This is my review of the "new article" by Fort Smith Realtor, Ken Wintory
Many people buy and sell houses in Fort Smith, Arkansas as well as everwhere else. Ken Wintory currenty and has been a multi-million dollar producer for Ramona Roberts Realtors for over 20 years. In that capacity, he finally agreed to share some of his knowledge and insight.
This initial article Ken came by helps primarily the buyer and "New" buyer, specifically. Although it helps the new buyer, it too, can assist the seller in knowing what the process is for the buyer and to be able to adjust their negotiations based on this input.
Herewith, Ken's Article:
Real Estate in Fort Smith, Arkansas: 10 steps to your first purchase!
Introduction: Fort Smith Homes
Selling or buying a home anywhere can be frustrating. But in Fort Smith, Arkansas (the Arkansas River Valley), it can be painstaking at best. Consider that we have a financial "ballyhoo" going on in almost all our surrounding towns, Little Rock, Springdale, Fayetteville, etc. where housing prices are going up and down, like a roller-coaster.
Purpose: Fort Smith Homes
In order to eliminate some of this worry and strife, this report was made by Ken Wintory, a Realtor in Fort Smith, Arkansas, for your information and with that in mind, he thought the people of the River Valley and the surrounding community might enjoy learning of new, old and inventive ways to fix up, remodel and/or make you own Fort Smith Home much more efficient.
If your interests lay more to the purchasing or selling of your home, well, he'll throw in some good information also about when it comes time to dispose of your current home in the Fort Smith Area, but first let's start with the most harrowing experience of the home purchaser, faced with the purchase of their first home.
Ken has some great insights for them in his initial article, 10 Easy Steps to Purchasing Your Home. This is the first in a series of informative articles toward that end.
Article One: Fort Smith Homes - Ten Easy Steps to What to Expect in Purchasing Your New Home
1) Initially, it would be in your best interest to be pre-approved by a financial institution; this one thing will accrue you several good things in your favor.
It is quick to accomplish and will determine what type of loan you can qualify for; your lender will provide you with a "good faith" estimate, which will allow you to know how much your loan will cost and most importantly, it makes your offer to the seller that much stronger, especially if the seller has received multiple offers!
Imagine if you've accomplished this one thing and run across a seller that really needs to sell their home and gets an offer from you and another offer.
If the other people making an offer haven't completed this one step, then how is the seller to know, if they can come through and "really" complete their offer. If you were the seller, which buyer would you give your approval to, all else about the two offers being equal?
2) Decide whether or not you want a new house, that no one has lived in or if you could fix-up a lived in home, that may not be perfectly suited to your taste immediately.
The biggest difference will be in the down payment required. A new home, even if the price the developer gives it to you for, can still cost more than an "already been lived in" home.
A "brand new" home, needs more stuff to get it in livable shape, things such as drapes, furniture, lawn maintenance, etc., think about it, those things can add up quickly. On the other hand, an "already lived in home" can accumulate more expense by virtue of the fact that the current owners could have worn out the property and you will need to "fix it up" before it will be livable for you.
In other words, are you willing to change out paint colors, add, or change carpeting, update kitchens or baths, put in or do without a fireplace or a swimming pool? These are all personal questions, only you can answer.
3) Once you've determined the answers to these important questions, it is then time to consult an agent. Choose carefully and ONLY CHOOSE one agent to work with! Why only one agent, it's really quite simple if you think about it?
The agent will assist you in searching for the "perfect home". You and they will work in concert with one another obtaining property addresses, funneling those properties through the search parameters that you've selected to make sure they are actually properties you'd like to investigate further.
Multiple agents will tend to confuse you on points like who has given you which properties to look at and plus trust and loyalty will pay huge dividends to you and your agent in being able to find that "perfect property" at the "perfect price".
You will probably want an agent that works ONLY for you (they call them a "buyer's representative", the seller still pay them, but they only work for you and your interests, by written agreement).
There are differences among agents; some agents will have great rapport with FSBO's (for sale by owners), FRBO's (for rent/lease by owners) and many other parts of a fractured real estate market, as well as access to the MLS, through their membership in the local Board of Realtors.
It will also be important how well your agent handles the high tech (internet) disciplines that will be required to search out the hidden gems among the rocks. The better they are at using high technology items, the more apt they will be at separating the rocks from the gems!
4) That's what the agent can do for you is provide with quality properties (addresses) to look at, what you will be able to help out is act as the final filtering process.
In short, you take the list of properties the agent and you decide have meet your personal criteria and then drive by them to determine several things, prior to making an appointment to see the inside.
5) Try to answer these simple questions, which will be important; does the curb appeal meet your expectations? Is the location acceptable? How is the distance to work, school, church, etc.?
Once you've established that the home meets your approval from the exterior, it's time to let your agent make an appointment so you can see the inside.
6) Now then you and the agent are inside (be sure to take paper and pen for notes, even a digital still of video camera for visual notes) go through the tour and look for all the flaws as well as possibilities of the property.
Only when the home has met your personal criteria, your drive by viewing and the interior walk through and your financial goals, it is time to get with your agent to figure out your offer to the seller.
7) Be sure to have on hand your pre-approval letter from your lender of choice, armed with all this; determine a price, type of financing and negotiable items that you are willing to start with in an initial offer.
Also have an alternative offer, in case the sellers want to counter your initial offer, or if another bidder outbids you for the home. Generally, you have two things to consider when making an offer, price and terms.
As you increase or decrease one, the other will decrease or increase in tandem, normally. For instance, if you will allow the seller a better (increased) price, generally the seller will allow you better terms, i.e., to keep appliances, will repaint the house, might carry back a second note, etc., but if price is critical to you, then be prepared not to receive any unusual terms.
Conversely, if it's important to you to have the seller postpone the closing date by thirty days for you (so you can get that extra car you have sold in order to come up with the necessary funds for closing) then you agree to offer the sellers more money for that privilege.
8) Once your offer has been thought out and put in writing by your agent, you will need to put an earnest money deposit with the offer (earnest money is collected at the time the offer is submitted and deposited with the selected title company or broker, will all the parties to the agreement have decided accept or reject the offer, at which time it is returned to the person making the offer).
9) If and/or when your offer is accepted, then be prepared to close with these steps:
Obtain a termite report from the seller. Lenders normally require that one be provided, prior to closing, however, if this is a cash sale, one isn't required.
A home inspection; this isn't mandatory; however, it is a good idea to have it made by a qualified and/or state licensed home inspector of your choice.
A survey, most lenders will accept an existing survey for loan approval, if it is less than 10 years old and there have been no changes to the property lines, be sure to ask your lender.
Transfer the utilities to your name; about 7-10 days prior to closing call the utilities and transfer the water, gas, electric, cable, etc..
Be sure to change your mailing address with the post office (all it takes is filling out a post card and the USPO, will handle all the rest for you.
10) Be prepared the day of closing; bring your driver's license as legal proof of ID, which includes a photograph of you. If you have no driver's license, go to the police station and ask for an official picture ID. You will also need two more items, your social security card and a cashier's check for the amount, you'll be told by your agent, made out to the title company where you close.
Conclusion: Fort Smith Homes
We've attempted, here, to lay out in this report, as detailed information as I possibly could, but please ask about any issues, you still are concerned about or don't understand.
A writer can only so brief in describing these procedures, so we tend to eliminate any fluff as we go so you won't get bored in the reading.
In any case, things change, with each legislative session, so by the time you read this or need this information, it might have changed.
To be sure just write or visit me at my website address: http://www.kenwintory.com or call me: (479) 459-8088, I will diligently try to answer your query, but should you ask me something, I'm not sure of, I'll take the time to investigate the answer and get that answer to you as quickly as possible.
Or email me, Ken Wintory
Ken Wintory, Realtor, CRS, GRI, ABR