Buying Real Estate


Buying a home can seem like a very stressful thought. With so much to do! Sometimes you do not have a lot of time before you need to purchase your next home. That is why it is a good idea to hire a professional experienced Real Estate Agent to help you with the whole process. A lot of buyers do not realize that they do not need to pay the Buying Agents commission. In the State of Oregon the Sellers pay the listing agent, and buyers agent fees. If you decide to call a listing agent directly then they are most likely going to get the whole commission, instead of having to split it with a buyers agent. A lot of people think that by calling the listing agent they will save  money, but this is not necessarily the case. A Buyer can call the listing agent and be represented by them, but they are also representing the Seller. This can make both parties uncomfortable, and at times cause a conflict. A Buyer can choose to pay a fee and have an attorney represent them. But if you have a Buyers agent then they can help you with everything, and it does not cost you a single penny. You can feel comfortable throughout the process, and know that your agent is working for you, and only you! I highly recommend that you consider hiring your own real estate agent that is working for you, the Buyer, and not also working for the Seller.

Buying Real Estate Steps:

  • One of the first steps, if getting financing is to get a Pre Qualification, or better yet a Pre Approval! I will recommend a list of lenders/mortgage brokers to contact. They will be able to tell you what your price range will be. A Buyer may decide to get a Pre Approval right away, which means you actually apply for a mortgage, and receive a commitment in writing from a lender.The lender will also go over closing costs, and monthly mortgage payments with you. Property taxes, and insurance are also important costs to keep in mind when buying a home. Your lender will give you a pre qualification or pre approval letter based on what step you took at that point. You may decide to hold off on the pre approval until you have found a house of interest. The pre qualification or pre approval letter will be required when you submit an offer. If paying cash then a proof of funds letter will be required when your Realtor submits your offer.
  • Once qualified for a loan, or if you are buying with cash, the next step is to go shopping! I will need a detailed List of your Search Criteria (What do you want in a home, and what do you need in a home). For example number of bedrooms, bathrooms, sq ft of home, one story, two story, master on main level, yard size, garage, are school districts a consideration for you, and what about location etc. I set up all of my clients on a Client portal which is very user friendly, and allows you to save and reject listings that you like or dislike. Even if you just want to watch the market, but are not ready to buy then I can set this portal up for you! I can see which properties you are saving, and rejecting. This gives me a better idea of what you are looking for in a house. I also have Pocket listings that I can share with you. These are upcoming listings that have not hit the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) yet. I will do extensive research and run numerous searches to find you properties that match your search criteria.
  • When you have a list of properties to look at, I will schedule showings that work for your schedule. It is important to stay focused and write notes, especially if looking at a lot of homes in one day, take pictures or video. This will help later when reviewing the properties that you viewed. I have found that with several of my clients that after looking at 4-6 homes they all start to mingle together. That is why being organized and taking notes will really help. I will provide my clients with a packet with a notepad/pen, along with the details on every house we are looking at that day. It helps to let me drive you around, so that you can pay attention to the neighborhoods, and surroundings of each property. Visualize your belongings in the house. Do they fit easily? How is the lighting? A lot of Sellers will leave a lot of lights on prior to a showing. I do not advise my Sellers to do this as it can make the home appear that it is naturally dark, and make Buyers think that it needs to constantly have the lights on, and is naturally dark. A few lights are fine, but not every single light and lamp. I will often turn lights off to let Buyers see what the natural light is like. What about the location and resale further down the road. Very important to consider these factors when Buying a property!
  • If you have properties that you want more information on then I can request Sellers Disclosures for you to review, provide you with county records, tax information, tax maps, property history, and a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for each home. A CMA will show you the recent neighborhood activity of Active, Contingent, Pending, and Sold homes. I usually search the last six months, but I can go back several years, if you want me too. Take your time when thinking about moving forward with an offer. It is a big decision, and you want to make sure that you are making the right choice!
  • Once you have decided on the home to purchase. I will write the offer and give you my opinion on a good sales price to offer. You will need to decide on what your earnest money deposit will be. Earnest money will be due usually within days after you have a mutually accepted sales contract. This money will go to the title & escrow company, and stay in the open escrow account until closing, where it is then deducted from your closing costs. Do you want to ask for a seller contribution towards your closing costs, and prepaid items? Do you want a home warranty? What about a home inspection? I do advise that you spend the extra money and have a professional home inspection. This will give you a way to further negotiate any necessary repairs prior to close of escrow. I have lots of inspector recommendations, and will schedule these for you, if you need me too. You also have the option to pick your own home inspector. I will make sure that you stay within your deadlines on any contingencies in your offer. Another contingency is financing, if you are not paying cash. I always recommend that a Buyer complete a final walk through, prior to close of escrow, to make sure that everything is still the same with the house. If the Buyer is unable to make it into town for closing, then I can do the final walk through for them. I will help you to understand any counter offers that we may receive in response to your offer. I will help you with your response, and further negotiations. If we end up putting the deal together, then I will get regular updates from your lender (if applicable) to make sure everything is on track, and provide them with the sales contract. I will guide you through the closing process. Keeping a record of all documents, and providing you with a copy of all paperwork along the way. Escrow will be opened, and Earnest money will need to be deposited with the escrow company at that time.
  • Then the signing day will come. We will go into the title and escrow company where you will sign all of your closing documents with the escrow agent. I will be there for if questions arise, and you need help. If you are not local then the title and escrow company can always set up a courtesy signing in your area, even if it is a different State. This can be done for any Buyer whether paying cash or getting a loan. Obviously in this case I would not be at the signing but available via cell if questions arise. If you are paying cash you can choose to sign at the title company or complete via email/fax. Any down payments or funds to close will be required at this time in the form of a cashiers check, or you can arrange to wire funds into the escrow account. Wire instructions will be provided to you, if needed. You will also be required to show your photo ID to the escrow agent so that they can make a copy of it for the file at signing. If getting a loan your signing day is usually 24-48 hrs before your closing date. This allows loan documents (if applicable) to go back to the lender for final sign off, before the lender sends funds to the title company. Once the loan is funded, and the escrow agent has all signed documents from both Buyer and Seller, then the escrow agent can record with the county, and let everyone know when the file is closed. Some lenders can do same day funding, but to be safe it is good to complete the signing 24-48 hrs before the closing date. If paying cash then as soon as the escrow agent has both buyer and seller documents signed, and all funds then they can record, and close. Once the file is funded, and recorded with the county then you are officially closed. At this time I can pick up the keys, and get them to you asap.

I know that all of this can seem very overwhelming. I do not expect you to remember every detail that you have just read. That is why I am here to guide you along the way with buying your next property. I will keep everything in order, and organized for you. Call or email me to get set up on your client portal, and start the process. Even if you just want to keep your eye on an area, or if you simply have questions about the process, I am here to help! Please visit my community links page on my website under "Resources" tab to explore more information about Central Oregon. I help Buyers purchase Residential Single Family Homes, Bare Land, and Multi Family units which include Town Homes and Condominiums. I look forward to hearing from you! 

Thank you,
Selena McNeill
Licensed Broker in the State of Oregon since 2004.