The buying process can roughly be separated into 3 parts:
conducting a property search and viewing a property
making an offer
For more details about the process, you can check out the buying guide. For now, let’s look at the most important parts. The places where we can help you save time and money.
Conducting a Property Search and Showing
When you buy a property, you know better than anyone what you want. The first step is outlining the features that you ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’ in order to identify which properties fit within your interests. You’ll also need to be financially ready to buy a home. That means to work with us, you should have already received pre-approval on a mortgage. From there, you’ll identify your budget.
With those conditions in mind, it’s time to look for some properties. We can send you alerts that match the conditions that you’ve set and when you see a property that you’d like to view, just send us a message!
Through the system, we will qualify the property to make sure that the conditions of the property in the listing match with the real situation. We will avoid showing the property with a price that appears to fit into your budget but the seller’s actual intention is way over your budget. We then make an appointment with you to view the property.
Making an Offer
When you’re ready to make an offer, it’s important to know how the listing price was set up and what a reasonable offer price range would look like for the property in that neighborhood.
In the traditional way of buying a house, a lot of time is wasted because they have to rely completely on the realtor to set up the offer. In some cases, it may seem that they may even be hiding information from the buyer unintentionally. The commission comes from the final price of the home. This begs the question of whose side the realtor is really on.
If you trust your realtor and hope that they are going to get you the best price, that’s fine. The problem isn’t the realtor. It’s not your brother or sister at church. It’s not your cousin or friend. It’s simply due to the inherent conflicts of interest. We believe that by using our model, you no longer have to worry about whether or not you can trust a realtor. We’re suggesting that you walk away from this extreme conflict of interest and use a better model where you’re working hand in hand with a realtor.
We believe the more you understand how to create an offer, the more money you can save and the better you will feel about the process of making an offer. To learn more about the math behind making an offer, please read how to estimate home market value or consult with us.
You don’t need to trust the realtor. You can trust your own judgment. We provide the information for how to make an offer and then you can make an informed offer. We make more money by helping you close the deal fast and you save money and time by understanding how to make the offer. That increases the efficiency of the buying process.
A realtor is not a home inspector. The home inspection is very important. This is especially true of older properties. There are ways that realtors can help you cut corners in the home inspection process that might help you save a few hundred dollars and show you that they care about you. We do not follow this line of reasoning. We’re focused on helping you save money in ways that really matter. And a home inspection really matters. It’s particularly important to get the home inspection in writing. You need to know from a qualified professional the condition of the home.
When a realtor signs a contract with you, there are many clauses that protect the realtor. When you sign a contract with the home inspector, there are also a lot of clauses that protect the home inspector. You can’t assume that the home inspector is going to find every problem with the home. They follow a preset guide to give you the home inspection. In some cases, a realtor might try to convince you that a written inspection is not needed but in our experience, we find that when a written inspection is requested the home inspector has more incentive to check things they might not otherwise check and also look a little deeper regarding the items on the list. At the end of the day, the opinion is written down on a legal document.
After the seller accepts the offer, traditional realtors will take you to see the property in a pre-closing visit. The second visit is generally a few days before the closing. We’re happy to take you to the property for both of these visits, but we believe that in many cases one pre-closing visit is enough.
The realtor doesn’t actually have any responsibility during this step of the process. There is no reason for the realtor to get involved. Of course, if a realtor is being paid 2.5% of the final price of the home, they would probably offer to hold your hand during the closing process. That’s a huge amount of money to pay if you only want someone to hold your hand.
Our closing costs are fixed. At this point of the buying process, you’ve already paid the variable fees and the rest of our fees go toward brokerage fees and overhead. Much of the overhead comes from the extra time we spend during the process of some of the variable fees. Usually, there is a negotiation process involved when making an offer. It’s hard to quantify how much time we will spend on each offer in the process of having an offer accepted. The added effort and time are a part of the fixed closing costs. This is true of the other variable fees. We want to make sure that you get the best service possible and therefore have a little buffer within the closing fixed fee so that we’re adequately compensated for superior service to you.