Buying Austin, Texas Homes
Buyers Representation And The Purchase Process
We work in partnership with you to find your Austin, Texas home, with a Buyer’s Representation Agreement, a written document which we both sign, agreeing to work with each other for a prescribed period of time, during which we pledge to give you our best efforts in finding the right Central Texas property. Our Austin Realtors® provide counseling and guidance throughout the entire process.
Through years of training and experience, Carol Dochen, Realtors is able to offer luxury home buyers a level of expertise, uncompromising service, and sophistication in purchasing premier properties. Carol Dochen is a proud member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, and through this network of top-producing Realtors® is able to provide an unparalleled level of service.
Getting Started: Pre-Qualifying for the Austin Mortgage
The first step in the buying process is to determine the price you want to spend and can comfortably afford. We can direct you to a lender if you are borrowing money for the purchase. The financial officer will help establish the price range in which we need to focus our house-hunting efforts. You will receive a pre-approval letter stating that the lender will give you a mortgage up to a certain amount if you and the property meet all of the lender’s qualifications.
We will present the pre-qualifying letter to the Realtor® and owner of the house you wish to purchase during the contract negotiation, demonstrating your ability to purchase the house. The letter gives the other party reassurance that you have the ability to close on the property at the price presented.
That is why we recommend this initial step before you get too involved with the housing search.
Your Austin, Texas Home Selection Process
Next, we need to define the specific property details for which you are searching. We begin with a conversation with you to discuss your decisions to buy and your parameters, which may include the price you want to pay, the approximate size and location of the property, proximity to your job, and/or a neighborhood with good schools. We will look at maps and study areas to target your desired location. After we identify the best properties for you, we will start touring those homes and look for the ones that best match your criteria.
Once we start the search process, we don’t stop until we find YOUR home. If we’ve done a good job listening to you and understanding what you are seeking in a home or investment property, you may find the right home during the first or second time we look. Or we may go out several times and possibly make some adjustments to your requirements.
Your home search is based mostly on three main criteria. First is price. You want to find a home in your price range. Second is location. You want to find a home in the area you like, close to the places you frequent or close to your employment. If you are purchasing investment property, you want an area that renters desire. Third is the physical structure: its condition, size, age, and features.
Included in our home searches will be resale homes in existing subdivisions and if your targeted neighborhoods include areas of new homes and developments, we will look at those as well. We can sell you any property including foreclosures and homes which are for sale by owner.
New home subdivisions often offer a variety of builders, floor plans and prices. You can often customize a new home with your own decorating. Buying a new home can be very exciting, and sometimes time-consuming. We will be there throughout the process, helping you select lighting, hardware, doors, etc.
We Found the House!
When we find the right home, we perform a market analysis for you to determine an appropriate offering price. The analysis will show the market activity for properties similar to the one in which you are interested. The study indicates whether the seller’s asking price is reasonable and it identifies a range of pricing within which a reasonable offer can be made. Even new home-builder’s printed pricing schedules can be a bit negotiable.
If the house is a resale, we will examine the Seller’s Disclosure Notice, a legally required disclosure filled out by the seller informing you of all KNOWN defects and items not functioning. The disclosure may or may not reveal items that affect your offer price. We will review it with you and discuss anything noteworthy.
Writing and Negotiating the Contract
Preparing the contract offer is an art, which we have developed and practiced for years. We will write an offer for an amount that you and we feel is appropriate based on the market analysis, age, visible condition of the home, and other factors. We write offers that merit serious consideration, while trying to get you the lowest price possible. Sometimes you may be interested in a home that others like as well, which could culminate in a bidding war. The sales price, in this case, can end up being higher than the original asking price! A typical contract includes a closing date of 30-45 days from the date the contract is negotiated.
We ask the seller to respond to our offer within 24 hours of its receipt and the seller will do one of three things with your offer. It may be accepted as is-with no change; it may be rejected; or it may be responded to with a counter-offer. You may in turn accept, reject or respond to the counter-offer. This process will usually but not always result in an eventual agreement.
Contract Accepted-Option Period
Once the contract has been agreed upon by everyone, we enter the next phase, called the “Option Period”. Usually there will be a 7-10 days period, during which time you should complete all inspections and any other related due diligence to determine whether you wish to purchase the home. We will review the inspection report then to determine if there are items of concern.
You have three choices prior to the end of the option period. 1) You can cancel the purchase and forfeit the option fee to the seller-in which case we start looking for another home. 2) You can determine that the home checked out fine and – in which case the agreement moves forward. 3) Your inspection might reveal conditions that need to be corrected before or after the closing. You may ask the seller to pay for such repairs during this option period.
Every deal is different. Our role is to negotiate on your behalf so that you have the best chance of paying a price that reflects not only the current real estate market but also the current condition of the property. Once we have agreement on repairs, we move on to the pre-closing phase, or cancel the contract and begin looking for another property.
During this 30-day time period, we will assist in obtaining an appraisal for the home mortgage, arranging for home owner’s insurance, acquiring a survey if needed, and arranging for utility services, movers, etc.
We work closely with your lender to make sure all required documents are provided and that all questions have been satisfied. During this phase we recommend not taking on any new debt. If you are purchasing investment property, this is also the stage where we can introduce you to a property manager.
We will finalize the funds needed for closing and help you facilitate getting the electronic wire or cashier’s check from your bank to the title company ahead of time. No personal checks or cash can be used for the purchase.
Funding of the transaction usually occurs within 4-6 hours after closing. This means you don’t actually become the owner immediately. Don’t order the movers for the same day as closing unless instructed.
We will review the settlement or closing statement (HUD 1) with you and make sure all things are in place for a smooth transition. The closing takes about 1-1/2 hours and is conducted at a title company. You can expect to get your house keys a few hours after the closing.
You Are the Proud New Homeowners!
Now you are the proud new owners of your home! Our sincere hope is that your experience working with us has been enjoyable! We would love to hear from you often!
We are here to help you arrange for improvements or repairs to your new home and have lists of established contractors for all the tasks you need done including electrical, painting, masonry, plumbing, wall paper and more. We can also help you establish utility service, house cleaning, school enrollment, finding the right doctor, dentist or financial planner! Call on us long after the sale!
If you have questions about Austin real estate, taxes, or have friends or family who need help, call us!