Start with taking an inventory of your current financial situation. Determine your total monthly household gross income, income after taxes, and total expenses to share with your lender. If you don’t have or know a mortgage lender, you Realtor help you find a good one. Your mortgage lender will want to know your FICO or Experian credit score, which is an important determinate of your ability to secure a home loan.
Your lender can obtain your credit score for you, or you can get it from many free online services, such as credit Karma, FICO, Experian, etc. Knowing your credit score is an important first step in understanding whether or not you can qualify for a home loan. With this score, lenders can help you determine the maximum monthly payment, affordable home price, and maximum home loan amount. Most importantly, you will learn the amount of monthly home mortgage payments with which you feel comfortable, the associated range of home prices that fits your budget.
If you are not comfortable with finance, budgeting, or don’t have a lender, again contact your Realtor who can help you discern relevant information or refer you to a financial professional who can assist. If you don’t have a Realtor, find a good one, who puts your needs first. Your Realtor will help you navigate the maze of buying and/or selling real estate. If you live in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and need a Realtor who is trust-worthy and puts your needs first, contact me.
After lender prequalification, you are now ready begin your home search. Armed with the knowledge of what you can afford, you can now determine your desired location and home style bases on your personal and family priorities. With work-place, school, recreation, area amenities, and personal preferences in mind you can now narrow your location preference and begin your home search.
Numerous online realtor and/or broker websites and resources are available to search areas, home sizes, price ranges, school districts, etc. However, use caution when searching online. some websites like Trulia or Zillow are geared toward acquiring consumer contact data to provide sales leads to Realtors for a price. As such, consumers and Real Estate Agents often report that Zillow’s “Zestimates” are inaccurate and misleading in assessing home values. Even so, they have enormous influence, market presence, and consumer popularity.
“The Zestimate® home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home’s value. The Zestimate is calculated from public and user-submitted data, taking into account special features, location, and market conditions.” Feb 7, 2017 Google search result
To avoid pitfalls associated with online searches, get a Realtor who can set up an accurate and automatic home search that emails MLS listings directly to you as they become available.
If you are interested in buying a home and live in the Cincinnati, Ohio or Suburban Cincinnati area, you can start by contacting me, and I will be glad to help you develop a plan to achieve your real estate goals.
Yes! You absolutely need the help of a Realtor to navigate the maze that is buying and selling Real Estate. Although it is not a law in the state of Ohio, A licensed real estate agent is able to provide you with invaluable information and direction that will protect your interests and limit your risk exposure. If you do not have a realtor and are trying to do it yourself, get a real estate attorney to assist you with the whole process.
Commitment to your agent:
- By signing an exclusive buyer agency agreement and all agency forms.
- To communicate promptly, responsibly, and honestly.
- To willingly provide pertinent information as needed.
- To promptly inform agent of changes in timing, requirements, financing, or other information that may affect my service commitment to you.
- To submit a loan application and all lender requirements within the time frame of the contract when using financing.
- To enter contracts in good faith and make every effort to adhere to all negotiated contingencies.
- To inform all other Real Estate agents, sellers, and builders that you are represented by me.
Purchasing your home may be the biggest investment you make. As a Realtor, I have made it my chosen profession to assist you with this transaction, representing you as a buyer’s agent. As a fiduciary agent, I have your best interests in mind and always put them before my own. As such, I ask that you be upfront and disclose to other agents and builders that you are already represented by a Realtor. If you do visit properties or developments without me, there are some guidelines you should adhere to:
- Upon any contact with other Real Estate professionals, immediately give my name and/or business card to the agent or builder and mention that I have been helping you.
- Ask if the builder or agent if they will “honor” me as your Realtor. In this way, you will help protect our relationship and enable me to continue working with you through the closing. Make no mistake- the home buying, selling, and building process is a maze to navigate, and the help of a Real Estate Professional every is essential. Buying or sell real estate without a professional can lead to unneeded financial risks and costly mistakes. Often inexperienced buyers believe that they can save commission costs by going directly to the property owner, seller agent, or builder, this can be a costly mistake and often exposes consumers to unneeded risks and unforeseen complications. The message here is loud and clear get a Real Estate Agent in your corner to help you navigate that maze that is buying real estate.
As a buyer, hiring real estate agent many has many benefits. For example, in today’s seller market, your agent may be able to network with colleagues to find a home before it is listed on the MLS. This strategy may help you gain an advantageous position to make a competitive offer, get an acceptance and close on your dream home. Additionally, a realtor can help you navigate “the tricky waters” associated with multiple offers, where you, as the buyer, are up against other competing buyers bidding on the same property. Again if you live in the Cincinnati, OH area, please don’t hesitate to contact me with your real estate questions and needs.
Expect commitment, service and a high level of communication focused on protecting your interests and achieving your Real Estate goals!
My team commitment to helping you as the buyer:
To Help You find, choose and buy a Home, I Will:
- Set up a plan of action, through an analysis of your needs, wants, finances, and the current housing market.
- Provide continuing and current information on all homes available in your chosen area and price range including new construction.
- Personally, assist you in conducting your search to find neighborhoods and homes that match your requirements
- Discuss with you the benefits and drawbacks of each home in relation to your specific needs.
- Provide you with the information necessary for you to decide.
- Research any unanswered questions and provide you with data regarding the recent sale prices of comparable neighborhood homes of your choice.
- Provide the basic financing information necessary and refer you to a mortgage bank and lender.
Explain all the procedures followed to meet your loan application and inspection commitment as detailed in the purchase contract.
- Insure that you understand all the terms and conditions of the purchase contract and all other written documents.
- Perform all the detail work and negotiations that arise after submitting your contract to the seller.
Insure that all the parties involved are performing their roles to bring about a smooth purchase transaction all the way through to closing.
- Provide my professional service to you on a full-time basis. This is my “real” job not something I do in my spare time.
- Communicate to you responsibly and honestly.
- Counsel and explain all pertinent Real Estate documents.
- Research properties of interest to you within your qualifying range.
- Show you properties that match your specifications.
- Assist in arranging financing.
- Assist in scheduling inspections.
- Prepare written offer.
- Review with you all offers and counter offers.
- Present your offer and assist to negotiate favorable terms.
- Assist in arranging a home warranty if desired.
- Oversee paperwork throughout the transaction, loan process and closing.
- Coordinate the closing.
- Be in touch and available after the closing to help with any possible real estate needs.
1. Get a good Realtor
Find a good Realtor who is focused on your objectives and priorities.
It’s important that you find a Real Estate Agent who quickly demonstrates communication and listening skills necessary to assist you, the seller, through the preparation, listing, sale and closing process. Make sure you can understand and relate to your Real Estate agent’s communication style. The sales process requires extensive and frequent communications from pre-listing to closing. Choose a Real Estate agent that’s a Realtor, which means that he/she belongs to the National Association of Realtors. Your Realtor should be full-time and familiar with your market area. An engaged Realtor will provide you with a wealth of information that details the entire home selling process from preparing you home for market/showings through closing the sale and moving.
2. Make sure your Realtor does a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA). He or She can give you advice on the benefits/costs of pre-home inspections, pre-appraisal inspections.
3. Your Realtor should provide you with valuable info leading to a successful Home Sale:
- A plan as to where you are going to live after you sell your current home.
- A punch list of cleaning and preparation tasks to be completed before showing your home
- Checklists of how to de-cluttering and prepare your home for buyer appeal
- Instruction on staging and arranging furniture so that your home appears spacious to buyers
- A list of tradesmen and professionals to repair or enhance your home for sale
- An outline of the marketing and sales process including, offer, acceptance, contingencies and obstacles, hurdles or contract contingencies during the process such as inspections, appraisals, and lender financing requirements.
- Preparing a proforma seller’s net sheet indicating detailed revenue and expenses associated with the seller side of closing a home sale.
As a good Realtor who works with an outstanding regional broker, Sibcy Cline, we provide the above value-added services for our clients. Additionally, Sibcy Cline has in-house Mortgage, Insurance and Title Services as well as Home Services. This Home Services group recommends or refers vetted, competent, and cost-competitive tradesmen/contractors to assist you, our client, with all home repairs, enhancements, remodels, etc.. This in-house service group eliminates the hassle of searching for qualified and reputable contractors and allows you to focus your time elsewhere during home selling or home buying.
If you need help selling your home and Live in the Cincinnati, OH area, contact me first
While buyers are often compelled to see home ownership for many common reasons, no two transactions are ever the same.
Common reasons motivating buyers to buy or sellers to sell include: investment, business location, agricultural, and the most common underlying motivator being the desire for fulfilling the American Dream of Home ownership. Whether moving up or moving down in price, moving in or moving out of communities and towns, life change situations are obviously compelling reasons for home change that we all experience on our journey.
Graduation, job change, marriage, divorce, birth, death, illness,
aging, simple downsizing, upsizing, or right-sizing are obvious and compelling motivators for buyers to buy and sellers to sell.
It all sounds somewhat simple and basic, but just as no two individuals are the same, so too, no two home or real estate transactions or experiences are the same. Therefore, selecting a realtor who genuinely takes time to listen and understand your unique situation is of paramount importance. Kevin Horne and his Sibcy Cline team achieves competitive advantage by leveraging a performance-driven servant-attitude and client-oriented approach. By combining can-do attitude with skill, experience, knowledge, and resources, we help buyers and sellers achieve objectives. Always putting the client’s best interest in the forefront of every decision leads to customer satisfaction and Results that Move You.
So, weather your moving around the corner or to another state, buying or selling a property, contact Kevin Horne, a Sibcy Cline Realtor, for advice on all your real estate needs. You will be glad you did! (See my Testimonials)
Home buying and selling is What we do… and to attain your satisfaction is why we do it!
Although this is a very broad question and can be answered in several ways. Commonly those who are thinking about selling want to know whether it a good time to do so, and why or why not? Many micro and macro-economic factors play a role in our home real estate market. Uncontrollable economic market factors including unemployment rates, mortgage interest rates, and competition from other homes for sale in your area affect the sale of your home. Currently, supply and demand is significant nationally and locally here in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, where we find buyer demand is outpacing home inventory or home supply. Thus, we have a fundamental economic model of demand-pull home price inflation increasing average sale price and creating a “Seller’s Market” where home sellers enjoy a premium upon sale. In summary, it is an outstanding time to sell! Don’t go it alone, get with a good Realtor to help you sort through the numerous other factors such as price, terms, condition, home size, amenities, and Location, Location, Location that affect the market value and sale of your home.
Credit scores play a big role in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be. So, keep your credit score high by doing the following:
- Check for errors in your credit report. Thanks to an act of Congress, you can download one free credit report each year at annualcreditreport.com. If you find any errors, correct them immediately.
- Pay down credit card bills. If possible, pay off the entire balance every month. Transferring credit card debt from one card to another could lower your score.
- Don’t charge your credit cards to the max. Pay down as much as you can every month.
- Wait 12 months after credit difficulties to apply for a mortgage. You’re penalized less severely for problems after a year.
- Don’t order items for your new home on credit. Wait until after your home loan is approved to charge appliances and furniture, as that will add to your debt.
- Don’t open new credit card accounts. If you’re applying for a mortgage, having too much available credit can lower your score.
- Shop for mortgage rates all at once. Having too many credit applications can lower your score. However, multiple inquiries about your credit score from the same type of lender are counted as one if submitted over a short period of time.
- Avoid finance companies. Even if you pay off their loan on time, the interest is high and it may be considered a sign of poor credit management.
Develop a budget: Instead of telling yourself what you’d like to spend, use receipts to create a budget that reflects your actual habits over the last several months. This approach will better factor in unexpected expenses alongside more predictable costs such as utility bills and groceries. You’ll probably spot some ways to save, whether it’s cutting out that morning trip to Starbucks or eating dinner at home more often.
Reduce debt: Lenders generally look for a debt load of no more than 36 percent of income. This figure includes your mortgage, which typically ranges between 25 and 28 percent of your net household income. So you need to get monthly payments on the rest of your installment debt—car loans, student loans, and revolving balances on credit cards — down to between 8 and 10 percent of your net monthly income.
Increase your income: Now’s the time to ask for a raise! If that’s not an option, you may want to consider taking on a second job to get your income at a level high enough to qualify for the home you want.
Save for a down payment: Designate a certain amount of money each month to put away in your savings account. Although it’s possible to get a mortgage with 5 percent down or less, you can usually get a better rate if you put down a larger percentage of the total purchase. Aim for a 20 percent down payment.
Keep your job: While you don’t need to be in the same job forever to qualify for a home loan, having a job for less than two years may mean you have to pay a higher interest rate.
Establish a good credit history: Get a credit card and make payments by the due date. Do the same for all your other bills, too. Pay off entire balances as promptly as possible.
Start saving: Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs, which can average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.
Obtain a copy of your credit report: Make sure it is accurate and correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.
Decide what kind of mortgage you can afford: Generally, you want to look for homes valued between two and three times your gross income, but a financing professional can help determine the size of loan for which you’ll qualify. Find out what kind of mortgage (30-year or 15-year? Fixed or adjustable rate?) is best for you. Also, gather the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan, such as W-2s, pay stub copies, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements. Don’t forget property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and association fees, if applicable.
One very Important thing to remember during the Mortgage application process is that your mortgage lender will be closely monitoring any changes in your financial position. So, during the loan approval process, that is- through the purchase and closing of your new home, you must not make any substantial changes including credit card charges, credit payoffs, loan requests, cash purchases, or financial transaction that affect your financial position without getting your lender approval. Even if you can afford it, don’t make the mistake of buying a new vehicle, piece of furniture, or appliance for your future home. Best case scenario – this will delay closing and worst case break the deal. The lender will run your credit at 3 days before close as a general rule of thumb.
Every lender requires documents as part of the process of approving a mortgage loan. Here are documents you’re generally required to provide.
- W-2 Tax forms — or business tax returns if you’re self-employed — for the last two or three years for every person signing the loan.
- At least one pay stub for each person signing the loan.
- Account numbers of all your credit cards and the amounts for any outstanding balances.
- Two to four months of bank or credit union statements for both checking and savings accounts.
- Lender, loan number, and amount owed on installment loans, such as student loans and car loans.
- Addresses where you’ve lived for the last five to seven years, with names of landlords if appropriate.
- Brokerage account statements for two to four months, as well as a list of any other major assets of value, such as a boat, RV, or stocks or bonds not held in a brokerage account.
- Your most recent 401(k) or other retirement account statement.
- Documentation to verify additional income, such as child support or a pension.
Loan terms, rates, and products can vary significantly from one company to the next. When shopping around, these are a few things you should ask about.
What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?
Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable?
Do you offer discounts for inspections, home ownership classes, or automatic payment set-up?
Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost, and how long will it be required?
What escrow requirements do you have?
What kind of bill-pay options do you offer?
What would be included in my mortgage payment (homeowners insurance, property taxes, etc.)?
Which type of mortgage plan would you recommend for my situation?
Who will service this loan—your bank or another company?
How long will the rate on this loan be in a lock-in period? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if the market rate drops during this period?
How long will the loan approval process take?
How long will it take to close the loan?