Why Buy a Home with Belinda?
With over 20 years experience I have a good understanding of what my buyer’s want for a dream home on Cape Cod. I like to say that I ‘LOCATE, INVESTIGATE AND NEGOTIATE’
LOCATE: I have extensive knowledge of all the towns and the areas within those towns. I regularly attend the Realtor tours which showcase the new listings in each town every week. I monitor your specifics and then when your home hits the market, I will call you.
INVESTIGATE: I know most of the personnel in the Town Depts, and so I ask lots of questions. Finding you the perfect home is only step one… the next step is to make sure you know as much about your new home, the neighborhood and the town as possible.
NEGOTIATE: I am knowledgable about the current market, the factors influencing house pricing, and I work hard to put the best contract together for my clients by researching comps. In some cases, I will write a personal letter to the seller, whatever it takes to put the right deal together for you.
Pre-Approval: It is important these days to speak to a mortgage banker BEFORE you start the search. You will be confidant with your budget; and also, in a competitive market, if you can include a Pre Approval letter with your offer, it gives you more strength to show that your offer is serious. I have good, reliable mortgage bankers that I can refer.
The Offer: Once you have located your dream home, we put together an offer with a deposit. Depending on the value of the home, this can be $500 or $1000 usually. Personal checks are fine, but it is illegal to ‘bounce’ a real estate deposit check. An offer is a legally binding document. All escrow deposits are held in secure accounts with the listing agent’s Company.
The Purchase and Sale document is put together 2-3 weeks after the offer is accepted. At this point there is a more substantial second deposit. Usually sellers expect 5-10% of sales price. This deposit can be wired directly into the escrow account; or a cashier check. There are different banking loans (such as VA, or FHA) that may not require as high a deposit.
Most offers include contingencies for financing and inspections (home, pest, lead, radon etc) It is prudent to have the home inspected by a licensed inspector before the purchase and sale contract is due; this way if there are issues that need to be taken care of, we can itemize them in the purchase and sale document, or adjust the sales price. The seller is responsible for the Title V septic inspection, and well water testing if necessary.
The closing date can vary depending on the terms of the offer. If a cash offer, then you could close within 2 weeks. Most mortgage bankers need anywhere from 4-8 weeks. The mortgage process goes much smoother if you are incredibly organised with your paperwork as the banks will ask for a lot of documents.
A typical home inspection will cost anywhere from $375 to $600 depending on the size of the home and the Inspector that you pick. As a buyer’s agent, I can give you 3 or more names. More detailed inspections such as structural engineer etc, can be much pricier.
Before closing: I usually include a contingency in the offer about affordable insurance; it is imperative to contact an insurance agent either before making an offer (to check on any possible flood insurance required); or immediately after your offer is accepted to start the insurance process.
Contact the utilities to put electric/gas etc into your name as of the closing date.
Moving Companies – If you require a moving van, contact them as soon as possible to reserve the day.
Homes for Sale
Many IDX providers allow you to create saved searches to link to. This can be for homes based on price range or property characteristics.
I love working with first time buyers! It is exciting to hear their wishlist and to find that perfect first home. I have extensive knowledge about the Cape towns and the inventory. There are different programs available on Cape Cod to help with down payments etc. I can direct you to these programs and the bankers to work with.
How do you see your lifestyle in retirement? Do you want low maintenance Condo living? Do you want to be a ‘snowbird’? Are you a golfer, a sailor? I can help you find the perfect location and the perfect home so that you can really enjoy your retirement.
Homes That Need Work
If you are willing to take on a project or two, then you will usually pay less for a home on the Cape. As a member of BNI International, I have a wonderful group of contacts to refer you to.
I can arrange for builders, electricians, roofers, plumbers, painters, bath/kitchen designers etc etc to be at showings with you, or get you realistic quotes to help you make a decision about putting in an offer.