The Final Walkthrough

After you have negotiated on pricing, terms, closing date, conducted an inspection, signed contracts, secured your financing, and cleared title (woah that’s a lot!) comes the final walkthrough. The purpose of the final walkthrough just before you officially close on the property is to check to make sure their are no new issues that have popped up since you conducted an inspection and to check that any repairs were done that you negotiated for.

Typically the final walkthrough will be conducted either the day of the closing or the day before. It’s important that you thoroughly inspect the property because once you sign that paperwork with your attorney any repairs that need to be made are yours to deal with. You also want to make sure that any of the items that were to left behind such as the Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Washing Machine or Dryer are there and are in tact and are in good working condition. On the other hand, you also want to make sure that anything that you do not want in the home was not left there for you to deal with such as any furniture or personal belongings the seller thought that they could just leave for you to handle!

 

You’ll want to go through the entire home (similar to your inspection) and check on all the appliances, the plumbing, the windows, doors, and inspect the exterior and below-grade level for any potential mishaps. Don’t forget to check all the utilities, whether its steam heat or a hydro air system.

Remember to inspect the exterior of the property which may reveal any issues with the siding, roof, or any external systems such as the air condenser for the central air system or the irrigation system in the lawn.

After this is all said and done, you can go and buy your new home with some peace of mind!

If you are thinking about buying or selling real estate in lower Westchester County, give us a call today!

 

Frank Morris

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

O: 914-337-1312 Ext 330

C: 914-500-9194

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Conventional Loan Interest Rates

Most buyers will choose a conventional loan to purchase their new home. Conventional loans follow guidelines that are set forth by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

There are several types of conventional loans that vary in the loan term, anywhere from 10 to 30 years, along with how interest is accrued. Their are fixed interest rates for up to 30 years, as well at Adjustable Rate mortgages available that change according to the prevailing rate of interest.

The down payments also vary and can go as low as 3% with some loan programs. Typically, anything below a 20% down payment would require mortgage insurance at an additional monthly cost. Lower down payment mortgages are referred to as FHA (Federal Housing Authority), these loans are associated with mortgage insurance throughout the life of the loan and more fee’s than your typical conventional loan. PMI (Primary Mortgage Insurance) can also be based on your credit history and debt to income ratio.
Generally, if your credit score is 680 or higher and your debt to income can cover your mortgage, you should not have to pay additional fee’s. If your credit score is lower, you may to incur extra fee’s or have to be covered by mortgage insurance.

Your debt to income usually should not exceed 50% (your monthly debts should be no greater than 50% of your monthly gross income). Most banks will request 60 days of banks statements, 2 years of w-2’s or tax returns for those who are self employed.

Investment property can be purchased with conventional loans, although the interest rates and down payment requirement are often higher.

There are private lenders and large corporate lenders such as Chase Bank and Wells Fargo. When shopping for the right bank, it is also important to consider interviewing more then one Loan Officer, as there may be certain programs that other banks offer unique to you. For instance, there are some banks that offer special loan programs for civil servants.

The next step is to reach out to your bank and get started in the pre-approval process for a conventional loan!

Frank Morris

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

Property Negotation 101

All homebuyers want the best deal that they can possibly get, while all sellers want to sell their property for the best possible value. There are a few things that we believe distinctly separate good negotiators from bad ones.

 

  • Many people believe that you must be a ruthless competitor in order to negotiate well, that you must make yours terms clear and present it as a take it or leave it, and you must do it with aggression. In our experience, this is in fact more counterproductive than is widely believed. Aside from the money and terms of the agreement, the relationship aspect is important for negotiation, so it is wise to establish rapport with the party you are negotiating with and show recognition for their position. No one likes to feel dominated during negotiation, and it often drives people away.
  • We recognize that their are some folks who just cant be reckoned with, and who do have that strong personality in which it seems like a deal can never be made. While keeping in mind the tip above to be courteous and considerate of the other sides wants and needs, we have found the old “mirror and match” sales phrase effective when negotiating or communicating with anyone, if you are negotiating with a hard headed individual, you may have to step into character yourself while maintaining composure so as not to blow the deal. People often times have the easiest communication with people who talk or act like themselves, this tactic is very useful.
  • Time. Use time to your advantage, if you are lucky enough to not be competing against other purchasers or sellers you should take your time. The first reason is because usually things become tense during a negotiation, and you want to make sure that you issue a response to an offer with a clear head. As the buyer, you don’t want to seem to desperate, and as the seller, your property sitting on the open market creates buyer urgency to get the deal done. Expect there to be some issues that arise during a negotiation, don’t run from them or try and jump down the other parties throat, take a step back, think over your options, and resume the negotiation. In Real Estate, you often have at least 24 hours to respond to an offer.
  • Keep in mind all of the things that you want out of the deal. The best price, the best terms, closing date, inspection, closing costs. With all the different factors that effect a real estate deal there are many concessions to be made. Perhaps it is more important to you to close quickly rather then obtain your price, if that is the case, then you should offer the buyer or seller “ok your price, but my terms, I need to close this as soon as possible”. Perhaps you may want the buyer to waive the property inspection, or maybe there is a piece of furniture in the sellers home that you would like, this is all subject to negotiation, and should be added by your attorney to the contract of sale.
  • Most people believe they will have to scream their terms at the other party and hang up on them or walk away from the conference table to really get their point across. In fact, we have seen successful negotiators as much more keen to listening rather then doing most of the talking. When the other party is talking, they reveal key information that you can use to your advantage. For instance, if it is revealed during your talk that the sellers must sell the property to purchase another home they have in contract, then it has become pretty apparent that these sellers are highly motivated, and must make a deal quickly. If this is the case, you can offer to expedite the closing as quickly as possible in return for a price reduction.

We hope these basic tips are helpful on your next property negotiation!

 

Frank Morris

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

914-500-9194

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