Upcoming free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Education Classes:
Saturday, April 11, from 9am-2pm
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Saturday, April 18, from 11am-2pm
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave)
Monday night, April 20, from 5pm-8pm
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
…if these dates/times don’t work for you, we have others. Check out the website for more class dates, times, and locations. PLEASE always check the web site www.freehomebuyerclasses.com for any changes regarding the classes!
Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner! 🙂
Well, it has been an interesting week… 4 accepted offers this past week! Yay!! 😀 The lower $200,000 & under market is still incredibly tight, but it seems to have loosened up a a bit in the mid $200,000’s. That is a move in the right direction….
It has also been interesting in regard to some questions I have received on facebook so forgive me for, again, going off of plan again. This weeks blog is for them…
There are many choices of Realtors , and lenders, out there. Ultimately we all do the same basic thing, but it is the morals, ethics, service, and personality that we bring personally to the table that differentiates us from one another. I believe in customer service, and I believe that we are all on the same team….and that the goal of our team is a smooth, easy, and fun home buying adventure….or at least as smooth and easy as possible. Everyone needs to be on the same team to make this happen. There are a lot of people involved in your home buying adventure…some you see, and some you never will. In all there are 28 different people involved…and you know the old saying… ‘too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the broth’…but as long as we all work together, it goes forward the best way possible. 🙂 Please remember…there are never problems, there are only solutions. In every home buying adventure, there are always ‘hiccups’…it happens every time. What we try to do is to present solutions to these hiccups….instead of just saying, “we have a problem”. There is always a solution, and we try to provide you with choices to your solutions. In the end, the final choices are always yours. This is YOUR home buying adventure….not ours. We act as GPS…we can provide you with the directions to your destination, but ultimately, you drive the bus to get us all there.
In real estate we have a phrase, “time is of the essence”, and it is an important one. Everything in the process has a time limit, and you need to know what those time limits are since they affect you directly. These time limits start from the moment you have an accepted offer on a home, but what are they? Let’s talk a little bit about ‘soft’ deadlines, and ‘hard’ deadlines…
* – Take a home buyer education class
* – Talk with a lender, and get pre-approved
* – Talk with a real estate agent
* – Start looking for a home
* – Find ‘the’ home
……these steps have no timelines. Don’t feel rushed. Remember this is YOUR home buying adventure, and the only deadline here you are on is your own. Sometimes this moves very fast, and sometimes these steps can take months.
* – Make an offer on a home – *
….typically you have an “offer expiration date” as part of your offer. This says that your offer expires at such and such date, and time. Now, if the sellers respond to your offer after that date/time, the ball is in your court. You can accept, counter, or walk away. If the sellers accept your offer prior to the expiration date then you have a signed around contract. If the sellers accept your offer after the expiration date, you can still walk way since ‘technically’ the offer is already expired. The seller doesn’t have to legally respond to your offer before or after your expiration date. The sellers agent does have a legal responsibility to present ALL offers to the sellers prior to the expiration date/time. If the seller counters your offer, meaning the sellers have changed something in the offer, the ball is in your court. You have the right to accept the change, counter the counteroffer, or ignore it all together. An offer in a counteroffer situation is not a mutually accepted agreement, and anyone else can still make an offer on the home….and the seller can still accept a different offer. The offer is not pending sale until both parties have mutually agreed to all conditions of the offer.
Once you have a mutually accepted offer…the ‘hard’ deadlines begin…
* – Earnest money becomes due within 3 business days of the mutual acceptance – *
(have a promissory note as part of your offer. We go over the importance of this in the class, and how earnest money is delivered…what it does…how it works. I will discuss earnest money in depth during another email, or you can come to the class.)
* – Inspection – *
Most deadlines are done by ‘business days’, but the inspection contingency timeline is different. You have 10 calendar days to perform a home inspection with a licensed home inspector, and to provide the seller with a list of any requested home repairs. You can accept the home in its current condition, or request repairs, but again, that list any repairs must be provided to the sellers agent by that 10 day deadline. This deadline starts from mutual acceptance. The sellers have 3 days to respond from receipt of the inspection repairs request.
These are two pretty big deadlines… After the home inspection has been done, and mutually agreed upon, the lender begins their deadlines. The appraisal needs ordered, and done. Underwriters need to do their job and review your file. Then the title company needs to do their title insurance, docs, and get you in for signing. From home inspection to signing is usually between 3-4 weeks for the average FHA, VA, or Conventional loan. Some of the government loans like, USDA, the NHF downpayment grant, and the State Bond downpayment assistance loan can add more time to this.
* – Closing – *
This is the last BIG hard deadline. When your agent writes your offer, you should be discussing what day you would like to get keys. Closing is the day that the home records at the courthouse in your name, and you become the official homeowner. When this happens your agent can give you keys. In Washington State, signing is not closing. You will NOT receive keys the day you sign. The average timeline is about 36 hours AFTER you sign for you to close and receive keys. Closing/recording happens at the courthouse, so nothing happens on the weekend. 🙂
The sellers are expecting you to close ‘on or before’ the closing date. If you do not close on that particular date your agent, and you, need to request a closing extension from the seller. The seller does not have to grant that extension. If you do not close on time, you could lose your home, and the money you have already spent for earnest money, inspection fees, and appraisal fees…..or the seller could grant the extension, but with a daily fee for the time needed to close. One thing your agent should do is make sure they give enough time for the lender to close your home loan. It is always better to close on time, or early…rather than asking for more time. You don’t want to make your lender rush something as important as your home loan. Lenders need time to get all their stuff done for you. 🙂
One last thing you need to remember is that a real estate agent is not a sales person. It is not our job to ‘sell’ you anything. We are assistants, advisers , guidance, and help. You should not feel as if your agent is trying to sell you a home, or anything else, our job should be to help you in getting the home you want. This being said remember that you do not get T-Bone steaks for the price of hamburger…Look ONLY at homes within your budget. ALWAYS ask questions, and expect answers without a lot of lingo. I was always told that if you can’t explain something in a way that the other person can understand clearly, it is because you don’t understand it yourself. 🙂
Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you. Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there…. If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.
As always….this is just a quick overview…. please remember that your agent, and your lender work for YOU. You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals. Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your homebuying adventure. The goal is to be informative and non-promotional. 🙂 We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.
If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your homebuying adventure, please call, email, text, or facebook me anytime. I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!! …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.
. ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…
Next Week: “Hidden” Buyer fees when buying a home
Last Week: What is a homes value? How is that determined?
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,