Buying Your New Home
REAL ESTATE AGENT’S ROLE
In addition to helping find you a home, an agent serves as the “manager” of a larger team and is responsible for coordinating other team players at the appropriate time in the process. These other team players include the mortgage company, inspectors, the title company, insurance company and possibly an attorney.

Your agent should be able to perform the following as part of his or her service to you:
  • Be knowledgeable about, and be able to explain, the property tax system in New York.
  • Provide assistance in creating a budget that ultimately will set the home price.
  • Explain deed restrictions, homeowner’s associations and zoning.
  • Be knowledgeable of New York exemptions and community property laws.
  • Guide you on purchasing a new or resale home.
  • Ensure you view neighborhoods and homes within your price range.
  • Be able to negotiate not only home purchase price but financing, terms and date of possession.
  • Be able to properly communicate requirements and explain the contract and other required documents.
  • Be able to attend all inspections.
  • Be able to monitor, follow up and expedite paperwork among all parties involved.

WHY WORK WITH A REALTOR?

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) provides this list of important differences to consider when selecting a real estate professional to represent your homebuying interests. All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of NAR are properly called Realtors. When you begin your home search, consider using a member of the California Association of Realtors (CAR) (
www.car.org). Because of LA’s size, there are also smaller Realtor associations, such as the Beverly Hills Greater Los Angeles Realtor Association (BHGLARA) (www.bhglara.com) and the Southwest Los Angeles Association of Realtors (SLAAR) (www.southwest-losangeles-aor.org).
  • Your Realtor can help you determine your buying power, which is your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a Realtor some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders—banks and mortgage companies—offer limited choices.
  • Your Realtor has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
  • Your Realtor can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are Realtors have access to a variety of informational resources. Realtors can provide local community information on utilities, zoning and schools. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
  • Your Realtor can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to what is recommended or required.
  • Your Realtor provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests.
  • Your Realtor can assist you in finding qualified, responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You also will want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities.
  • Your Realtor’s title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
  • Your Realtor can help you in understanding different financing options and identify qualified lenders.
  • Your Realtor can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows smoothly.
  • Your Realtor can give you up-to-date selling information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties.
  • Your Realtor will be helpful to you if you’re new to buying real estate in California. He or she can provide more information on many topics as they arise.

VIEWING HOMES
Now you’re ready to look for your dream home. You know your budget and have identified the general location for your home. Without leaving your home or office, you can view details of just about every home for sale online at
www.realtor.com, which is one of the most popular home search sites.

   
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