Page 1

Table of contents 2 | The Search is On

4 | What’s Your Style?

What are You Looking for in a Home?

5 | Home Buyer’s Checklist

6 | Making an Offer

The Mortgage & Loan Process

8 | Creating a Strategy

How to Win a Bidding War

10 | Recipe For a Winning Offer

Pre-Qualification, Pre-Inspection, Buyer Letter and Escalation Clause

12 | Closing 101

Buying Your Home

13 | How Can I Work for You? 14 | Let’s Work Together 15 | Is it Time to Sell? 16 | Selling 101 17 | Notes 18 | We’re a Team 1

Name: _________________________________ Phone: _________________________________

for the New

home buyer The Search is On

Email: _________________________________

Name: _________________________________ Phone: _________________________________ Email: _________________________________ Who is the primary contact and what is the best time and way to reach that individual? ________________________________________ What is prompting your move? ________________________________________ When do you need to be in your new home? ________________________________________ Are you pre-approved for a mortgage? ________________________________________ What is your price range? ________________________________________ If we found a home today that meets all of your needs and has as many of your wants as possible, would you make an offer? ____________________________


Home (General)

• Do you have a preference for when the house was built? • Do you want a house in move-in condition or are you willing to put some work into it? • When people come to your home, what do you want your home to say about you? • Do you want to have a swimming pool or hot tub?

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Home (Structure)

• What type of home are you looking for (e.g., singlefamily, condo, town house, etc.)? • Approximately what size house are you looking for (square footage)? How many stories? • What size lot would you like? • What architectural styles do you prefer? • What type of exterior siding will you consider? • Do you want a porch or deck? • What are you looking for in terms of a garage (e.g., attached, carport, etc.)? What about outdoor structures such as a greenhouse or shed?

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• Are there particular areas that you enjoy, or specific streets that you like? School districts that you prefer? • How close do you need to be to your work? Your favorite shops/conveniences? Recreational facilities you enjoy?

Home (Interior)

• What kind of style do you want the interior of your home to have (e.g., formal, casual, cozy, traditional, contemporary)? • What kind of floor plan do you prefer (e.g., open vs. walls between all living spaces)?

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• How many bedrooms do you need? • What are you preferences for the master bedroom? • How many bathrooms do you need?

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• What features must your kitchen have (e.g., breakfast area, types of appliances, etc.)? What finishes do you want (e.g., countertops, flooring, appliances, etc.)? • Would you like the dining room to be part of the kitchen configuration? What about the living room? • Do you want a dining room? What size?

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Living Room/Family Room

• What size room(s) do you need or want? Do you want a fireplace?










your style? The Lifestyle of Home

Is there anything else to consider? (Lifestyle, Location, Etc?) _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________

• Who will be living in the home you purchase? • Will anyone else be spending more than an occasional overnight stay (e.g., parents)? • Describe your lifestyle. What do you enjoy doing at home? Do you do a lot of entertaining? How do you spend your time in the evenings and on the weekends? • Does your home need to accommodate any special needs? • Do you have any pets? • Do you have anything special that needs to be accommodated such as athletic equipment, fine art, large furniture, or a large collection? • When people come to your home, what do you want your home to say about you? • Is there anything I should know about your lifestyle that I have not asked?


• Tell me about your ideal location. • What is your maximum commute time and distance? • What is your work address? • Are schools important? • Is there a particular view you are seeking (e.g., skyline, lake, mountains)? • What else is important about your location?


• What are the top five things your home needs to have? • Beyond those five things, what is something else you really want to have? • If you could have something else, what would that be? • If you could have one last thing to make this your dream home, what would that be?

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The Home-Buying Process r

Select a Real Estate Agent


Obtain Financial Pre-Approval


Analyze Your Needs


Select Properties


View Properties


Write an Offer to Purchase


Negotiate Terms


Accept the Contract


Remove Contingencies


Conduct Inspections


Resolve Any Issues


Obtain Mortgage Financing Credit Underwriting Appraisal Survey Insurance Check

• • • • • • r

Conduct Title Search


Remove Any Encumbrances


Obtain Title Insurance


Obtain Funds for Closing


Close on the Property


Take Possession of Your New Home!


The Mortgage and Loan Process

1. Financial Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval • Application and interview • Buyer provides pertinent documentation, including verification of employment • Credit report is requested • Appraisal scheduled for current home, if applicable 2. Underwriting • Loan package is submitted to the underwriter for approval 3. Loan Approval • Parties are notified of approval • Loan documents are completed and sent to title 4. Title Company • Title exam, insurance and title survey conducted • Borrowers come in for final signatures 5. Funding • Lender reviews the loan package • Funds are transferred by wire

Why Pre-Qualify?

We recommend our buyers get pre-qualified before beginning their home search. Knowing exactly how much you can comfortably spend on a home reduces the potential frustration of looking at homes beyond your means.

Once you have found the property you want, we will write a purchase agreement. While much of the agreement is standard, there are a few areas that we can negotiate:

The Price

next steps:

make an offer The Process

What you offer on a property depends on a number of factors, including its condition, length of time on the market, buyer activity, and the urgency of the seller. While some buyers want to make a low offer just to see if the seller accepts, this often isn’t a smart choice, because the seller may be insulted and decide not to negotiate at all.

The Move-in Date

If you can be flexible on the possession date, the seller will be more apt to choose your offer over others.

Additional Property

Often, the seller plans on leaving major appliances in the home; however, which items stay or go is often a matter of negotiation. Typically, you will not be present at the offer presentation – we will present it to the listing agent and/or seller. The seller will then do one of the following: Accept the offer Reject the offer Counter the offer with changes By far the most common is the counteroffer. In these cases, my experience and negotiation skills become powerful in representing your best interests. When a counteroffer is presented, you and I will work together to review each specific area of it, making sure that we move forward with your goals in mind and ensuring that we negotiate the best possible price and terms on your behalf.


Strategies for Winning in a Bidding War

Competing Against Multiple Offers: In a hot real estate market, a home can be listed for sale and receive multiple offers within hours. In most cases, the offer that ultimately wins is the one that has the price, terms, and closing timeline that best match what the seller wants. Each situation can be different though, so work with your agent to identify the strategic approach and get the competitive edge that will help you win the home you want. Assemble a strong financial package: A seller is more likely to choose your offer when it has solid financing. You can pay all cash and waive all contingencies; however, if that is not for you then consider other strategies: • Get pre-approved for a loan to prove your finances are solid. • Work with a local lender or one preferred by the listing agent to gain an advantage. • Get underwriter approval for an extra sign of strength as a buyer. • Opt for conventional financing and increase your earnest money amount. • Ask your lender to call the listing agent and testify that your money is good. • If the Appraisal comes in low and the lender balks, offer to borrow less to keep the deal together. Present an irresistible offer: Matching what the seller desires in price, terms, and closing timeline will speak loudly when you make an offer. Your agent can help you find out which terms matter, including: • Offer at list or, if the list price is low, offer at a price based on comparables. • Shorten contingency periods or waive them altogether. • Be flexible about the closing date, if that will win you an advantage. • During negotiation, think carefully before renegotiating price or credits after an inspection (the seller might opt for the back-up offer). Go the extra mile: Price and terms are one thing but you may be surprised to learn they don’t always win. When selling a foreclosure, banks sometimes choose the first offer that comes in; however, a homeowner might be swayed by a more personal touch. • Move quickly to get the offer completed, so your agent can submit it by the offer deadline. • Submit the offer fast so it’s on top of the stack or, if time allows, have your agent deliver it in person. • Summarize key offer terms and highlight the ones that matter in a term sheet. • Write a cover letter about yourself (with photos) and what you love about the home. • Include a photocopy of the earnest money check to show you’re serious. • Conclude with your agent’s deal history to show the escrow process will go off without a hitch.


Why do an inspection or pre-inspection? In the “typical” scenario, a home goes goes under contract “Pending Inspection.” The buyer hires an inspector and discovers several issues - not necessarily anything “major.” According to the inspection contingency as written, the buyer is in control at this point, and has absolutely nothing to lose by asking the seller for repairs, or to otherwise amend the monetary aspects of the contract.


a strategy Making it Easy

Pre inspection: A pre-inspection is something that you would do if an offer review deadline is set by the seller. The reason you do a pre-inspection is two-fold. Number one, it protects you from buying a house that could have a lot of repairs needed and maybe is something you don’t want to move forward with after you’ve pre-inspected it. But most importantly it gives you an option to compete with all the other buyers that are going to be submitting offers and it ensures that your offer stands out that much more because you’re not going to be submitting your offer with an inspection contingency. If you find numerous issues during your pre-inspection, you may find yourself wonderingng how do I move forward with this if I still want the house? That’s something you’re going to have to evaluate with your real estate agent and determine how many of those issues you can stomach. If it’s something where you need to adjust the offer price in light of what you’ve found that is certainly an option and the best advice is to have your agent convey to the listing agent that we’re coming in at this amount in light of what we’ve found during the inspection but we still want the house. The other option is just to simply walk away and not pursue it any further if there are too many issues found at pre-inspection.


Pre-Qualification and More

A mortgage prequalification letter will help you start the refinance process: A mortgage prequalification letter is an estimate that tells you the amount you’ll be able to afford to borrow on your refinance loan. You can estimate your monthly payments, learn how much you can save by refinancing, or find out whether you can borrow the extra cash you need to pay for college tuition or other major expenses. Earnest Money: Earnest money is the money you pay 1-3 days after the seller has accepted your offer. How much earnest money you pay varies, but it’s typically 1-3% of the sale price of the home. In some areas, earnest money is a fixed amount. You’ll pay earnest money by cashier’s check, personal check, or a wire transfer. Your earnest money will be deposited into an escrow account or by the listing agent. Once the sale of the home is complete, the earnest money you paid will be applied toward your closing costs. If you back out of the sale due to a failed contingency (eg: inspection report), you can recover your earnest money in full. If you back out of the sale for reasons not covered by contingencies, you will forfeit your earnest money. Escrow: Real estate escrow means putting something, such as a deed or money, in the custody of a neutral third party until certain conditions are met, according to the website Realty Times. Escrow or title companies often oversee a real estate transaction, from initial deposit to final funding, to ensure a smooth process. Once the transaction is complete, a loan servicing company may setup an escrow account on behalf of the borrower in which a portion of the borrower’s monthly payment is deposited for property taxes and insurance. Hazard Insurance: Hazard insurance protects a homeowner against the costs of damage from fire, vandalism, smoke and other causes. When you take out a mortgage, the lender will require you to take out hazard insurance to protect their investment; many lenders will incorporate the insurance payment into your monthly mortgage payment.


Pre-Inspection, Buyer Letter and Escalation Clause

recipe for a

winning offer Next Steps

Pre-inspection: A pre-inspection simply means you inspect the home prior to making an offer. The advantage of this approach is that if the home has it’s challenges you can call it out at the time of the offer or decide to waive the inspection which is a huge negotiation point. Also by having the home pre-inspected you can outflank the competition. Once you have the inspection you can waive an inspection contingency which is a positive negotiation point with sellers. Buyer Letter: Home buyers in competitive situations are looking for any advantage that might win them their dream home over a competitor’s offer. Writing personalized home-buyer letters can create an emotional connection with sellers. Showing a clear picture of financial strength, whether through a strong pre-approval letter or proof of cash funding, strengthens a buyer’s image. Often, though, it all comes down to the final price. What a buyer is willing to pay for a home, versus a competing buyer’s offer, will be the deciding factor for the vast majority of sellers. When you’re deciding on what price to offer for a home, the situation may call for a single price or, in some cases, an escalation clause. Escalation Clause: An escalation clause is a real estate contract, sometimes called an escalator, that lets a home buyer say “I will pay x price for this home, but if the seller receives another offer that’s higher than mine, I’m willing to increase my offer to y price.” In theory, an escalation clause is fairly simple. In practice, there are a lot of details involved.


Frequently Asked Questions

How will you tell me about the newest homes available? The Multiple Listing Services Website provides up-to-date information for every home on the market. I constantly check the New on Market list so I can be on the lookout for my clients. I will get you this information right away, in the way that is most convenient for you; by phone and/or email. Will you inform me of homes from all real estate companies or only Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty? I will keep you informed of all homes. I want to help you find your dream home, which means I need to stay on top of every home that’s available on the market. Can you help me find new construction homes? Yes, I can work with most builders and get you the information you need to make a decision. I will accompany you on your first visit with the builder. By using my services with a new construction home purchase, you will receive the services I offer, as well as those provided by the builder, at no additional cost. How does for sale by owner (FSBO) work? Homeowners trying to sell their home without agent representation are usually doing so in the hopes of saving the commission. If you see a FSBO and want the advantages of my services, let me contact the owner for you and make an appointment.The homeowner will often work with an agent, even though their home is not listed, since the agent is introducing a potential buyer to their property. Can we go back through our property again once an offer is made, but before possession? Usually, we can notify the seller and schedule a convenient time to visit the property again. Immediately before the closing, we will schedule a final walk-through and inspection of your new home. Once my offer is accepted, what should I do? Celebrate and focus on moving into your new home! You will want to schedule your move, pack items and notify businesses of your address change. I will provide you with a moving checklist to help you remember all the details. I will also give you a good faith estimate and HUD statement, which will indicate the amount you will need to bring to closing.


Prepare for it

Closing day marks the end of your home-buying process and the beginning of your new life! To make sure your closing goes smoothly, you should bring the following: • A certified check for closing costs and down payment.

ready to

buy your home Closing 101

• Make the check payable to yourself; you will then endorse it to the title company at closing. • An insurance binder and paid receipt • Photo ID’s • Social security numbers • Addresses for the past 10 years

Own it

Transfer of title moves ownership of the property from the seller to you. The two events that make this happen are: • Delivery of the buyers funds | This is the check or wire funds provided by your lender in the amount of the loan • Delivery of the deed | A deed is the document that transfers ownership of real estate. The deed names the seller and buyer, gives a legal description of the property, and contains the notarized signatures of the seller and witnesses. At the end of closing, the deed will be taken and recorded at the county clerk’s office. It will be sent to you after processing.


How can I, as your broker, best serve you? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________


Looking for a new home.

The following pages represent homes that I have selected for your review. The information we discussed about your wants, needs and desires were all taken into account when I chose these homes.

let’s work

together What’s Ahead

In some cases, my clients find their dream home on the first day. In other cases, it takes more time. Rest assured, there is a home out there that is just right for you. We just have to find it. To assist you in the home search journey, I have organized a list of homes and the following information on each: • Photos of the home • The home address • The current asking price • The square footage and property taxes • The number of bedrooms and baths • The age and lot size • Unique features and comments Once we narrow down the list of properties that are of interest, I will: • Provide you with more detailed information about the home • Review the county tax records for tax liens, etc. • Schedule a personal visit to the home • Tour the home with you • Determine how the asking price compares with other homes in the area • Answer any and all questions you may have


Is it time to Sell?

1. Navigate a complicated process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal and avoid delays or costly mistakes. 2. Information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They can also provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer important questions, including will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? And, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell? 3. Help finding the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties. 4. Negotiating skills. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, 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 about which investigations and inspections are recommended or required. 5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property. 6. Someone who speaks the language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s imperative to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language. 7. Experience. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you have done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical. 8. Objective voice. A home is much more than four walls and a roof; it is family rest and security which means that the buying and selling process is often an emotional undertaking. A home is often the largest purchase a person will ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues that pertain to you.


Rent vs. Buy

ready to

Sell your home Listing 101

The rent versus buy notion has long been contemplated by consumers considering purchasing their first homes or a move up buyer who is considering selling their existing home and purchasing a new one. According to Housing and Urban Development, the number of U.S. households who own homes declined by 106,000 compared to the previous year. The number of households renting increased by 1.05 million during the same time period. Is this an opportunity that we can seize upon to educate contemplative would be buyers? Consumers are much more financially conscious than they were prior to the economic recession and require more data and education in making buy decisions.


Notes: _______________________________________

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty Artfully uniting extraordinary homes with extraordinary lives, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is a leading global sales and marketing brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest. The Puget Sound Business Journal recognizes RSIR among the top ten largest brokerages in the region by total dollar volume. The full service real estate firm of 120+ brokers and employees consistently ranks among the top producing within the markets that they serve with branches in downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Kirkland and Issaquah.

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Ranked Among the “Fastest Growing Private Companies” in Washington State - Puget Sound Business Journal 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015

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130 National & Regional awards for sales and marketing excellence

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It’s All About You

My real estate business has been built around one guiding principle: It’s all about you. YOUR NEEDS


We’re a team Getting the Job Done Well

YOUR DREAMS YOUR CONCERNS YOUR QUESTIONS YOUR FINANCES YOUR TIME YOUR LIFE My focus is on your complete satisfaction. In fact, I work to get the job done so well, you will want to tell your friends and associates about it. Maybe that’s why more than 50 percent of my business comes from repeat customers and referrals. I love helping buyers find their dream home. That’s why I work with each client individually, taking the time to understand their unique lifestyles, needs and wishes. This is about more than a certain number of bedrooms or a particular zip code. This is about your life. And it’s important to me.


S EAT T LE | BAI N BRI DGE ISLA ND | KIRKLA ND | ISSAQUA H RSIR.COM Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Seller reserves the right change the product offering without notice.

For the New Home Buyer  
For the New Home Buyer