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With all the time you have spent at home nesting recently, and the exceedingly-low interest rates, can you afford NOT to buy a house? Technically, yes. It costs less to not buy a house than it does to buy one. But if being a homeowner is anywhere on the horizon for you, now is definitely a smart time to make the biggest purchase of your life. If nothing else, it’s worth looking into.
We highly recommend getting your “ducks in a row” before driving around high-end neighborhoods and falling in love with a little 15,000-square-foot home.
The first “duck” is a reputable agency to help you navigate through uncharted waters. After you choose an agency, the second duck is to find a buyer’s agent within the agency—preferably someone you “click” with. Clicking is important because you will be getting to know your agent very well, very quickly. You may even get a new BFF out of the deal.
The Buyer’s Agent Agreement is Good for Everyone
Your future BFF, let’s call her Betsy (Karen? No, definitely Betsy), will ask you to sign a “buyer’s agreement.” It may feel a little early in the process to start signing documents, but it’s OK, and completely normal: a buyer’s agreement protects both you and Betsy.
The content of the agreement can vary depending on the agency, but most include agreeing that Betsy, and only Betsy, will be your agent for a specified period of time (usually around six months). It also explains the circumstances in which the agreement can be terminated early. The commission on any house you buy during this time goes to Betsy, and the commission rate, which is usually somewhere between 3% and 6% of the sale price, is also stated. This protects Betsy from spending her blood, sweat, tears, time, and knowledge only to find out you saw a house with your mother-in-law’s soon-to-be-licensed neighbor and tossed out an offer on the spot.
The document also details Betsy’s responsibilities as your agent. She agrees to be your loyal agent for the same specified period, and to try her best to help you find a dream home in your desired price range and geographical area. She commits to explain documents, procedures, and disclosures when you have found your dream home, and to help determine a reasonable offer. She will then write and submit the offer, making sure you choose all the correct contingencies and aren’t taken advantage of. Betsy promises to make sure the home inspection, appraisal and mortgage approval are completed in time to go forward with the house purchase. If all goes well and closing day arrives, Betsy will help you understand the approximately five million documents you are signing.
Purchasing a home is an exciting, and sometimes stressful time, but you will find only the best Betsys at Living TN. It’s your job to have fun looking for a gorgeous house that suits your needs, and later celebrate the great deal you scored.
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