Buying a Home in the Valley of the Sun
Choosing a Realtor®
Of all the decisions you’ll face when buying a home, there’s none more important than the person you choose to represent you.
The job of your Sales Associate is to support you in finding the right home with the best possible terms, and to aid you through the entire process. Your Sales Associate will explain the process of buying a home, and familiarize you with the various activities, documents and procedures that you will experience throughout the transaction.
Tips For Selecting A Realtor
Your Real Estate Professional should be:
- Knowledgeable about the communities of interest to you.
- Aware of the complicated local and state requirements affecting your transaction.
- Effective in multi-party, face-to-face negotiations.
- Highly-trained, with access to programs for continued learning and additional certifications.
- Supported by professional legal counsel.
For information on our professional sales staff, visit our Agents Page.
Most real estate professionals and mortgage lenders recommend pre-qualifying for a loan before selecting a home to purchase. This process will help you:
- Determine the price range you can afford.
- Understand the types of loans you qualify for.
- Determine what your monthly payment will be.
- Estimate the down payment and closing costs.
The Loan Process
Your Sales Associate will help you to select a mortgage lender. Once you have made your decision, these are the steps of the process:
Application – All pertinent documentation is obtained. Fees and down payments are discussed, and the borrower will receive a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and a Truth-in-lending statement (TIL), itemizing the rates and associated costs for the loan.
You will be asked to provide certain documents to your lender in order that your loan can be processed in a timely manner.
Loan Submission – Once all the necessary documentation is in, your completed file is submitted to a lender for approval.
Loan Approval (Underwriting) – Loan approval, or underwriting, generally takes 24 to 72 hours. All parties are notified of the approval and any loan conditions that must be received before the loan can close.
Closing – Once all parties have signed the loan documents, they are returned to the lender. If all the forms have been properly executed, the lender sends the loan funds by wire transfer. At this point, the borrower finishes the loan process and actually buys the house.
Finding and Choosing the Right Home
Based on criteria that you and your Sales Associate establish together, your Associate will help you find the perfect home. There are many factors to consider in selecting a property, including location, bedroom and bath count, schools and amenities.
Your Sales Associate will apply their extensive community knowledge and professional resources to research available properties, and show you the homes that best meet your needs. If you find a property that interests you through the Internet or your own research, let your Sales Associate know so that a showing can be arranged.
As you view different properties, your criteria may change. Open and direct communication with your Sales Associate is a key element of a successful property search.
Making an Offer
Once you have found the home that you wish to purchase, your Sales Associate will apply their professional training and do all the necessary research to help you structure an effective offer.
This is where your Sales Associate’s negotiation skills come into play. When an offer is made, the seller will have the option of accepting, rejecting or counter-offering. Your Sales Associate will negotiate the best possible terms for you.
Your Sales Associate will draft the purchase agreement, advising you of protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. Home warranty, title and escrow arrangements will be detailed in the offer. Although your Sales Associate will give you advice and information, it is your decision as to the exact price and terms that you wish to offer.
Managing the Escrow
When the purchase agreement is accepted and signed by all parties, your Sales Associate will open escrow for you and your earnest money will be deposited. The escrow is a neutral third party that will receive, hold, and distribute all funds associated with your transaction.
Prior to closing escrow, all of the contingencies of the Purchase Agreement must be met. Your Sales Associate will coordinate this process. Typical contingencies include:
- Approval of the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement.
- Approval of the preliminary title report.
- Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property.
- Physical inspections of the property.
- Pest inspection and certification.
- Acquisition of homeowner’s insurance.
Closing Escrow and Moving In!
When all of the conditions of the purchase agreement have been met, you will sign your loan documents and closing papers. You will deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs to escrow, and your lender will deposit the balance of the purchase price. The deed will then be recorded at the County Recorder’s office and you will take ownership of your home.
Your Sales Associate is a valuable source of helpful tips for planning and coordinating your move.
Having worked with many realtors over the years, you are the Best! You know your market, took time early on to listen to our needs, stayed on top of all the details…you were an invaluable resource. – Russ and Karen G (client of Vicki Kaplan)
‘I would STRONGLY recommend Colleen to anyone that needs a realtor. She did an outstanding job on the sale of two of my condos. I live out of town and she took care of every detail including resolving some challenging glitches that developed along the way.’ – Steve (client of Colleen Olson)
My husband and I recently had the pleasure of working with Kathy Dalton. Our experience with Kathy was so impressive that I feel it absolutely necessary to share it with you. If Kathy is representative of the realtors in your organization, then you are fortunate indeed to lead an all-star team. Perhaps the most important thing I can say to express what a pleasure it was to work with Kathy is that she treated us like friends.– Lori (client of Kathy Dalton)
Ruth Sells was just a pleasure to work with and the best Realtor we have had the opportunity of meeting in many years of searching. – the Stumpfs (client of Ruth Sells)
Sheri helped us narrow down a list of homes she prepared for us, encouraged us not to just settle and within 48 hours we were signing papers to a home that suited all of our needs. Sheri was very knowledgeable and the made the house hunting experience A LOT OF FUN!! We would personally recommend Sheri to anyone looking to purchase a home in the future. – Bob & Sue H (clients of Sheri Jackson)
Thank you for helping me find my beautiful home. I knew it was hard work, but it was worth it. Thanks again for everything and for being such a good friend. – Kristin (client of Denise Pruitt)
Thank you for the fabulous job you did in helping us find and purchase a home in Scottsdale. I have been involved in the legal and personal end of real estate for more than 35 years, and you are by far the most conscientious, helpful and competent real estate agent I have ever run across. In short, you’re the best. – Craig and Charlotte H. (clients of Vicki Kaplan)
Working with you was a great experience. Your knowledge, consulting and negotiating skills made the selling process go so smoothly. I will recommend you to my family, friends and anyone interested in selling or buying a home. – Judy B (client of Vicki Kaplan)
I have worked with Cheryl several times (buying and selling) and I can confidently give her my highest recommendation. Cheryl is an intelligent, thorough and motivated agent who will work diligently to provide a pleasant and successful real estate transaction. – R Chang (client of Cheryl Menayas)
Ruth has done an excellent job of acqainting/educating us with the details of the AZ market. This has been our first experience purchasing an AZ property – and we’re very fortunate to have her assist us. Bless her for her patience with us throughout the process! – Roger (client of Ruth Sells)