaction, or until one of the parties decides that further negotiations are fruitless and will not result in a “meeting of the minds.”
Some important tips to keep in mind to streamline the process:
- Keep written records of everything. We will make sure that you have copies of everything.
- Stick to the schedule. Now that you have an offer to purchase, you and the seller will be given a timeline to mark every stage in the process of closing the real estate contract. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations so that each party involved is not in breach of their agreements. During the process we will keep you constantly updated, so you will always be prepared for the next step.
We will be happy to recommend experienced knowledgeable insurance agents for every property type.
Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will need to have a licensed property inspector inspect the property within the timeframe that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase. A home inspection typically includes an examination of heating and central air conditioning systems, interior plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, the attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, foundations and basements. Home inspectors represent the buyer and are paid by the buyer. The inspection helps ensure home buyers of the quality of their investment by making them aware of its current condition and alerting them to any major defects that could cost them down the road.
Remember all inspectors must be approved by the Mississippi Real Estate Commission. Visit here to see if your inspector is on the list. MREC Approved Home Inspectors
Meanwhile, here are a few that have a proven reputation in this area Home Inspectors
APPRAISALS AND YOUR LOAN
It is imperative that you keep in close communication with your lender, who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution, via a third party. This is done so that the lending institution can confirm their investment in your property is accurate. Appraisers are specialists in determining the value of properties, based on a combination of square footage measurements, amenities, recent sales of comparable properties, condition of property, etc.
Either a title company or an attorney will be selected as a closing agent. The closing agent will research the complete recorded history of the property to ensure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances by the date of closing and that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. Some properties are subject to restrictions which limit various activities such as building or parking restrictions. There may be recorded easements and encroachments, which limit the rights to use your property.
HOW TO TAKE TITLE
You may wish to consult an attorney or tax advisor on the best way to hold title. Different methods of holding title have different legal, estate and tax implications, especially when selling or upon death of the title holder. Remember in Mississippi you can take advantage of the Homestead Exemption option. For more info, please visit Department of Revenue Homestead
If you would like to speak with one of our preferred closing attorneys, please refer to our Vendor list for a full list of reputable and knowledgeable closing specialists.
The closing agent will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process. You and the seller(s) will sign this statement, as well as the closing agent, certifying its accuracy. If you are obtaining financing, you will have to sign all pertinent documentation required by the lending institution. As your agent, we will arrange to have all property keys and any other important information for you at the closing.
FREE HOME BUYING GUIDE
Thank you for visiting TEAM COUCH! Please take a few minutes to complete this brief questionnaire about your buying needs and you will receive a copy of our Home Buying Guide via email.
Please remember all of your contact information and responses will be completely confidential. Thank you again for choosing TEAM COUCH!