A month and a half ago- February 8, 2018 I was sitting at my desk in the office working my first agent on-call time, which is referred to as Floor Time. This is a set 2-hour window where the agent on call is responsible to answer any calls that come in or help any customers that may walk in. It is a chance for agents to pick up clients while getting work done at the office.
My assigned time was about up, and during the last 20 minutes the phone rang, and it was a lady calling in looking for a Broker to help her find a home to purchase! I excitedly took down all her contact information and went thru my list of questions to new buyers- what brings you to wanting to buy a new home, do you have a home to sell, what is your ideal time frame to getting keys to your new home, etc. She told me that she was looking to move ASAP and her ideal home was a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom ranch. I gave her my contact information and told her that I would get started right away in the search for her dream home.
The first practical step for a buyer in the home buying process is to get pre-approved for a loan. Getting a pre-approval not only narrows our search price-wise it also shows a seller that the buyer is willing and able to buy their home. A pre-approval letter along with earnest money lets the seller know that this is a serious buyer and can potentially aid the seller in choosing that buyers offer should a multiple offer scenario happen.
So, after explaining to my new client the benefits of getting pre-approved she set about contacting a mortgage lender to get that first step taken care of. A few days later I had received word of my clients purchase price limit and the type of loan that she qualified for; everything I needed to get serious with this search!
We are currently in a “sellers’ market” which means that homes are just flying off the market- being sold within days of being listed, which is great for sellers but not so great for buyers. So, we spent weeks and weeks of communicating back and forth, looking online, and visiting many homes. Since this is a sellers’ market, on more than one occasion the home we were scheduled to go see had accepted an offer before we could even get in! Finally, one Wednesday afternoon someone in the office had passed me a BLC listing of a home and asked me if I wanted to hold it as an Open House that weekend. I thought sure why not… let me take a look. I took the sheet and noticed right away that not only was it a ranch style home, but it had the number of rooms my client was looking for and a large backyard for the 3 dogs she had mentioned she had- and it was under her budget!! I called my client right away and scheduled us to get in that night to see it, since I knew we had to act fast!
This home is located on the outskirts of Noblesville off a quiet country road and was built in the 1950’s and had a few charming features that my client and her family just loved! Sure, there are a few items that need to be updated but my client stated that she was ok with replacing/ repairing a few things; a “fixer upper” was not something she was going to shy away from. I met my client and her family later that day at the home and she decided that this was it, she wanted me to write up an offer for her that night. We parted with a congratulatory hug and I hurried home to get the paperwork started.
I am not sure if any of you readers are familiar with the DocuSign company, but the services they offer are amazing!! I wrote up the Purchase Agreement offer for my client and emailed her the document to sign via DocuSign, she signed it and returned it to me, so I could forward it on to the listing agent for a response. Easy peasy.
The next day we received the sellers counteroffer, the negotiation was on! I’m going to toot my own horn here because in past experiences I’ve been pretty satisfied with the outcomes in my negotiations and I kept my streak alive- along with seller concessions, my client accepted the final offer getting her dream home under list price. Toot toot- “stubborn Stephanie” for the win! 😉
So, here we are with a fully signed Purchase Agreement and a closing timeline checklist. It is my job to stay on top of all the items my buyer and myself are responsible for accomplishing leading up to the closing date in mid-May. We are right on track with the inspection, title work and appraisal all ordered, now we just sit back and wait for the various reports to come in to see if there are any hiccups that might emerge…. fingers crossed its smooth sailing to the closing table!
By Stephanie Henderson, talktotucker.com/stephanie.henderson