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PREPARING

TO BUY

EVERYTHING YOU NEED AND WANT TO KNOW


Phone:

Email:

406-539-5358 (Cell) 406-586-7676 (Office)

nicole.taranto@bhhsmt.com

Website:

NicoleTaranto.com

Address:

2001 Stadium Dr. Ste A Bozeman, MT 59715

Facebook:

NicoleTarantoRE

Instagram: nicoletaranto.realestate LinkedIn:

Nicole Taranto Daniel


THE BUYING ​PROCESS     1. Get PreQualified / PreApproved:​ If you would like lender recommendations, I would be  happy to provide you with several options. Knowing what you qualify for (and WANT to spend)  is important to determine before we look at any homes.   2. First Meeting: D ​ uring our first meeting, we will discuss your needs in a home, sign relationship  and agency forms and get to know each other better. For your home, think about the number of  bedrooms you need, location and price for starters and then add a few things you know you  want or deal breakers. I will set up an automatic email for you based on your criteria so you are  sent properties that meet your criteria as soon as they come on the market. Be sure to click on  the link in the first email to activate the search. The first email will contain any properties that  meet your criteria and any future emails will be new listings that just came on the market that  might fit what you are looking for.   3. Look at Homes for Sale: W ​ e will look at any homes you are interested in during times that  work for your schedule.   4. Write an Offer: O ​ nce you find a property you want to offer on, I will write up a Buy Sell  Agreement with terms like: purchase price, closing date, contingencies of the offer, etc. We can  either sit down together and initial/sign each page or I can email you the offer to sign  electronically. If you have not purchased a home before, I would recommend signing in person so  I can answer any questions you may have.   5. Negotiate and Write Counter Offers:​ If the seller counters the offer, we can/will negotiate  until you come to terms you can all agree with. If you can’t come to an agreement, it’s ok to  walk away.   6. Open Escrow/Make an Earnest Money Deposit:​ When your offer is accepted, you will write  an earnest money check to the title company. The amount you are writing the check for will be  in your buy/sell agreement. The Title Company will hold the money until closing and then  disburse all funds to the correct people/accounts. I will give you the contact information for the  Title company and I will give the Title Company your contact information.   7. Approve and Sign Seller Disclosures​: There will typically be a Mold Disclosure and a Seller’s  Property Disclosure that both the sellers and buyers sign. If the home was built in 1978 or  earlier, you will also need to sign a Lead Based Paint Disclosure and if the property is a condo,  you will sign a condominium disclosure. There could be additional documents to sign  depending on the situation.   8. Comply With Lender Requirements:​ Do not alter your financial situation while in escrow  because it could greatly impact your eligibility for a loan. When the file is complete, the lender  will submit it for final underwriter approval.   9. The Lender Will Order An Appraisal: T ​ he listing agent will contact me with an appraisal date  once it has been scheduled. Once the appraisal has been done, it can take up to 10 days for the 


lender to contact you with the result.     10. Order Homeowner’s Insurance Policy:​ The contingency deadline for finding insurance at a  rate acceptable to you will be in the buy sell agreement, so be sure to look into homeowner’s  insurance prior to this date. Either your lender or myself can provide recommendations if you  need them.   11. Schedule and Conduct A Home Inspection:​ As soon as we are under contract, I will schedule  a home inspection. If you have someone specific you would like to use, let me know. If not, I have  several inspectors I regularly work with that I can reach out to. They will conduct the inspection  on their own, and we will meet them for a “walk-through” afterwards. It takes about an hour and  the inspector will show you how things work and talk you through what they found. Within 24  hours, they will then send you their inspection report.   12. Issue Inspection Notice:​ I will write an inspection notice based on the inspector’s report. If the  home inspection turns up health and safety issues, we can ask the seller to address those issues  or give you a credit for them. No home is perfect, even new construction.   13. Release All Contingencies:​ Once all the contingencies in the contract have been met and  released, we can schedule a time to close on the property at the Title Company. Morning times  are best so the property is more likely to record at the courthouse the same day. Most contracts  will require the new deed be recorded before you technically own the home and can receive the  keys, so if you are planning on moving in right away, you will definitely want a morning  appointment.   14. Get your Settlement Statement:​ Three days before closing, the Title Company will email you  your settlement statement. Review the numbers and make sure it looks correct. If you have any  questions, the Title Company can answer them.   15. Call Utility Companies:​ Call Northwestern Energy and any other utility services you currently  have to have them end on closing day (or whichever day you will be moving out). You will also  need to have the new property’s utilities put into your name.   16.  Do  Final  Walk-Through:  ​Before  closing,  we  will  walk  through  the  property  one  more  time  to  make  sure  it’s  in  the  same  condition  as  when  you  agreed  to  buy  it.  Any  serious  issues need to be addressed before closing.   17. Closing: B ​ ring your driver’s license to the Title Company to sign loan/escrow documents.  Bring a cashier’s check payable to escrow in the amount determined by your lender or  provided in the settlement statement. Your property deed, seller’s reconveyance and deed of  trust will record in the public records. I will notify you when it records and you are officially the  new homeowners!    


FREQUENTLY A ​ SKED     How do you get paid?   When listing a property, the agent and seller agree on a commission percentage that will be  taken out of the sale price. Upon closing, the listing agent and their brokerage receive a portion  and pay out a portion/percentage of that total commission to the selling brokerage and agent.  Each brokerage has different splits between them and their agents.     Do I really even need a REALTOR​®? ​   That is ultimately up to you, but I of course think the answer is yes. As your agent, I look out for  your best interests and negotiate on your behalf. I also have knowledge and experience in the  Bozeman (and surrounding) market and can be an important resource for you regardless of  whether you are buying or selling. Would you build your own house, fix your own car or treat  your own illnesses? Some of you would say yes, and sometimes everything works out ok, but  other times it won’t. As a buyer, you are getting a FREE service, so why wouldn’t you utilize it!?  As a seller, a REALTOR® has access to information that will help accurately price your home as  well as a much larger reach than you can achieve on your own to make sure your home gets in  front of as many potential buyers as possible. We keep the process going and handle  EVERYTHING that may come up.     Should I be pre approved or pre qualified?   A pre qualification basically means you talked to your lender and based on the estimates you  gave regarding your financial history, income, credit score and other required info, they can  give you a ballpark of what you qualify for. A pre approval however, is stronger because they  will need you to submit verification of your income, financial history, etc and will also pull your  credit. If you are serious about buying a home, get a pre approval.     How long does the buying process take?   Once you are under contract, the process will usually take somewhere between 4-6 weeks  before you close. How long you look at homes before going under contract can vary greatly  depending on the person. You might fall in love with the very first house you look at, or you  might look for a whole year.     Is there anything I should not do during the house hunting process?   Yes, for my list of dos and don’ts, see the “Dos and Don’ts” page of the Buyer Brochure.     When should I make an offer?   There are two answers to this really. The general answer is “when you are ready” but in our  current market, the true answer is “as soon as possible”. Buying a home is a HUGE decision and  you are spending a lot of money, but in Bozeman’s market, waiting could mean you will miss  out.     How much should I offer?   This is where having a knowledgeable agent comes in handy. In the past few years, the median 


and average percents of list price that homes in Bozeman and Belgrade have sold for is over 98%. Every neighborhood can vary though and when inventory is low, it might not be wise to  offer anything less than full price. As your agent, I can educate you on the neighborhood and  market and help guide you in the right direction.     If I’m in a multiple offer situation, will I have to pay over full price?   Not always, but it could happen.     How much earnest money should I put down?   At least 1% of the sales price, but in some circumstances, it may be smart to do more. Some  sellers may ask for a larger amount as well.    What happens to my earnest money?  After your offer is accepted, your earnest money will go into an escrow account held by the  Title Company of the seller’s choice. It stays there until the transaction closes and is then  dispersed to the seller along with the rest of the funds. If the transaction terminates, you will  get your earnest money back as long as you are within the dates agreed to on your buy sell  agreement.     What happens if the home I’m under contract on doesn’t appraise?   A few things can happen here. You can either terminate the contract and get your earnest  money back (if you have an appraisal contingency in the buy sell that states what it must  appraise for) or you can try to negotiate with the seller to the appraised number or a  compromise in between. If you are financing, the bank/mortgage company won’t want to  finance for any more than the appraised value so if the seller won’t come down and you really  really really want the house, you will probably have to come up with the difference.    Will I get my Earnest Money back if I terminate the transaction?   It depends on when you terminate. In your buy sell agreement, there could be several  contingencies you have in place (like an inspection, financing, appraisal, insurance  contingency, etc). There are deadlines for each of those contingencies and if you want to get  your earnest money back, you will need to terminate before those deadlines.     Should I lock in my interest rate or wait it out?   If you can get a good rate, lock it in. If the interest rate goes up, you will be glad you did. If the  interest rate goes down, talk to your lender. In some situations, if the interest rate goes down  enough, your lender can lock you in for a better rate.     When will I get the keys?   This is dependent on what your buy sell states. In most cases, you will close at the Title  Company and then when the deed records (usually within a few hours), they will call you (or  me) to let you know. At this point, you can go back to the Title Company and pick up the keys.  Sometimes, other arrangements are made, but most of the time, it will be once the deed  records.     What happens at the closing?   If you are financing, your lender any myself will be there with you. Bring your driver’s license  and a cashier’s check made out to the Title Company in the amount your lender has told you.  You will sign the deed for the property, closing statements and any financial documents your 


lender requires. After all the paperwork is signed, the Title Company will give you a bound copy of all the documents and you can be on your way. They will call you (or me) when the deed  records and the funds from your lender are dispersed and then you can go back to pick up the  keys! - If it is a cash transaction, the Title Company will contact you ahead of time to see how  you would prefer to disperse the funds. You will still sign the deed and closing statements, but  there will usually be less paperwork if a lender is not involved. Everything else is the same as  above, bring your driver’s license to closing and you will pick up the keys once it records.     Is the closing date on my contract guaranteed?   No, but we will do our best to stick to that date. If you are financing, things could be held up on  the lender’s side that could delay closing. Sometimes. everything works out so well that you are  able to close early if you want to (and the seller wants to).     What monies will I need to come in with?   If you are financing, your lender will tell you the exact amount you will need to bring. It will  need to be a cashier’s check made out to the Title Company, not a regular check. You can also  wire funds to the Title Company but with the possibilities of wire fraud, I always encourage my  clients to pay via cashier’s check. If you want to wire the funds, the Title Company can provide  wire instructions.     How long does a home inspection take?   The inspection itself will take 2-3 hours depending on the inspector. The walk through is after  the inspection and when we walk through the property with the inspector so they can relay  their findings. This can take between 30 minutes to an hour.     Should I have a home inspection?   Even on new builds? YES. Absolutely yes, I will never say you shouldn’t have an inspection. It is  worth every penny. Regardless of the age of the home, you should always get a home  inspection. New construction doesn’t mean perfect construction so yes to new builds as well.     Can you recommend an attorney, home inspector or a lender?  I can recommend all of those. I am required to give you at least 3 to choose from. You can also  see a list of lenders on my website (Real Estate → Buying → Mortgage Lenders). I can also  provide recommendations for house cleaners, moving companies, financial advisors, etc.  


DOS​ & DON’TS    

DO: ➢ Tell me if you are allergic to animals   ➢ Be honest with your lender about child support, alimony, wage garnishments or any  other payroll reduction   ➢ Tell agents holding open house if you are working with an agent   ➢ Tell me if you need to sell your current home before buying another one   ➢ Realize it is possible to find what you are looking for the very first day you go out   ➢ Realize there are no PERFECT homes. You will always be limited by income, zoning,  inventory at the time, etc.  ➢ Be honest with your agent and lender   ➢ Be aware you may be under surveillance when viewing homes/properties. Assume you  always on camera   ➢ Get a home inspection - even if it is new construction   ➢ Get approved from your lender before you look at homes   ➢ Tell me what is most important to you in a home/property   ➢ Bring your Driver’s License to the closing   ➢ Realize this is a very big purchase, but it is also an ADVENTURE. Enjoy it.   ➢ Only spend what you are comfortable with. Just because you are approved for “X”  doesn’t mean you need to spend that much.  


DOS & D ​ ON’TS    

DON’T:   ➢ Don't quit or change your job   ➢ Don't buy any large ticket items, especially if you will need to finance (i.e new vehicles,   campers, furniture)   ➢ Don't make large deposits of money that can’t be traced   ➢ Don't talk to Sellers directly - that’s why you have an agent   ➢ Don’t lie to me about how you really feel. I’m here to help you find the RIGHT place, honesty   is important.   ➢ Don’t make any major purchases, like booking a vacation (yup- this is on here SEVERAL  TIMES so it really sticks)  ➢ Don’t hate on a property in front of the owners or while viewing it, you may be under   surveillance  ➢ Don’t call the Listing Agent listed on the For Sale sign if you have an agent  ➢ Don’t go home to “sleep on it” if you are in a hot market (If you sleep on it, you might not   sleep IN it)   ➢ Don’t co-sign on anything for anyone!   ➢ Don’t buy/order/sign up for things that will require a credit pull   ➢ Don’t change your name   ➢ Don’t have unrealistic expectations   ➢ Don’t tell people you bought a house before it has closed   ➢ Don’t believe everything you see on HGTV (most of that stuff is scripted or made up)   ➢ Don’t call me two minutes before a showing to cancel   ➢ Don’t get an out of state lender that doesn’t know our market (if at all avoidable)    


THINGS TO E ​ XPECT While a lot of these things may not happen, knowing it COULD happen before it actually does  makes for a much smoother and less stressful experience. Remember, we are all human and  make mistakes, it’s probably not personal and the world is not ending. 

➢ You may not be told how much money to bring to closing until the day of your closing.   ➢ The dates on your contract will change, perhaps multiple  times.   ➢ You will become anxious or nervous at some  point.   ➢ You will become irritated or annoyed about frequent and last minute paperwork requests  with seemingly impossible deadlines.   ➢ You will want to tell your friends and family about your experience on social media sites -  wait until after closing.   ➢ You will look at a property and really really like it, only to find out the seller accepted an  offer during your showing.   ➢ You may feel like you paid too much (and the seller will feel like they didn’t get  enough) Regardless of market value, a home is only worth what you are willing to pay  for it so if you agreed to that price, own it and enjoy it.   ➢ The decor or wall colors in a home will be awful- to you. Realize that people have  different tastes and try to see past it, all of that can be changed.   ➢ The home inspector will find problems. It’s not the end of the world and we will negotiate  with the sellers. You can still back out if agreements/compromises can’t be made.   ➢ The property might not appraise for what you are buying it for.    ➢ The Listing Agent will disappear off the face of the earth and not return phone calls until  it’s too late or almost too late.   ➢ Expect some of the houses you view to look nothing like the photos online.  


YOUR TRANSACTION D ​ ETAILS    

LENDER

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TITLE COMPANY

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HOMEOWNER’S

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INSURANCE AGENT   HOME INSPECTOR

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ATTORNEY

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MOVING COMPANY

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UTILITIES  INTERNET

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TV

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WATER/SEWER

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ELECTRIC/GAS

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TRASH

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OTHER

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OTHER

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Profile for Nicole Taranto

Preparing To Buy  

Preparing To Buy  

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