Buyer’s Guide

For Most People, A Home Is Their Largest Investment.

The Home Buying Process Should Not Be A Mystery.

When You Select a MARKET MAX REALTOR to Help You,

You’ll Have a Skilled Professional, Every Step of The Way!

That’s Our Promise.

Do YOU Have A MARKET MAX REALTOR?
 

Home Buyer’s Guide

 What Buyers Should Know

I:   THE  PREPARATION

1.   MARKET MAX Listens to You. 

a)    If you’re not working with another Broker, You are Priority Number One.

b)    The more we know about what you want, the more we can help you!

c)    When you’re done, we explain the Buying process & answer any questions.

2.  We Discuss Agency Relationships and Your Options.

a)    We explain Michigan’s Agency Disclosure form and answer any questions.

b)    If you choose us to represent you, we explain the Buyer Agency Agreement.

c)    From this point on, our relationship will be according to the option you select. 

3.  We Discuss Mortgages and Your Options.

a)    For your convenience, MARKET MAX has access to mortgage professionals.

b)    You are not required to work with the company who issued your pre-approval.

c)    In the time allowed for application, you are free to shop for the best mortgage.

d)    Buyers should avoid major purchases or money transfers before closing.

4.  We Help You Get Your Mortgage Pre-Approval. 

a)    If you’re not already pre-approved, we can help you get pre-approved quickly. 

b)    A mortgage pre-approval helps us to focus on the correct price range.

c)    A mortgage pre-approval puts you in a stronger negotiating position.

d)    A mortgage pre-approval is often required when we submit an offer.

II:   THE  SEARCH 

5.  We Start Searching For Your Next Home. 

a)    After we know what you want, and the price range, we start searching.

b)    We access Michigan’s largest property databases (Multiple Listing Services).

c)    We can provide you with access to demographics and school information.

d)    We enter the Search Criteria in the computer to see what’s available.

e)    The program finds matching properties from all participating Brokers. 

f)     We can print out property listings, or send them to your e-mail, or both.

g)    We can send updates of new listings to your e-mail, daily or weekly.

6.  We Show You Properties You Select.

a)    We’ll do our best to arrange property showings for you on your schedule. 

b)    Our agents are patient and happy to show you as many homes as it takes.

c)    In most cases, we can show you properties regardless of who listed them.

d)    You should never contact the listing Broker directly….. that’s our job.

7.  When We Find A Home, We Also Find Answers.

a)    We can explain information from the Listing Broker.

b)    We can explain information from the City or County.

c)    We can explain information from the School District.

d)    We can show you the Sales History for any home, as available.

e)    We can review with you any disclosures supplied by the Seller.

f)     We can estimate what you’d pay in Tax Pro-Rations.

g)    We can estimate how much you’d need to bring to Closing.

h)   We can help you get answers to your questions about any property.

8.  We Can Estimate The Market Value of a Property.

a)    At your request, we can do a “Market Analysis” to estimate a property’s value.

b)    The results of a “Market Analysis” may be used to justify your Offer.

III:   THE  OFFER  AND  AGREEMENT

9.  Before Making An Offer, We Review The Documents.

a)    We obtain property Documents and Disclosures from the Listing Broker.

b)    We review the available property Documents and Disclosures with you.

c)    Seller’s Disclosure Statement and Lead-Based Paint Disclosure are typical.

d)    Property Disclosures are made based on information known by the Seller.

e)    Disclosures are not Warranties and are not a substitution for Inspections.

f)     If any Disclosures are incomplete or not legible, you should not sign them.

g)    Some Sellers are Exempt by law from filling out the Disclosures.

h)   When you are satisfied, we have you sign and initial as needed.

10.  We Prepare Your Offer To Purchase.

 a)    We prepare your Offer To Purchase, according to your instructions.

b)    As Brokers & Salespersons, we are not parties to Purchase Agreements.

c)    We review your Offer To Purchase with you, and answer your questions.

d)    When you are satisfied, we have you sign and initial the Offer as needed.

e)    We collect the Earnest Money Deposit from you and make copies.

f)     Be sure you have enough money in the account you write the Deposit from.

g)    If you are buying with a mortgage, we obtain your mortgage pre-approval.

h)   If you are buying cash, we need your Proof-Of-Funds or Bank Statements.

i)     We double-check to make sure the Offer Package is complete.

j)     We provide you with signed copies of the entire Offer Package. 

11.   We Present or Submit Your Offer.

a)    When possible, we prefer to present Offers directly to the Seller in person.

b)    Another option is to be present when the Listing Agent presents your Offer.

c)    We may also submit the Offer to the Listing Office in person, by fax or Email.

d)    We maintain contact with the Listing Agent until we receive a response.

12.   We Review The Seller’s Response With You.

a)    If your Offer is Rejected, you may have the option to make another Offer.

b)    If a competing offer is accepted, you may be able to make a Back-Up Offer.

c)    If Seller made changes, you must respond to Counter-Offer in a timely way. 

d)    Seller’s Counter-Offers are only valid until the day and time provided.

e)    Per your instructions, we will submit as many Offers as necessary.

13.   Congratulations, You Bought A Home! 

a)    If your Offer is accepted by Seller without changes, you have an Agreement. 

b)    You will receive the accepted Agreement and asked to acknowledge its receipt. 

IV:  DUE DILIGENCE   &  INSPECTIONS

14.  We Assist You With The Property Inspection.

a)    At your request, we schedule the Property Inspection with your chosen firm.

b)    We recommend that you attend the Property Inspection in person.

c)    In most cases, MARKET MAX Agents will also attend the Inspection.

d)    If Inspection Results are Not Acceptable to you, we will explain your options.

e)    Per your instructions, we notify Seller’s Agent of any Inspection results.

f)     Per your instructions, we notify Seller’s Agent of Inspection-related requests.

g)    Any issues or objections from Buyer must be raised in the time allowed.

h)   Any extensions of Inspection period must be requested in the time allowed.

i)     Failure to act in time usually means Buyer accepts the property “As-Is”. 

15.  Property  Inspections  –  What Buyers Should Know

a)    Most Agreements allow a number of days for Due Diligence / Inspections.

b)    Due Diligence typically includes Property Inspections and any Research. 

c)    Most Home Inspections are general in nature and are done visually.

d)    You may also inspect for Lead Paint, Mold, Radon, Pests, Well & Septic, etc.

e)    All inspections are done at Buyer’s expense, unless otherwise agreed.

f)     FHA inspections are not done for Buyer and should not be relied upon.

g)    Inspections previously ordered by Seller should not be relied upon.

h)   MARKET MAX recommends Buyers hire independent Property Inspectors.

i)     MARKET MAX recommends Buyers research all facts about the property.

j)     Square Feet, Sizes and Dimensions are Estimated, so Buyer should verify.

k)    Any issues or objections from Buyer must be raised in the time allowed.

l)     Any extensions of Inspection period must be requested in the time allowed.

m)  Failure to act in time usually means Buyer accepts the property “As-Is”. 

16.  Municipal Inspections  –  What Buyers Should Know

a)    Some Areas require Municipal Inspections before selling the property.

b)    Usually, Seller pays a fee for City Inspection & gets a list of needed repairs.

c)    Some Sellers have not completed the city-required repairs at time of sale.

d)    In such cases, Buyers must agree to complete repairs in the time required.

e)    Buyer should verify the required repairs directly with the municipality.

f)     Buyers should get good repair estimates & adjust their Offer for the repairs. 

g)    If Buyers relied on bad estimate, the property could cost Buyer more money.

h)   Often, Certificate of Occupancy is not issued until repairs pass city inspection. 

V:   TITLE  INSURANCE

17.   Title Insurance  –  What Buyers Should Know

a)    Title Insurance protects an Insured from certain title defects, liens and claims.

b)    The Homeowners Policy of Title Insurance protects the Buyer.

c)    The Lender’s Policy of Title Insurance Protects the Lender.

d)    The Purchase Agreement usually specifies who orders and pays for the Title.

e)    A Title Order includes copy of Purchase Agreement and other Documents.

f)     A Title Order usually also includes the Real Estate Closing Instructions.

g)    The Title company searches Public Records for problems in the title history.

h)   The results of a Title Search are delivered in the form of a Title Commitment.

i)     Both Listing Broker and Selling Broker should receive copies of Commitment.

j)     The Title Commitment lists the defects, liens and other problems found.

k)    The Title Commitment also lists the Requirements that must be satisfied.

l)     If the Requirements are not satisfied, they may be excluded from coverage.

m)   There are usually other Exclusions, Exceptions and Conditions to coverage.

n)    MARKET MAX recommends title insurance WITHOUT Standard Exceptions.

o)    MARKET MAX recommends Buyer examine the Title Commitment carefully.

p)    If Buyer is not satisfied with the Title, Buyer should consult an attorney.

q)    Most Purchase Agreements specify the rights of the parties regarding Title.

r)     Buyers may also have other rights provided under the law.  

18.   MARKET MAX Assists Buyers With Title Work

a)    Most Purchase Agreements provide that Seller or their Agent order Title.

b)    If Purchase Agreement specifies, we will order Title.

c)    At Buyer’s request, we will review the Title Commitment with Buyer.

d)    At Buyer’s request, we can direct Title questions to the Title Agency.

e)    If Buyer is not satisfied with the Title, Buyer should consult an attorney.

f)     Most Purchase Agreements specify the rights of the parties regarding Title.

g)    Buyers may also have other rights provided under the law.  

 VI:   PROPERTY  SURVEY

 19.   Surveys  –  What Buyers Should Know

a)    Land Surveys measure and determine boundaries for land.

b)    Surveys typically also show Easements and buildings on the land.

c)    When large or un-platted land is involved, you may want a “Stake Survey”.

d)    “Stake Surveys” are done at the site, and may be expensive.

e)    Most Lenders require only a “Mortgage Survey”, which is less expensive.

f)     If there is no Lender, or they don’t require a Survey, you can still request one.

g)    You should not rely on outdated Surveys, as changes may have occurred.

h)   If you want Title WITHOUT Standard Exceptions, a Survey is usually needed.

VII:   PROPERTY  APPRAISAL

20.   Appraisals  –  What Buyers Should Know

a)    Appraisals are an estimate of property value, done by licensed Appraisers.

b)    Most Lenders require Borrower to pay for an Appraisal by Lender’s Appraiser.

c)    Most Loans are made based on the lower of Sale Price or Appraised Value.

d)    If Appraisal is Less than Sale Price, Lender may want more Down Payment.

e)    Lender may also Deny the Loan if Appraisal is Less than Sale Price.

f)     The Seller may be willing to reduce the Sale Price to make the sale possible.

g)    It is unlawful for us to discuss values with Appraisers or to influence them. 

h)   Purchase Agreements can be made, “Subject to the Appraised Value being equal to or greater than the Sale Price”.

21.   We Assist Buyers With The Appraisal Process.

a)    It is unlawful for us to discuss values with Appraisers or to influence them.

b)    If Appraisal is Less than Sale Price, Loan is based on Appraised Value.

c)    One way to save the transaction may be to increase Buyer’s Down Payment.

d)    Another way to save the transaction is to convince Seller to reduce the price.

e)    If Appraisal is Less than Sale Price, we will try to help save the transaction.

 VIII:   MORTGAGE  APPROVAL

22.  Mortgage Approvals  –  What Buyers Should Know

a)    Most Agreements are contingent upon Buyer being approved for a mortgage.

b)    Mortgage Approval must be obtained in the time stated in the Agreement.

c)    Failure to meet time Deadlines may cause Seller to cancel the Agreement.

d)    Buyer should act promptly to provide Lender with all requested documents.

e)    Buyer should maintain regular contact with their Lender or Mortgage Co.

f)     If time extensions are needed, requests must be made in a timely way.

g)    Failure to cooperate with Lender may be a Default under the Agreement.

h)   Failure to cooperate with Lender may also result in loss of Buyer’s Deposit.

23.   We Assist Buyers With Mortgage Approval.

a)    Time is of the essence in getting your mortgage application approved.

b)    We stay in regular contact with you & your Lender to speed up the process.

c)    You should act promptly to provide Lender with all requested documents.

d)    If time extensions are needed, requests must be made in a timely way.

e)    When all mortgage conditions are satisfied, a Clear-To-Close is issued.

IX:  PREPARING  FOR  CLOSING

24.  The Closing  –  What Buyers Should Know

a)    The “Closing” is also known as the “Settlement”, or “Consummation”.

b)    This is the event at which the parties to a Purchase Agreement “perform”.

c)    The Buyer pays the Seller the agreed sum of money in certified funds.

d)    The Seller signs the Deed and conveys Title of the property to the Buyer.

e)    In Land Contracts, the Deed is held in Escrow until balance is paid in full. 

25.  We Assist Buyers To Schedule The Closing.

a)    When all Conditions of the Agreement are met, Closing can be scheduled.

b)    The Seller should have any Title issues and other conditions resolved.

c)    The Buyer should have funds ready and a “Clear-To-Close” from Lender.

d)    When all is Clear, the parties must agree on a Closing Date, Time & Location.

e)    We communicate with the parties to coordinate the Closing Schedule.

26.  Things To Do If Buyers Get Keys at Closing  –  

        What Buyers Should Know.

a)    Arrange for Utility Transfers.

b)    Arrange for Address Change.

c)    Arrange for Final Walk-Thru.

d)    Arrange School Registrations.

e)    Arrange for any other changes.

27.  Things To Do If Buyers Don’t Get Keys at Closing  – 

        What Buyers Should Know.

a)    Try to establish a definite Date, in writing, when Seller will give Possession.

b)    Make sure Seller is being charged proper amount for Occupancy Charge.

c)    Be sure the parties review & sign an Occupancy Agreement at Closing.

d)    Arrange for Buyer to collect Occupancy Charges as promptly as possible.

e)    Be sure there’s a written procedure for Key Turn-Over from Seller to Buyer.

f)     Stay in regular contact with Seller to be sure there are no delays or surprises.

g)    Arrange for Final Walk-Thru.  

28.  Final Walk-Through of the Property  – 

         What Buyers Should Know.

a)    Most Agreements let Buyers Walk-Through the property before closing.

b)    MARKET MAX suggests Buyers walk through the property before closing.

c)    If requested, our agents will schedule the Walk-Thru & attend with Buyer.

d)    The Walk-Through is to verify that terms of the Agreement have been met.

e)    If Property is not as agreed, or items are missing, Buyer should speak up.

f)     Put objections & proposals for resolution in writing for delivery to Seller.

g)    It is in the interest of both parties to settle any issues and not delay Closing.

h)   If issues aren’t resolved promptly, the Closing may have to be cancelled.

i)     Disputes resulting in Cancellation can have serious consequences.

j)     Both parties should consult an attorney to protect their interests.

X:  THE  CLOSING

29.  Closing Documents  –  What Buyers Should Know

a)    “Closing Documents”, are also known as, “Settlement Documents”.

b)    Closing Documents contain many forms that are required by law.

c)    Closing Documents are prepared by a real estate Broker or Title Co.

d)    It is common for Brokers to use Title Agencies as Closing Agents.

e)    When Title is ordered, Brokers give Closing Agents Closing Instructions.

f)     Closing Agents review the Purchase Agreement & other documents.

g)    Closing Agents also get figures from the Lender & from Public Records.

h)   When Closing Date & all figures are known, a Closing Statement is made.

i)     Closing Statements should account for all Funds received & disbursed.

j)     Closing Agents collect all the funds payable and disburse all the checks.

k)    Fees, Payments & Tax Pro-rations are adjusted by the Date of Closing.

l)     When Date of Closing is changed, payment amounts have to be changed. 

m)   Closing Documents will state the agreed Date, Time & Location of Closing.

n)    Closing Documents should always be checked closely for Errors & Typos.

o)    Documents should provide Contact information for Questions & Corrections.

30.  We Assist Buyers With The Closing

a)    Our agents will assist in scheduling Closing Date, Time & Place.

b)    Our agents will coordinate efforts with the parties involved in the Closing.

c)    If errors are discovered in Closing Documents, we will advise Title Agency.

d)    In most cases, our agents will attend the Closing.

Disclaimer:   The steps listed here are intended only as a guide.  The actual services provided will vary according to the Agency relationship and any Agreements between the parties.   Not all real estate Brokers and Agents will offer the same services or follow the same procedures.  Consult with your real estate professional for more specific information.  MARKET MAX REALTORS are not liable for any consequential damages or losses incurred as a result of following these procedures and guidelines.