Buying a home calls for your informed decision based in part on the knowledge, judgment and guidance of a real estate broker or agent particularly one who is a Realtor.
Unlike many real state estate agents who are simply licensed by their state to do business, REALTORS have taken additional steps to become members of the local board of REALTORS and have agreed to act under and adhere to a strict code of Ethics.
REALTORS do more…Much More… Than you may think
If you see a home as one of your most important investments, the Realtor you work with could be one of your most valuable resources. As a homebuyer, you can expect the commitment, integrity and expertise that you’ll find in REALTORS. It is the business of a REALTOR to work with you by understanding your home buying needs and showing you properties that fit your lifestyle and budget. That’s why REALTORS work hard.
Behind the Scenes, a REALTOR can help you determine how much home you can afford. Often a REALTOR can suggest ways to accrue the down payment and explain alternative financing methods.
A REALTOR, in addition to knowing the local money market, also can tell you what your personal and financial data to bring with you when you apply for a loan. A REALTOR is already familiar with current real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may be aware of local zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy.
A REALTOR can usually research your housing needs in advance through a Multiple Listing Service – even if you are relocating to another city.
A REALTOR can help familiarize you with the closing process by explaining it in advance.
When Showing You A Home
A REALTOR shows you only those homes best suited to your needs – size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping, and other personal preferences.
A REALTOR often can suggest simple, imaginative changes that could make a home more suitable for you and improve its utility and value.
A REALTOR, though generally acting as an agent for the property owner, is bound & obligated by the code of ethics to give fair treatment to all parties in the transaction. A REALTOR is sensitive to the importance you place on this major commitment you are about to make.
Count on this real estate professional to facilitate negotiation of an agreement satisfactory to both seller and buyer.
Structure of a Home
Foundation. Floor and walls poured concrete. No evidence of water seepage or moisture problems. Minor settling cracks usually not structurally significant.
Drainage. Sump pump for sanitary and foundation draining. Crawl space dry.
Termite and Wood Rot. May require inspection by qualified exterminator for existing and potential problems.
Floors. Condition of flooring, whether plank or plywood. Solid construction of bridging and joists.
Walls. Condition of walls, whether drywall or plaster. Absence of water marks.
Attic. Sufficiently insulated and ventilated.
Fireplace. Damper in working order, flues to chimney clear.
Equipment And Appliances
Heating. Type of heat used and minor periodic maintenance required – oil fan motor, lubricate bearings, clean humidifier, replace filters, etc.
Hot water system. Type and gallon capacity. How long present unit in service (if older home).
Electrical. Standard house current, number of circuits, outlets and fuses or circuit breakers sufficient for everyday needs.
Plumbing. Good water pressure throughout house. Tie-in to local water supply facilities, etc. all in working order. Bathroom and kitchen fixtures in good shape.
Appliances and fixtures. Range, refrigerator, dishwasher/disposal, laundry facilities, etc. all in working order. Accommodation for gas grill hook-up. Bathroom and kitchen fixtures in good shape.
Exterior and Grounds
Lot and landscaping. Grading level or properly contoured. Trees and shrubs sufficient for needs. Fences, walls, patio and driveway in good condition.
Exterior walls. Type suitable to weather conditions, need for any periodic maintenance (painting or tuck pointing).
Doors and windows. Easy to open and close (or replace) for storm/screen removal or installation.
Roof. Gutters and downspouts in good condition. If older home, how long have shingles been in use? Chimney flashing tightly caulked.
Garage. Doors or opener in good working order. Sufficient electrical and heating access.