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Home > Buying / Selling > Buyer's Guide
Buyer's Guide

The first step on the road to home ownership is deciding to buy. Why do you want to buy a house? How long do you want to live there? Can you afford the house that you need or want? Once youˇ¦ve answered these questions, IMAX Realty & Mortgage can provide you with the professional guidance that will make purchasing a home an exciting, stress-free process.

Prequalification for a Loan

Explore your options. A wide range of mortgage plans and rates are available. Your IMAX Realtor will be able to help you to select the best mortgage program for you.

We will be able to pre-qualify you for a loan before you start shopping for a home. This means that your IMAX Realtor will provide a letter stating that you will be approved for a loan up to a certain amount.

Being pre-qualified will help you...

  • Determine the price range you can. This saves you timeˇXyou start your search looking at houses you are pre-qualified to buy
  • Understand the types of loans you qualify for
  • Make negotiating easier. Sellers will feel more comfortable dealing with buyers who are already qualified for a mortgage loan
  • Determine what your monthly payment will be afford (a good rule of thumb: your payment should not exceed a third of your monthly net income)
  • Estimate your down payment (typically 10ˇV20 percent but variable depending on your credit rating and other conditions) and closing costs
  • Speed up the closing process

Determine What You Want and Need

Your IMAX Realtor will meet with you and discuss why you want to buy a house. He or she will ask you what sort of property youˇ¦re looking forˇX location, number of bedrooms and baths, minimum square footage, minimum lot size, necessary garage space, storage requirements, etc. Youˇ¦ll discuss your plans for the future and how you want your new house to grow with you. Youˇ¦ll discuss neighborhoods, schools, and various factors that may affect the market. Detailed information about your wants and needs will be invaluable to us. We want to help you find the property of your dreams.

Searching for and Viewing Properties

Based on criteria you choose, your IMAX Realtor will start the search for your ideal home. He or she will utilize an in-depth knowledge of the community, contacts and connections, and professional resources to search out available properties that meet your needs. IMAX Realtyˇ¦s expert understanding of the local market is crucial to this search.

When possible, your Realtor will preview appropriate properties to determine how suitable they are, saving you time and effort. Your Realtor will then schedule appointments for you to tour the best homes at your convenience. Of course, if you find a property that interests you on the Internet or through your own research, tell your IMAX Realtor, and weˇ¦ll arrange a showing.

As you tour homes, your IMAX Realtor will point out each propertyˇ¦s positive and negative features and ask you what you like and don't like. During your search, your list of whatˇ¦s important and whatˇ¦s not important may change. Based on this, weˇ¦ll narrow the search and hone in on the house of your dreams.

Making an Offer and Negotiating

Once you have found the home you want, your IMAX Realtor will utilize his or her professional training to help you structure your offer. He or she will research comparable properties to determine fair market value. He or she will let you know if an asking price is negotiable or if a house is "priced to sell." And your broker will inform you when the market is "hot" and requires immediate action or when the market is "cool" and allows for thoughtful consideration.

Your IMAX Realtor will compose your offer (including a price and terms and conditions you deem satisfactory), present the offer to the listing broker, and negotiate on your behalf. The seller may present a counteroffer. Your Realtor will discuss the counteroffer with you and help you decide whether to accept it, submit another counteroffer, or reject the counteroffer and move on.

If your offer is accepted, your IMAX Realtor will draft your purchase agreement and advise you of protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. He or she will help you coordinate the completion of contingencies, including

  • Preliminary title report approval
  • Property appraisal
  • Loan approval
  • Property inspections
  • Pest inspection and certification
  • Obtaining homeowner's insurance

An offer is normally presented with "earnest money"ˇXcash given to a seller to secure your offer on the property that is applied to your closing costs. This money is held ˇ§in escrowˇ¨ˇXby a neutral third party that will receive, hold, and distribute all funds associated with your transaction.

Obtaining Financing

Once the purchase agreement has been accepted and signed, apply for your mortgage loan (being pre-qualified will make this process quicker). Your IMAX Realtor will obtain an appraisal for the property and complete several other steps to approve your loan.

Closing and Moving

Closing will most likely be held 30 to 60 days after you make your offer. When you have secured financing and all of the conditions of the purchase agreement have been met, you will sign your loan documents and closing papers. You deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs to escrow. The deed is recorded at the county recorder's office, and you own your new home! Congratulations!

Now itˇ¦s time to move in and start making your new house a home. IMAX Realty is a valuable source of helpful moving tips. We can even provide you with a checklist to help plan and coordinate, making your moving day a pleasure.

Pre-Qualification Calculator
Use this caculator to check for the loan amount that you may pre-qualify and one that you can afford!

Mortgage Calculator
Use this caculator to see how much you have to pay for a month on a mortgage

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