Tag Archives: The Safari Group

Closing Checklist for a Buyer

Buyer’s Closing Checklist

ADDRESS: _____________________________ DDD _____________

 Get copies of finalized contract to __ buyers, __ lender, __ attorney, and __ listing agent

 Enroll Home Warranty, if applicable

 Send HW invoice to closing attorney

 Send referral sheet, if applicable, to closing attorney

 DEPOSIT earnest money check (within 3 days of acceptance NC, 24 hrs SC)

 RECORD Due Diligence Date for future reference on calendar and file

 MARRIED OR NOT MARRIED – Will all buyers attend closing and sign? Y N If no, arrange for POA

 Complete Buyer info Sheet closing with attorney ___________________ _____Date:_______

 Clear any continued contingencies: ____________________________

 For Home and Termite Inspections – utilities on Y N Date: ____________

 INCLUDE RADON with independent home inspection? http://www.epa.gov/radon

 10 days from closing, transfer utilities in your name for date of closing

 10 days from closing request loan commitment letter

 Get update from lender – has loan package/funds been sent/wired to attorney

 Review HUD statement with buyers

 3 days before closing make sure sellers have Driver’s Licenses, Power of Attorney if not attending closing, and

 Send Wiring Instructions, if applicable for attorney

If my team and I may be of help to you in the sale or purchase of your home, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  All consultations are complimentary and confidential.

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cbs isarealtorLogoChrystal Safari Roy, Team Lead of The Safari Group and Broker in Charge of Real Estate Realty LLC, an Investor-Centric Real Estate Firm bringing you from Purchase to Portfolio located in SouthPark Towers, has over 22 years experience in investing, personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a licensed REALTOR® in North and South Carolina.  As a MASTERS Designation holder, she is a specialist in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, and is a multi-million dollar producer.  Chrystal is a Certified Military Residential Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, and HUD Registered Agent.  View all our properties at RERCharlotte.com.  Equal Housing

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What is the Buyer Agent’s Role in a Purchase Transaction?

Or, WHAT SHOULD YOUR BUYER’S AGENT DO FOR YOU?

VOCABULARY

The field of real estate is full of a specialized vocabulary. One of those vocabulary words is ‘fiduciary.’ Fiduciary means to promote another’s best interests. When you have a fiduciary relationship with a buyer it differs from that of a fiduciary responsibility toward the seller.  Because of this, it’s often difficult for an agent to represent both parties in dual agency, but it can be done well if it’s done right.

SPECIAL AGENT

A real estate agent, broker or REALTOR® becomes a special agent of the party to whom heScreenshot 2016-04-30 13.54.48 owes fiduciary duties. When representing the buyer, fiduciary responsibilities include keeping the buyer on track with his overall goal, as well as giving professional advice about how to navigate the complicated process, and complex legal documents needed to purchase real estate.

FROM CONCEPT TO CLOSING

The first goal of an excellent buyer’s agent is to understand the concept that the buyer has in mind. Then the agent must uncover all the major and minor details that would contribute to success or failure of the project, and provide strategies to eliminate the problems.

If for example, if the buyer doesn’t have realistic expectations, the buyer needs additional information to understand the market and the often complicated processes complete with ever-changing legal documents,  legal strategies, and lender requirements.

CREDIBILITY

Once the realistic expectations have been set, the buyer must position himself as a credible buyer by getting his financing lined up for the ultimate goal of closing Screenshot 2016-04-30 13.58.12on the purchase. This includes understanding the time line, the purchasing power, and specific limitations or expectations dictated by the financing program.  Remember, with champagne taste on a beer budget, you can fall in love with a property that ultimately you can’t qualify for.  An excellent buyer agent becomes your project manager who will keep you on track with not only redirecting you back to the criteria you said was most important, but with the flexibility of changing when your criteria changes, but also in making sure that you don’t fall in love with something ultimately you can’t purchase.

DUE DILIGENCE PROCESSES

Now it’s time to find the property that best fits the current and perhaps future needs of the buyer.  Once the property is identified, your agent  Screenshot 2016-04-30 13.59.58utilizes information used by an appraiser, who ultimately must support the sales price on behalf of the lender, to calculate the apparent value range that becomes the offer price using the industry’s best practices. Without this step, the buyer could make an offer that was influenced by the list price of the property established by the homeowner or the listing agent, who is paid to bid against the buyer, and ultimately spend $1,000’s or more with inspections and the Appraisal to discover that the appraisal is tens of thousands of dollars lower than the list and sales price.

Failing to include this step as a buyer’s agent is not representing and promoting the buyer’s best interests.

AVOIDING STICKER SHOCK

Another concern that the first time home buyer’s agent should have is in determining the ultimate ability for a rental client to become a first time home buyer. Some things to consider during the first buyer interview is to discover if Screenshot 2016-04-30 14.01.10sticker shock will be a factor in the purchase. This is the difference between what the prospective buyer is paying as a tenant and what his mortgage will be and how that compares to any lifestyle changes that might occur as a necessity of paying more than one is used to paying for housing. A way to gauge if a tenant buyer is ready to become a homeowner is to have him or her put back the amount of different between the current rental rate and the mortgage into a bank account for 6 months and not touch it. If a first time buyer can put that money away for 6 months and not touch it, that anticipated mortgage payment should be very comfortable for him.

VOR

Another consideration for a first-time home buyer is verification of rent, also known as VOR. Although this is not requested until about 10 days before closing,Screenshot 2016-04-30 14.02.37 it can stall or kill a deal.  it’s important to interview the first time home buyer early on in the process at the time of pre-qualification to discover if he has had any late rental payments in the 24 months preceding his closing on the loan. If there have been any late payments, the lender needs to know right away so it can be reviewed with the underwriter. Once the underwriter gives the go-ahead you can proceed to getting in the car to find THE ONE!

There are many other behind-the-scenes activities that the REALTOR®, or special agent, will be performing or supervising for the buyer in promoting the buyer’s best interests.  Be sure as you interview the REALTOR® to partner with you in your transaction that the REALTOR® is knowledgable and experienced in getting you to closing as smoothly as possible as your special agent and project manager.  For a Closing Checklist of behind-the-scenes activities you REALTOR® will be performing for you, click here.

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chrystal

realtorLogoChrystal Safari Roy has over 20 years experience in personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a licensed REALTOR® in North and South Carolina.  As a MASTERS Designation holder, she is a specialist in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, and is a multi-million dollar producer.  Chrystal is a member in good standing of the Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and National Association of REALTORS®.  Call her at 704.562.1030.  Text for faster service. Equal Housing

 

What’s the Difference Between a Due Diligence Fee and Earnest Money Deposit?

earnest-money-deposits-1031-closing-costs

Both North and South Carolina real estate Offers to Purchase and Contract are structured such that both an earnest money deposit and due diligence fee may be offered and negotiated between the parties. Many buyers and sellers ask, what’s the difference between a due diligence fee and the earnest money deposit? Both the earnest money deposit and the due diligence fee are credited back to the buyer at closing. If buyer doesn’t close on the transaction however, earnest money deposits and due diligence fees are handled differently.

due-diligenceAn earnest money deposit is offered by a buyer as ‘skin in the game’ and is refundable under certain circumstances. In our market a $1,000 earnest money deposit it is typical for most purchases. For offers in a multiple-offer scenario however, the seller may find a larger earnest money deposit more attractive because it means the buyer is willing to risk more.

A buyer may, for any reason or no reason, terminate a contract with refund of the earnest money deposit if he has met the due diligence date deadline and communicated his termination in writing prior to 5 o’clock of the business day of the date given for the North Carolina contract. Although the contract states that the earnest money it is to be refunded to the buyer if the terms are met, be aware that the seller must sign a specific document to release that money back to the buyer.

The due diligence fee is basically an offer from a buyer to the seller to take the north-carolina-due-diligence-feehouse off the market for the due diligence period, typically from 10 days to 3 weeks or more, depending upon the overall duration of the transaction.  In a typical transaction where Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner is the seller, a due diligence fee may be paid.  However, if the property is owned by a bank, no due diligence fee is paid.

A due-diligence fee is similar to a reservation fee. It is nonrefundable. Period.

Prior to advising a buyer on structuring an offer, a Buyer’s Agent has the fiduciary responsibility (the responsibility to promote the buyer’s best interests) to consider all aspects of an offer that may put the buyer’s due diligence fee at risk, including inspection time frames, availability of scheduling home inspectors, termite inspectors, appraisers and any other conditions deemed important to the buyer, and for the reports to be returned for review.

For additional questions on this or any other real estate topic, feel free to give me a call!  Text for faster service: 704.562.1030  Who do you know who’s thinking of buying or selling real estate?  SEARCH for your Dream Home or learn more about what clients who work with me are saying here: TheSafariGroup.com

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cbs isaChrystal realtorLogoSafari Roy, Broker in Charge of RERCharlotte, an Investor-Centric Real Estate Firm bringing you from Purchase to Portfolio located in SouthPark Towers, and Team Lead of The Safari Group, has over 20 years experience in investing, personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a licensed REALTOR® in North and South Carolina.  As a MASTERS Designation holder, she is a specialist in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, and is a multi-million dollar producer.  Chrystal is a Certified Military Residential Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, and HUD Registered Agent.  Search for your Dream Home at TheSafariGroup.com.Equal Housing

How to Buy a Better House for Less Than Paying Rent + Reduce Your Taxes Every April 15

You can buy a better home than your current rental property and reduce your tax bill every April 15th.

Many renters who’ve never owned a home are unaware of the specific benefits of home ownership.  Not only will owning a well-chosen home help you grow an appreciating asset increasing your overall net worth, but it can also reduce your taxable income and reduce your tax liability every April 15.  The end result is that the home you purchase will cost LESS per month than the rental over the year, and you’ll have a better property with no chance of price increase, and control over what you do to make it home.

Here’s how it works:

Screenshot 2016-04-03 14.46.40

In this example, the future home owner is paying rent perhaps between $1100 – $1300.  It’s possible to purchase a home for $265,000* and pay a mortgage payment equivalent of only $1316 with the Estimated Tax Benefit.  That includes:

Principal, Interest, Taxes Insurance and PMI.

What would you rather pay?

  1. $1300 a month on a property that can never be yours or increase your net worth OR pay
  2. $1316 a month for a beautiful property that’s yours?

You’ll be paying someone’s mortgage, why not pay your own and also reduce your taxes to Uncle Sam?!

For a private and confidential strategy session meeting, give me a call.  704.562.1030 Text for Faster Service

*This specific scenario figures a down payment amount of $9,276 and up front PMI Fee of $4,475 at an interest rate of 3.875%, dependent on the borrower’s personal credit scores.

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My first experience calling a REALTOR® ended in him hanging up the phone on chrystal (2)me.  Turns out, I ‘didn’t make enough money’ as a college student to be worth his time.  I didn’t give up! I found a builder, built a brand new home, and never looked back.  Call me.  We’ll see what you need to put into place to move from renter to homeowner!  Late is not too late.

Avoid Foreclosure – AND the Tax Man

stop-foreclosure1Have you ever wondered why some foreclosures sit on the market for what seems like forever and others are foreclosed on right away? The homeowner who has diligently paid their mortgage on time year after year and have built up equity in their home are foreclosed on first! The bank sees the value and plans to make back their money AND get your equity when they auction off your home.

Other homeowners who have little or no equity are allowed to remain in the home without payment sometimes for years!  Banks know they will reduce the incidences of vandalism and have someone who may keep up the home for free if they are allowed to remain.  It also allows the market to appreciate over that time so that a future sale will be more profitable for the bank.

Then, if that’s not enough, the IRS will charge you income tax on the loan amount

tax man in the form of a 1099 Miscellaneous. Your foreclosed loan is taxed as earned income in that single tax year!

Unfortunately sellers lose their home and their equity to banks all the time and then have the double jeopardy of having to pay an additional tax in already distressed situation.

You have options the bank doesn’t want you to know about.  I can help. Call me or go online here and answer a few questions, and I’ll work with you to get what you want for your home and get you moving forward again. I am a REALTOR®, but this is not about listing your home for sale.  I am also an investor and this is about getting you what you want for your house, helping you prevent foreclosure and the taxman. Don’t wait until you’re more than two to three months behind.  Then, it’s much harder to help you get what you want for your house.

cbs isaPlease call me as soon as you know you can’t make your payment.  I’ll ask a few confidential questions by phone to see if my team and I can help, and schedule a visit to see your property.  Call or email me today.  Click this link to see the questions.  My team and I can help you prevent foreclosure, the taxman and get you moving forward.

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Here’s a testimonial from a loyal fan:

‘Chrystal, your experience and professionalism helped me prevail through difficult times in the listing and sale of my long-time family home.

From creating professional marketing materials including onsite brochures, online photo tour, and email blasts, promotion of my listing through TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and YouTube.com, to showing the house 6 of the 24 times it was shown, you were on the job.

After the property was under contract, your previous experience and successful resolution of similar problems discovered during the home inspections helped me work through a difficult transaction that included a breakdown in communications, unexpected property conditions and lender required repairs, and keeping the buyer on track with lending requirements and in love with the house until closing.

I couldn’t have done it without you.  It’s my pleasure to recommend your real estate services to everyone I know.’

Tony Sweatt, Fort Mill, South Carolina

What to Expect When You’re Expecting — To Buy Your First Home

From conception to delivery there are many steps and stages when purchasing your first home, whether it’s a resale or new construction.

Buyer or Dreamer?

Shopping Woman Shocked Over PriceOnce you decide you no longer want to live with good old mom and dad, or pay rent, you must prepare yourself to become true buyer and future homeowner. The first step is to determine your financial position. If you live with mom and dad, take 6 months to pay yourself the amount you would be paying in a mortgage. It does two things: it helps you build up savings, and it helps you overcome the sticker shock of having to pay your own way.

Show Me the Money

Do you have enough money set aside for a down payment? The most common amount needed is 3.5% of your purchase price (for an FHA loan). There will also be what are called closing costs to complete your loan and home inspection processes, and to close the deal at the attorney’s office. Closing costs run about three and a half percent of the purchase price. Before you determine that this is too much for you, ask your home-buying experienced family, friends and coworkers about a savvy REALTOR® who can work with you in your area who will negotiate that the seller pay your closing costs.

Your TEAM

Your REALTOR® has preferred vendors and can recommend lenders to help you obtain your Partnership-page-picturegoal. My lending analogy is this: if you have some credit issues or are self-employed or earn commission with fewer than 24 months in that job and on a tax return, you may need a Big Mac and you can only get that from one place. But if your credit scores are high and you’ve been employed in the same field for over 6 months earning wages or a salary, a taco may be right for you.  You can get that anywhere from a fine restaurant with a real Mexican chef, or you could go to Jack in the Box and order that thing in a taco shell with meat and American cheese called a taco. Once you’ve discovered your lender needs and become pre-qualified by reputable, preferably local lender, you have become a potential home buyer.

The Dreamy Home
Next, clearly outlined the preferences you have in a home within your price range establish by your lender with your REALTOR®. Select the top 5 homes you prefer and enjoy shopping!
Once you’ve discovered your top pick, it’s time to develop an offer. Your Realtor should discuss with you the pros and cons of what you’re thinking. A strong offer is a high percentage of list price, has no contingencies, is offered by well qualified candidate working with a local lender with whom the realtor has great experience, and can close in a short period of time. There will be several documents that you will sign that authorized your broker to represent you and to direct the seller to pay the buyer agent fee. Additional documents include actual Offer to Purchase which becomes a contract when all parties agree on the terms. This document is accompanied by earnest moneuyyour pre-qualification letter and an earnest money deposit. The earnest money deposit is your ‘skin in the game’ in exchange for the seller taking his house off the market while you begin inspections and so on, and usually runs between $500 to $1000 dollars, depending upon the price of the house. There may also the negotiations to request a Due Diligence Fee from the buyer that is not refunded if you fail to close on your purchase. Once you and the seller agreed to all the terms, the offer becomes a contract.

Congratulations! You have just purchased your new home! Now your broker has 180 tasks to perform behind the scenes to get you to an on-time closing.

From Contract to Close
Your broker will begin ordering inspections such as the termite and home inspections and any inspectionothers if indicated during those inspections. Focusing on the discovery of any major defects, you may prepare a request for repair proposal for the seller.
You’re also coordinating with your lender to get him several documents and other pieces of information. Be sure to respond to his requests as soon as possible to keep you on schedule to close on time
Your broker will recommend looking into homeowner’s insurance and provide any HOA documents, if indicated, for review.
7 to 10 days from closing you should have a loan commitment letter from your lender. Now is time to transfer utilities into your name and forward your mail beginning the day of closing!

Advice About Advice

Sure, the internet, the media, Uncle Herman, your coworkers, and dear old mom and dad have opinions about real estate, and your nearest and dearest have purchased homes and know about the process, but unless they are closing homes hundreds of times a year in your market, there’s no way that they are up to date on changing guidelines, trends and the latest market analysis. Hear what they have to say, but let your real estate professional be your guide.

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Chrystal is a REALTOR® and principal of The Safari Group, a local,cbs isahomegrown real estate firm, specializing in all phases of the residential and small business real estate market, including First Time Home Buyer, New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Luxury Homes and GREEN Features.  Contact her at 704.562.1030   TXT/PH or Chrystal@TheSafariGroup.com

Don’t Low Ball That Offer!

Do you know the difference between cost, price and value?

ImageWhen it comes to the real estate transaction, a low ball offer is probably one of the worst things that you can deliver when you come up to bat.

Facing the Consequences

Low balling an offer to the seller or landlord usually has grave consequences.  No matter the financial position of the seller or landlord, right off the bat, you risk insulting them.  The most common responses are to counter the offer at the original full price, refuse to counter, or for the transaction to become a series of balls and strikes with multiple counter offers, usually ending in someone fouling out. The buyer or tenant may eventually get the price that they want, but the cost will be the loss of goodwill in the transaction and more.

Setting the Stage for the Duration

Once woundedness occurs, it is very difficult for that change and for the wounded party to Imagerecover.  This is also true with bank committees representing short sales and foreclosures who have no emotional attachment to the home because they are managed by people with emotions whose work environment and nature of the transaction tends to create high stress situations.

Once ill will is established in the transaction, it can promote breakdown in other areas such as negotiation for repairs or lease renewal or extension.

Questions to Ask First

Before you make that low ball offer ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Do I really understand the cost of my low ball offer?
  2. Is my offer based on similar nearby homes that have recently sold or leased at the same condition, type, and price range?
  3. Would I want a buyer or tenant to do the same thing to me if I were in his shoes?
  4. What is my REALTOR recommending?
  5. What is my plan B if this doesn’t work?

You Make the Market

ImageAfter you have sincerely considered the questions and are comfortable with the possible outcomes, go ahead and make your best advised offer.  Until you make your offer, even if by necessity low due to property condition, market conditions, and recently appraised values, you never really know what might work for the other party.  However, be advised.  What you pay will become your very own comparable for your future appraised value certainly for the next 6 to 12 months establishing your own neighborhood market price. And you’re sure to become the talk of the next neighborhood bar-b-q, having established a downward trend for neighborhood values for everyone for months or even years to come!

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ImageChrystal is a REALTOR® and principal of The Safari Group, a local, homegrown real estate firm, specializing in all phases of the residential and small business real estate market.  Celebrating over 20 years in tenant procurement and rental portfolio development, and over 13 years in general residential brokerage in the Charlotte Metro Market, Chrystal offers guidelines to assist tenants, home buyers and sellers in evaluating today’s real estate market for maximum leverage.  In the TOP 5% Nationwide for closing the transaction with Estately, Inc, a national referral company, she can assist you with all your real estate related needs. Contact her today for more at 704.562.1030 TXT/PH or Chrystal@TheSafariGroup.com  Join the conversation on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheSafariGroupRealty