2022 Kurtz Avenue, Pasadena
The Home Buying Process with
The Scott Smolen Team at RE/MAX Leading Edge
Buying a home can be a complicated and overwhelming process, but with the expert guidance of Scott Smolen and his Team, it becomes more manageable, seamless, and enjoyable. The Scott Smolen Team strives to help clients focus on the big picture rather than getting bogged down by the processing details which they handle for the Buyers.
Scott has truly seen just about everything, and there are not many challenges that come along that cannot be solved using his proven combination of business acumen and real estate expertise. Whether this is your first time buying a home or your 10th time, when you place your trust in The Scott Smolen Team, you can rest assured that your home purchase is the hands of one of the top Realtors in Maryland. Take a look at how the process works when you choose to partner with Scott.
1) Needs Assessment
The home buying process begins with a comprehensive needs assessment, in which we gather information to truly understand what you would like in your next home from size, to amenities, to location, and more. We encourage full collaboration that allows clients to participate in their own path to home ownership, and we’ll use our knowledge of the industry to create a customized approach for every client based on their needs, their budget, and the current state of the market.
During your initial needs assessment, we will:
- Analyze your specific home needs and requirements
- Discuss current market trends
- Develop the best search plan based on timing and other pertinent factors.
2) Property Selection
This is where we begin to put our plan into action, as we gather listings that are a good fit for your needs and work to schedule showings. We’ll perform an exhaustive search using our extensive connections and industry resources, and we are often able to present options that have not been officially listed on the MLS, which gives our buyers a competitive advantage on viewing a hot property.
During this stage, we will:
- Set up a daily “listing alert” filtered by your specific search criteria, giving you instant notifications of new properties via email, use our professional resources to present you with a combination of listed and unlisted homes.
- Perform research on new home construction projects that may fit your needs and budget if you are considering new homes
- Answer any questions you may have about the homes we find, and arrange for interior access to every home you would like to view
3) Viewing Properties
We will accompany you on every showing within your search area that has a possibility to become your next home. We are happy to answer questions that come up onsite, and help you select a property that has the features, amenities, location, and neighborhood that you’re looking for, while also adhering to your budget.
Sometimes you may find your dream home on day one. Sometimes it takes many months. The Scott Smolen Team is patient and values open communication, and we will never rush you into deciding. We want you to love your home and smile as you come home to it everyday.
At this stage of the process, we will:
- Provide objective information and honest property evaluations
- Schedule on-site representation for new communities if you are considering new homes
- Keep you apprised of evolving financial markets, interest rates, and loan opportunities
- Work around your schedule with possible weekend and evening showings if required
- We know you have a busy schedule and sometimes you may not be able to see a home in person that you are interested in. If this happens, we also offer "virtual showings" via Zoom or Skype or another similar service so that you can see a home from anywhere.
Once you’ve decided to submit an offer for your next home, we will immediately get to work to leverage your power as a buyer to ensure you offer the best contract terms based on the current housing market. We will prepare a comparative market analysis for you to review recent home sales in the area that you are considering for you to review and share with you our thoughts on the market. Our goal is to give you all of the information possible so you are able to make an informed offer decision moving forward.
- Help you develop your personalized strategy for success. This includes suggesting the protective contingencies for you as a Buyer including, but not limited to inspections and what to expect, the appraisal process, HOA documents review, possibly requesting a home warranty, and more to include with your offer.
- Work with you and your lender to obtain the proper documentation to include with your offer
- Discuss other terms that can have an impact on your offer such as your Earnest Money Deposit and Down Payment
- Prepare the offer for you to review
- Use our digital signature system so that you can review the paperwork and execute it in the privacy of your own home, office, or even on your phone if you prepare. This maintains the confidentiality of your personal information
There are 3 possible responses once we submit your offer:
- Our offer can be accepted as presented to the Sellers
- Our offer can be rejected without a counter offer
- Our offer can be rejected and we are presented with a counteroffer from the Sellers
We certainly prefer that Sellers accept our offer, however that is not always the case. In the event that we receive a counter offer from the Sellers, we will review those terms with you and discuss your possible response options. Some of the terms that are often countered by Sellers can include items such as the offer price, the proposed settlement date, timing of inspections, and other items along those lines. We will review any counter terms with you and share our thoughts with you regarding a possible response. You are always the final decision maker; our goal is to help you make the most informed decision possible by sharing the pertinent information.
5) What to Expect Once Your Offer is Accepted
Congratulations, your offer has been accepted! We immediately go to work processing your file so that you will have a smooth settlement as scheduled. The first step in this process is to make sure you have a fully executed copy of the contract. Next, we will send your contract to your lender and your title company of choice if you would like us to do this on your behalf.
Once everyone involved in the transaction has the contract, then we will move forward with scheduling your inspections. If you have an inspector that you would like to use, we can work with him / her to schedule access to the property at a time that works for your schedule. If you do not have an inspector that you would like to work with, we are happy to give you some local referrals for quality inspectors in the area as well. Once the inspections are completed, we will review the reports with you and determine if any requests should be made to the Sellers based on the results of the inspection.
Simultaneously, as the inspections are being scheduled and taking place, we will be coordinating with your lender and title company to make sure that everyone is moving forward with their respective jobs. The lender will likely be in direct contact with you at this time as well as they request forms and documentation for your loan. We will be communicating with your lender to make sure that the appraisal has been ordered and everything is moving smoothly on their end.
The title company will be conducting the title search on the property in order to make sure that title is clear and marketable without any encumbrances. They will reach out to you regarding options relating to title insurance and how you plan to take title to your home as well. We will be happy to offer you guidance and recommendations if any questions pop up.
If you are purchasing a home located in a homeowners association or a condominium association, we will be working to obtain the community paperwork for you to review. You will have 7 days to review the condominium association documents and 5 days to review homeowners association documents by state law in Maryland. Our goal is to get those documents in your hands as quickly as possible, so that you can make sure there is nothing in them that will prevent you from living in your new home as you expect. In the unlikely event there is something that you cannot accept, you have the unconditional right to terminate the contract without penalty and receive your Earnest Money Deposit back in full, provided you do so within the contingency period.
6. Settlement and Beyond
Once we have cleared the hurdles above (and any others should they arise), then we need to hear 3 magic words. Those words are "clear to close". At this point in time you should know the exact amount of money you will need at settlement. The title company will usually provide you with wiring instructions in advance of the settlement day and we will make arrangements to attend settlement with you.
Most settlements usually take about an hour to complete, so you will want to plan accordingly. Closing documents do need to be signed in person instead of with the secure digital signature programs. The reason for this is that most lenders and courts require "wet signatures" for the settlement paperwork. If for some reason you are not able to attend settlement on the date it is scheduled, not to worry. As long as we know in advance, we can make arrangements for you to sign your documents almost anywhere. We have had Buyers sign their closing documents when they were not physically in the country on the day of closing, so we certainly can handle this if the need arises.
We will remain responsive and available as we work through every phase of your home buying journey and beyond. Our goal is to build lasting relationships everyone we work with that last well beyond closing day. We consistently operate with the highest standards of customer service and attention to detail. After nearly 25 years in the real estate profession, we have built up a solid network of service providers, contractors, landscapers, and other professionals that serve homeowners to our standard of quality, and we are always here to recommend the best in the business to our happy new homeowners.
Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions at all. We are happy to answer anything we can for you, or setup a time for a no obligation consultation if you are in the market to buy your next home. It is always our goal to exceed your expectations.
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