1: Decide to Buy

The decision to purchase your home is one of the biggest and best choices you could ever make. After all, a home is the largest – and most emotional – investment most people will face in their lifetime. So, how do you know if it’s the right time for you to buy? There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. The key is finding the right buy and taking the time to carefully evaluate your finances.

A home purchase is an important step that can provide many advantages. Purchasing your own home is a great investment that can deliver several financial benefits – equity build up, value appreciation, automatic savings plan – not to mention a new sense of pride!
Start looking at your options today. You do not have to know everything. Clay & Clay Real Estate Team is ready to help you through every step of the process.
– Rob & Becky

2: Hire Clay & Clay Real Estate Team

When you’re looking for a real estate professional to help you, know that above all else, good agents put their clients first. This is your dream, and we are your advocate to help you make your dream come true.

As your real estate agents we will:

  1. Educate you about the current conditions of the market.
  2. Analyze what you want and what you need in your next home.
  3. Coordinate the work of other needed professionals throughout the process.
  4. Guide you to homes that fit your criteria and budget.
  5. Negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal possible.
  6. Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.
  7. Inform and discuss with you, and suggest solutions to solve any problems that may arise.

3: Secure Financing & Pre-Approval

Our Clay & Clay Real Estate Team works very hard to ensure your transaction goes as smoothly as possible. In our experience we have found the likelihood of that happening increases when buyers work with a local lender who has an exceptional track record and takes care of the financing process.

While we do work with online lenders and national banks, we recommend choosing local lenders when possible for several reasons:

  1. The strength of local relationships can prove invaluable when availability and accessibility to your lender is crucial to ensuring a smooth transaction. The relationship history which our Clay & Clay Real Estate Team enjoys with local lenders creates a heightened level of respect and results in more efficient negotiations and a faster resolution of issues.
  2. Many clients want a more personal touch during their home buying process. They want to connect in-person with their lender, and our team, to ensure they are receiving the best possible care.
  3. Many local lenders offer down payment assistance and first-time home buyer programs only available through lending institutions located within the county and state.
  4. Many local lenders offer specialized portfolio loan programs tailored to borrower’s unique needs and circumstances (e.g., small business owners, physician financing, and buyers who have recently experienced life-changing events).
  5. Local lenders live in the Greater Springfield, Ozark and Nixa area; they know the communities and understand our local housing market.
  6. Local lenders work frequently with title companies and escrow officers who coordinate our client’s closings; they are familiar with all requirements and timelines.
Another added benefit of working with a local lender, and specifically banks, is that the funds they receive from monthly mortgage payments can be invested back into the community. These funds are often the same funds used for business loans for the local community. The prosperity of the community can be greatly affected by the number of home loans they close.

What will your lender do for you?
Review your current financials. Discuss the financing options available to you during the home purchasing process. Guide you to an appropriate price point. Negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal — price, interest rates, loan approval. And keep you informed and updated of the entire financial process throughout your purchase.

Why it’s important to pre-qualify before beginning your home search:

  1. Know exactly what you can comfortably afford.
  2. Save time and find your dream home faster.
  3. Higher acceptance rate of your offer.
  4. Stronger negotiating position and confidence when making an offer.
  5. Deal is less likely to fall through.
  6. Less stress. Skipping this pre-qualification step can wreak havoc on your stress level.
Get connected with a local preferred lender!
Clay & Clay Real Estate Team can recommend one or more local lenders who offer exceptional service and financing options. Whether you are looking for conventional, FHA, USDA, VA or private portfolio loans, we can connect you with the right lenders.

Contact us today and request our lender recommendations.

4: Find Your Home

So you’ve chosen and met with your trusted advisers – preferred lender and Clay & Clay Real Estate Team, and now you’re ready to begin your search. But how or where do you start? There are a lot of homes out there, and diving in without a guide can become overwhelming and confusing. We will help you more accurately pinpoint homes that fit your criteria. The right home will meet all your important needs, and as many of your additional wants as possible.

Some questions you might ask yourself include:

  1. What amenities are crucial for you and your family?
  2. How much space do you need and why?
  3. Which is more critical: location or size?
  4. Would you be interested in a fixer-upper?
  5. How important is home value appreciation?
  6. Is neighborhood stability a priority?
  7. Is accessibility to main routes a priority?
  8. What features are not negotiable in your new property?
You’ll learn as you look at homes, your priorities will probably adjust along the way.

5: Make an Offer

Once you’ve found a home you love, the next step is deciding on a price. It’s important to remember that a home is an investment. We can give you information on other properties in the neighborhood to help you ensure you make an informed decision when it comes to price.
Look to our team to carefully explain and guide you through the offer process. We educate, equip and empower so you can make decisions with confidence.
– Rob & Becky
Some things to consider when deciding on the best price point are:

  1. List price – Start with the price point that the home is listed at. This will give you a base when looking at the home’s value.
  2. Market Analysis – We will give you an idea of comparable home values in the neighborhood to help you decide if the price point is on par.
  3. Improvements – We can give you a list of improvements made to the home and help you determine its market value.

6: Perform Due Diligence

Now that you’re “under contract,” your next step is due diligence typically in the form of home inspections. We can assist you in scheduling any inspections you desire and those required by your lender. We can help you review the inspection reports, distinguish between material and non-material defects, and recommend what to consider asking the seller to repair or remedy. This way you’ll know what you are getting into before you complete the purchase.

Knowing what work has and has not been done to your home is important information to have in the buying process. While updates can increase your home value, damages can take money out of your pocket.

Remember, often a problem in the home may appear to be big, yet can be fixed in a professional workmanlike manner with little effort and not a huge budget.

7: Close

Once you’ve determined a price point you’re comfortable with, you’re in the “home” stretch! However, in order to ensure you don’t put the property purchase at risk, you have a couple responsibilities that you’ll need to keep in mind:

  1. Staying in control of your credit and finances – Do not make any large purchases during this time. It’s important to keep your financials steady throughout the buying process. Talk to your financial consultant for guidance.
  2. Keeping in touch with your Clay & Clay Real Estate Team and preferred lender – It’s important to stay in constant communication with us and your lender during this process. Be sure to return all phone calls and complete paperwork promptly. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. We are here to help you!

8: Protect Your Investment

Congratulations, and welcome home! The home-buying process is complete, which means it’s time for your maintenance plan! It’s now your best financial interest to protect your investment for years to come. Performing routine maintenance on your home’s systems is always more affordable than having to fix big problems later. Be sure to watch for signs of leaks, damage and wear.

When the sale is complete, your relationship with us doesn’t need to end! We want to be your real estate experts for life!
After you buy, we can still help you – providing information on the real estate market, finding contractors and repair services when you need them, and even tracking your home’s current value.
– Rob & Becky

Ready to Start Your Home Search?

We’re excited to help you find and move-in to your next dream home. Contact us today to get started.