In the market for a new home in southwest Montana?
Let’s talk. My goal is to ease your real estate journey, and the best place to start is by understanding your wants, needs, preferences, and desires. I want to hear your story and assist you with the next step in finding your place in Montana that best suits you and your lifestyle. Having a clear sense of your reasons for buying will help you choose the right property.
Let’s get curious together. I will ask you a lot of questions, so I can learn as much as possible about what you’re looking for; and you can ask me as many questions as you like about the area, real estate market, local resources, the buying process, etc. I will do my best to inform you about the local/regional market and get you as much information as possible, so you can make an informed decision about your home selection and purchase. I’ll locate the properties that best fit your needs via MLS data, county records, and personal preview information.
Timing. This is yours to define. If you are in a rush, we work quickly! If you are just starting your search, and not under a time-crunch, that is great too. We work together to meet your timing needs and stay connected through the entire process.
Buying in a Tight Market. Sometimes urgency is prudent to increase the chances of getting your desired property in a competitive housing market. Once we define your parameters, I will be on the lookout for the newest listings that meet your criteria. It is advantageous for you as the buyer, to be poised and ready to make a decision, as some homes go quickly. Our upfront work and preparation will put you in position to bid competitively and yet not get caught up in a buying frenzy unnecessarily.
The Paperwork. Granted it’s almost always completed digitally, however, there are still forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents required to complete a real estate transaction. As your real estate professional, I guide you through the process step by step and serve as the concerned, but objective third party to help you stay focused on the issues most important to you and your goals. We have an online transaction system that makes the signing process efficient and secure.
Types of Mortgages & Best Rates. While I keep up with lending practices and general guidelines, I will recommend that you get specific mortgage product and price information directly from a mortgage lender. Rates can change daily, and Individual finance scenarios are as unique as the snowflakes falling from the sky. Your lender is in the best position to review your financial portfolio and help you find the best product that meets your needs. They provide a wealth of information and can match you with a mortgage product that best fits you. If you do not have a local banking or mortgage broker relationship, I can provide you with contact information.
Shopping. We will work together to develop a list of prospective homes that meet your criteria. I will provide property detail on all the homes we plan to tour in person. View all online tours and videos in advance. This is an efficient way to familiarize yourself with a property, experience its flow through the home as you do a virtual walkthrough, and identify those areas where you might have questions. View the property on an online mapping program and explore neighborhood features and amenities in the surrounding area. Once we have narrowed the selections, I will handle the logistics of scheduling and coordinating our visits (in person or virtually) to properties within your busy schedule.
‘First Time’ or ‘It’s Been a Long Time’ Buyers: If this is your first time buying, or it’s been many years since your last home purchase, no worries – I will guide you every step of the way. There is no question that is considered unimportant. A home purchase is a big investment, and I want you to be as informed as possible throughout the entire process. I have noted a few steps below that are recommended to save you time:
- Pre-Qualification: Contact a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home. This can usually be completed in 48-72 hours.
- Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range, or competing with other pre-approved buyer offers. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property.
- In a competitive market, an offer from a buyer with a pre-qualification letter could lose out to a person who is pre-approved.
- Proof of Income/Funds: If you are a cash buyer, obtain verification of available funds; if you are self-employed your lender will work with you to obtain the required information to document your income.
- Organize Documents: It is helpful to organize all financial documents required by the lender and keep in a folder on your computer where they are readily available. Regardless of the loan type, lenders will need information about you – total assets and debts, cash available, financial statements, bank accounts, investments, credit cards, auto loans, recent pay stubs, two years’ tax returns, credit score, etc. This might be a good time to check your credit report to make sure it is accurate. Also, keep any receipts and reports as the transaction progresses – from inspections, title commitment, etc.
- Accumulate funds: In addition to the required down payment funds, there will be added expenses such as inspection fees, escrow fees, appraisals, HOA transfer fees, etc. Some will be paid in advance and some at closing, however, anticipate some out of pocket expenses.
- No Sudden Movements: Now is not a good time to change careers, move your money around, buy/lease a new car, or buy big ticket items. Lenders like stability, so if you anticipate any major life changes, talk with your lender first and discuss how best to proceed.
- Be Responsive: When you make an offer on a property and it is accepted, the Buy-Sell Agreement has several performance dates which must be met. Work closely with your lender and realtor and respond to requests for information in a timely manner to keep the process moving forward.
Moving In. After you get the keys to your new place, I am still available to you as a local resource if you have questions when things pop up. So don’t hesitate to call. I will provide you with a list of useful numbers for the activation of utilities and home services to go into effect after the closing occurs.
Buying a home can be a complex process, and it is important to have a skilled real estate agent with the experience and market knowledge and negotiation skills to navigate you through the process. Having a Buyer’s Agent representing you is an important part of the process, working toward securing a transaction in the best interest of you, the buyer.