ACCESS BROKERAGE, INCORPORATED
Our clients deserve the best!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
WHO WORKED "ONLY" FOR THE BUYER IN THE PAST?
The LENDER looks out for their best interest...
the LISTING AGENT works for the seller, traditional agents (even those who work for a brokerage company that call themselves BUYER agents...not "Exclusive Buyer Agents") work as SELLING AGENTS for the seller...
the CLOSING ATTORNEY represents the LENDER...
and that leaves the BUYER representing...themselves!
An EXCLUSIVE BUYER AGENT (EBA) is more concerned with representing YOU and finding the home that fits your lifestyle. As an EBA, I want you to know the home's value in the Atlanta marketplace.
WHAT DOES "CLOSING" MEAN AND WHAT HAPPENS AT CLOSING?
The term "closing" simply means signing the final loan paperwork (i.e., closing the loan and granting you ownership) with an attorney and transfer of title to you. (i.e., Signing on the dotted line - on lots of forms). This "loan (home purchase) closing" process is where Buyer and Seller finally meet to transfer money, property ownership, and keys.
The closing attorney places all the lender, attorney, Buyer and Seller related closing costs onto a 2-3 page American Land Title Association - Settlement Statement. The form details and summarizes what the Buyer and Seller will pay or receive which includes who's covering closing costs, prepaids(homeowner's insurance & property taxes), etc., and the balances are transferred to the appropriate Buyer/Seller columns on the last page. Click here to review the New Real Estate American Land Title Association - Settlement Statement that you will see with final numbers in the columns at your loan closing in the attorney's office. IMPORTANT: Compare the numbers on the Closing Disclosure that the lender gave you with the Settlement Statement form. Engage your Exclusive Buyer Agent in these reviews to understand if "all" closing costs are accounted for and within reason for Georgia.
WHAT ARE CLOSING COSTS and ESCROWS and HOW MUCH CAN THEY TOTAL?
They can run about 1% to 6% of your loan amount, but will vary according to your loan type (Conventional, FHA, or VA).
"CLOSING COSTS" are defined as "costs necessary to close the loan". They include costs from three (3) categories: lender costs; attorney costs; and government costs. Expenditures like your lender's loan origination fee, underwriting fees, property survey, appraisal fee, credit report,lender's portion of title insurance; attorney fees, title search, and other incidental expenses incurred by the lender or attorney; and government taxes or fees such as document recording fees, intangibles tax,transfer tax, etc..
NOTE: You may spend money to "BUY DOWN" (i.e. reduce) the rate of interest your lender would charge you at a competitive market rate based on your credit history. These costs are sometimes referred to as "DISCOUNT POINTS" and may be considered as "ordinary closing costs the seller will cover."
The amount of money you normally have to bring to closing depends on your down payment and "PREPAID EXPENSES/ESCROWS" (i.e., several months of Homeowner's Insurance and City/County Property Taxes).
Also, other expenses to consider are: YOUR Title Insurance coverage; Flood Insurance coverage (if you're in a flood zone); and PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance - Conventional loans) or MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium - FHA loans) that may or may not be required at closing or rolled into the loan.
You should consult with several mortgage representative within a 2-3 week period to compare rates, terms, and personalities. Don't be afraid to assemble a few names to contact. Several credit inquiries within a short period of time shouldn't be counted against you, but be sure to consolidate your lender interviews within a 2 week period and choose a lender after that.
After you choose the right lender and found the home to purchase, then you should apply for a loan. You should receive a Loan Estimate (LE) (of your estimated loan rate, estimated closing costs, estimated monthly payments, and the amount required from you at closing. Do you know if these amounts are reasonable? Ask me and I'll try to minimize your costs.) within three (3) business days after completing your loan application from the lender.
If all goes well, by law, the closing attorney or lender should furnish you with a Closing Disclosure (CD) document (which should mimic the final Closing Settlement Statement for you at closing) at least three (3) business days before your closing date. You'll want a summary total the charges to be sure all your closing costs and applicable contract terms are covered as they SHOULD HAVE BEEN negotiated.
WHAT INFLUENCES MORTGAGE RATES?
Yields for 10 Year Note for 30 year Fixed Rate Mortgages and 1 Year Treasury Notes for Adjustable Rate Mortgages
That depends on so many factors. At the Macro level...the current and projected strength of economy and yields on 10 year treasury notes serve as benchmark.
In fact, per the Friday, November 9th, Wall Street Journal, page C14 "With 30 year mortgage rates most influenced by the 10 year Treasury note...U.S. bond traders began to embrace the 10-year Treasury note as the new king of the Bond market....Also, the one-year constant maturity Treasury Bills are the most popular index for making changes in the Adjustable Rate Mortgage."
WILL JIM PARKER WORK WITH "FOR SALE BY OWNER" PROPERTIES?
I have worked directly with Sellers to negotiate purchases of their homes for my clients. Some homeowners want to sell their house to someone who has NO HELP from a real estate professional familiar with market and resale value and factors that influence your costs. An Exclusive Buyer's Agent will pre-qualify buyers and walk through the property with the buyer pointing out the PROs & CONs of the home and compare it against others in the neighborhood.
Jim monitors the Atlanta real estate marketplace daily, performs market analyses, and exercises negotiating skills applicable to real estate in the area you choose.
NOTE: Do you know if the owner's asking price is really as competitive as others in the neighborhood? Even if priced at or below others in the neighborhood, I can explain why it still may not be valuable to you.
HOW WILL JIM PARKER GET ME THE BEST DEAL?
I focus on what the BUYER gets out of the DEAL!
Experience with all aspects of purchasing and maintaining a home are important factors your agent should know. The negotiating process deals with a variety of issues. Some are more important than others and each situation is different from another.
For instance, the house may be vacant and you'll think you'll get a good deal, but since the Atlanta lease market is strong, the seller can always rent the property for a profit!
After we discuss the PROs and CONs of any house and the neighborhood in which you are interested, we will proceed with an offer. What you may think to be important may not mean anything to the seller, current marketplace, or to the negotiating process. I know that certain points are more negotiable than others.
HOW DOES A BUYER'S AGENT GET PAID?
Seller agrees to split commission with Seller's and Buyer's Agent or Seller pays Buyer Agent Commission only.
A listed property on a multiple listing service includes a "total" commission rate that the seller has agreed to pay. If another agent is involved in a transaction, the commission is split between the two agents.
A "For Sale By Owner" property normally "protects agents" and have factored some form of commission to pay for negotiating a contract. Remember...You use an Exclusive Buyer's Agent to not only help you find the right house, but to advise you on all aspects of home ownership.
In today's world, you really should have someone on your side to answer tough questions to make sure you are getting the best price and terms and have more "complete" information about the house, neighborhood and community. There's NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU to use an Exclusive Buyer Agent, but it may save you many times more the commission to use one. In fact, since we look at negotiating the best deal for you, we try to save you money not only in the purchase price and terms, but try to prevent you from making a costly mistake!
The Atlanta Real Estate market is changing daily. You need a BUYER AGENT to make sure you are protected and make an informed decision.
ACCESS BROKERAGE, INC. help you not only choose the right home to fit your lifestyle, but that also fits your budget.
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"James E. Parker is a licensed Real Estate Broker in only the State of Georgia and holds his license with Access Brokerage, Incorporated, located at 1634 Rex Drive, Marietta, GA 30066 north of Atlanta in Cobb County, Georgia that serves Atlanta metro area that includes the counties surrounding Atlanta, Georgia."