The sales of real estate in Greenwich is likely to be different from the practices in other parts of the country. For Colorado real estate for example, you can visit website to find out more. Even in Fairfield County, real estate practices differ from town to town. For instance, in Greenwich, binders are not used and all real estate contracts are drawn by attorneys. Unlike places like New York City, all Realtors list their properties for sale on the Greenwich MLS, therefore every property for sale (exclusive or not) can be shown by any Realtor. One final, but very important example, is Agency. Connecticut Law requires Buyers to be represented by a real estate agent and to sign a Representation Agreement, just as Sellers are represented by their real estate agent and sign a Listing Agreement. This practice of Buyer Representation is usually called Buyer Agency or Buyer Brokerage. If you are in two minds about which real estate agent you want to go for to buy/sell your home you can always go online to sites like Get Agent and compare them to find the right fit for you. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Canadian city of Toronto, you may want to take a look at the services that Homeads can provide.
1. Choose Your Realtor based on who you like and trust and who understands your needs.
- Before your first meeting, read about them on the web site: Does the Realtor know the town? Does the person seem like someone you would enjoy being with?
- Ask for their pre-appointment materials: read their personal brochure. Call their references – ask lots of questions.
- at this point, call the Realtor to set up an appointment.
2. Schedule a first meeting in the Realtor’s office to get acquainted.
- prepare for the meeting by downloading and reviewing forms which you will need to complete or sign from the Library section of GreenwichLiving.com
- During this meeting, your Realtor should discuss Buyer Agency as well as your needs.
- It is likely that the Realtor will have selected one or more homes for you to see based on your preliminary e-mail or phone discussions.
- Remember, you are at the beginning stage of a relationship. The Realtor will need to ask you “Have you signed a Buyer Agency agreement with any other firm?” When you say “no”, you will be able to sign the Buyer Agency Agreement.
- Ok – you are able to sign- But do you like and respect this Realtor you are now with?? This same question is in the Realtor’s mind. “Is this someone I would like to represent?”
- This often unspoken concern determines whether you want to sign for a trial period (a week or less) or for the normal period of 4-6 months.
- At the end of any trial period, you and your Realtor must decide whether or not to continue the agency relationship on a normal basis.
3. Learn About Buyer Agency
- Connecticut Law requires Buyers to be represented when they are shown homes not listed by the brokerage where the Realtor works.
- To be represented, the Buyer must sign an Buyer Agency Agreement (sometimes called a Buyer Broker Agreement).
- If the Buyer is shown a home listed by the brokerage, they may choose whether to be represented. If they decline, they must sign an Agency Disclosure Form indicating they did not want to be represented.
4. Sign A Buyer Agency Agreement
- If you agree to have the Realtor represent you, your Buyer-Agent will:
– recommend Mortgage companies if you are not already pre-approved (offers by pre-approved Buyers are always given more weight by the Seller); See Mortgage Process
– set you up on automatic e-mails of homes which come on the market and seem to meet your needs;
– recommend lawyers familiar with Greenwich real estate transactions for you to consider.
– develop a plan of action to find your home, review it with you and begin implementing it.
- Your Buyer-Agent will find homes for you to see that meet as many of your criteria as possible. During this search your Agent will give you their opinion on how that home’s price fits into the market, so that when you decide to bid on a home you can make an educated price decision.
5. Bidding On A Home
- Once you have found a home you wish to bid on, your Buyer-Agent will:
– check the property’s history;
– discuss strategy;
– do a CMA(Comparative Market Analysis), if it appears to be needed;
– negotiate exclusively in your interest.
- Once you have an agreement on price, terms, contingencies (including the mortgage amount needed by the Buyer) and closing date, your Buyer-Agent will prepare a written offer.
Offers and counter-offers are normally submitted orally and not in written form, until agreement has been reached.
- The written offer, even though signed by the Buyer, is non-binding, does not include a check (Binder) and simply represents a good faith agreement between the Buyer and the Seller.
- The Seller’s attorney uses the written offer to draw up a contract and submits the contract to the Buyer’s attorney. The Buyer’s attorney uses it to make sure the contract meets the terms of the Buyer’s offer.
- While the contract is being drawn, the Buyer’s Agent will provide the Buyer with recommended inspection services and will schedule the inspections for the Buyer.
– Inspections usually consist of a physical inspection of the home (including termite – if you do find that the house has termites though, then the first thing to do would be to call up someone like termite control los angeles, but there are loads of places that you could go to) and its systems. After which the inspector will provide the Buyer with a written report.
– During the inspection it is important for the Buyer to accompany the inspector. This is an excellent opportunity to really understand the house. Additionally, listening to the inspector you will learn more detail than can normally be put in a report.
– A Radon canister will be left in the basement and/or first floor. The canister should be left in place for several days, before being picked up and analyzed.
– Inspections can normally be cleared in one week.
- When the Buyer’s attorney receives the contract, he/she will:
– review the contract to be sure it is in the proper name(s), Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common) and contains all terms agreed upon;
– review any terms requested by the Seller which are not in the standard contract normally used by the real estate attorneys;
– arrange title search and title insurance;
– arrange a property survey, if warranted.
- The contract will normally provide for:
– all inspection contingencies to be cleared before it is signed;
– what is included or excluded from the sale;
– a 10% deposit to be sent with the contract signed by the Buyer;
– a date when any mortgage contingency is to be cleared (usually three to four weeks);
– a closing date when the title of the property will be transferred and the other 90% of the purchase price will be paid.
- Once the Seller has signed the contract and returned a copy to the Buyer’s attorney, the Seller is committed and the Buyer is committed if they are able to obtain a mortgage.
- Once the contract is signed, the Buyer’s Agent will:
– Provide Buyer with recommended insurance agencies to consider;
– arrange for the Buyer’s mortgage appraiser to gain access to the property;
– request a list of utilities and service people used by the Seller.
- Before Closing the Buyer will want to make sure:
– insurance is in place before the closing;
– Utilities such as gas, electricity, cable and phone will be turned on in the Buyer’s name by – the time of the closing (Utilities require the Buyer and Seller to contact them directly.);
– the alarm company is scheduled to set-up new alarm codes;
– locksmith is scheduled to change the locks;
– the moving company has committed to a convenient moving date.
- Pre-Closing Inspection
– Several hours before the closing the Buyer, their Buyer-Agent and sometimes the Seller’s Agent will “walk through” the house.
– The Buyer will want to try every faucet, toilet, air conditioner and anything else they can think of. The house should be in the same working order as it was during their building inspection.
– The property should also be essentially unchanged. If a large tree has fallen or something material has changed, the Buyer and their Agent should immediately call the Buyer’s attorney and Sellers’s Agent and request compensation for the problem at the closing.
– The home needs to be “Broom Clean” and all personal property needs to be removed.
– One thing important to the Buyer is to make sure that all of the fixtures not specifically excluded are still in the house.
- Once the mortgage contingency is cleared, the sale can be closed at any time the parties agree.
- Closings used to be in the Bank holding the mortgage. Outside of Greenwich, it may be held in the title insurance company’s office. In Greenwich, normally the closing is in the Seller’s Attorney’s office, but can be in either Attorney’s office.
- It is increasingly less common for the Seller, their Agent or the Mortgage company to attend the closing. Papers can easily be signed in advance and held in escrow by the Seller’s attorney.
- The Buyer’s attorney will review the papers, explain any clauses to the Buyer and review the HUD-1 Settlement Statement which the Buyer’s attorney had previously provided to the Buyer. See Closing Costs
- The Buyer provides personal checks for expenses and adjustments.
- The Buyer, and/or their mortgage company, gives the Seller’s attorney a certified check for the remaining 90% of the purchase price. The Seller’s attorney deposits it into their escrow account and uses the funds to pay off any Seller expenses including their mortgage.
- Seller’s attorney will deliver to Buyer’s Attorney, a clean title (deed), free of any encumbrances (mortgage or liens) and will provide Buyer with keys to the house and any garage door openers.
- The type of deed (warranty or quitclaim) does not matter, what is important is the substance of the deed.
9. Post Closing
- Buyer’s attorney will immediately record the sale (deed and mortgage) in the Town of Greenwich’s land records
- Buyer changes locks and alarm codes for the house.
- Buyer starts delivery of newspapers.
- Buyer forwards mail to their new address.