groupwatson buyer's guide

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Comprehensive guide to the home buying process.



  • Your Exclusive Buyers Agent

    Before working with a real estate Agent,

    you should know that the duties of a bro-

    ker depend on whom the broker repre-

    sents. There are 3 ways in which you can

    be represented during the purchase trans-

    action. Our goal is to be your Exclusive

    Buyers Agent, in order to assist you in

    making informed decisions throughout the

    entire home buying process.


    The Wise Choice

    You should enter into a written agree-

    ment with the Agent that clearly estab-

    lishes all parties obligations. The agree-

    ment should state how and by whom

    the Agent will be paid. You have the

    right to choose the type of representa-

    tion, if any, you wish to receive. Your

    payment of a fee to a broker does not

    necessarily establish that the broker rep-

    resents you. If you have any questions

    regarding the duties and responsibilities

    of the broker, you should resolve those

    questions before proceeding.

    The Agent Represents the Buyer

    (Win for BUYER/Win for SELLER)

    The Agent becomes the buyers agent by

    entering into an agreement to represent

    the buyer, called a Buyer/Tenant Repre-

    sentation Agreement. A buyers agent can

    assist the owner, but does not represent

    the owner and must place the interests of

    the buyer first. The owner should not tell a

    buyers agent anything the owner would

    not want the buyer to know because a

    buyers agent must disclose to the buyer

    any material information known by the


    The Agent Represents the Seller

    (Win for SELLER only)

    The Agent becomes the owners agent by entering into an agreement with the owner,

    called a Listing Agreement. A Listing Agent can assist the buyer, but does not represent

    the buyer and must place the interests of the owner first. The buyer should not tell the

    owners agent anything the buyer would not want the owner to know because an own-

    ers agent must disclose to the owner any material information known by the Agent.

    The Agent Acts as an Intermediary

    (Win for BUYER/Win for SELLER)

    If the home you purchase is listed with our

    team, then your buyers agent will be as-

    signed to represent you in an intermediary

    capacity. Still bound by the duty of confi-

    dentiality, your agent cannot disclose any

    of your information to the sellers agent.

    This scenario happens when one Broker

    represents both parties in a real estate

    transaction. This is why agents are

    assigned to represent each party exclu-

    sively. Each party must acknowledge this

    relationship in writing.

  • Our Goal is to

    Save You Time

    and Money!

    What We Can Help You Shop For:

    Whether it is your first home or your fifth, a retirement home, or an investment property;

    we will make your home-buying experience fun and exciting. We can find the perfect

    home for you, with the least amount of hassle. GroupWatson is devoted to using our ex-

    pertise and the full scope of resources we have available to us, to achieve these results.

    Resale (Pre-Owned, Existing Homes)

    The advantages of having an Agent represent you in the purchase of a resale home are many.

    Having a personal real estate advocate protecting your best interest is one of the most im-

    portant. We have extensive knowledge of the market and can find the right home by evaluat-

    ing your wants and needs, based on our initial consultation with you. You will want a profes-

    sional whose expertise is in negotiating terms and writing a contract that benefits you. We will

    also assist with the closing and coordinate all of the moving parts that surround a purchase


    For Sale By Owner (FSBO, Existing Homes)

    We have worked with homeowners who wished to sell their homes themselves. In fact, a num-

    ber of our listings have been individuals who tried unsuccessfully to sell their homes themselves.

    We have knowledge of all FSBO properties in the area and will be happy to arrange a showing

    for you. In this transaction, you will continue to be represented by us, according to a Buyers

    Representation Agreement. It is the Seller who loses, as they complete the transaction with no

    professional representation.

    New Construction (BuilderNo Prior Owner)

    Buying a new home can be more difficult and time consuming than buying a resale home.

    Many buyers are not aware that the sales representatives at new construction sales centers

    work for the builder, and do not represent the buyers best interests. Their job is to make the

    builder as much money as possible. It is very important that your interests be professionally rep-

    resented when you are entering into a contract for a semi-custom or build-to-suit home.

    These transactions are complex and the contract details must be exact in order to pro-

    tect you and ensure that you get exactly the home you want!

  • STEP 1

    Find A Realtor You Can Trust

    STEP 1 1/2

    Obtain Pre-Approval From Lender

    Obtain Pre-Approval From Lender

    Complete Mortgage Application

    Credit Report


    Define Your Search Criteria

    Consult with Realtor

    Realtor Locates Properties

    View Properties with Realtor

    Realtor Writes and Submits Offer

    Deposit Earnest Money in


    Deliver Option Fee to Seller

    Realtor Negotiates Counter Offer

    Contract Accepted by all Parties

    Contract is Executed

    Home and Termite Inspections

    Review Inspection Report

    Negotiate Repairs

    Lender Orders Appraisal

    Title Orders Survey, If Needed

    Choose Home Insurance

    Choose Home Warranty

    Arrange for Utilities Switch

    (at least 3 days prior to Closing)

    Money Needed Prior To Closing

    Credit Report

    Earnest Money

    Option Fee

    Inspection Fee


    Take Possession of Your

    New Home!

    Attend Closing

  • Tasks and Timeframes

    We will go through several steps together while finding and pur-

    chasing your next home. Our goal is to do for you, as a part of

    our commitment to customer service. However, there are tasks that will require

    some work from you. We will keep you well-informed about every aspect of the

    transaction and notify you when there are steps that require your involvement.

    The flow chart on the previous page shows the process, from Step 1 to taking pos-

    session of your new home. We have broken each step down into the following sec-



    Obtain Pre-Approval from


    Time Frame:

    Before We Begin Searching

    The other first step in buying a home (besides

    choosing the right Realtor) is choosing a lender

    and obtaining a pre-approval. This provides you

    and your Realtor the information needed to de-

    termine how much home you can afford and

    what type of monthly payment you are comfort-

    able making. Many Sellers do not consider of-

    fers from buyers that have not been pre-

    approved for financing. We work with several

    lenders who have proven to offer exceptional

    service and competitive rates. Let us know if

    you would like a list of lenders to choose from.

    Three Elements are Crucial to the

    Purchase of a Home:

    Down Payment

    Closing Costs





    A NEW HOME! We would like to provide you with information up-front, to prepare you for your search.

    It is important that you are aware of the costs associated with purchasing your home.

    FINANCING The single most important thing for

    you to do before beginning your

    search for a new home is to select

    and meet with a Lender. There are

    several reasons you must do this

    before shopping for a home:

    1. It determines your monthly


    2. It determines your purchase

    price range and loan type.

    3. It determines how much is

    needed for down payment and

    closing costs.

    4. It helps your Agent negotiate,

    on your behalf, from a stronger


    Costs Prior to Closing

    You will need to write 3 checks prior to closing

    on your new home. All costs are averages

    and will vary with price, size and unique fea-

    tures of the property.

    Earnest Money is payable to the title com-

    pany that is handling the transaction. This will

    be negotiated in the purchase contract. It is

    then credited towards the sale price at clos-

    ing. (typically, 1% of sales price)

    Home Inspection is payable directly to the

    Inspector, at the time of the inspection. In-

    spections take place during the Option Peri-

    od, as determined in the purchase contract.

    ($300-$500; pool & spa inspections are extra)

    Appraisal is payable to the Lender, once the

    Option Period is over. (approx. $500)

  • If you have trouble coming up with the down payment, here are some tips to ease the


    Start Early. Begin saving for a down payment as soon as possible. After a few years, it adds up.

    Pick the Right Loan. Fannie Mae loans only require 3.5% down, provided that you have good


    Convert Stocks. Consider