the buying process

There are a few things to consider before you even begin the buying process.  Research, research researh.  Understand how much you can spend.  Start to craft your "wish list".  I encourage potential buyers to start thinking about these things even a year in advance of beginning their search.  Why? Because you want to be able to move quickly when you find "the one!"


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determine your budget

If you have not already done so, speak with a lender (or several lenders) and get an idea of what you can afford.  Remember, they may tell you that you can afford a home valued at one price, but you have to keep in mind what YOU are comfortable with, and consider your other monthly costs.  I have several lenders who are experts in their field -- they can help you to understand the costs of buying, both the purchase price, as well as any other costs involved.  

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make your wish list

"I'll live pretty much anywhere".  I can't tell you how many people say this, but once you get a little deeper into the discussion, you learn a bit more -- "Oh, I don't want a high rise!" or "I need to live closer to the el!"

I have a process where I sit down with you and talk through what is important to you.  After that, we do our best to rank those things.  We will always do our best to find you a place that meets all of your needs and wants, and organizing these preferences in advance will help you to make that decision a bit easier

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You may have already spent some time browsing Zillow or or one of the other hundreds of national and local real estate websites.  And that's great! Once you are ready to actively start your search in earnest, you'll want to have your agent set up a search in the MLS for you.  MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service and provides you with the most up-to-date, accurate, thorough listing information in the Chicagoland area, no matter which agency or agent holds the listing.  You and I will work together to identify the parameters of your search, and you'll get an email every day that there are new listings on the market that meet those criteria.  You can mark your favorites, and I'll be able to see what you've selected.  Once you've identified one or more properties you'd like to see in person, we will set up showings and check them out.

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Sometimes it's the very first place you see.  Sometimes we have to go out looking two, three, four times before we find the best match for you.  For many people, once you see it, you will know!  If we find a place that you believe meets your needs, we will ensure you have everything you need to make the strongest offer possible. 

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You and I will work together to determine a purchase price, a closing date and other variables that work for you.  With your written approval, we will present all offers, counteroffers, etc to sellers on your behalf.  You and I will work together to ensure you have all of the information needed to make the most informed decision..

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Again, you and I work together to ensure that we reach a deal that is both acceptable to you and the seller.  Having said that, when I represent you, your interests come first. It is up to the seller's agent to represent the best interests of his client, but I am here for you 100%.

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The first few days after you have an agreed upon, counter-signed ("fully executed") contract are going to be busy!  First you will retain a real estate attorney. I have several with whom I work and can recommend to you.  Very quickly after you hire an attorney, you will also hire a home inspector and we will schedule a home inspection. Again, I have several great home inspectors I use on a regular basis and can share that information with you

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The attorney review period is decided in the terms of your contract, but is typically 5 or 7 business days long.  This can be extended if and when needed with the approval of both sides.  During this time, your attorney will typically review all documentation available (condominium rules and bylaws, budgets, meeting minutes, etc) and you will then decide based on this information, how to move forward with the transaction.  


Once you are out of attorney review, you will provide the balance of the earnest money to the seller's agency.  After that, I always recommend periodic check-ins with both your attorney and your lender.  I will also help you to make sure you are prepared for a clear, clean, easy and painless closing!


The day has arrived!  You will likely attend your closing in person, sign your name several times, and leave with a set of keys and a smile.  Welcome to your new home!