The Marshall Group
Stoney Marshall Associate Broker
804-412-2337804-412-2337

General Buyers

GenericHouse-copyHOME BUYERS

You’re a home buyer in search of the perfect property to call your very own “Home Sweet Home”, but where do you begin?! Becoming a home owner is an exciting and fulfilling experience, but the process isn’t as simple as finding a home, buying it, and moving in. There are many steps involved – some are relatively straight-forward and others require more complex problem solving. You need someone in your corner to explain the most efficient way to search for property, what real estate and contractual terms really mean, how to find a trustworthy lender, negotiate on your behalf, share their expertise, and help manage the entire process from start to finish. Purchasing a home is a transitional time in life whether you’re doing it for the first time, or the fifth, it’s a good idea to get someone who knows the process and can assist you along the way. A qualified Realtor® can not only answer all of your questions, but he or she will be your home-buying coach and remain a support system by your side throughout the entire transaction.

How Can We Help You?

  • We’ll take the time to get to know you and really understand what your specific needs and wants are in a property.
  • We know mortgage professionals we can recommend that will be able to assist you in the pre-approval process for your home loan. (It’s smart to become pre-approved FIRST so that you can establish a realistic monthly payment in your desired location at the right sale price.)
  • Once we have a better understanding of what you’re looking for, we can set you up on a property search in our Multiple Listing Service online. You’ll receive an automated email in real-time with new and updated listings that fit your criteria. You will not find another website or property search system that provides you information as accurate or more quickly.
  • Once we identify homes that could be a good match, we will coordinate property showings and help plan outings to fit your schedule and maximize your time.
  • If you currently own your home and need to sell it in order to purchase a new one, we can help coach you along the way in order to make the process as seamless as possible. We’ll be sure to list your property for the right price, get it under contract quickly, and make it possible for you to pursue your next dream home.
  • As soon as you feel confident you’ve found the property you want to put an offer in on, we will analyze comparable properties in the area to make sure you’re making an informed decision and negotiate on your behalf to help get the best possible deal.
  • Once we’ve negotiated an offer on the right property for you and you’re officially under contract, we will ensure all of the paperwork that comes along with a contract is handled in a timely manner and all of your requests are addressed.
  • We will guide you through the home inspection process. This includes scheduling the inspection with a qualified home inspector, helping to evaluate your needs based on repairs vs. repair credits, and negotiating all requests to the seller on your behalf.
  • In between contract ratification and closing, we will also make sure you receive any seller required inspection reports, coordinate the completion of your lender’s appraisal, and help you connect with any 3rd party providers of services related to the real estate transaction.
  • We can suggest closing attorneys or title companies that we’ve worked with for years, who do a great job and can assist you with the legal document preparation and recordation of the deed.
  • We’ll be available to discuss any concerns you may have along the way. Our years of experience and knowledge of various markets has helped us understand how to handle different scenarios and situations that arise throughout the real estate transaction.
  • Even after closing, we are always available to answer any questions you may have!

Terms To Know!

  1. Acceptance: This is an agreement to the terms of an offer on a home. If the seller decides to accept the offer, you are both considered under contract once all the appropriate signatures have been completed.
  2. Appraisal: An appraisal is a process that determines the lender’s value of your home, and it includes factors such as the condition of the property, location, upgrades to the home, and selling prices of similar homes in the neighborhood.
  3. Closing (also known as “Settlement”): This is the final step in executing a real estate transaction. The closing date is set within the contract, and is typically several weeks after the offer is formally accepted. On the closing date, the ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer.
  4. Closing Costs: These are all the costs that you pay to various 3rd parties as part of the buying process, beyond the sale price of the property. Examples include loan origination fees, taxes, county/city recording fees, title search & insurance, home owners insurance, HOA fees, etc.
  5. Contingency: A condition or action that must be met in order for a real estate contract to be fully binding. These may include, but are not limited to, acquiring financing under certain terms, satisfaction of requests after the home inspection, contract sale price being at or below the lender’s appraisal value, providing clean title, etc.
  6. Contract:  A legally binding agreement between two parties concerning the terms of purchase or transfer of real property.
  7. Counter Offer: A response to an initial offer that typically presents a compromise of terms and price. This type of offer permits a person to decline a previous offer and allows offer negotiations to continue. Counter offers can be made between both parties in several iterations before an agreement is made.
  8. Earnest Money Deposit: The EMD is the purchaser’s good faith deposit that stays held in a 3-party escrow account until closing, at which point it is applied to the total funds contributed at settlement. If you decide to release the contract on the property outside of your given rights outlined in the agreement, your deposit is at risk to be forfeited to the seller. If it is done within your contractual rights, you are entitled to have the EMD returned.
  9. Home Inspection: A visual examination of a residential dwelling which is designed to identify material defects within specific components of said dwelling.
  10. Home Owner’s Association (HOA): An organization of homeowners of a specific subdivision, condominium or planned unit development. The purpose of a home owners association is to provide a common basis for preserving maintaining and enhancing their homes and property. Typically HOA’s charge additional monthly, quarterly, or yearly fees.
  11. Lender: An organization or person that lends money. The loan process is typically done through large financial institutions and banks, or mortgage brokers.
  12. Lender’s Title Insurance: An insurance policy that protects the lender against claims and losses that may arise if the title is unmarketable or defective. This is a required cost paid for by the purchaser.
  13. MLS: A multiple listing service (MLS) is an online service used by regional groups of real estate brokers, which allows them to access information on one another’s listings of properties for sale.
  14. Owner’s Title Insurance: Insures the new owner against losses due to title defects. This optional protection is paid for by the purchaser at closing.
  15. Pre-ApprovalAn evaluation of a potential borrower by a lender that determines whether the borrower qualifies for a loan, the type of loan the buyer is qualified for, and the maximum amount the lender would be willing to provide a borrower.
  16. MI: Mortgage insurance. Expressed as a percentage of the loan amount, this is a monthly fee in addition to the interest rate that lenders require on certain types of loans.
  17. Ratified: Sign or give formal consent to an agreement, making it officially valid.
  18. Title: A comprehensive term referring to the legal basis of the ownership of property, encompassing real property, intangible and tangible interests therein. 
  19. Title Work: The process that ensures the seller is the actual title owner, determines what, if any, liens are on the title, and verifies the property is legally accessible.