On the first day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

We care for our clients like family. We’re Michigan’s largest and leading brokerage and have been for the past fifty years. Our company is family-owned by two brothers and will soon be going into its fourth generation of family leadership. 

One the second day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

Your Realtor is a local expert in our ever-changing real estate market. In this current market, you’ll want to be patient as a buyer. Inventory is quite low, meaning there aren’t as many homes on the market. But that’s nothing to worry about, as there are still many wonderful options! 

You have more buying power right now because of the record-low interest rates. There is no need to stress, as you have an entire team of professionals behind you during this experience.

One the third day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

Speaking of that team behind you… you’ll be needing  to use three more real estate services – mortgage, title and insurance. You have access to our HomeSuite, which keeps everything you need under one roof and one team. This allows your experience to be more convenient, fast and even more affordable. 

Ask about our HomeSuite and get a $100 Home Depot gift card just from having a quick phone call with one of our mortgage specialists. It’s important to get pre-approved before you begin home shopping, which determines how much home you can afford. This way you’ll never go beyond your budget. Your mortgage specialist will help you with this step. 

One the fourth day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… four showing appointments, three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

Once you’re pre-approved, it’s time to start seeing houses! Your Realtor will help book all of your showings for you and will attend them with you. 

One the fifth day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… five negotiation tactics, four showing appointments, three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

Once you’ve found a home you love, it’s time to put in an offer. Your Realtor will go to bat for you and your deal will be negotiated in a series of steps. 

  1. Purchase price will be presented and will include contingencies (such as financial or inspection).
  2. Any special requests or repairs you want will be included in your offer.
  3. Earnest Money amount will be determined.
  4. A move-in date will be defined. 
  5. Once both parties agree to the terms, a purchase and sale agreement will be signed. 

On the sixth day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… six tips for inspections, five negotiation tactics, four showing appointments, three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

Once your offer is accepted, it’s time to schedule an inspection! A professional, third-party home inspector will take a closer look at your potential new home and confirm that it’s in good shape. Here are six things to know about the inspection process:

  1. The inspection period is usually one to two weeks from the date your sales contract is signed (but it will depend on your specific agreement). 
  2. You’ll want to be present (if possible) for your inspection, since you’ll be the one living there!
  3. Prepare for your inspection by looking for areas you want the inspector to give special attention to.
  4. Look for evidence of leaks, cracks, dampness, odors and soggy areas around the exterior of the home.
  5. Consider also getting inspections for structural engineering issues and the roof.
  6. Use your inspection reports to renegotiate, if necessary. 

On the seventh day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… seven docs for underwriting, six tips for inspections, five negotiation tactics, four showing appointments, three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

If all goes well with your inspection, you’ll move forward with the home financing process by applying for your loan. Your mortgage specialist will work closely with you to determine which program works best for you and your life. You’ll have an underwriting team working for you and they’ll need some documents from you in order to qualify you for your loan. 

Have these items ready and handy to send over to your mortgage specialist:

  1. Recent pay stubs and W2s for the past two years (or 1099s)
  2. Most recent two months of bank statements
  3. Last two years of tax returns
  4. Profit and loss statements (if you’re self-employed or own a business)
  5. Retirement/investment account statements
  6. Gift letter (if you’re using gift funds)
  7. Signed sales agreement

On the eighth day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… eight cheers for the appraisal, seven docs for underwriting, six tips for inspections, five negotiation tactics, four showing appointments, three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

Your home financing process also includes getting your new home appraised. Your appraisal is an unbiased estimate of what the property is worth. Your lender needs to make sure the house you’re trying to buy is valued at or above the price you’re paying for it. The lender wants to make a wise financial investment, just as you do. A majority of homes appraise at or above their contract price, and when they do… we cheer and celebrate!

On the ninth day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… nine reasons for homeowner’s insurance, eight cheers for the appraisal, seven docs for underwriting, six tips for inspections, five negotiation tactics, four showing appointments, three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

You will also want to look into getting homeowner’s insurance (and possibly flood insurance, too). Our insurance specialists can quickly check across a variety of companies to get you the best deal on your premium. We won’t bore you with nine reasons why you should get it… but we will say this. Should the unexpected occur, insurance will protect your house and your belongings that you’ve worked hard to get. It’s well worth the peace of mind that your stuff is covered no matter what!

On the tenth day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… ten stars for a clean title, nine reasons for homeowner’s insurance, eight cheers for the appraisal, seven docs for underwriting, six tips for inspections, five negotiation tactics, four showing appointments, three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

It’s time to make this home officially YOURS, which your title team will be in charge of executing. A title search will be conducted to make sure your property’s title is valid. This thorough examination takes place to ensure that you’ll become the rightful new owner of the property. Your title team will look at deeds, wills and trusts, tracing the history of the property back by many years. You’ll also be advised to get title insurance, which will cover any losses if something was missed during the title search process. 

On the eleventh day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… eleven walkthrough to-dos, ten stars for the a clean title, nine reasons for homeowner’s insurance, eight cheers for the appraisal, seven docs for underwriting, six tips for inspections, five negotiation tactics, four showing appointments, three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

It’s time for a final walkthrough. It’s very important to take this tour seriously and to double check that any updates you negotiated have been completed. Here’s a list of To-Dos for your walkthrough. 

  1. Take your contract with you to refer to it while on site.
  2. Are all items (and appliances) you’ve purchased with the house still present?
  3. Have you checked all appliances (turning off and on) to make sure they are working properly? (including garbage disposal, showers, faucets and flushing toilets)
  4. Are the light fixtures/ceiling fans working properly?
  5. Is the heat and air conditioning working?
  6. Has all personal property and unwanted items been removed according to the terms of your contract?
  7. Have all necessary repairs been made?
  8. Have you received associated warranties/bills for those repairs?
  9. Is the house clean?
  10. Is there any damage to the walls, floors or other areas caused by movers?
  11. Is the landscaping as you remember? 

On the twelfth day of home hunting, my Realtor gave to me… twelve (air) hugs at closing, eleven checkpoints for the walkthrough, ten stars for the a clean title, nine reasons for homeowner’s insurance, eight cheers for the appraisal, seven docs for underwriting, six tips for inspections, five negotiation tactics, four showing appointments, three HomeSuite contacts, two pieces of wisdom and a warm welcome into Michigan’s real estate family. 

You made it to your closing day! It’s officially time to get the keys, which just may be the best holiday gift of all time! Your Realtor will be celebrating with you. Just make sure to bring any paperwork the bank required to approve your loan, a government-issued photo ID and your certified funds. 

Congratulations and Happy Holidays as an official Homeowner!!

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