The Business of Buying a Home in Atlanta
As your international relocation specialist there is nothing I value more than the investment aspect of a home purchase. I recognize that even when we find your dream home, you would still feel more assured knowing that your home should only increase in value. Regardless of your budget or price, I will ensure that your initial investment is protected as well as taking every step necessary to keep you informed and comfortable every step of the way.
Real Estate Basics for those new to the United States
For those unfamiliar with the home buying process in the U.S. here are a few important notes detailing the transaction:
What to expect from your Real Estate Agent
When you are buying a home, your agent will compile a list of homes suitable to your needs and desires and then preview them with you. He or she will assist you in any and all things related to the home buying process such as; determining the criteria of a “Smart Purchase”, informing and assisting you about obtaining a mortgage or loan, or simply enlightening you to the local culture and landmarks in order to learn how to best satisfy your needs. Your agent will work for you to help negotiate the best deal for you.
Who pays the realtor fees?
Sellers are responsible for paying the entire real estate commission for the transaction. If you have a “buyers” agent to help you find and negotiate the contract for purchasing a home, your agent will get half of the total commission and the seller’s agent will receive the other half. I charge no fees to my relocation clients as I am acting in the role of their buyer’s agent.
What to expect if you require a Loan or Mortgage broker:
Your mortgage broker will assist you in selecting the best loan to meet your personal situation and goals. He or she will find an appropriate loan for you at the best rates and fees at the time of your purchase. This will save you significant money “up front” and throughout the years to come.
How to ensure the best home buying experience
When working with a realtor to buy a home, always keep your agent informed and up to date with anything related to your home search. Be sure you go over all of your home preferences and do not hesitate to ask questions. It will help your agent for you to have any necessary documents or paperwork that you may need on hand. If you require a mortgage or loan ask your real estate agent for assistance getting started, being pre-approved can save you money throughout the home buying process.
How do I know what a home is worth?
A house is worth what someone paid for it, but before giving anyone a mortgage, banks will commission an appraisal to get records of what similar homes have sold for recently in that location.
What are closing costs and who pays for them?
Closing, or settlement, costs are expenses that are additional to the purchase price of the property. The buyer and seller both will incur some of the expenses involved in transferring the ownership of a property. Who actually pays what, is dependent upon your locale. After that closing costs are often an item of negotiation between the buyer and seller. Closing costs normally include things such as title insurance, loan points, escrow or closing day charges, property taxes, and document fees. Your mortgage lender will provide an estimate of closing costs for you as a prospective homebuyer.
How do I know the condition of a house I would like to purchase?
Typically, you include a clause in the contract that it is subject to Inspection. And then you have x number of days to hire a property inspector to evaluate the home for anything that may be wrong with it. They pay special attention to evidence of major plumbing and electrical problems. If your inspection turns up some problems you can negotiate for them to be repaired or you can opt out of the contract.
Do I need Insurance?
Homeowners Insurance is important since it protects your investment from storms, theft and disasters. A standard policy insures the home, and your possessions. You are not legally required to have it but you are putting yourself and family at risk not only for losing your property but also from being sued by someone if something were to happen to them on you property. If you are getting a mortgage to help pay for your home the lender will require you to be fully covered.