How To Purchase Your Dream Home In Georgia
Real Estate can be confusing if you do not have professional guidance. There are many similarities in the rules and regulations of purchasing a home from state to state. In many states both Purchaser and Seller have their own attorney in addition to their REALTOR®. Georgia has one closing attorney who represents the lender and handles the entire transaction. Except an ALL CASH transaction and then the attorney represents the Purchaser. The closing attorney will make sure the title is clear for the Purchaser and will issue title insurance, as well as collect and distribute funds according to the contract.
It is crucial to work with a REALTOR® who can guide you through the sometimes mind-boggling transactions. REALTOR®S can assist you to maneuver the purchase, to sign the proper documents correctly and they can help you mitigate your liabilities in the contract.
Essential Steps to Successfully Purchase Your New Home
Pick Your REALTOR®
Selecting the right REALTOR® can be the turning point to a smooth transaction/delightful experience or a nightmare/nerve-racking experience. A professional REALTOR® will have a “dream team” to help you with your transaction. Georgia Elite Realty has a team of educated, successful REALTOR®S with credentials to back it up. They have experience and a track record of success. When hiring a REALTOR®, always ask first if they are a REALTOR®? Second, how many homes have they sold in the last 12 months? What sets them apart from other real estate agents or REALTOR®S? Ask to see testimonials, reviews and actual examples of the REALTOR®’S success stories. Georgia Elite Realty will happily offer a complimentary Buyer Consult before you select your REALTOR®S and begin looking at properties. We want you to work with someone you can know and trust.
Pick Your Loan Officer (LO)
Do not be surprised if you REALTOR® request you meet with a loan officer before showing you homes. Many times Purchasers think they are in better shape than they are financially and can afford more home than they may be able to. It’s essential you know your financial picture before you begin your home search.
A good loan officer has the buyer’s best interest at heart and will help line up the financing for the home of your dreams. Local professionals that have in-house underwriting is what we recommend. Georgia Elite has an in-house loan officer to help you every step of the way. We are a one-stop-shop and make sure our clients have the best representation available in all areas of the transaction.
A REALTOR® Can Offer A Team of Pros To Help With Your Purchase.
It is essential you work with a team of Pro’s and the Pro’s needed can vary from house to house. A professional REALTOR® will have a team in place of home inspectors, contractors, plumbers, roofers, electrician, surveyor, home warranty company, pool inspector any professional needed to make sure you can make an excellent decision on your home purchase. Georgia Elite Realty has a complete list professional with a track record of success. All of our Professional Service Contractor are vetted, and our team has had past good experiences with their service, and we believe they will provide the best service possible.
Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved
Your loan officer does not approve your loan. Your loan officer can give you a letter that is called a Pre-Qualification letter. However, this letter is primarily telling the Seller that the loan officer did a quick review of your credit and unverified financials on an application and said it looks good. There is a real difference. Pre-Approval requires submitting loan documents, verifying income, and having the file reviewed by an underwriter. (The Underwriter is the professional that approves or denies your loan.) When you find your dream home, and you are ready to make an offer a “Pre-Approval Letter” puts you in a much stronger position. When negotiating or competing against multiple buyers for the same home a Pre-Approval Letter will carry more weight.
Note: Your loan officer is your guide, she/he makes sure you are prepared and know what to expect. The loan officer is gathering the information needed for your loan approval, She/He, does not approve your loan. It is important that when your loan officer request documents from you; you supply it promptly. Your timely submission of the loan officer’s request can make or break your approval process and can clear the way to close on time or not.
If you select a lender that is unable to qualify you, don’t give up. If one lender is unable to approve you, then another may be able to. Do not worry about having multiple lenders pull your credit. If your credit has various inquiries by multiple lenders within a 30-day time frame, then multiple credit inquiries will be treated as one. Credit rating agencies allow buyers to shop their loan.
Georgia Elite Realty has an in-house lender to serve their client's needs. ACOPIA HOME LOANS is our preferred partner. If you need immediate assistance, please call Rhonda Crow @ 404-992-5626.
Find The Right Home
Once you have spent time with your Loan Officer and know what your financial situation is and what value home you can purchase then its time for our Georgia Elite Professionals to guide you through finding your dream home. Our REALTORS® will work with you to determine your wants and needs and to guide you through the difference. When purchasing home buyers find out quickly that they might not be able to locate “everything” they desire in one home. However, our team can help you determine what is important to you by an exercise in “wants” vs. “needs.” Our qualified professionals will select homes according to the purchaser's preference and schedule showings for the buyer of homes that fit their criteria. Our agents possess the tools necessary to immediately alert the buyer of properties that match their preferences the moment a property is listed, Georgia Elite REALTOR®S have the edge over many other real estate agents in the market.
Once our clients have found the right home, our REALTOR®S will guide the buyer through the process of writing an offer, handling correspondence and negotiating the best purchase price possible. They will be available to answer questions and help the buyer make the best decisions at their comfort level. Once the REALTOR® has worked out a win-win for all parties and have come to terms, everyone can work with the REALTOR® will request earnest money from the purchaser. Note: Earnest money is the money given by the buyer to the seller to show good-faith.
Earnest money is refundable if all the conditions of the contract are met or if the refund is requested during the “due diligence period” stated in the contract. Your REALTOR® will explain the terms under which the purchaser may terminate the agreement and receive a full refund of their earnest money.
Note: If all terms and conditions are not met, including time is of the essence. Then the earnest money can be lost to the Seller. Time means something in a real estate transaction so pay attention to time and due dates in your contract. Ask your REALTOR® to explain “time is of the essence” to you.
Due Diligence Period (ALL Inspections)
Due Diligence is the period set out in the contract for the purchaser to look at “everything” that is important to that purchaser. Home inspection, appraisal, survey schools, neighborhood, church, any and ALL information or investigation that is important to the purchaser. Due Diligence “ period” is negotiable. It is essential you let your REALTOR® know the inspections, information, and investigations that are important to you. Your requirement will determine how much time you will need.
Due Diligence in a contract begins the day after the binding agreement date. All days are calendar days, not business days. Example: If the purchaser signs the contact and it becomes binding on July 1, then due diligence starts July 2. Time is of the essence and time in a real estate contract can cost you. Due Diligence ends the last day of the agreed upon period at 12 midnight.
In Georgia, it is “caveat emptor,” “Let the buyer beware.” Therefore it is the buyer's responsibility to seek advice from professionals. The survey, Home Inspector, Schools, Area, Geography, Churches, Demographics, whatever is critical to the buyer, this is the time to find out. It is the buyer's responsibility to know everything about the property they are about to purchase. Your REALTOR® can be invaluable at this point in your transaction.
Note: We recommend that even though it's not required, by your mortgage company to get loan approval; we urge everyone who wants to purchase a home to get a SURVEY.
Your REALTOR® is invaluable for many reasons. Once the inspection period is complete and if the inspection reveals significant faults, the purchaser truly needs a professional. Why? At this point, your REALTOR® can negotiate on your behalf to repair items that are not to your liking on the inspection report. REALTOR®S have the knowledge necessary to help you navigate this uncomfortable situation and can help both parties work through to a win-win for everyone. The point is to help you purchase your dream home, and a professional REALTOR® can be the difference between having to terminate the contract or getting you to closing.
REALTOR® Guidance To Closing
After your Georgia Elite REALTOR® has guided you through the inspection process, it’s time for the lender to order the appraisal, buyer pays for the appraisal. Your loan amount will be based on the appraised value of the home. Here is another critical point where your REALTOR® becomes invaluable. A Georgia Elite REALTOR® can be essential should an appraisal hit a challenging spot. Their knowledge can help you make some tough decisions more manageable. Appraisals have been the make or break in many a transaction. However, should your appraisal come in just as it should your REALTOR® is still by your side, and you will need her/him. Hopefully, you have been diligent in getting all your documents to the loan officer, however, if you have not your REALTOR® will play a key role in helping you finalize all that you need and get your file to the underwriter for a “Clear to Close.” Once you have cleared all the hurdles, the loan officer will work with the closing attorney to prepare the documents for closing.
Note: DO NOT PURCHASE ANYTHING during this process. Many buyers think they are approved and ready to close, and in their excitement they make purchases preparing for their new home. STOP!!! DON’T. The lender will pull your credit again before closing, and if you make any significant purchases or open new lines of credit, you may not be closing after all. Don’t spend any money until AFTER closing. By making a purchase, you can change your debt-to-income ratio and impact your ability to obtain a loan, even after you're clear to close has been issued.
The lender is required to provide you a copy of the “Closing Disclosure” three days ahead of time. This document discloses all monies that will be paid by the purchaser and seller at the closing table. Your REALTOR® will help you review this document and make sure it is correct, and you are ready to close.
Your loan is clear to close; the attorney has completed the title work, it’s clear, and the documents are ready for closing, all that’s left is your signature, and the home is yours! No, your REALTOR® will guide you. Before closing, the purchaser will receive wiring instructions from the closing attorney. It is best practice for the purchaser to call the attorney to make sure the wiring instructions are correct and what other options the Attorney might have for making sure your funds available at closing.
You will be required to bring two forms of ID to closing.
Always be prepared. Make sure you know the location of the closing attorneys office, often closing attorneys have more than one office. Call ahead and verify, then relax and enjoy.