Buyer's Step by Step

Meta Bates

Before you go out shopping:

  • Read and sign that you have been presented, “ Information about Brokerage Services” (this explains your rights as a consumer)
  • Enter into an employment agreement with Meta allowing her to represent you, show you homes and offer opinions (without this form, Meta legally represents the SELLER of all homes!)
  • Obtain prequalification with a reputable lender and have a clear understanding what can be spent.
  • Have Meta set up an electronic search for appropriate properties based on your needs.
  • Go look at homes and their neighborhoods (no more than 5 at a time)

When a home has been found:

  • Meta will perform a market analysis of the neighborhood to help you determine an appropriate offer on the home. Meta will draw up the offer and other necessary documents.  (There are many other supplemental amendments that will be used to clarify your offer on the home.)  Typically this offer and any other changes to the offer and contract will have you sign via “Docusign”.

              Offer is submitted to the Listing Agent.  

  •  At the time the offer is written, TWO (2) checks will need to be written. Copies of each are submitted along with the offer. . Upon the execution of the contract (or formal agreement of the contract), these will BOTH BE CASHED.

Earnest Money Check: This will be written to the Title Company named in the contract/offer we have just written. This will open your Escrow account and will be credited back to you at the time of closing. Earnest money check is roughly 1% of the sales price however in competitive markets, can be more.
Option Money Check:  This check is made payable to the seller. The amount is usually $100.-250 and is for YOUR option period. This takes the home off of its “active” state and puts a temporary hold on it while we have our inspection, research the Home Association (if applicable) rules, deed restrictions etc. . At any time during this option period, you are free to change your mind about your purchase, you are able to withdraw your offer. You will forfeit this money but  your Earnest Money will be returned to you. If you proceed with the sale, the Option Money will be credited back to you at the time of closing.

 Upon the agreement of sale conditions by both parties,   the checks you have written will be delivered to the Title Company and the Seller. Your contract will be executed and receipted. (I will send a copy of this executed, receipted contract to your lender). BOTH CHECKS WILL BE CASHED!

We are now in our OPTION period when we will schedule the inspection. 

The Inspection

Inspections are paid for by the buyer and you are encouraged to attend to learn all you can from the inspector AFTER he or she finishes. We DON'T want them to miss a thing, so interruptions or questions mid- inspection are discouraged. Inspections for a basic 1800 square foot home on a slab with one a/c unit, generally run about $350.00. I have a list of inspectors I have used or you may select your own. It's your inspection, so it's up to you! Meta will schedule the inspection for you.

Inspection of Septic Systems are separate and are performed by a different professional with a cost average of $300 as well.

  • Should the inspection report indicate there are necessary repairs or deficiencies, we can draw up an AMENDMENT to the contract requesting repairs or reduction in sales price or contributions to closing costs in lieu of these found repairs. This is another point of negotiating and can go back and forth as our original offer no doubt did but must be concluded prior to the end of your option period!

 Lots of paperwork will start flowing between the Title Company, your lender and myself. We will all be staying on top of everything so that we are able to close on time. Frequently, things come up that prohibit us from closing on time, but just relax. Meta will take care of you and your transaction.

 Week Before Closing
Refer back to the Seller's Disclosure (final page) for the names and numbers of all the utility companies.  Meta will be reminding the selling agent NOT to have their clients disconnect service, rather that the service will be transferred to try to eliminate any additional costs to you or any inconvenience. Change of address via USPS can be done on line.

Day of Closing
The day on or before closing, Meta will receive the final paperwork to review for errors. Based on this paperwork, we will know the final dollar figure that you will need in order to have a wire set up between your bank and the title company for the closing. (NO PERSONAL CHECKS!)

 We will walk through the property one final time prior to signing! (just to be sure all is as it should be) You (and your partner/spouse) will need to bring your driver's license or Passport. If  it is not a Texas License, this is fine.  Once you have signed all the documents (I will be there with you and this should not take more than an hour), the home is still not legally yours until your lender has sent the money to the Title Company and they have “FUNDED” the loan. Often times, if a seller has already moved out of the house, they will have they keys, garage door openers, mailbox keys etc. for you at the closing. This is why it is better for the transaction to close early in the day and prior to a Friday...JUST IN CASE.

This is a Reader's Digest Version of the transaction. It is more detailed but this will give you a reasonable idea as to what to expect.