In our experience, a house is not a dream home because of its size or color. It’s about how you feel when you walk through the front door – the way you can instantly see your life unfolding there. This about more than real estate. It’s about your life and your dreams.
Start Your Search
Searching for the perfect home may seem daunting at first glance. Luckily, we will be by your side at every step.
Use the KW App to partner with The John Fincham Group. This with us allows you to:
Take advantage of our local insight
Get to know neighborhood inventory levels
Learn about emerging local trends
See what’s about to hit the market
Understand market averages
Complete a thorough needs assesssment
Streamline the process by allowing us to work on your behalf (requires agency agreement)
How do I start my search?
You can start your search on our website, but our app is the way to go! With layers of options found on no other app, the KW App allows you to search by neighborhood and school district, revealing the details that matter most to you. You neighborhood is an extension of your home. Neighbors, surroundings and access to everyday things can and should factor into your home buying decision. The KW App provides background on neighborhoods you won’t find anywhere else – including lifestyle trends, walkability ratings, local restaurants, and more.
Once you have identified the neighborhoods that you are most interested in, favorite the homes in those neighborhoods that best meet your needs. When you tap the “heart” icon next to a home that catches your eye, you will have the option to add it to a collection. From there, share the collection with your John Fincham Group agent, a co-buyer, friends, and family. Because searching for a home is not a solo activity, the KW App allows for tru collaboration so that everyone stays on the same page.
Another helpful tool is to create a saved search. This is a preset filtered search that updates automatically with any new homes for sale. Simply fill out your desired search criteria and tap the “save” icon. You can then choose to be alerted through text or email whenever a new home meets your criteria.
How can I make the most of my time when visiting homes?Maggie Cameron2022-02-08T13:43:10-05:00
Pre-approval means that the bank has reviewed written evidence of your income, assets, expenses, credit and liabilities and has agreed in a time-limited agreement to fund your mortgage. Pre-approval is much preferred to pre-qualification because it allows you to shop for a home as if you were a cash buyer. It also gives you the ability to negotiate a sale price, especially if the seller cannot find another pre-approved or cash buyer for the home.
Homeowners usually are not home, so you’re free to spend as little or as much time as you want.
Buyers often have a gut reaction to a home. First impressions count, but you can also consult your agent to learn more about home values and possibly to reevaluate your priorities in the context of what’s available in your price range.
Sometimes buyers find their future home the first time out and others look at 50 homes before they see one that checks all their boxes. It’s a good idea to see at least a few alternatives so you have some points of comparison, but sometimes you just know a place is where you want to live.
What should I look for when visiting homes?Maggie Cameron2022-02-08T14:16:08-05:00
Financing. Unless you’re paying cash, it’s typical to write your offer with a contingency clause that lets you off the hook if you can’t finalize your mortgage within a certain number of days. Even though you have a pre-approval for a loan, it’s smart to protect yourself.
Home inspection. Your offer can be made dependent on a satisfactory home inspection report within a certain number of days. This protects you if the inspection uncovers expensive necessary repairs.
What happens if I face multiple offers?Maggie Cameron2022-02-09T10:13:53-05:00
In a competitive housing market, you may find yourself competing against other buyers. In that case, we are your best ally in strategizing for your offer to be accepted. With access to real-time market data, we will know how to best position your offer. If there’s more than one offer, the sellers can:
Accept the best offer
Counter all the offers to get a better price and terms
Counter one offer that’s close to what they want
We can work together to find out what’s important to the sellers, such as a specific moving date, and to discuss possibly waiving contingencies, adjusting your price or writing a “love letter” about the house.
Sellers can accept your offer as is or they can make a counteroffer with an adjustment to some or all of your terms. You can accept or reject the counteroffer and make your own counteroffer. The contract is final once you and the sellers have agreed to all the terms.
Your agent is essential when negotiating the terms of your purchase.
Execute a Contract
The crucial period between an offer and a final contract is an important time to stay in close contact your John Fincham Group agent, so you’re equipped with all the information you need to make smart decisions.
What should I expect to see in the contract?Maggie Cameron2022-02-09T18:15:32-05:00
Your John Fincham Group agent will explain the key points in your multi-page contract, such as:
Accuracy of information, including the correct spelling of your name and the property address
The effective date of the contract – important because your contingencies have time limits.
A list of contingencies, such as that the sale depends on financing, an appraisal, a satisfactory home inspection and perhaps the sale of your current home.
Property disclosure information from the seller, depending on your state laws.
A complete list of what conveys with the property
A list of required inspections, such as a home inspection and a pest inspection
Information about when you can move in.
In some cases, such as if your offer is contingent on the sale of your home, the seller may add a “kick-out” clause, which means that the seller could accept another offer if one is made before your home is sold.
How do I know when to negotiate and when to let go?Maggie Cameron2022-02-09T18:34:40-05:00
Unrealistic deadlines: you’ll need time to arrange a home inspection and receive the report, as well as arrange financing
Missing deadlines means you lose your chance to end the contract and keep your deposit
Items that don’t convey with the property: if you’re not sure, ask your agent to confirm
Communications from your lender
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the most common reasons for contracts to fail or to be delayed are home inspection problems, financing problems or an appraisal issue. Count on us to help you navigate the complexities of a real estate contract.
Schedule a Home Inspection
As soon your offer is accepted, you should schedule your home inspection. If you’re buying in a busy season, it may take time to find an available inspector, so rely on us to recommend trusted home inspectors.
Your home inspector will check a massive list (more than 1,000 items) of systems, appliances and structures in your home to evaluate its condition. You’ll get a written report that identifies potential problems and future maintenance issues. It’s up to you to decide whether the report means you want to walk away from a house or ask the sellers to make repairs. You can also have an “information only” inspection, which means you’re buying the house as is, but want to know its condition.
What’s included on a home inspection?Maggie Cameron2022-02-09T18:45:32-05:00
You and your agent should attend the home inspection to learn about home maintenance and so you can see any potential problems yourself. The inspector can answer questions as you go, so if there’s anything you don’t understand or are worried could be a problem, just ask.
I’ve got the home inspection report, now what?Maggie Cameron2022-02-09T18:46:35-05:00
While you and your agent can decide whether to negotiate on anything in the inspection report, you can ask the inspector the following questions:
Are the items you’ve flagged major or minor issues?
What needs to be done to resolve any flagged issues?
Can you give me an estimate of the cost of any repairs?
Do I need another inspection, such as by an electrician or a structural engineer?
Are there things I need to do after I move in?
Your experienced John Fincham Group agent can be the best adviser to help you understand the implications of the home inspection.
Get a Home Warranty
Some home sellers pay for a home warranty that covers them while their home is on the market and conveys to the buyers after the sale. You can ask your real estate agent for advice about negotiating for the sellers to pay for a warranty or buying one yourself.
A home warranty policy, which typically lasts for one year and is renewable, provides coverage for some of your home’s systems and appliances. In return for the annual fee, the company will cover repair costs and arrange for contractors. You’ll pay a deductible fee and possibly service fees if you need to use the warranty.
If you’re buying an existing home, especially one with appliances that are more than four years old, a home warranty can give you peace of mind about paying for unexpected repairs and finding a reliable contractor. If you’re a first-time buyer, especially if you have limited savings, this can be particularly important. If you have plenty of emergency savings, you’re handy or know good contractors, you may not need a warranty. Your real estate agent can also be a good source of recommendations for contractors. If you’re buying a newly built home, structural defects are usually under warranty by the builder for 10 years and other items are typically covered for six months to two years, so you don’t usually need a home warranty.
What should I look for in a home warranty? Inspection?Maggie Cameron2022-02-09T18:52:23-05:00
To choose a good home warranty, you and your agent should review:
The home warranty company’s license with your state’s real estate commission
The fine print – that’s where you’ll find exclusions and limitations
What’s covered and what’s not
The coverage limits – your repairs will only be paid for up to a specific level
Service fees and deductibles
How quickly service and claims are handled
How contractors are vetted and what happens if you use your own
Coverage differences between a basic warranty and enhanced warranty
You can always ask us for home warranty recommendations and advice.
While you may feel jittery before your closing, your John Fincham Group agent and your lender should have you fully prepared for the day. As the buyer, you choose the title company for your title search and the closing. Your agent and lender can recommend reliable title companies.
What should I do before the closing?Maggie Cameron2022-02-09T18:54:09-05:00