Once you find a home that you want to purchase
Once you have narrowed your search and have a home that you think you want to purchase The Veenstra Team will help you determine a fair market value for the home, will write the sales contract and will present it and begin negotiating in earnest on your behalf. First, it is likely that The Veenstra Team will alert the Seller’s REALTOR® that you will likely be writing an offer on the property. This will allow the Buyer Agent with the Veenstra Team to learn of any other potential offers or any updates to the information that was available about the property.
When you find a home that you are interested in purchasing you can again draw on the expertise of The Veenstra Team. We can provide you with market research to ensure that you will make an offer that is as low as it can reasonably be. Ask The Veenstra Team to show you what other comparable homes are listed or have recently sold for. This will give you a good indication of the fair market value of the home. The sales contract which The Veenstra Team will help you to write will deal with the price, any appliances, window coverings, or other “personal” items which you would like to have negotiated, as well as the time frame in which you would like to complete the transaction and the time frame in which you would like to receive a response from the seller. If a seller does not respond in the time frame which is given, you are no longer held responsible for the terms you were presenting. Each of the items that you add to the contract are open for the seller to accept, reject or propose an alternative. If the seller wants to propose some changes, that would be done on a formal, written, counter offer. A counter offer would be presented to you by a member of the Veenstra Team and s/he would present if to you within the time frame that a seller specifies in the counter offer. When The Veenstra Team writes the offer for you, we will also ask for an “earnest money” check. This is a check which the buyer agent holds for you and informs the seller’s agent. This is a check to prove to the seller that you are serious about the offer. Once the offer is accepted by the seller, the earnest money is held by the listing REALTOR®’s company and becomes part of the down payment on the property.
It is possible that a seller may receive more than one offer at the same time. In that case the seller has the option of responding to the offer of his choice. The offer which is not responded to becomes void due to time expiry. If the REALTOR® representing the seller is aware that more than one offer is going to be written, she will typically call The Veenstra Team and make him/her aware of that so that the prospective buyer has the choice to put his best offer forward if that is his desire. This will give the buyer the best opportunity to present the contract that will encourage the seller to respond positively.
Once a counter offer is presented by a seller, the buyer is under no obligation to the terms of his first offer and is not under any obligation to even respond to the counter offer if he so chooses.
Multiple counter offers do sometimes happen in one transaction before an agreement is reached with both the buyer and the seller.
Home Inspections Protect Your Investment
A home inspection will give you a chance to discover more about the home before you purchase it. In case there are serious problems with the foundation, mold issues, or underground leaks, you will be prepared to ask for repairs, a reduced price, or walk away from the property.
The Importance Of Home Inspections
Finding a home does not mean that your investigative duties are over. Although most states do not have required inspections, your lender may require at the very least a pest inspection that will need to be conducted before they agree to approve your mortgage loan. If there are termites or other insects, the home owners will have to take care of the problem before they sell the home.
But what about full home inspections? Are they worth it? In most cases, the answer is yes. Although you will have to pay for a home inspection, it may save you a lot of money in the long run.
A thorough home inspection will include checking the following:
Heating and cooling systems
Doors and windows, and
In most states there are “seller disclosure” requirements for all sellers. We do not recommend relying on a seller disclosure statement to determine the condition of the property you are hoping to purchase. In our opinion, there is nothing better than spending a couple hundred dollars on a home inspection through a qualified American Society of Housing Inspectors (ASHI) certified inspector. A home inspection is one of the first inspections which should be carried out when a sales contract is written. A home inspection will usually take at least 2 hours and we recommend that the home buyer schedule the time to accompany the home inspector on the entire inspection.
A home inspector has a wealth of knowledge about the systems in a house and you can use this time to learn as much about your house as you can. The home inspectors that we use always have good maintenance tips and can point out things which we would never have noticed. The most important reason for having a home inspector come is to make sure that there are not safety issues which must be addressed. Many home inspections have found cracked heat exchangers in furnaces (which can cause gas and carbon monoxide leaks) and unsafe electrical issues. We have a checklist of things that you want to make sure that your home inspection covers. After the home inspector presents his very detailed report, it is time to talk with The Veenstra Team again and see if there are any issues which you might want to negotiate with the seller. A good rule of thumb is to consider negotiating on substantive issues which involve safety or health hazards. It is not usually our advice to negotiate relatively minor issues which may surface as a result of the inspection. Each negotiation opportunity opens the door for the sale to come undone. Presenting a laundry list of relatively minor repairs is probably not worth jeopardizing your sale.
Another important aspect of an inspection
You will receive a varied reaction from homeowners. If there are major problems your REALTOR® may be able to negotiate an agreement where the seller will make needed repairs or improvments or may even negotiate a lower price for the home.
Having a home inspection will give you peace of mind when you are buying a home. Since you will be taking out a mortgage, it is important to know what you will be buying and the amount of money you will have to invest after purchasing the home. A home inspection will also help you make your ﬁnal decision whether to purchase the home or to keep looking for another.
How To Find A Home Inspector
When you ﬁnd a few home inspectors, give them a call and ask the following questions:
How long have you been inspecting homes?
How much do you charge per hour?
What do you look for when inspecting a home?
What types of reports should I expect?
What days during the week are you available?
Do you offer septic system inspections?
What type of licensing do you have?
A thorough home inspection will take an inspector two to three hours to complete. This will give you an idea of how much the inspection will cost. Once you have asked these questions, ﬁnd out if your lender has speciﬁc inspections that the home must pass before you will receive a home loan. If the inspector can complete these inspections along with the home inspection, then it is worth the time and the money to have the inspector complete all inspections on the same day.
The next step after choosing an inspector and ﬁnding out which inspections will be needed by your lender is to make sure the homeowners will be home for the inspection. Usually your agent will arrange a time for the inspector to perform the inspection.
After the inspection is complete and the reports have been completed, it is up to the homeowners to either make the repairs necessary or lower their asking price.
If the repairs are minor and will not require too much money to repair, they will usually agree to make the repairs. If you would like to absorb the costs of the repairs, then you can offer to do so.
You should receive this decision in writing so that there is no confusion during the ﬁnal walk through before the closing. At the closing, you should have all of your paperwork, including the home inspection reports with you in case there is a discrepancy.
What To Expect From A Home Inspection
A home inspection can unearth many problems you did not notice during your visits to the home. Typical ﬁndings include:
Structural damage to ﬂoors, walls, and ceilings
Water damage inside and outside the walls
Porch railings or posts in poor condition
Heating and cooling systems need to be cleaned or do not work properly
Roof needs repair
Broken or leaking pipes
Electrical wiring not functioning or broken
Broken water ﬁxtures or light ﬁxtures
Windows that do not open
Septic tank issues, or
While disclosure of some problems is mandatory, many homeowners do not even know that some of these problems exist until they try to sell their homes. On the day of the inspection, you should expect to hear about some problems. You should be given a detailed report of the ﬁndings that will outline drastic problems and those that can be ﬁxed easily. Some lenders will not approve the home loan until the problems are ﬁxed and another inspection is conducted.
Speciﬁc Places That Should Be Inspected
When interviewing home inspectors, make sure to ask whether the following areas are inspected:
Chimney and ﬁreplace
Attic and basement
Swimming pools, and
Smoke detectors and appliances
These are important areas that can be very costly to repair once you have purchased the home. Many homeowners are willing to replace a chimney cap or remove mold from the basement. You should make sure that these areas are inspected prior to the closing. You should also inspect these areas during the ﬁnal walkthrough.
Chimney And Fireplace
Inspectors should be looking for:
Missing, broken, or intact chimney caps
Mortar between brick chimneys is intact
Metal chimneys are not bent or contain holes and have all screws in place
Creosote – this is buildup caused from wood burning ﬁreplaces, and is ﬂammable if not removed
Attic, Basement, And Crawl Spaces
Home inspectors should be on the lookout for the following:
Damage from water, and
Damage from animals and pests
When looking at the swimming pool, the inspector should look at the following:
Swimming pool plumbing, and
Swimming pool shell
Smoke Detectors And Appliances
Make sure they work
Check for broken hoses or connections
Broken door handles
A termite inspection is a separate inspection that will give you an idea of structural damage to the home that has been caused by termites and other pests. This inspection is required by most lenders before they will guarantee you the money to purchase the home.
Termite inspections are not covered under the standard fee of a home inspection, so you may have to pay for the inspection unless the homeowners are willing to do so. The inspection should take about an hour and will entail the inspector looking underneath siding, in basements, attics, and on the foundation of the home to see if there are termites present or if there are other insects such as ants, or fungus that are destroying the wood.
The inspector will also conduct an inspection inside the home as well. Since termites can live in different weather conditions, you should have the inspection done even if you live in an area that has lower temperatures than other regions.
Termites can be removed using an insecticide that is specially designed to kill termites and their eggs, but the damage left behind can be immense. If the home has been infested for a long time, then it may be beyond repair.You will then have to discuss a reduction in price, repairs being made to the property, or walking away altogether.
How Homeowners Will React
How the homeowner will react to the results of the home inspection could determine whether you continue pursuing the home or whether you let it go and ﬁnd another one. The real value of having a REALTOR® team with so much experience is that you will get great advice and guidance regarding what items can be negotiated to be covered by the seller and which items it just makes more sense to handle yourself after you purchase the home.
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