Category Archives: Home Purchase

Keeping it Real… Safe

I’m excited to be getting back to work, and helping to serve you!

As we begin to re-open the Michigan real estate market there are a few things I have to ask in order to keep everyone safe while following CDC, state, and association guidelines. These requests also apply to photos, pre-listing appointments, inspections, final walkthroughs, and any other appointment related to your real estate needs.

First and foremost: Please notify me if any person occupying or entering the property has been exposed to, diagnosed with, or quarantined as a result of COVID-19 or is experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or other cold or flu-like symptoms.

For home sellers or prospective home sellers:

  • Prior to and after any appointment or showing, please clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, light switches, and countertops.
  • For all appointments, please unlock all doors, turn on lights/lamps, and open blinds to let light in and reduce surface contact.
  • For pre-listing walkthroughs, please open all interior doors.
  • For all new listings, please advise if you do not wish to allow in-person showings.
  • For any appointment that you must be present at the home, please remain on the opposite level of the home or exit the structure and maintain a 6 foot distance.
  • Please note that open houses are not allowed at this time.

For home buyers or prospective home buyers:

  • I will be providing a release form for every showing requested that must be signed prior to the showing taking place.
  • Please do not touch any surface or share items (pens, phones, tablets, etc) with others at the showing.
  • Please consider wearing gloves and a mask while viewing the home.
  • Please use hand sanitizer immediately prior to entering the home and upon exiting prior to getting into your car.

For everyone:
Please also note that there are restrictions in place on the number of people (4) that can be present in a home at one time, and those persons must maintain a 6 foot distance at all times. In addition, any conversation with a buyer or seller outside of a showing (where, by law, I must be present with the buyer) will not be conducted in-person. I have text messaging, email, IM, Zoom, phone, and more at my disposal for any needed conversation.

I appreciate your support and help to keep everyone safe.  

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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Make an Offer

So you want to make an offer? That’s great and I’m super excited for you! Now, before I can write up the offer, there are a few things I need from you if I don’t already have it. Please have the bank send me a pre-approval letter with the amount of the offer, expected down payment (% or $), any seller paid closing costs (% or $), and the address of the property if they require that. Please note I can NOT submit your offer until I have a pre-approval from the lender you are going to use or proof of funds. In addition, please fill out the information below and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Legal Name(s): This is what will go on the contracts (so I need everyone’s name).

Email Address(es): This will be where any correspondence goes as well as anything that needs to be e-signed (so I need everyone’s address).

Cell Phone(s): In a pinch I may need to call or text. I also like to know who’s calling or texting me 

Hopefully the rest of the fields are self explanatory. Of course, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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Offer

What it is: Hopefully this is obvious 🙂 but this is the stage where we write, negotiate, and hopefully get an accepted offer!

What to expect: The offer phase usually only lasts anywhere from a day to week depending on the sellers situation, and amount of interest they have in the property. Once I have the information for your initial offer, I will write it up and send it over to you to review and sign. Once you do that, I will send the offer to the listing agent who will discuss it with the seller. If they like it they will either “accept as written” or write a “counter offer”. If they reject your offer outright, we can still re-write another offer if you so choose.

Assuming we can come to a “meeting of the minds” we have an accepted offer, and it’s on to the inspection phase.

What you will need to do: When you find a property you want to make an offer on, please use the make an offer form. As with the showing request form, the make an offer form ensures I don’t miss anything and includes most of the details I need to write up your offer.

Next step (assuming our offer is accepted): Inspections

Note: Refer to emails or your Project Dashboard for details specific to your transaction

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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The Search

What it is: The search stage is where we actually start looking at properties! While this is the exciting part, please be sure to make sure you understand the getting started phase first!

What to expect: I will be setting up a search according to the information you’ve provided which will be delivered on a daily bases as properties match your criteria. Expect the initial list to be quite lengthy, but subsequent emails will have fewer results. As you find places you would like to see, please follow the link included in the emails to request a showing. Using the showing request link makes sure I have the information I need to sync up our schedules and so we can see what you want!

Please note that even if a property shows as “active”, “available”, or “for sale” in a search I send you or that you find off off Zillow, Realtor.com, etc it is possible that the home is under contract so we will need to pass on seeing that property to save everyone’s time.

What you will need to do: Please review the search results I send you on a consistent basis. I would hate to see you miss out on the house of your dreams because we weren’t quick enough. Also, as mentioned above, please use the showing request form for every property you want to see. Doing so makes sure the request gets into my workflow and does not get missed. Requesting by email, text, IM, or carrier pigeon is asking for the ball to get dropped.

Next step (assuming all goes well): Offer

Note: Refer to emails or your Project Dashboard for details specific to your transaction

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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Getting Started

What it is: This is the stage where you get ready to find the home of our dreams – or, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just the home of our needs 🙂

What to expect: If I haven’t already, I will be asking you for information about what type of property you are looking for, your budget, how you plan to finance the purchase, and personal information about anyone that will be involved in the purchase. In fact, if you haven’t already, just fill out this handy survey!

What you need to know: Purchasing a home is usually one of the largest, if not the single largest financial transaction in your life. As such, how you plan to pay for the property and not making any missteps along the journey is of utmost importance. Unless, you plan to purchase in cash (without a loan), you need to be aware of the following:

  • Do not buy a new car or trade up to a bigger lease.
  • Do not quit your job to change industries or start a new company.
  • Do not switch from a salaried job to a heavily commissioned job.
  • Do not transfer large sums of money between bank accounts.
  • Do not accept cash gifts without filing the proper “gift” paperwork – talk to your lender!
  • Do not make any random, undocumented deposits into your bank account
  • Do not forget to pay your bills – even the ones in dispute
  • Do not open new credit cards
  • Do not open any new lines of credit (ex: buying your new furniture on a line of credit)
  • Do not make any overdrafts

If you do plan to do a “cash purchase”, I will still need to see “proof of funds”.

What you will need to do: If you have not already, please fill out this form so we can get started with the search. Aside from reading and understanding the above, I will need you to select what lender you want to use for the purchase as I will need to be in communication with them as we move along in the process.

Next step: The Search

Note: Refer to emails or your Project Dashboard for details specific to your transaction

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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Inspections

What it is: The inspection stage is when the you will have any number of inspectors out to the property depending on the situation. These may be general property inspections, pest inspectors, and/or well and septic inspectors. Basically, the idea is to make sure the major components of the home are functioning as expected.

What to expect: As with showings I should be present, but unlike showings inspections usually happen during the “business day”. As such, please make sure to plan appropriately to take any necessary time off of work, and check with me on days/times that work in my schedule. Please also be aware that general home inspections can take 2+ hours. There is also a time period (identified in the purchase agreement) for when these inspections need to be completed (usually 7-12 business days), and you will need to pay for these inspections at the time they occur (figure $300-$700 depending on the situation). After the inspection(s) we will discuss any issues and either request repairs, a credit to cover any needed repairs, or clear the inspection contingency. Please note that it is not uncommon to discover things that should be addressed, but generally these are only in the neighborhood of a couple hundred dollars.

What you will need to do: As with a showing you should be present for the general home inspection. If there is a separate well/septic inspection you generally should be present, but a radon drop off/pick up does not require you to be there. Please also check with me on days/times before scheduling. If you have a trusted inspector, please feel free to use them. Otherwise, please see this page for some recommendations.

Also as a reminder when scheduling the inspection, my phone number is 517-252-4440, my email is mark@freedomre.com, and my company/broker name is FreedomRE.

Next step (assuming all goes well): Appraisal (if bank financed) or Closing.

Note: Refer to emails or your Project Dashboard for details specific to your transaction

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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Appraisal

What it is: The appraisal stage is when the bank will send an appraiser out to place a value on the property that is intended to be independent of whatever the agreed upon sale price is. As long as the property appraises for the same or more than the agreed upon price then everything moves along as expected. Should the appraisal come in low the seller will either need to settle for the appraised price, you can bring additional cash to closing (potentially via a renegotiated price), or we will have to look for another property.

What to expect: I will be contacting your lender to request the appraisal. From there the appraiser will request a date and time to come to the property, but don’t worry because you do not have to be present. Once they are done, they will complete the appraisal report and return it to your lender anywhere from 1 day to a week and a half later. From there your lender should be sharing a copy of the report with you.

What you will need to do: Please let me know if you hear from your lender about when the appraisal is happening, and forward me a copy of the report once you receive it (as I am often not provided it).

Next step (assuming all goes well): Underwriting

Note: Refer to emails or your Project Dashboard for details specific to your transaction

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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Closing

What it is: The closing stage is the final few days before and day of completing the purchase of your property!

What to expect: The actual closing appointment will usually take place at the sellers title company and generally takes 45 minutes to an hour but I have had instances where it has taken much longer.

What you will need to do: If we have not already scheduled the closing, please let me know if there are any days/time that do NOT work for you. You will need to bring your drivers license, passport, marriage/death/divorce certificates as needed, or any other required documentation. You will also need certified funds (no cash, personal or business checks) in the amount specified by the bank. Please also plan to schedule time off of work if necessary.

Please also let me know times that work within 48 hours of closing if you would like to do a final walk through – highly recommended in case there are any last minute issues.

Next step (assuming all goes well): Take possession!

Note: Refer to emails or your Project Dashboard for details specific to your transaction

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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Underwriting

What it is: Underwriting is when the bank does their final due diligence on your finances and any home/condo owners association. Usually a deal is good to go at this point, but things can and do happen.

What to expect: At this point, it is a waiting game. Once the bank finishes the underwriting they will issue a “clear to close” and we can schedule closing as early as 3 business days after the “clear to close” is issued. Please note that even if we do have a clear to close much earlier than the “close by” date on the purchase agreement, the seller or you may need to hold off until closer to the purchase agreement date.

What you will need to do: Start packing if you haven’t already!

Next step (assuming all goes well): Closing

Note: Refer to emails or your Project Dashboard for details specific to your transaction

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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Showing Request

I would love to show you any available property. Just fill out the form below. If you are not a client I need all the contact and financing information filled out. Clients, I only need the required fields.

You or someone you know looking to buy or sell?

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