Choosing The Right Home

A home is more than just a collection of rooms and walls. A home is where you live, raise families, entertain and relax. Since so much of your life is spent in your home, choosing the right one for you is an enormous decision. It is important to consider your priorities and the list of features you are looking for in a home. Your HomeSmart Professionals Associate will help you define your search parameters and target the ideal properties for you to consider.

Some things you should consider in creating your list are: price, location and your future needs. Everyone is different, and some of us may trade four bedrooms for a big kitchen! A larger backyard may make up for a longer commute to the office. The number of bathrooms may be more important to a growing family, or a single story home might be necessary for someone who has difficulty climbing stairs.

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With over six million new and existing homes sold each year in the United States, the options can be staggering! Your HomeSmart Professionals Associate will help you narrow down the choices and find the property that best suits your needs. It may be the very first home you look at, or the very last one; but in either case, we will help you find the place you can call “home”!


Buyers are entitled and encouraged to conduct a series of inspections on the property that they are about to purchase. After your offer has been accepted, your HomeSmart Professionals Associate will assist you in hiring a professional home inspector to conduct an inspection of the property. At HomeSmart Professionals, we recommend that you choose a home inspector that is certified by a trade association.

Some of the items typically investigated during an inspection are: plumbing, A/C, heating, electrical, structure, foundation, roof and attic. If any of the following are areas of concern, you can ask your inspector to address concerns regarding indoor air quality, expansive soil conditions, previous fire or flood, radon, pests and mold. If you are obtaining a loan, your Lender may require specific inspections as well.

When applicable, you will be provided with a Property Disclosure Statement from the Seller, which contains all information material to the sale of the property prior to making an offer. Your HomeSmart Professionals Associate will ask you to read through it carefully and ask any questions you might have so that your inspector may investigate those concerns further. Additional inspections that you may want to consider are: a survey to determine where property lines are located, and a claims report, which gives Buyers the past insurance claim history on the property (a factor which can affect the cost of you homeowner’s insurance).

In addition to formal inspections, Buyers should consider other methods of obtaining information about the property. For example, talk to the neighbors and drive around the neighborhood during different times of day. In touring the neighborhood, consider things such as proximity to freeways, airports and schools.

Your HomeSmart Professionals Associate can also provide you with resources for obtaining information on crime statistics, city planning and zoning, school information and environmental concerns which may affect your decision to purchase.

Your HomeSmart Professionals Associate can also provide you with resources for obtaining information on crime statistics, city planning and zoning, school information and environmental concerns which may affect your decision to purchase.

The Offer

You have now completed your search in finding the home you wish to purchase. Your HomeSmart Professionals Associate has been there for you, shown you properties based on your initial list of desirable features and narrowed your options. At this point, you will have found the home you want, and will be proceeding with an offer on the property.

There are a number of factors that will affect your decision on what to offer for the property. Market conditions are always a factor. For instance, if it is a “Buyer’s” market, you will have some more negotiating room for the property. In a “Seller’s” market, you may want to place your best offer up front in order to be the one chosen by the Seller.

Also to be considered are the values of the properties around the one that you are considering. These figures are typically called the “comps” or “comparables”. Your Associate will show you all of the properties on a list that have closed or are for sale currently in the vicinity of the property you are submitting an offer on. These comps must be analyzed and a realistic value for the property established. There will be an appraisal on the property after you have signed the purchase and sales agreement, and be aware that often what you are willing to pay for a property and what an appraiser determines as its value are two different numbers!

You will also want to establish the closing date, or the date you will actually become the owner, before writing an offer. If you are obtaining a loan, a Lender will generally need about 30-60 days to complete your loan, order and evaluate the appraisal, and furnish the closing documents. If you have been pre-approved, this time frame may shorten. Of course, you will want to give yourself ample time to conduct any inspections on the property prior to your preferred closing date. There are other terms to be considered when placing an offer that may affect whether or not the Seller is willing to accept the offer, or whether you are willing to accept the Seller’s terms.

At HomeSmart Professionals, we feel that you cannot enter into an agreement without the necessary information. Our commitment to providing you with superior customer service can be demonstrated by our training and support programs designed to assist your Associate and in turn help you be the most informed Buyer you can be.

An offer to purchase property is a legally binding document, and should be explained to you in detail as you are preparing with your Associate. You should always feel free to consult an attorney or tax advisor to obtain further information you deem necessary. We want you to be prepared, but also enjoy this exciting experience. Anything we can do to help, just ask!