Buyer Tips

Finding & Buying

Finding and buying the right home is a highly personalized process, and it all begins by identifying your needs:

  • Where you want to live. Do you want to be close to schools, shopping, work?
  • The features you are looking for in a home.
  • How a neighborhood can best match your needs and lifestyle.
  • How price range of house you can you afford.
  • How the homefinding process will need to be tailored to fit your plans.
  • The support you expect to receive from your REALTOR.

Here are a few tips to help you get organized:

  • Pull a credit report on yourself and make sure the information is accurate. If you find any errors take steps to correct them immediately.
  • Browse through this website. This will give you a good feel for the types of homes that are on the market and what they cost.
  • Visit open houses on the weekend. It doesn't cost anything to look, and looking at a few different homes might give you some ideas for things you'd like in a house but haven't considered.
  • Start saving money - you'll need to have cash on hand for a down payment and closing costs.
  • Don't incure any additional debt. Pay down your credit cards - and don't apply for any new ones. Don't make any major purchases on credit - buy the furniture or car later.
  • Contact a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty® sales professional. Your REALTOR® can help you get started by determining how much you can afford and guiding you through the entire home finding process.

Contact Us
Find a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty sales professional

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Why should I work with a Realtor®?

A REALTOR® is both licensed by the state AND a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). All NAR members subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics in addition to state law. Real Estate Agents, on the other hand, although also licensed by the state, are not bound by the NAR Code of Ethics.

  • In practice, a REALTOR® makes your life easier by - helping you analyze your financial situation - what you can afford; how to preview and repair credit; presenting your case to a Lender; etc.
  • REALTOR® explains the PROCESS to you. Buying your dream home involves lots of details - REALTORS® have been there and can prepare you for it.
  • A REALTOR® accesses info on listings fitting your needs - many you may not be aware of.
  • A REALTOR® previews lots of listings, eliminating the losers, and connecting you to the cream of the crop. What would take months on your own is done for you in a timely and cost-effective manner (usually NO cost to you). Result - you get to your new home before it's SOLD.
  • A REALTOR® sets up appointments for you handling all the paperwork when you find a home you want to buy and take off the market (Agreements of Sale, Addendums, Disclosures, Inspection forms, Cost sheets, Title insurance, Hazard insurance, and MUCH MORE)
  • A REALTOR® oversees the mortgage process for you - troubleshoot and problem-solve until it's approved.
  • A REALTOR® processes the transaction to Settlement (inspections; repairs; appraisals; hazard insurance; Title Insurance; certifications; coordinating schedules, utility connections; pre-settlement inspections; and MORE)
  • A REALTOR® attends Settlement to answer questions and make sure all is well.

The home buying process is exciting, but serious enough to deserve special attention and preparation. There is more to it than searching for the right home. You'll need to consider neighborhoods, schools, market values, the condition of the home, various inspections, your mortgage, title insurance, property insurance, and of course closing. Even experienced buyers can find this complex process a bit overwhelming. Don't worry. We are here to help. A REALTOR from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty will guide you every step of the way. Contact Us today!

For help in selecting the right REALTOR® for you, click here.

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Completing Your Home Purchase

It can take 15-90 days to complete all the steps involved in a home sale, depending on the complexity of the transaction. Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Professional will work closely with everyone involved in the transaction to help ensure that it moves ahead as smoothly as possible.

  • Explain to you in detail all the steps that will occur, and answer any questions you might have.
  • Work with the seller's broker to see that they fulfill their responsibilities under the contract.
  • Stay in touch with the settlement officer, title officer, lender and others to help coordinate their activities and to help keep the transaction moving forward.
  • Communicate with you on a regular basis so that you can stay informed and as worry-free as possible.

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Financing Your Home Purchase

If you need to obtain a home loan (mortgage) to complete the purchase, a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Professional can assist you in the process.

  • Being pre-approved can put you in a stronger negotiating position and can save time in the loan approval process.
  • Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Professional can put you in touch with experienced loan officers at leading mortgage companies.
  • Various financing options may be available to you, including
    • Fixed Rate Mortgage
    • Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
    • Government-assisted (FHA or VA) financing
    • Seller-assisted financing
  • You can expect the lender to ask for standard information regarding your income, expenses and obligations

For additional mortgage information and current rates, click here for our mortgage partner.

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Homefinding Process

The homefinding process typically includes many of the following elements.

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How Buyers Find the Home they Purchase

Homebuyers may use several information sources in their search process, but they are most likely to find the home they actually purchase through a real estate professional.

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Important Ways to Protect Your Interests

There are several ways to help support a trouble-free home purchase:

  • A written property disclosure statement from the seller will reveal any problems with the house and the surrounding area that you need to know about.
  • Professional inspections can reveal structural, roof, termite and other problems with the property that the seller will need to remedy.
  • A home warranty can give you peace of mind by providing repair-or-replace coverage of major home operating systems and appliances.
  • A preliminary title report informs you of any problems with the property's title and a policy of title insurance protects your rights to the property.
  • A walk-through before closing will allow you to make sure all required work has been taken care of and that the property is ready to become yours.

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Submitting An Offer

Once you have found the right property, the next step is to make the offer to the seller.

  • Determine the price you want to offer.
  • Decide on financing.
  • Decide on other issues that are important to you such as:
    • Items of personal property you want included
    • Warranty, inspections, repairs, etc.
    • Closing date and possession
  • Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices sales professional will present your offer and negotiate with the seller through their sales professional for your best interests.
  • Once you have reached an agreement with the seller, you will have a firm contract to purchase the home.

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