Why should you choose to work with a Buyer’s Agent or Broker?
Choosing buyer representation with a Buyer’s Agent gives you a certainty that your Broker is working ONLY in your best interests and no other. By Colorado law, if you choose to work with a Listing Broker on a particular property that interests you, that Broker cannot represent you as an AGENT, but only as a TRANSACTION BROKER. The listing Broker owes their fiduciary duties to the Seller and if working with a Buyer on their own listing, can only represent the Buyer & the Seller as a Transaction Broker. They cannot be an Agent for either party. Agency provides Buyers another layer of legal protection over a transaction broker.
“A Buyer’s Agent works solely on behalf of the buyer to promote the interests of the buyer with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the buyer. A separate written Buyer Agency Agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the broker and the buyer.”
The agency agreement that you sign not only protects the Broker, but also the Buyer. If you are not satisfied with your Broker, you may sever the relationship and pursue your property search with another. However, our services are always guaranteed and we strive to make our clients happy. We never sign a Buyer Broker Agreement without first establishing a working rapport with our clients. We want you to be comfortable and compatible with your Broker.
In most instances, Sellers pay the Realtors commissions and there is not a charge to the Buyer for using a Buyer Broker in a real estate transaction. However, in some instances if a Buyer is interested in finding a non-MLS listed property (For Sale by Owner) or the Buyer is interested in a particular neighborhood or home that is not currently on the market, there will be a Finder’s Fee or a Sales Percentage fee charged to the Buyer. Your particular needs can be addressed on the Exclusive Right to Buy Listing Contract that Buyer and Broker complete together to outline the terms of representation and compensation.
Searching for the right placeFinding that right property takes a lot of hard work, good analysis and a solid knowledge of the area. That's where a Buyer's Broker can be so beneficial to locating and helping secure that one property that fits the bill. Buyer's Brokers typically use a variety of methods, both traditional and non-traditional, in their search process. These range from searches on the MLS, networking with other professionals, contacting FSBO's, driving neighborhoods or contacting parties not appearing to be on the market. One very important factor in getting the search started right, is having a strong understanding of what the buyer is wanting. This takes into consideration their personal tastes, size requirements, location, property use, potential for modifications or new construction, financing ability, funding for purchase and so on. Getting a clear picture of what and how the buyer will purchase is paramount in starting the search out properly, and ultimately matching that one right property to the client. Start your search by clicking here →
Securing the best financing for your specific situation
In a world with so many choices, none can be more difficult than trying to determine what is the best available financing for you. There are all sorts of options from Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMS), to fixed loans with 10, 15, 30 and sometimes even 40 year terms. For first time home buyers there are options such as FHA (with its low down payment and mortgage guarantee), VA programs for our Country's Veterans, UDSA loans for folks with limited income and down payment ability, and a number of other options and programs tailored to fit individual needs.
For these reasons, we highly recommend that you speak with an expert in the financing world to determine which programs you qualify for and work for your needs. It is important to do this early on, so that you and your agent are aware of what the particular budget is for the purchase.
There are many different lenders to choose from, but we have worked with and have had good experiences with the following:
Southwest Mortgage Loans, Inc. | Lisa Reed | 970-382-9800 | apply on-line at: Southwest Mortgage Loans for a quick pre-qualification.
Arete Mortage | Jeanne Randazzo-Szczech | 970-759-8736 | apply on-line at: Arete Mortgage for a quick pre-qualification.
CB Investments, Inc. | Chris Brown | 714-969-2300 | apply on-line at: CB Investments for a quick pre-qualification.
How to handle inspections, survey matters and other contingencies
Home InspectionsHome inspections are a particularly important thing. While they typically don't cover the inspection of structural, major electrical, plumbing or other such big ticket items, they do cover many of the little things that can get missed by just a visual inspection of the proeprty by the buyer(s) and broker. As with anything, hiring a competent inspector who has demonstrated thier proficiency in the business is key. Referrals from trusted sources are the best way to decide on a home inspection professional, although you can always ask for a list of references before hiring anyone. Home inspections in our area range in costs from $300 for standard sized homes, to $1000 for elaborate structures and luxury estates. Home inspections can usually be arranged within a few days time period, with the results turned around in 2-3 days. This is an important part of the due diligence period of the contract, whereby you have the right to request that any repairs be made, or concessions for repairs made by you, placed in the transaction.
Survey MattersIn many instances, a lender will require a recent Improvement Location Certificate (ILC) on a property if they are going to use the property as collateral for the loan. ILC's can be preformed fairly quickly, and generally cost between $250 to $350. Improvement Location Certificates show the boundary of the property, along with the improvements relative to the land and neighboring properties. This certificate shows the lender and title company that there are no obvious encroachments that would adversely affect the property. In vacant land purchases it is common for the seller to provide a recent or certified survey of the property. A Boundary Survey is the simplest form of this survey, and it shows just that, the boundary of the property relative to neighboring properties. Boundary survey's are common in residential transactions where the acreage is substantial and out of the scope of a simple ILC. Boundary survey's typically do not include any references to structures or other improvements to the property. The next step up from a Boundary survey is the Improvement Survey Plat. This survey includes the information from the Boundary Survey, but also includes structures and other improvements located on the subject property. This is a higher grade survey, and typically costs more than your general boundary survey. An Alta Survey is the highest level of certified survey available. This requires additional research to be performed by the surveyor that includes title review, site review, city or county codes, encroachments, prescriptive easements and so on. Alta Surveys are usually preformed on commercial properties or properties that are going to be developed and subdivided. The cost for these surveys are much higher than any we have discussed previously. Most buyers will work with either an ILC or Boundary Survey when purchasing property in our area. Depending upon the type of survey to be preformed and the workload of the survey company, it is wise to allot for a fair amount of time to complete the survey work and review the results. ILC's can typically be turned around within a few days, while boundary and improvement survey plats can take several weeks if not months. Generally you want several days to review the results of the survey after receipt of the competed work. This give you adequate time to judge if there are any issues (encroachments, boundary disputes, less or more acreage) and how you prefer to move forward.
Other ContingenciesOther contingencies in the Colorado Buy/Sell Agreement include: Off-record matters, common interest community (HOA) document review, title review, availability of and costs of hazard insurance, ability to receive adequate financing, appraisal, and sellers property disclosure to name a few.
From start to finish, here is a list of things that needs coordination during a transaction
- Showings, appointments, follow-up tours
- Pre-qualify or pre-approval letter from lender
- Analysis of CC&R's or other restrictions on use of subject property prior to offer
- Negotiation, contracting, counterproposals, earnest money deposits
- Title work ordering, delivery and review
- Request all "off record matters" and review if any
- Receive Seller's Property Disclosure and review in detail. Follow-up with any questions
- Review of all exceptions to title commitment, CIC documents, HOA rules (if any)
- Loan conditions, communication with lender to ensure timely execution of financing
- Survey or ILC review
- Coordinate home inspections
- Draft inspection notice (if any) and follow-up with status of repairs (if any)
- Make arrangements for closing. Confirm times or mailouts if necessary
- Review closing documentation, settlement sheets, loan terms & closing costs prior to close
- Help with any final coordination items for client to transition into new property