RELOCATION GUIDE WELCOME TO THE SPRINGFIELD
(417) 575-1291 team-thomas.com
A GUIDE FOR YOUR MOVE AND RELOCATION arvest.com
Team Thomas & Murney Associates Realtors Presents: Your Homebuying Guide CONGRATULATIONS! The decision to buy your own home is an exciting one. The experience should be enjoyable as well as get you the perfect home with the least amount of hassle. Team Thomas is devoted to using our expertise to make your transaction successful! Purchasing a home is a very important decision. As your realtors, we would like to help you with honest, accurate information so you can make well-informed decisions regarding the purchase of your home. This booklet will give you an idea of why you need to hire your own personal realtor and what to expect during the search for a home and a complete checklist of things to expect after the contract is signed by both parties. Please keep this booklet during all house hunting related activities: meetings, house hunting trips, etc. Use it to take notes and to keep track of deadlines. You can even staple cards to relevant pages to keep related materials together. Making this transaction as easy as possible for you is our job. We are happy to serve all your real estate needs!
Team Thomas Murney Associates Realtors 1625 E Primrose SpringďŹ eld, MO 65804 (417) 575-1291 FAX: (417) 823-8740 www.team-thomas.com
Glossary of Real Estate Brokerage Relationships In Missouri, Real Estate brokers and their salespersons are required to disclose the type of working relationship they have with the buyers in a real estate transaction. There are several types of relationships that are available to you. You should understand these at the time a broker provides specific assistance to you in buying real estate. Buyer’s Agent and Seller’s Agent relationships are commonly referred to as “agency” relationships and carry with them legal duties and responsibilities for the broker as well as for the buyer and seller. Buyer’s Agent A buyer’s Agent acts solely on behalf of the buyer and owes duties to the buyer which include the utmost good faith, loyalty, and fidelity. The agent will negotiate on behalf of, and act as an advocate for; the buyer. The buyer is legally responsible for the actions of the agent when that agent is acting within the scope of the agency. The agent must disclose to sellers all adverse material facts concerning the buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of the transaction and whether the buyer intends to occupy the property. A separate written buyer’s agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the parties. Seller’s Agent A Seller’s Agent acts solely on behalf of the seller and owes duties to the seller which include the utmost good faith, loyalty, and fidelity. The agent will negotiate on behalf of, and act as an advocate for; the seller. The seller is legally responsible for the actions of the agent when that agent is acting within the scope of the agency. The agent must disclose to buyers or tenants all adverse material facts about the property known by the broker. A separate written agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the parties. Regardless of the type of agency, remember Realtors are not lawyers, plumbers, home inspectors, etc. If you have any questions regarding legal issues of the contract please consult an attorney. If you have any questions or concerns about the property your are purchasing in regards to any potential defects in the property please seek a qualified expert in the area of concern.
THE ADVANTAGES OF A BUYER’S AGENCY AGREEMENT
Your Interests Are Professionally Represented Enlisting the services of a professional Buyer’s Agent is similar to using an accountant to help you with your taxes, a doctor to help you with your health care or a mechanic to help you with your car. So the ﬁrst advantage is pretty obvious. If you had the time to devote to learning all you need to know about accounting, medicine and automotive mechanics, you could do these services yourself. But who has the time? You probably already have a full-time career to which you are committed. This is why you allow other professionals to help you in speciﬁc areas of expertise. Randy Thomas has devoted his time to perfecting his career in real estate service. Continuous education, market research and vast experience are combined with an excellent team of real estate professionals to ﬁnd you the perfect home quickly. We will take care of all the hassles of every day real estate transactions for you. We let you concentrate on your full-time job, while we do ours. We will guide you through the home buying process and exclusively represent your interests as we help you ﬁnd a home, present your contract offer, negotiate and close.
You Will Get A Great Home Quickly And Conveniently The advantage to signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement with Randy Thomas is that you will have a professional working to ﬁnd and secure the perfect home for you exactly when you need it. It is nearly impossible to ﬁnd a home that meets your needs, get a contract negotiated and close the transaction without an experienced agent. Randy Thomas has vast computer networks to make sure you only tour homes that meet your speciﬁc needs. You won’t need to spend endless evenings and weekends driving around looking for homes for sale or trying to search computer networks yourself. When you tour homes with your professional Buyer’s Agent, you will already know that the homes meet your criteria for bedrooms, bathrooms, garage space, square footage, neighborhood, etc. Also, your Agent will ensure you are looking at homes that are in your price range.
You Get A Personal Specialist Who Knows Your Needs Just as your accountant, doctor and mechanic get to know your needs through a steady relationship, your Buyer’s Agent gets to know your real estate needs and concerns. This type of relationship is built by open communication at all times and by touring homes with your Agent so we get a good idea of your feedback and concerns about each home. If you try to jump from agent to agent, you will not receive the best real estate services possible and you will be violating your agreement to your agent. Let your Buyer’s Agent do the work for you.
What Is The Buyer’s Agency Agreement Entering into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement has countless advantages and no disadvantages. When you sign the agreement, you are simply agreeing to “hire” a personal representative who, by law, must represent your best interests to the best of their ability. All of this personal service is available at absolutely no cost to you. The Seller’s Agent is responsible for paying your Buyer’s Agent fee. With Team Thomas, you get a professional devoted to protecting your needs to help you make one of the most important investment decisions of your life and you don’t even have to pay the fee.
FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING & EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
The Law – Civil Rights Act of 1886 The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits any racial discrimination in the sale or rental of residential real property, regardless of how many properties a person owns or whether or not there is a licensed agent involved. There are no exceptions to this law.
Fair Housing Act The Federal Fair Housing Act establishes a nationwide policy of fair housing. The law makes discrimination in the sale or lease of real property because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap and familial status illegal.
Americans With Disabilities Act Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination of disabled individuals in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities. Federally protected disabilities include but are not limited to: walking impairments, cancer, heart disease, MS, hearing impairments, those who have successfully completed a drug rehab program and have not returned to misuse, mental illness, AIDS, HIV, diabetes and visually impaired individuals.
Responsibilities The home seller, home seeker and the professional all have rights under the Federal Fair Housing Law. All home sellers and real estate professionals must be assured that all property is marketed and made available without discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap and familial status.
For more information, please visit www.hud.org or www.fairhousing.com. Even as a Buyer’s Agent, Realtors can not answer questions regarding the make up of neighborhoods in regards to any of the protected classes including, “does this neighborhood have a lot of kids because we want our kids to have others to play with.” Realtors are not neighborhood composition experts and this information is constantly changing. In regards to crime issues in any given neighborhood there are websites available but for the latest information, please contact the local authorities. As a buyer, you should expect the housing will be make available to you without discrimination of the seven protected classes. Your rights include all housing in your price range made available to you, an opportunity to consider a broad range of housing, no discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing, reasonable accommodations for disabilities and to feel free from threats or interference with your Fair Housing Rights and no discrimination terms or conditions for the sale or rental of real property.
REAL ESTATE AGENT VS. REAL ESTATE CONSULTANT
YOU DECIDE! A real estate agent goes out and assumes he knows what it is you need in your next home simply by asking one question, “How much can you afford?” Then he throws you in a car and shows you dozens of homes he assumes you want to see, never really spending any time with you up front uncovering exactly what it is you’re needing in your next home. This is a reactive decision. As real estate consultants on the other hand, we will spend a lot of time asking questions on the front end so you’re not out wasting time looking for things that don’t ﬁt your needs. Before beginning your home search during our ﬁrst appointment we will allow you to come into the ofﬁce and let you deﬁne exactly what it is you are needing for your next home. And then together we can go out and make an intelligent, informed decision based on the criteria you have established. This is a proactive approach to buying a home and it leads to a proactive decision.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US
WHAT WE EXPECT FROM YOU
To Be Punctual
To Be Loyal
To Find The Best Homes
To Make An Appointment To
To Be Loyal
See The Property
To Be Honest
To Be Honest
To Respect Your Time
To Be Motivated To Buy
To Listen To You
To Be Sincere
To Negotiate The Best Price
To Respect Our Time
To Be A Consultant
To Obtain Pre-Approval From A Lender
To Relay Information In A Timely Manner
To Respect Our Opinion
To Work Together As a Team
STEP BY STEP – THE BUYING PROCESS
Find A Realtor You Can Trust The ﬁrst step in the home buying process is to ﬁnd an experienced Realtor that you can trust and sign a Buyer’s Agent Agreement. This guarantees, the by the laws of the state, that your needs are met professionally and represented throughout the entire process of buying your home.
Pre-Qualifying For A Loan This is the second and most important step and the one that gets skipped the most. Imagine we skip this step, ﬁnd the home of your dreams and then ﬁnd out that the home is just slightly out of your price range or that you need to do an FHA loan and you’ve been looking at homes that won’t sell FHA. This step is critically important because it ensures you that we are looking in the appropriate price range and that we won’t have to change ﬁnancing terms midstream which could delay closing or be a deal killer. You will need to obtain a Good Faith Estimate, a pre-approval letter and a list of any terms, which need to be written into the contract such as seller to pay your closing costs, etc.
Looking For A Home The next step is to look at various homes. Team Thomas is available to help you ﬁnd your dream home. We can show you any home with a sign in the yard, even FSBOs. If you need any information about any property, please contact us so that we are able to represent you as your buyer’s agent on the home of your choice.
Your Offer Be careful, this is a big step. When you ﬁnd your dream home, you should present a competitive offer immediately. Team Thomas has extensive experience in contract negotiations. They will ensure you get just what you want for a fair price, a transaction in your best interest. When it is possible it is best that this portion of the process be done at the ofﬁce, as there are many forms that you will need a copy of which are not made with carbon copies.
The Contract When the seller accepts your offer, you go under contract. You want to make sure every detail is handled accurately and immediately. With your cooperation, Team Thomas will ensure your home closes properly and on time.
Inspections Final details are handled and inspections are performed to ensure the property is “perfect” for you. Contract details are further negotiated and we head to closing.
Now It Is Yours The ﬁnal step will be into your new home. Be prepared to bring your cashier’s check to the closing procedure. The next steps you will take will be over the threshold of your new home!
CHOOSING A LENDER, HOME INSPECTOR, ETC.
As if the home buying process isn’t confusing enough. You have to choose a realtor, a lender, and a home inspector, meanwhile trying to decide which house will make the best home for you. Often times buyers ask who I’ve used in the past. So here goes, over the past ﬁve years, I have had the opportunity to meet some great people who I have in turn used for my own personal real estate needs. The following list is simply a list of people who in the past have taken great strides to make transactions work and saved deals for me where others would have simply let them go. I found that these people will do their best to make the home buying process as stress free as possible and are people that I now work with on a regular basis. You are not obligated to use anyone on this list and it’s only a resource of a few service providers, not recommendations. You are free to choose anyone you wish.
Home Inspectors This is a short list of available Home Inspectors in the Springﬁeld area. This list is provided as a service only. Sure Look Home Inspectors
A-Pro Home Inspection
Comprehensive Home Inspectors (417) 887-7001 Steve Niewlad
LOAN APPLICATION CHECKLIST
General: Picture ID with Social Security number of borrower and co-borrowers. Payment to cover the application fee. Name and complete address of all landlords for the past two years.
Income: Employment history for the past two years including names, addresses, phone number and length of time with company. Copies of your most recent pay stubs and W-2 forms (past two years). Veriﬁcation of other income (Social Security, child support, retirement). If self-employed, you need copies of the past two years signed tax returns including all schedules and a signed proﬁt and loss statement of the current year. Retirees needs tax returns for the past two years. If you have rental property income, bring a copy of all lease agreements.
Assets: Copies of all bank and credit union statements for the past three months. Copies of all stock/bond certiﬁcates and/or the past three statements from all investment and retirement accounts. Prepare a list of household items and their values. Copies of title documents for all automobiles, boats, motorcycles, etc. Face amount, monthly premiums and cash values of all life insurance policies. (Cash value may be used for closing costs or down payments. You need documentation for the carrier indicating cash value).
Creditors: Credit cards (account numbers, current balances and monthly payments). Installment loans (car, student, etc.). Same details as for credit cards. Mortgage loans (property address, lender with address, account numbers, monthly payment and balance owed on all properties presently owned or sold within the last two years). Bring proof of sale of properties sold. Childcare expense/support (name, address, phone number).
Other: Bankruptcy – bring discharge and schedule of creditors. Adverse credit – bring letters of explanation. Divorce – bring divorce decrees, property settlements, quite claim deeds, modiﬁcations, etc., for all divorces by yourself or your spouse. VA only – bring Form DD214 and Certiﬁcate of Eligibility. Retirees – bring retirement and/or Social Security award letter. (Required Items May Vary By Lender)
MAKING AN OFFER – THINGS TO CONSIDER
Before making an offer, we need to evaluate the following: 1. Is the home priced within an acceptable range of the comparable homes in the neighborhood? 2. How long has the home been on the market? 3. What are the seller’s motivating factors? 4. How much do they owe on the home? 5. How long have they owned the home? 6. What is the average list to sales price in the neighborhood? The ﬁrst step in making an offer is to ﬁnd out if the home is priced comparatively to other homes that have sold in the neighborhood. We will ﬁrst look for comps in the neighborhood with the same legal description. If there aren’t any there, we will move on to a 1⁄2 mile radius. At a maximum, we typically have to ﬁnd comps that are in the same school district because the value of homes greatly varies according to school district. Next we need to look at how long the home has been on the market. A good sign that a home is overpriced is if it has been on the market longer than 90-120 days. The average selling time of a home in Springﬁeld is around 77 days. We will analyze how quickly other homes in the neighborhood have sold. If the home of your choice far exceeds the average than we have grounds to write a lower offer. Seller’s motivating factors are not always disclosed. We can do our best to try and ﬁnd them out but often times, their motivating factors are conﬁdential information, which is protected by Missouri State Law. Most of the time, these factors are things sellers would rather keep to themselves so that their negotiating position is not damaged. How long they have owned the home is disclosed on the seller’s disclosure. This may be a good indicating factor for what the sellers may be able to take for their home. We can often pull the loan information from the Recorder of Deeds if the home is located in Greene County which will also give us some indication about what the seller may possibly be able to sell their home for. When a home is listed, the listing agent will look at the comps and try to price the home accordingly. They also typically look at the average list to sales price in the neighborhood to see how much they can “mark up” the price of the home. In other words, we need to look at the average list to sales price in the neighborhood and that will give us a pretty good guess as to what the seller is expecting to sell their home for. I will provide you with all the information that I can to help you make your offer one that will be accepted. I will write a contract for whatever you choose because that’s what you’ve hired me to do. Just keep in mind the average list to sales price in the Springﬁeld area is 97%. It is not typical for someone to take much less than that (a home that is listed for $150,000 will not realistically sell for $125,000). For the most part, you will want to look at homes that are listed within 3% of the price you are qualiﬁed for.
LET’S ADHERE TO “THE PLAN” TO SECURE YOUR DREAM HOME QUICKLY
A successful real estate transaction hinges on numerous details involving deadlines that must be met so that you can move into your dream home as soon as possible. To Do:
Date Completed: Contract signed by both parties Seller’s disclosure must be signed Set inspection date and time
(This needs to be within 1-7 days of contract date)
(This should be done 1-5 days after contract is signed. Application fee is due at this time.)
Obtain written opinion letter from lender
(Needs to state that they believe loan will be made subject to employment and credit veriﬁcations and satisfactory appraisal. Due seven days after contract is signed.)
Written notice due, all items from the inspection that you wish to be repaired (Due 10 days after contract is signed) Negotiation of inspection repair items complete Insurance
(You are required to arrange for insurance coverage and to inform your mortgage company of your agent’s name and phone number.)
Loan approval Walk thru Obtain cashier’s check for closing
(Ideally we have a settlement statement the day prior to closing. However, there are terms due to high volume with the lender and/or title companies that this happens just minute’s prior to closing. Stay calm. We’ll work it out!
Please note: During the loan and home-buying process, you will be asked to supply documentation, respond to phone calls requesting information, schedule dates into your calendar, etc. Please respond quickly to these requests so that your transaction does not encounter problems.
SURVEY OF HOME REQUIREMENTS AND NEEDS
Please check the following information that applies to your needs and wants. A need is a mandatory item and a want is something you would like to have but is not a determining factor. Please place an N if it applies to needs. Please a W for wants. Please ﬁll in any blank lines with the information that applies to your requirements. N=NEEDS
5 or more bedrooms
more than 2 bathrooms
separate shower in master bedroom
split bedroom plan
1 car garage
more than 2 living areas
2 car garage
central heat & air
city water and sewer
approximate square feet range
area or subdivision
age of home
How soon o you plan to move?
Do you have a home you need to sell ﬁrst?
Have you arranged for ﬁnancing?
Are you considering new homes?
Any other requests for your new home, please write below or on back.
5-6 paying cash
IMPORTANT AREA PHONE NUMBERS
Springﬁeld area code is (417)
City Numbers and Ofﬁces
Springﬁeld City utilities: 831-8300
City of Springﬁeld: 864-1000 Visitor’s Bureau: 881-5300
Ozark Electric: 800-206-2300
Time and Temperature: 882-1111
Ozark: Gas 800-582-1234
Greene County Courthouse: 868-4060
Ozark: Water, sewer, trash: 581-2744
Schools Nixa: Gas: 800-582-1234
Springﬁeld Public Schools: 864-3800
Nixa: Electric, water, sewer, trash: 725-3229
Medical Battleﬁeld: Electric 725-5160
Battleﬁeld: Gas 831-8300
St. Johns: 885-2000
Battleﬁeld: Water 883-5840
Physician Referral Service: 836-3550
Republic: Electric 800-206-2300
Republic: Gas 800-446-7409
Mediacom Cable TV: 875-5500
Republic: Water 732-2611
Springﬁeld News-Leader: 836-1100 Transit Service: 831-8782
Chamber of Commerce
SW Bell Telephone: 800-246-4999
Lawyer Referral Service: 831-2783
Ozark: 581-6139 Nixa: 725-1545 Willard: 888-1031