First Time Home Buyers

Does Buying A Home Scare YOU?

Most first-time home buyers are overwhelmed with the prospect of purchasing their first home. They aren't too sure where or how to begin.

I have tried to put many different articles and websites together in order to guide you through the process of buying a home. Please check out Buyers Tips for some good general information. Another page that will be helpful is my Realtor Glossary page.

Securing the help of a Realtor who acts as your "Buyer's" Agent is the best way of assuring the process is smooth and your home is exactly what you want. The "Buyer's" Agent is obligated to help protect your interests to the best of their ability.

First-time home Buyers often drive around the area, check out the homes they see for sale. It is also quite common for them to visit new home communities to see model homes. It is important for a Buyer to understand that in both these cases, the Realtor representing the home for sale and the new home community represent the Seller, so they are obligated to work in the best interests of the Seller.
Your "Buyer's" Agent will be working in YOUR best interests and will be happy to show these types of properties to you, giving you guidance as to their overall quality and potential for appreciation. 

When I work with new clients, my first contact is usually by phone , email or text. In that conversation, I will attempt to find out the top 3 or 4 items you would like in a home and the area. For example: the number of bedrooms, baths; whether you want a basement and how far you want to commute to work. 

Because Lenders vary greatly in their costs and services, I will help educate you so that you feel comfortable interviewing Lenders. There is a wonderful website, Mortgage Professor where you can find lots of information about the lending process. Once you have located a Lender you are comfortable with, you need to get pre-qualified. We then begin the process of looking at houses.

My firm policy is that Buyers tell me what their price ceiling is and I do not show property valued at more than that dollar amount. I prefer to bring a Buyer in lower than their optimum price because I believe a person who is "house poor" is more likely to see their home as a noose around their neck rather than a comfortable and inviting environment to come home to. The only time I will go higher in price is when the Buyer has decided they cannot find what they are looking for within their current price parameters and they have chosen to move up in price.

The first meeting is a working meeting. We will see as many houses as time allows which fit your criteria, often stretched out over several towns. You will be given detailed information on each home so that you can find it again if you care to do so. 

This process is repeated as often as necessary in order for you to feel as though you have found that perfect home. Once we believe we have found it, we may go back a second time.... to be sure. 

Then we go into the negotiation phase of the contract/offer. At this point, you will write a check called Earnest Money showing "good faith" in your desire to buy the home. This money is held by Your attorney until the contract is negotiated successfully;  If the negotiations fall through and the check was deposited, then you will receive your "good faith" deposit back from your attorney or it can be used towards another house.

In negotiations, the Buyer presents the first Offer. Then, most likely, the Seller will present a Counter-Offer. This will go back and forth as Counter-Offers until a successful agreement has been reached.

Once that agreement has been reached, and the agreement has been signed by both parties, we have what is called an "Accepted Contract." From the Accepted Contract Date we start "Attorney Review".
Once we are "Out of Attorney Review" hopefully 3 business days later the necessary legwork to make sure the transaction will be completed on time begins.
You will be required to contact the Lender for a formal loan application, usually within days.

Also within the first week or so, you will secure a Home Inspection appointment wherein a certified Home Inspector will be hired by you to inspect the home for any defects.  I always try to attend the inspection and strongly encourage at least one of the Buyers to be present in order to get a more thorough understanding of your new home.

After that inspection, as the "Buyer's" Agent, I will present a list of items ,which you are requesting the Seller to repair or replace, to the Seller's Realtor as well as your attorney putting it in writing to the Seller's attorney. At this point the Seller's Agent,Buyer's Agent and both attorneys work with their clients to arrive at a mutually-agreeable resolution to the repair list.

Once that is completed we begin the count-down to Closing. The next item on the list will be the 2nd Deposit and then the Appraisal.
During the remaining time frame there are many tasks that both the Buyer and Realtor will complete separately in order to make sure the move goes smoothly.

For you, these will be things like responding to any requests from your Lender in regards to your loan and beginning to get things in order for your move.

Here is a Moving Planner which gives a general timeline of what to do. 

As your Buyer's Agent, I will be working to make sure all the loose ends are tied up to insure that the Closing is going to be held on time. 

Some of these are: checking on the repairs from the Inspection Amendment; speaking with the Lender and Attorney to make sure things are going smoothly; and, keeping in constant contact with you, the Buyer, and the Seller's Agent.

A week before the Closing you will receive what is called a "HUD," which is a federally-mandated form showing you exactly what your expenses will be and how much money you will need to bring to the Closing. With the new laws in effect it is advisable to do a mini walk through at this point.
Both your Lender and I will be happy to go over this form with you to insure that all your questions are answered.

Just prior to the Closing we will complete what is called a "Walk Through" wherein we inspect the home to make sure the necessary repairs have been completed and the home is in good shape.

From there we proceed to the Closing Attorney's office to Complete the Closing where you can finally call yourself a Homeowner!

I hope this information has been helpful. It is meant to be as a general overview to help familiarize you with the home-buying process. 

When I can be of any further assistance, just call or email me! 
No part of this page may be copied in whole or in part by any means without the express written permission of the author, Gloria Benaroch.

Gloria Benaroch
Gloria Benaroch
Broker Associate
23 W. River Road Rumson NJ 07760