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Buyer's Guide

Not sure what the next step is or not sure where to start? Vlahakis Homes has you covered! Our Buyer’s Guide provides detailed information and tips on each step of the process. If you have a question on any aspect of the process, please let us know! We’re here to help you and your household to the closing and beyond.

Purchasing a home can be one of the biggest decisions made in a lifetime. Our expertise and personalized service will walk you through a complicated process in the most efficient manner possible.

A common misconception is that by hiring a buyer’s agent, a homebuyer has to pay more for their home than another that doesn’t have an agent. Professional representation of a homebuyer’s interest in purchasing a home comes at the expense of the seller’s listing agent. Your Vlahakis Homes’ Buyer’s Agent provides the following services – all at no expense to the homebuyer:

  • Assist with a home search, both on and off market homes

  • Arrange showings of any home for you at your convenience

  • Provide you with a list of qualified and experienced vendors and lenders

  • Assist with writing the offers and counteroffers

  • Protect and advocate your personal interest

  • Explain all agreements and contracts, and negotiate on your behalf

  • Provide you with all possible information concerning the home

  • Keep all information, personal and financial, confidential

  • Monitor escrow and closing

Most real estate purchases require a bank to issue a mortgage. Our competitive market necessitates ensuring your financing is secure before entering the transaction. We’ll help you get there.

Homebuyers that are pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan have a better understanding for how much they can spend on a home than those who are not.

Pre-qualifying with a lender is a big first step on the path to purchasing a home, but it is recommended that every buyer go one step further to receive a pre-approval from their chosen lender. Pre-qualification is a quick review of your credit and income that shows you are capable of buying up to a certain point with no underwriting. A pre-approval is provided after you have gone through the underwriting process with the bank to the point where all of your financial assets are approved, leaving only the appraisal as a contingency of your financing.

Providing a seller with a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter with your offer, especially in a competitive market, will help put them at ease in accepting your offer and strengthens your negotiation position. It is also important to know what price range you should be looking in. This cleans up the financing process for your purchase, creating an efficient and pain-free transaction.

We’ll help you find your next house, and turn it into your next home.

Our first interview will help us determine the initial search criteria for your home; how many bedrooms you’d like, where you would want it to be, what type of architectural style, among other things. We’ll also ask you about your personal and professional life. Are you married? What is your current occupation? Do you want room for your family to grow inside the same home? How long are you planning on living in your new home? Answering these questions will allow us to provide suggestions for what kinds of homes you may be interested in.

Vlahakis’ experienced staff and access to cutting edge technological resources that are available to real estate professionals allows us to streamline the process of our purchases. When you sign with us you will receive access to the same tools we use and an agent who works with you personally. Your Vlahakis Homes’ Buyer’s Agent will preview all homes you may be interested in, keep you informed of market trends, and see you through the process until the keys of your new home are in your hands.

Our agents will help you in writing the purchase agreement of your home. This is where our skill in negotiation and transaction experience greatly benefit our clients.

Once we’ve found your next home, there are some important things to plan for when writing up the offer.

The Sale Price – Understand that the price of the home you are purchasing is negotiable. However, submitting an offer that is lower than the listing price is not always in your favor. The seller may have received another offer above the listing price, or be offended and cease to negotiate.

Change of Possession – A flexible move-in date makes your offer more appealing to sellers. If the seller can arrange their affairs at convenience, they will be much more willing to choose your offer over one that inconveniences them.

Additional and Personal Property – Often at the right price, the seller will be willing to leave behind items they owned: major appliances, furniture, plants, a portable shed, and other items.

Presenting the Offer – Once your offer is written, your Vlahakis Homes’ Buyer’s Agent will present it to the seller and/or their agent. They will accept it, reject it, or counter it with an offer of their own with changes to the terms of the purchase agreement. The counteroffer is the most common response. Our negotiation skill, experience, and in-house counseling services greatly benefit our clients when counteroffers are unfavorable and need more modifications.

We’ve found your home and locked it under contract – what’s next? Your agent is here to guide you through the transaction.

Before closing and purchasing your home, a final inspection is often recommended or required. The professional home inspectors will conduct thorough inspections of the following items:

  • General Structure of the Home

  • Foundation

  • Electrical Systems

  • Heating and Air Conditioning

  • Lead-Based Paint

  • Radon Air Test

  • Roof and Attic

  • Plumbing

  • Appliances

  • Pests

The inspection is not a critique of the home, but a report of possible concerns the buyer of the home should be aware of. If any serious issues should occur, the inspector will recommend a licensed professional perform an inspection as well. Your decision to purchase or not to purchase can be made based on the final inspection. If you feel that the necessary repairs to the home are too much to justify purchasing it, you can withdraw your offer. In some cases, the seller will make the repairs at no cost to you, or they may require credit for doing so. This is all negotiable in the final purchase agreement of your home. Our Buyer’s Agents will be present at these inspections, and we suggest you should, too. This will allow you to clearly understand the report and know where to focus your attention. The inspector may also provide advice on how to solve the problems or issues in the report.

We’ll work hand in hand with your lender throughout the mortgage process to help you get through underwriting in as expedient a manner as possible.

  1. Underwriting – Your loan package is submitted to an underwriter for insurance approval. This is where your financial information is further reviewed by the lender’s team. Once the underwriters are satisfied with your credentials, they will order the appraisal.

  2. The Appraisal – A state licensed appraiser will perform an appraisal on the house. They are considered to be an objective third party and are hired to calculate a value for the property using comparable sales for the lender’s protection. If you or the bank are not satisfied with the appraisal, you may withdraw your offer.

  3. Approval – Once your loan is approved, it will be disclosed to all concerned parties and sent to the title company.

  4. Title Examination – A title company will conduct a survey of the title of the home you’re purchasing to verify that any liens, judgments, or mortgages are paid off in full and to provide you with title insurance.

  5. Purchase – Your lender reviews your loan package and funds are transferred.

The day has finally arrived to close and end the process of buying your home with Vlahakis Homes. We’ll help you be prepared for it!

Here’s what you’ll need to bring to the table:

  • Certified check for closing costs and down payment payable to the title company

  • Any requested Paid Receipts

  • Your home insurance binder/certificate

  • Photo ID(s)

  • Social Security cards/numbers

  • Anything else your lender may ask for

Once the title transfers from the seller to you, you own your home! This occurs when the purchase funds are delivered to the seller and the deed is delivered to you. A deed is the documentation of the transfer of real estate ownership. After closing, the deed is recorded in the local county clerk’s office and will be sent to you later.

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