Buyers Guide

We will apply our knowledge and expertise to help our clients find the right home.

Below is a home buying guide we hope you will find helpful. 

 

Here is what you can expect from us: 

  • We will work for you at every stage of the home finding process, from the initial selection of properties to view, through the presentation of a purchase offer, to obtain financing and the completion of the transaction. 

  • We will communicate frequently with you. We will need to agree to a system of regular contacts (whether by email, in person, on the phone or by text) so you will be kept informed at all times. 

  • We will give you reliable information and solid advice so you can make informed decisions. Please don't hesitate to ask us questions. 

  • We will work to find the home that's just right for you. Your needs, interests and priorities will be our guide. 

It's our goal that you will be so pleased with our service that you will recommend us to your friends and turn to us for advice on all your future real estate needs. 

 
 
 
 
 

Get Started

Determine your priorities and needs

Review "agency" choices and select

appropriate working relationship

Discuss financing options

Find the Right Home

Tour properties based on criteria 

Evaluate each property with us

Choose the right home!

Complete the Settlement Process

Deposit of earnest money

Review of seller's property disclosures

Review preliminary title report

Inspections conducted

Property appraisal

Remove any remaining contingencies

Arrange for home owners insurance

Arrange for home warranty

Arrange for movers

Final walk-through of property

Provide balance of down payment

Loan processing

Sign documents

Final loan approval

Loan funding

Recording of title

Receive keys

Move in!

Obtain Financing

Select a mortgage company

Consult with a loan officer

Get pre-qualified

Complete loan application

Obtain pre-approval

Preparing an Offer

Review comparable sales

Review progress of loan pre-approval

Decide on terms 

Submit offer

Negotiations

Transportation Profile

Finding an ideal home means many things for different people. Convenience, lifestyle and proximity are important factors to consider when researching homes.

Defining your Ideal Home

The property you buy will be much more than a house; it will be your home. The following questions may help you describe the things that are most important to you in your ideal home and neighborhood. 

Your Needs Come First

Finding and buying the right home is a highly personalized process, and it all begins by identifying your needs. As you think about finding a home, the following worksheets will help you clarify your wants and needs. 

 

These worksheets explore areas such as: 

  • The values, interests and priorities you want this move to support

  • The features you are looking for in a home

  • How a neighborhood can best match your needs and lifestyle

  • How the home finding process should be tailored to fit your plans

  • The support you expect to receive from us

Agency Relationship

When real estate professionals work with buyers and sellers, “agency”
relationships are established. As you start working with a real estate
professional, you will receive a clear explanation of the current agency
laws, so that you understand these important issues.


There are three kinds of agency relationships:
 

Buyer’s agent - represents the buyer during the home buying process. The buyer’s real estate professional (agent) has a fiduciary responsibility to represent the buyer’s best interests, including reasonable care, loyalty and confidentiality.
 

Seller’s agent - represents the interests of the seller and has a fiduciary responsibility of reasonable care, loyalty, confidentiality and disclosure to the seller. A seller’s real estate professional (agent) works to assist the seller in locating a buyer and in negotiating a transaction suitable to the seller’s specific needs.
 

Disclosed limited agent - represents the interests of both the buyer and the seller, during the same
transaction. A dual agent has responsibilities to both buyer and seller and must act in the best interests
of both parties. This can be done only with the written permission of both clients.

Your Single Source for Info

Our Buyside platform alerts us to available homes that are not yet listed.
In today’s market, this can be invaluable service for buyers.

I also have access to information about virtually every home for sale in this
market, and will show you the homes that best match your requirements,
including:
• All homes marketed by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate
• All homes listed by other brokers through the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS)
• Homes not necessarily on the open market yet
• Many homes offered “For Sale By Owner”

Mobile Technology Benefits My Buyers

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate professionals have
access to an advanced mobile technology platform. That mobility is your
advantage.
I have access to everything I need to serve my clients from anywhere, at any time. That includes accessing all current RMLS properties, photos, maps, showing instructions and more. If you drive by what may feel like the home of your dreams, I have the tools to find out all the details on that home, on the spot.

 

Our mobile office platform brings together the most critical communications elements:

  • You can view, sign and engage with any of my forms and reports on your smart phone or tablet.

  • Use my GPS-enabled mobile app on your mobile device and see all available listings nearby appear on a map as you drive through an area.

  • I can access email, faxes, voicemail messages and scanned documents at any time.

  • My phone system transfers important calls to me, so I never miss an important communication related to you or your transaction.

  • I receive instant notification when homes that meet your criteria hit the market.

How to Look at Homes

Discovering the right home should be an exciting event for you, and I am
committed to making your home search as stress-free, efficient and effective
as possible.


These tips will be beneficial to you in your home search:
• Identifying up-front what is affordable will save time and frustration in the home finding process. It is important to consider the financing options available and begin the mortgage pre-approval process as soon as possible. A representative from HomeServices Lending, our in-house lender, would be happy to assist you.
• From the thousands of properties currently on the market, I will select those that most closely meet your unique needs and interests. It is best to preview only a few homes at a time.
• I will set you up in our automated HomeFinder™ system which scans the RMLS database on your behalf and emails complete listing information directly to you.
• We will schedule time to look at homes and neighborhoods. I will arrange showing appointments with the sellers or their brokers.
• If the seller or their real estate professional is at the property when we are there, it would be best to limit your conversation with them.
• You can use the Home Finding Worksheets I give you to evaluate each property.
• In order to help me find the right home for you, I will ask you to tell me your thoughts about each property you see … the positives and the negatives. We will continue to assess your needs and buying criteria as we move through the process.

First Steps Taken During the Home
Buying Process

Homebuyers may use several information sources in their search process,
but they are most likely to find the home they actually purchase through
a real estate sales professional and usage of the Internet.

Home Finding Worksheet

INSERT WORKSHEET

Using the Internet to Find Your Home

With berkshirehathawayhs.com, bhhsnw.com and my website, you have
instant access to a huge pool of available homes and evaluation tools online.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell real estate in the Pacific Northwest, there is simply no better
resource on the web than www.bhhsnw.com:
• Access thousands of “For Sale” properties in
Oregon and Washington
• Locate homes fast using our advanced
mapping with satellite images
• View more listing information than on many
real estate web sites
• Search by map, new listings, city, school
district, RMLS number, address or zip code
Each listing offers access to:
• Automated requests for viewing
appointments
• Additional photos
• Detailed school and community information
• Mortgage pre-approval and payment
calculator
Our exclusive HomeFinder™ works for you
24 hours a day:
• Scans the RMLS database repeatedly and
sends you new listings that meet your
search criteria by email
• Displays property addresses and street maps
• Emails you when new photos are posted
• Saves your favorite homes for comparison

Financing Your Home Purchase

Unless you are in a position to pay cash for your home, you will need to obtain
a home loan (mortgage) to complete the purchase.
I will assist you in this process to help ensure you obtain the financing that meets your needs.
• Being pre-approved for a loan before you submit an offer will put you in a stronger negotiating
position and save time in the loan approval process.
• I can put you in touch with an experienced mortgage consultant at our in-house mortgage lender
and also supply you with names of leading mortgage companies.
• Your mortgage consultant will be your principal guide through the financing process.
Various financing options may be available to you, including:
• Fixed Rate Mortgage
• Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
• Government-assisted (FHA or VA) financing
• Seller-assisted financing
You can expect the lender to ask for standard information regarding your income, expenses and
obligations.

What Can You Afford?

Realistically assessing your finances will streamline the home finding process.

Lease with a Right to Purchase

Prospective clients who might be right for our program:
• First-time homebuyers who are cautious about buying a home now, but want to be able to purchase
a home in the future.
• Potential homeowners who recently relocated and are unsure which neighborhood to live in.
• Potential homeowners who cannot obtain a mortgage, but who want to live in a community with
great schools.

Components of a Mortgage

A monthly mortgage payment may contain several components:
Principal
The original balance of money loaned. As the loan is paid over time, the principal is the remaining
loan balance.
Interest
The charge for the use (loan) of money. The interest rate remains constant in a Fixed Rate Mortgage.
The rate can vary according to specified guidelines over the life of an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM).
Property Taxes
The county assessor charges property taxes based on the value of your home. Tax installments are due
each year. These can be added to your monthly mortgage payment, put in an escrow impound account
(a special account set up by the lender in which money is held to pay for taxes, insurance premiums, etc.).
Insurance
Protection against loss resulting from certain hazards, such as theft or fire. The standard policy pays
replacement costs, minus depreciation based on actual cash value. You will need to obtain homeowners
insurance from an insurance company.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Loans with smaller down payments involve greater risk for the lender, who requires protection in case
the loan goes into foreclosure. Without PMI, lenders would be reluctant to offer loans with lower down
payments. Anything less than 20% down payment usually requires PMI.

Loan Application Checklist

Purchase contract and property information
‰‰ Copy of the sales contract
‰‰ Mailing address and property description
‰‰ Contact information for access to property
‰‰ Plans and specifications (new construction
only)
Personal Information
‰‰ Social Security number
‰‰ Date of birth
‰‰ Years of schooling
‰‰ Marital status
‰‰ Number and ages of dependents
‰‰ Current address and telephone numbers
‰‰ Addresses for the past seven years
‰‰ Current housing expenses (rent, mortgage,
insurance, taxes)
‰‰ Name and address of landlord or mortgage
holder for past two years
Employment history and income
‰‰ Two years of employment history
‰‰ Recent pay stubs and two years of W-2 forms
‰‰ Complete tax returns and financial statements
if self-employed
‰‰ Written explanation of employment gaps
‰‰ Records of dividends and interest received
‰‰ Proof of other income​

Assets
‰‰ Complete information on all bank and money
market accounts
‰‰ Two or three months of bank statements
‰‰ Current values of stocks, bonds, mutual funds
and other investments
‰‰ Vested interest in retirement funds
‰‰ Value of life insurance
‰‰ Information on vehicles you own
‰‰ Information on real estate you own
‰‰ Value of significant personal property you own
‰‰ Liabilities and debts
‰‰ Itemized list of all current debts (loans, credit
cards and other bills)
‰‰ Written explanation of past credit problems
‰‰ Full details of bankruptcy during the last seven
years
‰‰ Fees
‰‰ Credit report and appraisal fees (usually $500
or less)

Title and Escrow Information

What is Title?
Title is often referred to as the “bundle of rights” which constitutes ownership of a piece of real property.
The ability of the seller to deliver clear and marketable title is a condition referenced in many sale
agreements. “Title” is what the seller sells and the buyer buys.
What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is an almost invisible product in a real estate transaction. Although it carries protection,
only the lender involved in the transaction typically reads it. Consumers seldom read or discuss their title
insurance policy. It is important to note that in most sales or refinance transactions involving a lender,
the condition of the title may affect loan approval as the lender could refuse to accept a policy with
undesirable encumbrances that might not be removed.
What is an Escrow?
Escrow is the deposit of documents and funds with a neutral third party with specific instructions as
to how they should be disbursed. Escrow acts as the clearinghouse for the exchange and distribution
of those documents and funds in connection with transfer or financing of real property. An escrow
agent represents neither the buyer nor the seller. The escrow agent can act only on each party’s behalf
according to their written instructions.
In a typical sale transaction, the escrow fee is based on the purchase price.
As an added benefit to you, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate has partnered
with leading title companies to make the buying process easier and more convenient for you.

An Explanation of Escrow Impound
Accounts

What is a Mortgage Impound Account?
An impound account (also called reserve or escrow account) is a trust account set up by the lender to pay
for property taxes, fire and hazard insurance premiums and mortgage insurance premiums. The borrower
pays a portion of these expenses each month, along with the loan principal and interest payment. When
taxes or insurance premiums become due, the lender pays them out of the impound account. When the
loan is originated, the lender asks the borrower to deposit an initial amount into the impound account.
This is usually in the range of 5 months to one year worth of payments.
Typically when a borrower puts down less than a 20% down payment, the impound account will
be required by the lender. When the borrower puts a down payment of 20% or more the impound
account is optional.
What impound escrow accounts do for homebuyers:
• Guarantee that bills are paid on time. Homeowners do not have to worry about coming up with
several large, lump sum payments, each with different due dates, throughout the year.
• Unexpected increases are taken care of by the lender. In the event of a property tax increase or
insurance increase, the lender will cover this expense and pay the premium in a timely manner,
assuring that the borrower does not default on the obligation and risk additional tax penalties
or a lapse in insurance coverage. It is common for lenders to pay taxes and insurance premiums
when they are due, even though all the money for these bills has not yet been collected from
the homeowner.
• The initial cost of the mortgage may be reduced by establishing an impound account. It is typical
for lenders to collect up to ¼ percent in additional fee income for “waving” the impound requirement.
Mortgages with impound accounts are considered by the secondary market to be more secure
than mortgages without impound accounts.

Submitting an Offer

Once you have found the right property, the next step is to make a purchase
offer to the seller.
Determine the price you want to offer:
• The price the seller is asking may or may not reflect realistic market value.
• One of the best ways to determine market value is with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
showing similar properties that sold recently, those that are currently active on the market and
those that failed to sell.
• I will assist you in market research and discuss with you an estimate of costs associated with
purchasing this property.
Decide on financing:
• We will review the status of your loan pre-approval.
• We will work together with your mortgage consultant to explain financing options and help
you determine the mortgage plan that best fits your requirements.
Decide on other issues that are important to you, such as:
• Items of personal property you want included with the house.
• Warranty, inspections, repairs or other home enhancements by the seller.
• Closing date and possession.
I will present your offer:
• The seller will have three choices: accept your offer as it is presented; reject it completely;
or propose adjustments to your offer (counter offer)
• If there is a counter offer, you can choose whether to accept it, reject it or counter it
Once you have reached agreement with the seller, you will have a firm contract to purchase the home.

Comparative Market Analysis

Deciding what price to offer can be a challenge. I’ll provide you information on
market values of other properties in the area so you can make a sound decision.
Following is an example of one of the many CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) analysis tools I will
provide. It shows similar properties that sold recently, those that are active on the market right now,
and those that failed to sell.
When you find a property you’re seriously interested in, I’ll prepare a CMA on it so you can see how the
seller’s asking price compares to real market values in the area.
Referring to a Comparative Market Analysis is a reliable way to determine the best price to offer, because
the CMA is based on current market data.

Estimate of Costs

It is helpful to have an estimate of the costs* associated with purchasing
a home.

Important Ways to Protect
Your Interests

There are several ways to help support a trouble-free home purchase:
• A written property disclosure statement from the seller will reveal any problems with the house
and the surrounding area that you need to know about.
• Professional inspections can reveal structural, roof, termite and other problems with the property
that the seller will need to remedy.
• A home warranty can give you peace of mind by providing repair-or-replace coverage of major
home operating systems and appliances.
• A preliminary title report informs you of any problems with the property’s title and a policy of title
insurance protects your rights to the property.
• A walk-through before closing will allow you to make sure all required work as been taken care
of and that the property is ready to become yours.

Completing Your Home Purchase

Many details need to be taken care of in order for a home purchase to be
completed. It can take 30-90 days or more to complete all the steps involved
in a home sale, depending on the complexity of the transaction.
I will work closely with everyone involved in the transaction to help ensure that it moves ahead as
smoothly as possible.
I will:
• Explain to you in detail all the steps that will occur, and answer any questions you may have.
• Work with the seller’s broker to see that they fulfill their responsibilities under the contract.
• Stay in touch with the title officer, lender and others to help coordinate their activities and keep
the transaction moving forward.
• Communicate with you on a regular basis so that you stay informed and as worry-free as possible.

Your HomeServices Coordinator

When you buy or sell a home with a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Northwest Real Estate professional, you gain complimentary access to
HomeServices, our concierge service for all your homeownership needs.
Your HomeServices membership gives you access to many discounts and services you may need during
and after purchasing a home.
Your Coordinator:
• Is available via telephone or e-mail to guide and support you through the moving process
and beyond.
• Provides contact information for utility connects and disconnects.
• Maintains a record of all past services.
• Ensures services provided meet your satisfaction.
All of this, and more… for FREE, and your HomeServices
Coordinator will continue to be available to assist you
as long as you own your home.
www.HomeServicesNW.com

A Smooth Transition to Your
New Home

Here is a timeline to consider as you make the move to your new home.
Remember to contact our HomeServices department for assistance.
4 weeks before your move:
‰‰ Finalize plans with a reputable moving company
‰‰ Have school records transferred
‰‰ Arrange to transfer (or take with you) medical, dental and other important records
‰‰ Prepare to transfer your homeowners, auto and life insurance
‰‰ Consider a garage sale to get rid of unneeded items; arrange to place excess items in storage
‰‰ Keep track of moving-related expenses and ask your accountant what expenses may be deductible
3 weeks before:
‰‰ Obtain and mail change-of-address cards to the post office, subscriptions, credit card companies
and important contacts, or make the updates online.
2 weeks before:
‰‰ Arrange for utility connection changes
‰‰ Close or transfer bank accounts
‰‰ Terminate newspaper delivery service
‰‰ Arrange for transfer of vehicle licenses and driver’s licenses
‰‰ Have an extra supply of prescription medications for the next four weeks
‰‰ We will schedule a final walk-through of the property to make sure everything is in order
Week of your move:
‰‰ Keep valuable financial records and personal papers with you; do not pack them with the rest
of your household goods
‰‰ On closing day, the home purchase documents will be signed
‰‰ Once the documents record, the home is officially yours
‰‰ Move in!
After you move in:
‰‰ Contact our HomeServices department for all your future home ownership needs (877-231-3210)

A Smooth Transition to Your
New Home

Here is a timeline to consider as you make the move to your new home.
Remember to contact our HomeServices department for assistance.
4 weeks before your move:
‰‰ Finalize plans with a reputable moving company
‰‰ Have school records transferred
‰‰ Arrange to transfer (or take with you) medical, dental and other important records
‰‰ Prepare to transfer your homeowners, auto and life insurance
‰‰ Consider a garage sale to get rid of unneeded items; arrange to place excess items in storage
‰‰ Keep track of moving-related expenses and ask your accountant what expenses may be deductible
3 weeks before:
‰‰ Obtain and mail change-of-address cards to the post office, subscriptions, credit card companies
and important contacts, or make the updates online.
2 weeks before:
‰‰ Arrange for utility connection changes
‰‰ Close or transfer bank accounts
‰‰ Terminate newspaper delivery service
‰‰ Arrange for transfer of vehicle licenses and driver’s licenses
‰‰ Have an extra supply of prescription medications for the next four weeks
‰‰ We will schedule a final walk-through of the property to make sure everything is in order
Week of your move:
‰‰ Keep valuable financial records and personal papers with you; do not pack them with the rest
of your household goods
‰‰ On closing day, the home purchase documents will be signed
‰‰ Once the documents record, the home is officially yours
‰‰ Move in!
After you move in:
‰‰ Contact our HomeServices department for all your future home ownership needs (877-231-3210)

Tel: 503-800-9000

39460 Proctor Blvd
Sandy, OR 97055

 

© 2020 by Dream Real Estate Team LLC

Licensed Real Estate Brokers in the state of Oregon

MCA Notice

© 2020 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.®. Equal Housing Opportunity.