Home Buying in 19001>Question Details

Chris Robert…, Home Buyer in Philadelphia, PA

What is involved in the PROCESS of buying a home? I'll be buying in Abington and I'm just starting to

Asked by Chris Robertson, Philadelphia, PA Mon Jul 27, 2009

research. Where can I find information showing the steps in the process? I know about getting preapproved but beyond that from finding an agent to closing what steps are involved. Do I sign a contract with an agent? How can I see what the terms in standard sales contracts are? Should I use an attorney?

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Answers

32
Renée Porsia’s answer
Chris,

Let me try to address your questions further:

1. What kinds of provisions might a 'buyer agent' contract have. Most service contracts have a term and a payment provision. There was an implication that the agent's services are free yet they don't work for free. How would the buyer agent contract address that and is there some amount of standardization in the industry in this area?

The way the buyer broker agreement works is that there is a term and that can be for one home, one hour, one day, a month, 6 months up to a year. As for compensation, it should be written into the agreement just how the buyer agent will be paid. I am very careful to go over the entire agreement with my clients. Everything is spelled out and initialed as well as signed and dated by both parties. Here is a buyer broker agreement: http://www.parealtor.org/content/upload/AssetMgmt/Standard%2…


2. Is there a website I can go to and see a sample of a standard sales contract for the area - if there is such a thing? Here is the Pennsylvania Agreement of Sale: http://www.parealtor.org/content/upload/AssetMgmt/Standard%2…


3. Making an offer was mentioned. How exactly is that presented? If it is in writing do I have to sign it and if I sign it am I bound by it or could I change my mind. Can I make more than one offer at a time on different homes?

In real estate everything must be in writing (The Statute of Frauds) so yes, your offer will need to be put onto the Agreement of Sale. You could in essence put more than one offer on a home but I wouldn't advise that and I would be happy to explain why at a later time. You could back out but if you wait too long you could be in default and could wind up putting your deposit in jeopardy.

I do hope this helps a bit more.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX ACTION
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
Is your question a challenge to verify information that you already have or are you looking to hire a professional to take you through the process?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
if u cn rd ths mssge, u cn mke an ofer on a hse.

If u ned 2 clse bfor 12/1 thn say so. Frst tme hme byers ned 2 clse by 11/31 othrwse u wil nt be elgeble fr $8k tx crdt.

gd lck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 25, 2009
Watch it Lacy, he's going to correct you on your incorrect spelling of the word "prior" and the fact that he already said "before December 1st".
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 10, 2009
Mr/Ms. Robertson,

You need to go away. This site is for people who are serious about their questions and respectful of professional opinions from professional people. Professionals have taken time out of their busy schedules to answer your questions only to be put on a "grading scale" that's criteria includes the use of the English language, punctuation, spelling, and professional manners. Please link yourself in to another blog and quit taking up valuable space that can help truly serious potential buyers and sellers. (I have a period at the end of my sentence thanks to you)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 10, 2009
Thanks Chris,
I did notice the "it" where it should have been "in" but I didn't catch the misspelling of "here". Spell check helps a little but it's proof readers like you who really get the job done.

A. Given that the http://www.parealtor.org site has a sample real estate contract on it I would say that is at least one 'standard' contract even though it may be modified in use. How likely is it that this is the basic contract with which I'll be presented when the time comes to make an offer?
Answer: There has been much discussion about using the word "standard" on the title of the form. It's the Standard "template" but leads one to believe this is "the" standard. Where the Agreement gets specific would be all the Blank Areas you fill in and the check mark boxes you select. Another discussion for another day.
If you are making an offer on a Residential Property, Odds are strong that this "Template" will be suggested. It's all the additional forms that are incorporated in the agreement , such as addendums, Disclosures etc. that change things as well as the areas that need to be filled in. Most recently, The most common addendums are : Short Sale Addendum, FHA Addendum, Corporate Addendums, As-Is addendums and more along those lines.
If your making an offer on a REO (bank owned property), They may "Require" a specific agreement (which by the way is, IMHO, illegal).
-----------------------

B. Do most agents use the Buyers Agency Contract that is on the parealtor.org website?
Answer: Yes... But again there are "fill in the blank sections"
I am unclear about the 'agency' part of that contract. From what I have read I am likely to avoid having an agent that is a "dual agent".
Answer: Probably the most secure way of not getting into a Dual Agency predicament is to hire a Buyers Agent BEFORE you start looking at homes.
Please pay attention to the difference between a "Dual" Agent and a "Designated" Agent.
Unbeknownst to many people, even agents, is that if the listed home is within the same Brokerage, you have entered into a Dual Agency.


C. What provision in the contract would allow me to go to an agent in a different company if the agent I choose is working for the seller of a house I might want to buy?
Answer: there are several ways but each has it's own pro's and cons. One way would be to simply cross off paragraph 3 and initial and date.
Another would be to add specific verbiage to paragraph 12. But be careful, If done improperly, You may be able to have another agent represent you while at the same time you have agreed to pay the first agent out of your pocket.

D. Do agents commonly require a retainer? To what extent might it be refundable?
Answer: That is a personal choice of the Agent and their business model.
There are certain situations where an agent may request a Fee up front or at settlement. That should be a discussion you have with whom you elect to represent you. If they have a fee, Ask them what it is for. Some may just shrug their shoulders and say, That's just what we charge.... RUN and Fast.... Others may give you a reasonable explanation and it's up to you to decide if you're getting value for the fee. Any arrangement you make regarding if it is refundable, to what extent and the terms of the refund is, again.... Negotiable.

As you can see, Every situation is different and every offer is different. Hopefully you can see that the phrase, "All agents are alike" is profoundly incorrect.
I equate that to someone saying, All Surgeons are alike.
This most likely is a Very Big commitment on your part, both financially as well as emotionally.
What amazes me is that people spend more time shopping for shoes than they do shopping for a Realtor®.
Think about that.
It's good to see someone like yourself taking the time to ask these questions.

Very Respectfully.
David Witsen
Professional Realtor®
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
First, I'll provide a Non-Bias Link to the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors Consumer Resource http://www.parealtor.org/content/consumer.htm
Q 1. What kinds of provisions might a 'buyer agent' contract have. Most service contracts have a term and a payment provision. There was an implication that the agent's services are free yet they don't work for free. How would the buyer agent contract address that and is there some amount of standardization in the industry in this area? ---------
A 1. There is no such thing in Real Estate contracts that are STANDARD. Everything is negotiable. I ALWAYS include in every Buyers Agency Contract the following: "Buyer and/or Broker may cancel this agreement at ANY TIME & for ANY REASON."
If you don't feel I am busting my tail for you, Just tear up the agreement.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q 2. Is there a website I can go to and see a sample of a standard sales contract for the area - if there is such a thing? ------------
A 2. Samples of the PAR agreements are on my website
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q 3. Making an offer was mentioned. How exactly is that presented? If it is in writing do I have to sign it and if I sign it am I bound by it or could I change my mind. Can I make more than one offer at a time on different homes? -------
A 3. All Real Estate Agreements MUST BE IN WRITING !
The remainder of your question REQUIRES a Consumer Notice be presented to you (this is the LAW)
Go to http://consumernotice.greatmontcohomes.com/
Now that I have provided that to you, I am allowed to answer:
Offers can be presented in various ways. Fax , Hard copy delivery(to agent), Face to Face with Seller, email, or over the phone. Which is best for you can not be answered here. and Yes. You have to sign it. without your signature, It is Not an offer.
How much you are or are not "Obligated" to fulfill the agreement is a Legal question and unless the Realtor is also an attorney, They better not answer that. What I can tell you is there are ways to write an agreement which gives you ways out. or as you put it, to change your mind.
If you are considering making more than 1 offer at a time, you better have a VERY GOOD Realtor® or an attorney as this "may" put you in a position to purchase 2 or more homes or worse. The SHORT answer is there are ways to do this but you better understand all the ramifications.

Now with that being said:
I have a Home Buyers Guide that answers these questions and more. It's over 30 pages so I obviously can't include it here in a simple reply. It is free for the asking. Just shoot me your email address and you'll have it in minutes.
Your original question was to vague as this depends on many variables. For example, what "exactly" are you looking for. A condo? A Twin or row. How much Down Money do you have ? 3.5% 10% less? Are you eligible for the 1st time home buyer tax credit of $8,000. (you need to settle before December 1st) and the list goes on. That's why it's important to have a Realtor® working in your best interest. An "Experienced" (and I emphasize "Experienced") Realtor® knows what questions to ASK YOU to guide you properly. I strongly suggest that you call 2 or 3 Realtors® and Interview them. Ask them tough questions and see how they respond. The time to do this is NOW, BEFORE you start looking at homes.
By The Way. Did you know that if a Realtor® answers your questions without providing a Consumer Notice, They may have just broken the law? Well now you do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
I would start with getting pre-approved. Find out what you can afford, where you are comfortable payment wise, then go from there. Find a Realtor who has experience, is a good listener, negotiator and knows the market areas and what homes are selling for. Attorney's are absolutely helpful if you feel the need and extra protection, I would just advise it be a real estate attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 28, 2014
This information is taken from Homes.com
Home Buying Guide
|
Whether this is your first or third experience, buying a new home is a serious undertaking. It
requires dedication, planning, and research to find the perfect place for you. Is the path to home
ownership stressing you out? Relax – owning a home comes with many perks, which makes the
whole process worthwhile, and we want to be your partner through it all. We’re here to
help make your house hunting experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
There are so many factors that go into buying a new home, which is why many find the task
daunting. You most likely will need to secure a mortgage and will need to pre-qualify to learn what
price range you can afford and figure out other finances such as down-payments and closing
costs. You will need to find a real estate agent to help you with the hunt and secure the best offer,
and, of course, find that perfect home for you and your family. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Our goal with this e-book is to provide you with guidance during this stressful, yet very exciting
time.

01 | Pop Quiz: Are You Ready for Homeownership?
02 | Guidelines for Buying a New Home
03 | Terms to Know
05 | Getting Pre-Approved
06 | Home Buying Team
07 | Searching for Your New Home
08 | Finding the Right Home
09 | Home Checklist
10 | Make an Offer
11 | Close the Sale
12 | Conclusion

1. POP QUIZ: are you REA DY FOR HOMEOWNER SHIP?
1 | To determine if homeownership is right for you, first you must:
a. Determine if you can stay in the same home for more than five years
b. Be sure you have a lawnmower and garden tools
c. Understand tax law to determine your homeownership advantages
d. Compare the cost of purchasing a home to renting a home

2 | Which company can provide you with a copy of your credit report?:
a. Experian
b. TransUnion
c. Equifax
d. All of the Above

3 | Which of the following is not contained in a credit report?:
a. Accounts closed by you or the creditor such as a closed mortgage, revolving
accounts, etc.
b. Accounts in good standing such as accounts that have a zero balance and
have no history of late payments
c. Open accounts such as a current mortgage and credit card accounts
d. Checking and savings accounts

4 | The information on your credit report spans:
a. 3-5 years
b. 4-6 years
c. 7-10 years
d. 10+ years

5 | Who can help you understand your monthly budget, fixed and
flexible debt and what you can afford for a mortgage payment?:
a. A mortgage lender
b. A housing counselor
c. A consumer credit counselor
d. All of the Above

6 | Who is typically responsible for paying the commission to real
estate brokers?
a. The purchaser of the home
b. The seller of the home
c. The brokerage firm
d. A combination of the brokerage firm and the seller

7 | Buying a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make:
a. True
b. False

8 | Homeowner Associations are organizations created to:
a. Coordinate social activities for a particular neighborhood
b. Organize homeowners to be more effective in political elections
c. Maintain common areas and structures such as a shared roof or
laundry facility
d. All of the Above

9 | A written appraisal report generally consists of:
a. Description of the property
b. Analysis of sales of comparable properties
c. Information regarding current real estate activity and/or market trends
d. All of the Above

10 | The most important form to review at the closing on your home is:
a. Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement
b. Loan Application
c. HUD – 1 Form
d. Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
Source: Colorado.gov
Answers: 1d; 2d; 3d; 4c; 5d; 6b; 7a; 8c; 9d; 10c
Identify your must-have list.
Unless you are building a new construction home, most homes will
require you to compromise, whether on its location, square footage,
price, or that mudroom for the kids. As you begin your search, identify
your must-have items. Remind yourself of these items and why they
are important for your life in your new home when you begin visiting
potential homes.

Avoid major purchases before buying a new home.
This includes a new car, vacations, electronic equipment, etc. You don’t
want to allocate all your funds on something and leave little money for
one of the largest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime! Remember
you may need to buy window treatments, yard equipment and a
ladder when your new home becomes a reality. And besides, maybe
you’ll want a new state-of-the-art refrigerator for your new home
versus that trip to the Bahamas.

Think of time frames.
Do you need to be out of your current place by a certain time? Are you
looking to move because your family is expanding in nine months?
In addition to your decision to buy a new home, think about the time
frame you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
You are about to embark on the exciting journey of finding your ideal home. Whether it is your first home or your tenth home, a retirement home, or an investment property, I will make your home-buying experience fun and exciting. I can help you find the ideal home with the least amount of hassle; and I am devoted to using my expertise and the full resources of my office to achieve these results!
Purchasing a home is a very important decision and a big undertaking in your life. In fact, most people only choose a few homes in their lifetime. I am going to make sure that you are well equipped and armed with up-to-date information for your big decision. I am even prepared to guide you through every phase of the home-buying process. This packet gives you helpful information during and after your transaction. Use its reference pages, note pages and agency explanations, as an invaluable guide on your home-buying journey.
Please keep this packet with you during your home-buying process. There are pages that contain important phone numbers and dates and areas for notes to help you stay organized.

So let’s take an exciting journey together! I look forward to meeting your real estate needs every step of the way!
I look forward to hearing from you:
TRESA ARCHER
KELLER WILLIAMS REAL ESTATE
766 OLD YOUK RD
JENKINTOWN ,PA 19046
215-439-1672
tressaarcher@kw.com
Tressa.Homevisory.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 15, 2010
Hi, Chris, I know that I answered you last night, but this morning I found a link in my email that would be perfect for you. Here it is...the ABCs of Buying! Enjoy!

http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20100916_abc.htm

Carol Murray Cei
ReMax Action Realty
215-643-9661
carolcei@remax.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Hello, Chris,

Buying a home is BIG JOB, and it looks like you are getting well prepared for it. If you would like some documents to read, just go to http://www.pahomesandloans.com/For_Buyers/page_1393057.html and you will have the opportunity to select articles like "Be sure not to pay too much for your home!", "Avoid the Most Common Buying Errors", etc. Here are a few other tips:

1. You should be interviewing agents to see how much work they are willing to do for you. After all, they should be applying for the job as your representative.
2. Workshops are nice, but a one-on-one sit down with an experienced Realtor is the best way for you to learn what is in the agreement of sale; language and jargon used, etc. Make sure your representative can EXPLAIN the small print in detail. There are many real estate professionals who have never read the agreement in detail or who have never read mortgage documents, etc.
3. If your lender representative doesn't come to closing, can the real estate professional step in and take over the document presentation so that you get more than a "sign here" ?
4. Make sure your r.e. professional reviews the Consumer Disclosure with you up front - it is not a contract, just a disclosure.
5. Be careful about signing contracts with agents - you could get stuck with someone you are not happy with. Don't sign anything but a NON-EXCLUSIVE agreement, if you have to sign anything at all. Then you are only married to that person for the properties he/she introduces you to. If it doesn't work out, you can move on to someone esle and re-start your search.
6. If you want an attorney, get one BEFORE you sign the agreement of sale. It will depend upon the level of confidence that you have with your r.e.professional. Once you sign the agreement and it is accepted, there is not a lot an attorney can do for you.

I wish you good luck and am available to you if you have any other questions.

Carol Murray Cei
ReMax Action Realty
1126 Horsham Road
Maple Glen, PA 19002
215-643-9661 Cell
215-358-1100 x1223 Office
carolcei@remax.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
call a Realtor. To find one look on this website in the area you are looking, or go to Realtor.com and look for a realtor in your area or ask freinds and family for a recommendation
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
Hi Chris! You may want to think about attending a homebuyer workshop offered by a local real estate company. These are typically pressure-free, no-obligation classes that can answer a lot of your questions. Our company offers buyer workshops monthly. Go to http://www.FreeREWorkshops.com to sign up!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
Lacy,

It really bugs me when people are not careful with their words. Detail counts.
I do not need to settle BEFORE Nov 30 to get the first time buyer credit. I need to settle BEFORE December 1st.

The dates are Jan 1 2009 to Nov 30 2009 INCLUSIVE of both end dates.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
Chris,

Thank you for that hint. Much appreciated.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX ACTION
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Thanks Renee, a hint: When you put a link in a post be careful of the period at the end.

Leave a space - like this: http://www.reneeporsia.com .
yours was like this http://www.reneeporsia.com.

It will be treated as part of the url if you don't leave the space. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Chris,

There is a lot to digest here. Buying a home though exciting is extremely stressful and draining but you are doing the right thing by gathering as much information as you can.

If you do have some free time, please take a read of my blog http://www.reneeporsia.com. I write my blog to help consumers. You can also see what type of Realtor I am.

If and when you get to the point of selecting an agent, I would love to meet with you and answer any questions you have.

I am here if you have any further questions either via email or here on Trulia. You can also give me a call.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX ACTION
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Renee, it does help. It is going to take me some time to assimilate all the information and get to the point where I will be comfortable dealing with selecting an agent.

Note that when I address responses to someone and ask additional questions - I'll be happy to receive a response from anyone that is willing to address the questions asked.

When I do get to the point of selecting an agent it is quite possible I will want to talk with both you, Renee, and David.

I'm not close to that yet though. I had a couple free days here to get started so I'm making the best use of them that I can.
Thanks for all your help and any that you can provide.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Chris,

You are correct when you say that the Consumer Notice will be outdated soon. There is a new Consumer Notice. The Consumer Notice is to be provided upon first meeting as soon as an in-depth conversation starts about real estate and the consumer wants to disclose confidential about themselves. I always tell consumers not to disclose confidential information to me or to anyone unless they are going to hire that person because anything you say can and will be used against you if you don't hire that agent but then come across one of their listings and want to put an offer in on it.

Also, you had asked (not of me necessarily and I hope you do not mind me answering)

B. Do most agents use the Buyers Agency Contract that is on the parealtor.org website?
I am unclear about the 'agency' part of that contract. From what I have read I am likely to avoid having an agent that is a "dual agent".

Not all agents use the standard Buyer Agency Contract (PAR) form. I've seen Brokers use something they have created for their office. I always advise consumers not to sign anything unless its a PAR from because there could be contingencies inside that could hurt you. You are also correct in not wanting to use a dual agent. I am extremely against dual agency and get into many debates with Realtors who engage in dual agency. The only person who wins in a dual agency situation is the Realtor who then in turn gets both sides of the commission. That is my professional opinion and based on my experience over the years dealing with Realtors.

C. What provision in the contract would allow me to go to an agent in a different company if the agent I choose is working for the seller of a house I might want to buy? You would have the agent mark on the agreement that dual agency is not applicable or they can also write it into the agreement.

D. Do agents commonly require a retainer? To what extent might it be refundable? Some agents do ask for a retainer but this is not the norm. This should be discussed when you meet with the agent. I always explain how I am to be paid and it is then written into the agreement.

I hope this helps you.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX ACTION
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Michael,
Although Andrew didn't provide much in the way of an answer to my questions he did provide a little information - which some may find useful - which I acknowledged.

On the other hand, you did not. Why bother.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Mr. Robertson,

In defense of Andrew Himes, I would say that he addressed your broad question with an excellent response on his first line. Your accusation of him providing BS, and other disparaging remarks is not called for. I do hope that I spelled everything correctlee for you so you are pleased with my spelleeng.
Good luck with your efforts.

Mike Melroy
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Chris,
You are very Diligent, I'll give you that.
The Consumer Notice just went through a revision 2 months ago.
I pride myself in keeping the most up to date information on my websites but in all honesty, I focus the majority of my time on representing my clients. I have approx 40 different areas that I constantly update and revise. The changes in the Revised Consumer Notice are more to stay in Compliance with the State Regulations. It's more of a Reformatting and doesn't change the substance of the notice. Here are 2 links regarding this.

The Finalized Revised Consumer Notice:
http://www.parealtor.org/content/upload/AssetMgmt/Standard%2…

Listen to a podcast on the new Consumer Notice :
http://www.parealtor.org/content/upload/AssetMgmt/RealProper…

Here is another resorce for all the PAR forms as well as a few discussions about the forms.
http://www.parealtor.org/content/form_samples.htm

Hope this helps.

Respectfully,
David Witsen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
David,

It appears the consumer notice you linked to may soon be outdated. I found this on the Pa website you link to:
http://www.dos.state.pa.us/bpoa/LIB/bpoa/20/10/recconsnotice.pdf (the first page is blank)

This seems significantly different than the current notice as reflected on your website. I'm not sure what to make of it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
David,
That was a useful response. Thank you.
In the link to your consumer notice page, there are 3 typos above the fold. "here" is spelled 'hear' twice and once 'it' is used instead of 'in'. -- thought you would like to know.

At some point I may ask for your consumer guide. At this point I don't have any questions about financing but I assume it covers other aspects of a purchase.

A. Given that the http://www.parealtor.org site has a sample real estate contract on it I would say that is at least one 'standard' contract even though it may be modified in use. How likely is it that this is the basic contract with which I'll be presented when the time comes to make an offer?

B. Do most agents use the Buyers Agency Contract that is on the parealtor.org website?
I am unclear about the 'agency' part of that contract. From what I have read I am likely to avoid having an agent that is a "dual agent".

C. What provision in the contract would allow me to go to an agent in a different company if the agent I choose is working for the seller of a house I might want to buy?

D. Do agents commonly require a retainer? To what extent might it be refundable?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Chris,

Yes, when you make an offer you are actually signing a sales contract.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them or email me.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX ACTION
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
Renee, you did good.
Carol, you are like Andrew - you don't listen.

Renee, so when I make an offer I am actually signing a sales contract?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
Hi, Chris,

You are asking a lot of questions which require a great amount of detail and correspondence. They are also probably best answered in person as you interview a few prospective realtors. Here are a few tips that I will give you...if you would like more info we need to meet and discuss.

1. Buyer Agency Contract - find someone who will work with you for 30-60 days with a Non-exclusive contract. That means that you are only bound to them for the properties that they show you. If they are worth their salt, they will earn your respect and then you will want to be exclusive with them. Never sign an EXCLUSIVE contract up front or you are doomed if it doesn't work out.

2. If you are a first time buyer, find someone who wants to hold your hand. Find an EXPERIENCED agent who will work with you directly. Try not to get involved with someone's buyer agent team member. That is probably someone with less experience who is still learning the ropes and running buyers that the lead agent doesn't want to deal with. Forget part-timers...they won't be available to you when you need them because they have to go to their "real" job. Find someone who has at least 5-10 years experience and can give you references from several RECENT sales with 1st time buyers like yourselves.

3. Find someone who will sit down with you and go over all of the paper work from the beginning. Forget about the people who say "we'll do it later". These are legal documents...they are IMPORTANT.

4. If you want an attorney, get the agent to write the agreement, then take it to the attorney for review before submitting it to the seller. It's cheaper that way and will accomplish the same results.

5. If you want to have 20 questions to ask your agent in an interview, contact me and I will email them to you.

6. If you want to know about values and market activity in Abington get a free market "snapshot" by going to http://www.carolworks4you.com. It will be sent directly to your email.

I have been doing this for almost 25 years....can you tell? I have tried to help you write a recipe for success. it's a big step...if you need someone to help you take it, you can let me know.

Good Luck!

Carol Murray Cei
ReMax Millennium
carolcei@remax.net
215-643-9661
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
Andrew said: ""Find an agent that you are comfortable working with and one that LISTENS to what you want "
It would have been nice if he had followed that same advice and addressed his answer to my questions. I'm very detailed oriented and BS does not cut it. (Though in fairness Andrew gave good advice for when I get to the point of looking at houses.)

This will be my first house and I expect that before I even talk to an agent I'll know a good deal about the process. Today I know almost nothing but that will change over the next few weeks.

Based on the response from Renee and Terrence I'll revise the question a little.

1. What kinds of provisions might a 'buyer agent' contract have. Most service contracts have a term and a payment provision. There was an implication that the agent's services are free yet they don't work for free. How would the buyer agent contract address that and is there some amount of standardization in the industry in this area?
2. Is there a website I can go to and see a sample of a standard sales contract for the area - if there is such a thing?
3. Making an offer was mentioned. How exactly is that presented? If it is in writing do I have to sign it and if I sign it am I bound by it or could I change my mind. Can I make more than one offer at a time on different homes?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
If you wish to purchase a home without the aide of a Realtor, then you should most definitely get an attorney. As for getting an agent, you should find one in the area you wish to buy in and make sure that they will work for you. For the most part, having a buyer agent working for you is free.

The only time they may not be free is purchasing a for sale by owner and the seller will absolutely not let the commission costs be rolled into the sale price of the home. In which case an offer is made minus the commission and the seller would then be aware of it.

Beyond getting pre approved for a loan and finding an agent to work for you, the buying process is fairly simple yet involves a good deal of paper work. Put in an offer, once the offer is accepted get and respond to the inspections within the alloted time, get the commitment from the bank and that's pretty much it on you beside the signing of the papers on the day of settlement. The work on the agent's part includes being able to negotiate for you, conducting a market analysis on every home which you are interested in so that any offers can be backed up with the proper paperwork. Keeping in touch with all parties ensuring that everyone is on the same sheet of music, getting with the title/settlement company and insuring everything is clear. Ensuring that your lender is always on track and there won't be any delays, etc, etc. My office is right near Abington and I would be happy to discuss all of the steps involved in depth.

If you wish to discuss things over, then please email or call me.

Thanks,

Terrence Charest, e-Pro®
REALTOR®
Century 21 Associates
905 Easton Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090
Cell (Preferred): 877.614.1494
Office: 215.659.5250
Fax: 215.659.5550

http://www.HomesForFreedom.com
tcharest@HomesForFreedom.com
“Giving to Those Who Gave”
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
Hello Chris,

The process is not hard but does have certain steps to be followed so as not to be done improperly and to protect you.

The first thing you should do in your search is to find a buyer agent. You can ask friends or family if they had a great experience with a buyer agent who they can refer you too or you can certainly find one here on Trulia by reading answers to your questions and viewing the profiles.

If you are uncertain about what buyer agency is and how it benefits you, feel free to read about it on my blog at http://www.reneeporsia.com. I think you will find it helpful.

After you meet with and hire your buyer agent, you will need to find a reputable lender who will work with you. If you do not know someone, your buyer agent can give you names of lenders who they work with and who have assisted past clients.

Once you have been approved, then you are ready to start searching for your home.

Things you should make sure of is that your buyer agent is an expert negotiator which will assure that you get the best price for your new home and that you don't over pay. I say this because I deal with Realtors every day who simply are not cut out to negotiate because they are afraid they will hurt someone's feelings or they simply do not like confrontation. In real estate, the most important part of the transaction besides protecting the client is negotiating the sale price. Its the difference between saving your client money or not.

The way you hire your buyer agent is to sign a buyer broker agreement. If you do not sign that, you did not hire the Realtor so you are a customer and not a client. There is a difference. Traditionally, you do not have to pay the buyer agent because they will be paid at settlement by the seller which is known as the commission. There are other ways a buyer can compensate the buyer agent but that can be discussed when you meet with the agent.

When I first meet with my buyers, I go over everything from the sales contract to the home inspection.

I'd love to discuss your situation further with you. Feel free to call me at (215) 669-0589 or you can email me.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX ACTION
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
Chris,

There is much more to be said about the home buying process than can be said in this type of forum. I generally sit down with prospective clients for at least an hour to discuss the entire process. But a few quick points that you need to know as you begin the process are as follows, in no particular order, but the pre-approval process is definitely the first step, without the pre-approval you are just going to swim in circles:

-Sit down and really figure out what you MUST HAVE in a home for it to even be considered as something that you would purchase
-Figure out what you would LIKE TO HAVE, but wouldnt prevent you from buying that perfect house if it didnt have that specific feature(s)
-What do you absolutely not want a home to have, something that would prevent you from even looking at a home that has this feature
-Find an agent that you are comfortable working with and one that LISTENS to what you want
-Work with a FULL TIME realtor, needs to be available when you are free to look at homes
-You are free to use an attorney and i would never tell you not to use one, but as in other states where it is required, PA doesnt require it

I would love to speak more about the opportunity to sit down with you and further discuss the process and your options.

Andrew Himes, CRS, ABR, e-PRO, REALTOR
Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors
267.231.8255
Andrew@AndrewHimes.com
Web Reference: http://www.AndrewHimes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
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