Monthly Archives: June 2015

Buying Or Selling A Home? Keep It To Yourself

Keep Things To Yourself

If you are buying or selling a home, you will likely tell a lot of people you know.

While this is all well and good, our advice is to keep certain things to yourself or you may end up doing more harm than good.

WHEN TO KEEP THINGS PRIVATE?

To begin, let’s think of things from a buyer’s perspective. If you are in the initial stages of looking for a new home, telling your friends and family is certainly ok. However, if you have a specific home in your sights, I’d be careful who you tell until it is under contract as telling just one person may cause undue competition.

What if you tell someone who happens to have a friend who is looking in a similar price point.

While it may seem farfetched, we have seen this happen many times, especially during a seller’s market. We actually know friends who ended up bidding on the same home and it became quite uncomfortable for them.

Also, let’s say the deal falls through due to financing issues. Do you want to have to go back to all your friends and tell them?

From a seller’s point of view, we advise our clients not to reveal any details regarding the details of the transaction—-especially the price!

Let’s say you have agreed on a contract with a buyer for a price of $500,000 and you tell everyone you know. Then, the deal falls through and you have to put it back on the market. Since word is out that you already accepted $500,000 once, how can you expect anyone to pay more? You are basically setting your own ceiling for price when you could possibly get a better offer from another buyer.

A FINAL NOTE

At the end of the day, you should do whatever is in your comfort zone. Some people are private by nature and would naturally keep things to themselves. Others will gladly tell everyone their personal business.

We are big proponents in discretion because it is in your best interests. It is better safe than sorry and besides, at some point the sale will be in public records and everyone will know soon enough.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize in Solon luxury homes, relocation, and first-time buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Woodmere. We would be happy to refer you to a qualified agent if you are buying in an area that we do not service.

Buying Or Selling A Home? Keep It To Yourself is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©Junr, 2015

Buying A Home In Cleveland Step 7 – Closing and Possession

 

By this point you should have a firm loan commitment and be just weeks or even days away from getting the keys to your new home. A few things still need to be done to ensure a smooth closing.

TO DO BEFORE CLOSING

1. Communicate With The Title Company

2. Talk To Your Lender

3. Coordinate Getting Keys

Let’s go over these briefly.

Here in Ohio, a title company, not attorney’s office, will be coordinating your closing. They will communicate with your lender to get closing docs and schedule the day and time for you to sign documents. They will also be the ones telling you how much money ( certified funds—NO personal check ) you need to bring to closing.

Please keep in mind that title companies are very busy, especially during the summer months. They also don’t typically work on files too far in advance, maybe a day or two out at best.

For this reason we advise our buyers to be proactive with the title company. Make sure you have all pertinent contact information and that they have yours as well.

Don’t be surprised if a lot of things regarding your closing happen at the last minute as title companies typically don’t get documents from lenders until the day before closing, if they’re lucky.

In regards to your loan, make sure your lender has everything they need from you. As standard protocol, they may re-pull credit and contact your employer to verify employment. Give your personal department a heads up so that they can respond quickly as this will be time sensitive.

Also make sure your loan officer has contact information for your title company and that they have been in communication with the specific person handling your account.

The last thing you need to do is verify with your agent when you can get your keys. A transaction doesn’t become official until the deed in recorded at the courthouse, which typically occurs after 4:30Pm.  Keys are given out once title has officially transferred.

A FEW THINGS TO NOTE

In Ohio, buyers and sellers don’t typically meet. Each party signs their documents separately, so you may in fact never come face to face with the sellers of the home.

As mentioned above, the transaction isn’t official until the deed is recorded. Some buyers, especially those coming from out of state, are expecting to get the keys immediately after signing loan documents. It doesn’t work that way here. Signing of documents may occur a day or two before the actual filing of the deed.

It is wise to keep a copy of all documents relating to the buying process, such as the purchase agreement, disclosures, and inspection reports. You never know if or when you may need them, so please keep a copy in a safe place.

The home buying process can be stressful and complicated, but when the boxes are unpacked and you are settled in, your home will bring you more joy and happiness than you can ever imagine.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize in Solon luxury homes, relocation, and first-time buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Woodmere. We would be happy to refer you to a qualified agent if you are buying in an area that we do not service.

Buying A Home In Cleveland  Step 7 – Closing And Possession is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©June, 2015

Buying A Home In Cleveland Step 6 – Post Inspections

 

You are now at the point where inspections have been completed and any items of concern have been agreed upon by both parties.

This is the part of the process where you can take a deep breath and relax a little. While it’s not over yet, it should be smooth sailing as only a few things have to be completed.

1. Financing

2. Moving Preparations

3. Walk Through

Let’s discuss each item.

 

FINANCING

Since a loan takes between 30-60 days to complete, it will be in process by the time you are at this stage. Hopefully the appraisal has been done and approved by this point, otherwise, that would be the next step. A loan cannot be approved if the appraisal does not come it at least equal to the purchase price.

Make sure your lender has everything they need from you. It is a good idea to stay in constant communication with your loan officer at all times.

MOVING PREPARATIONS

We recommend making a checklist of any other things that need to be done prior to closing so you are prepared.  If you plan on having improvements done to the home prior to moving in, you may want to contact contractors and plan dates for them to begin the work.

You may also want to schedule a locksmith to come to the home once you close so you can have the locks changed.

Most important, you need to handle the transfer of utilities so that you have service upon moving in. Your agent will provide you a list of the utility companies that service the area in which you plan to live.

WALK THROUGH

We discussed the walk through briefly during the “negotiation phase” but will cover the process in more detail here.

In most contracts, you as the buyer will have a chance to walk through the home one last time prior to closing. The main purpose is to verify that the property is in the same or similar condition that it was at the time you entered into an agreement.

It is during the walk through that you will verify that any items sellers agreed to fix are indeed operable to your satisfaction.

Also, you will make sure that any items that were to remain in the property after closing, such as a refrigerator or washer and dryer, are indeed still there.

A walk through is not to be used as a means to enter into price negotiations with the seller, yet again. That time has passed.

If legitimate items present themselves during the walk through, your agent will address them with the sellers.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We advise buyers to be proactive and organized during this stage of the process.

Make sure you solidify plans with movers, contractors, and anyone else who needs to get into your home once you get the keys.

Write down a list of things you need to do prior to closing and stay on top of it.

Communicate with your agent and lender. Staying on top of things will lead to a smooth closing.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize in Solon luxury homes, relocation, and first-time buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Woodmere. We would be happy to refer you to a qualified agent if you are buying in an area that we do not service.

Buying A Home In Cleveland  Step 6 – Post Inspections is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©May, 2015

Buying A Home In Cleveland Step 5 – Negotiating

Negotiations is one of the most important steps of the home buying process and also the most emotional. Today we will go over the basics.

TIME TO NEGOTIATE

There are 3 main instances when you negotiate during the buying process:

1.  The Initial Offer

2.  After Inspections

3.  At Walk Through

Let’s go over these in detail.

THE INITIAL OFFER

Most people are aware of this main negotiating phase and it was explained briefly in step 4 – “Writing An Offer”.  We discussed the need to look at market statistics and figure out a fair price for a home. That was the easy part. Now comes the hard part —-getting the seller to accept.

Every seller thinks their home is the greatest thing in the world. They likely have a flood of memories in the home and spent a lot of money on maintenance or upgrades. They want as much as possible for it. A buyer on the other hand always wants to pay as little as possible,  so the process begins on uncommon ground.

Sometimes agreeing on terms is easy but most of the time there is a lot of back and forth with emotions getting magnified. This is why having an agent is so important, having a steady partner to guide you through the process.

Let’s assume you and the seller have come to terms and the contract is signed by all parties. Now comes phase 2 of negotiations.

AFTER INSPECTIONS

Once the home inspection process is completed, there will likely be items that appear on the inspection report that you will want addressed.  Thus begins round 2 of negotiations.

A buyer should concentrate on health, safety and structural issues that are discovered by the inspector. These are items that will typically be fixed by a seller without much fuss. It is the extraneous items that many buyers often ask for that causes this phase to become contentious.

What is extraneous is up for debate, which is where the problems begin. Buyers often feel like this process gives them a reason to re-negotiate on price, which is not the purpose of the inspection. Then, they ask for all sorts of items or a reduction in price and the fireworks go off.

Focusing on items specifically highlighted by your inspector is a good way to come across as genuine to a seller, and will likely get you what you want.

Now, if you’re the type of person who likes to push the envelope and see what you can get away with, feel free to ask the seller for the sun, moon and stars. Just don’t be surprised if this strategy ends up hurting you.

 

THE WALK THROUGH

Within 3 days of closing, a buyer will have a chance to walk through a home to make sure it is in the same or similar condition that it was at the time of the execution of the purchase agreement.

Typically, this takes 10-15 minutes and goes smoothly. In rare cases, a problem may arise where buyers and sellers need to negotiate prior to closing.

For example, as terms of the agreement, a seller could have promised to fix an oven that was not secured ( a possible safety hazard ). Then, during the walk through, it is noticed that the sellers didn’t do it.

To alleviate problems during the walk through it is recommended to get paid receipts of any work that was done prior to the walk through.

 

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About The Authors

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, Solon residents and agents with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Woodmere. We would be happy to refer you to a qualified agent if you are buying in an area that we do not service.

Buying A Home In Cleveland Step 5 – Negotiating is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©May, 2015