ACCESS BROKERAGE, INCORPORATED
Our clients deserve the best!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
WHO WORKED "ONLY" FOR THE BUYER IN THE PAST?
The LENDER looks out for their best interest...the LISTING AGENT works for the seller, traditional agents (even those who work for a brokerage company that call themselves BUYER agents...not "Exclusive Buyer Agents") work as SELLING AGENTS for the seller, the CLOSING ATTORNEY represents the LENDER...and that leaves the BUYER representing...themselves!
An EXCLUSIVE BUYER AGENT (EBA) is more concerned with representing YOU and finding the home that fits your lifestyle. As an EBA, I want you to know the home's value in the Atlanta marketplace.
WHAT DOES "CLOSING" MEAN AND WHAT HAPPENS AT CLOSING?
The term "closing" simply means signing the final loan paperwork with an attorney and transfer of title to you. (i.e., Signing on the dotted line - on lots of forms). This "loan (home purchase) closing" process is where Buyer and Seller finally meet to transfer money, property ownership, and keys.
The closing attorney places all the lender, attorney, Buyer and Seller related closing costs onto one two-page form (HUD-1 - see link above). The first page summarizes what the Buyer and Seller will pay or receive. The second page details closing costs, prepaids(homeowner's insurance & property taxes), etc., and the balances are transferred to the appropriate Buyer/Seller columns on the first page. Click here to review the HUD-1 Real Estate Settlement Statement that you will see with final numbers in the columns perhaps 24 hours prior to closing or at the loan closing in the attorney's office. IMPORTANT: Compare the numbers that the lender gives you with the Settlement Statement form with your Exclusive Buyer Agent to understand if "all" closing costs are accounted for and within reason for Georgia.
WHAT ARE CLOSING COSTS and ESCROWS and HOW MUCH CAN THEY TOTAL?
They can run about $5,000 to 15,000 or 2.5 to 5% of your loan amount, but will vary according to your loan.
"CLOSING COSTS" are defined as "costs necessary to close the loan". They include expenditures like your lender's loan origination fee, underwriting fees, property survey, appraisal fee, credit report, attorney fees, lender's portion of title insurance, and any incidental expenses incurred by the lender or attorney. Closing costs normally run anywhere from 2.0-3.5% of the amount of your loan.
NOTE: You may spend money to "BUY DOWN" (i.e. reduce) the rate of interest your lender would charge you at a competitive market rate based on your credit history. These costs are sometimes referred to as "DISCOUNT POINTS" and may be considered as "ordinary closing costs the seller will cover."
The amount of money you normally have to bring to closing depends on your down payment and "PREPAID EXPENSES/ESCROWS" (i.e., several months of Homeowner's Insurance and City/County Property Taxes). Also, other expenses to consider are: YOUR Title Insurance coverage; Flood Insurance coverage (if you're in a flood zone); and PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance - Conventional loans) or MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium - FHA loans) that may or may not be required at closing or rolled into the loan.
You should consult a mortgage representative and after you choose the right lender, always get a "GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE" of your estimated loan rate, estimated closing costs, estimated monthly payments, and the amount required from you at closing. Do you know if these amounts are reasonable? Ask me and I'll try to minimize your costs.
If all goes well, the closing attorney should furnish you with a Settlement Statement at least one day before your closing date. However, most times the HUD-1 is only available on the day (or hour) of closing. You'll want a summary total the charges to be sure all your closing costs and applicable contract terms are covered as they SHOULD HAVE BEEN negotiated.
WHAT INFLUENCES MORTGAGE RATES?
Yields for 10 Year Note for 30 year Fixed Rate Mortgages and 1 Year Treasury Notes for Adjustable Rate Mortgages
That depends on so many factors. At the Macro level...the current and projected strength of economy and yields on 10 year treasury notes serve as benchmark.
In fact, per the Friday, November 9th, Wall Street Journal, page C14 "With 30 year mortgage rates most influenced by the 10 year Treasury note...U.S. bond traders began to embrace the 10-year Treasury note as the new king of the Bond market....Also, the one-year constant maturity Treasury Bills are the most popular index for making changes in the Adjustable Rate Mortgage."
WILL JIM PARKER WORK WITH "FOR SALE BY OWNER" PROPERTIES?
I have worked directly with Sellers to negotiate purchases of their homes for my clients. Some homeowners want to sell their house to someone who has NO HELP from a real estate professional familiar with market and resale value and factors that influence your costs. An Exclusive Buyer's Agent will pre-qualify buyers and walk through the property with the buyer pointing out the PROs & CONs of the home and compare it against others in the neighborhood.
Jim monitors the Atlanta real estate marketplace daily, performs market analyses, and exercises negotiating skills applicable to real estate in the area you choose.
NOTE: Do you know if the owner's asking price is really as competitive as others in the neighborhood? Even if priced at or below others in the neighborhood, I can explain why it still may not be valuable to you.
HOW WILL JIM PARKER GET ME THE BEST DEAL?
I focus on what the BUYER gets out of the DEAL!
Experience with all aspects of purchasing and maintaining a home are important factors your agent should know. The negotiating process deals with a variety of issues. Some are more important than others and each situation is different from another. For instance, the house may be vacant and you'll think you'll get a good deal, but since the Atlanta lease market is strong, the seller can always rent the property for a profit! After we discuss the PROs and CONs of any house and the neighborhood in which you are interested, we will proceed with an offer. What you may think to be important may not mean anything to the seller, current marketplace, or to the negotiating process. I know that certain points are more negotiable than others.
HOW DOES A BUYER'S AGENT GET PAID?
Seller agrees to split commission with Seller's and Buyer's Agent or Seller pays Buyer Agent Commission only.
A listed property on a multiple listing service includes a "total" commission rate that the seller has agreed to pay. If another agent is involved in a transaction, the commission is split between the two agents. A "For Sale By Owner" property normally "protects agents" and have factored some form of commission to pay for negotiating a contract. Remember...You use an Exclusive Buyer's Agent to not only help you find the right house, but to advise you on all aspects of home ownership. In today's world, you really should have someone on your side to answer tough questions to make sure you are getting the best price and terms and have more "complete" information about the house, neighborhood and community. There's NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU to use an Exclusive Buyer Agent, but it may save you many times more the commission to use one. In fact, since we look at negotiating the best deal for you, we try to save you money not only in the purchase price and terms, but try to prevent you from making a costly mistake!
The Atlanta Real Estate market is changing daily. You need a BUYER AGENT to make sure you are protected and make an informed decision.
Let ACCESS BROKERAGE, INC. help you not only choose the right home to fit your lifestyle, but that also fits your budget.
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"James E. Parker is a licensed Real Estate Broker in only the State of Georgia and holds his license with Access Brokerage, Incorporated, located at 1634 Rex Drive, Marietta, GA 30066 north of Atlanta in Cobb County, Georgia that serves Atlanta metro area that includes the counties surrounding Atlanta, Georgia."