About Home Buyers

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Meet Jane's Experienced, Knowledgeable. Reliable Buyer Agents

 

Can We Find You a home?

About Jane's Buyer Agents

Looking for a really Awesome Home Buying Experience?

Jane Clark is proud of her reputation as one of the Beat Real Estate Groups in Collin and Dallas Counties, Happy to share with you this unsolicited letter we received from our wonderful out of state home buyers Abdul Malick and Sheenaus Malick

Dear Jane,

It is with a great sense of gratitude that we are writing this email. We to thank Kelley Boatwright and the entire Jane Clark Homes team for the excellent support and guidance provided to us during the purchase of our property in McKinney, Texas.

We just closed our home in Texas. The best part is that we were able to do it sitting in California without setting one foot in Texas. We are still in disbelief.

From the very first call I made to you, to the moment we closed our home, we saw nothing but dedication, compassion, client advocacy, attention to detail, and professionalism.

Kelley worked tirelessly every step of the way. She was one call away at all times, even during her vacation. She patiently addressed every small concern we had. She put our best interest above everything else. She acted as our extended family away from home. She was our eyes and ears. She treated our purchase as her own.

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have found you and Kelley.

We wish Jane Clark Homes the very best and pray that you continue to reach greater heights in the years to come.

Thank You, Jane and Kelley,

Abdul Malick and Sheenaus Malick

Jane's team came through for us!

Yes, Its a tough and competitive market out there. That's why you need a team with Knowledge, experience, and determination to get it done. Jane sold our home quickly and efficiently to put us in a place where we could build the home of our dreams Thank you to Brittany Noble Jack of the Jane Clark Realty team. In a single week end, You found exactly what we wanted, where we wanted it. And, you wrapped up every detail! You made us very happy!

-Amy and Chris Dempsey

Success Leaves Clues.. And here are some Clues that You found a GREAT Realtor
Jane has a 20+ year Reputation for Results
Doesn't Your Listing Deserve the Jane Clark Touch...?

Learn More About My Awesome Team

Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes of a real estate transaction? Click a picture and read more about who we are and what we do to make your real estate transaction a smooth and easy experience for you!
  • Jane

    Jane Clark

    Jane Clark - Top Producing KW McKinney Realtor

    Jane Clark is a fixture in Collin County Real Estate. For almost 20 years her name has been synonymous with Quality Professional Real Estate Services in Collin County Texas. Jane has mastered both the science and the art of buying and selling residential Real Estate in the McKinney Plano North Texas corridor. With her extensive market knowledge, superb negotiation skills and exceptional marketing, there can be little wonder that so much of her business comes from referrals and repeat clients. When your need is to buy or sell residential property, you can count on Jane for service you just can’t stop talking about


    About Listing agents

    In a nutshell, a listing agent is responsible for the process of selling your home. You meet me the first time when we view the property, find it’s unique selling features and establish a value relative to all the other homes competing for your buyers attention. I represent you during the sale and I negotiate with potential buyers on your behalf. In today’s market, where multiple offers are the rule, I help you evaluate potential buyers and choose the right offer for you particular circumstances

  • Sonya

    Sonya McWilliams

    Sonya McWilliams - Listing Specialist

    Sonya McWilliams is a listing specialist with the Jane Clark Realty Group, She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, as well as the Texas Association of Realtors Real Estate, was a natural fit for Sonya because caring for others has been the resounding theme of her personal and professional life. She is intuitive and listens carefully to her client’s needs and goals. As your trusted Real Estate Agent, Sonya is deeply committed to helping you reach the best in your home sale goals. Sonya is intimately familiar with the local real estate markets. In addition to being a savvy negotiator, Sonya is gifted with an eye for design, staging, and decorating, which makes her a “full-service Realtor” in every sense. She has a natural ability to maintain a sense of humor and remain calm in difficult situations.  Her strong sense of intuition has more than once proved to be a valued asset in bringing real estate transactions to a successful close.

    Contact Sonya


    About Listing agents

    In a nutshell, a listing agent is responsible for the process of selling your home. You meet me the first time when we view the property, find it’s unique selling features and establish a value relative to all the other homes competing for your buyers attention. I represent you during the sale and I negotiate with potential buyers on your behalf. In today’s market, where multiple offers are the rule, I help you evaluate potential buyers and choose the right offer for you particular circumstances

  • Britteny

    Brittney

    Brittany Noble Jack - Buyer Specialist

    Since joining Keller Williams in 2015, Brittany has prided herself in her passionate and heartfelt drive to serve her clients’ best interests. She is dedicated, knowledgeable, and committed to finding the perfect fit, whether an apartment or home, for her clientele. Her devotion and unparalleled customer service have resulted in a continuously expanding network of loyal clients and referrals. Passionate about her craft, she continuously seeks to stay ahead of the game when it comes to market education and trends. Whether she’s out and about meeting new people or playing with her dogs at the local dog parks, in her free time, you can find Britteny out on the town with her husband, David. An avid explorer of the city, she loves to enjoy new restaurants and check out local music and neighborhood festivals.

    Contact Brittany

     


    About Buyer Agents

    A Buyer Agent is a Realtor who specializes in representing Home Buyers in a real estate transaction. A good buyer agent has a superior knowledge of the Collin County Real Estate Market and can help a purchaser locate housing that suits their criteria. But their value goes far beyond that. A good buyer agent will make sure the client has paperwork in order and a mortgage prequalifying commitment in hand in order to move quickly on the desired property. In todays very competitive market a good Buyer Agent can make the difference between leaving empty handed and setting a close date for the home of your dreams…

  • Kelley

    Kelley

    Kelley Boatwright - Buyer Specialist

    Jane Clark is a fixture in Collin County Real Estate. For almost 20 years her name has been synonymous with Quality Professional Real Estate Services in Collin County Texas. Jane has mastered both the science and the art of buying and selling residential Real Estate in the McKinney Plano North Texas corridor. With her extensive market knowledge, superb negotiation skills, and exceptional marketing, there can be little wonder that so much of her business comes from referrals and repeat clients. When your need is to buy or sell residential property, you can count on Jane for service you just can’t stop talking about

    Contact Kelley

     


    About Buyer Agents

    A Buyer Agent is a Realtor who specializes in representing Home Buyers in a real estate transaction. A good buyer agent has a superior knowledge of the Collin County Real Estate Market and can help a purchaser locate housing that suits their criteria. But their value goes far beyond that. A good buyer agent will make sure the client has paperwork in order and a mortgage prequalifying commitment in hand in order to move quickly on the desired property. In todays very competitive market a good Buyer Agent can make the difference between leaving empty handed and setting a close date for the home of your dreams…

  • Donna

    Donna Sullivan

    Donna Sullivan - Transaction Coordinator

    Donna Sullivan is the Transaction Coordinator for the Jane Clark Realty Group LLC. She brings with her several years of Real Estate experience as a Licensed Assistant and REALTOR. Donna believes that communication is the key to a successful Real Estate Transaction and that Customer Service is key to a strong client relationship. Donna is a native Texan who has lived in and around the Dallas area for the last 30 years. She is a proud graduate of UT Austin, where she earned a Business degree in Marketing. She has extensive experience in sales and marketing where providing excellent customer service, building relationships, attention to detail, and representing the best interests of my clients was paramount.

    Contact Donna

     


    About Transaction Coordinators

    A transaction coordinator is a licensed Realtor who responsible for keeping everything related to your property sale on track. I make sure that the required information is in the right hands at the right time. I interface with the title company to be sure contract documents are ready for closing. I assist Jane in the all-important repair amendment for each transaction and I prepare the supporting valuation documents she needs during your initial listing presentation. The transaction coordinator also interfaces with the Keller Williams broker to be sure all compliance documents are properly prepared,

  • April

    Brittney

    April Edwards - Listing Coordinator

    April Edwards is the Listing Coordinator for the Jane Clark Realty Group. You will likely meet April before the ink is dry on the listing contract. April takes Jane’s notes and observations and reduces them to an action plan to showcase your property in the best possible light. She will be there with the photographer, measuring rooms and doing last-minute adjustments to your photoshoot. April takes great pride in creating a wonderful seamless transaction that moves our clients smoothly from the initial home staging to the final closing of their home sale. Prior to joining the Jane Clark Realty Group, April was active in other areas of the real estate industry. She is well versed in the process of generating the full color, high-quality Graphics that Jane insists on for each home in our Listing Portfolio. Her experience with nuances of multiple listing services enables us to bring your listing to the market on time and on schedule April is very familiar with North Texas. She grew up in Denton Texas and attended College at Texas A & M University. (Go Aggies)   She graduated with a degree in journalism and was gradually lured back into her love of the Real Estate Industry.  April is married to her husband for 17 years. She has 3  children. April is an avid reader and loves to curl up with a good book in her spare time. Most weekends, however, you will find her at a local sporting event cheering on her children.

    Contact April


    What is a Listing Coordinator?

    As a Listing Coordinator, I am responsible for implementing Jane’s custom marketing program for each home we list. I will probably be the first member of our team you meet after you execute the listing agreement with Jane. I will be with you when our Photographer comes out to shoot your property. I measure each room in your home and gather the information we need to enter the property in MLS and our own websites. Perhaps my favorite responsibility is to prepare the unique graphic flyers we use to introduce buyers to your property.

  • Ashley

    Ashley Freni

    Ashley Freni- Marketing Coordinator

    Ashley Freni joined the Jane Clark Realty Group in February 2020 as the team’s marketing coordinator. With a background in shopper marketing, Ashley has an eye for graphic design that has proven highly useful in designing the flyers and graphic layouts that the Jane Clark Realty group uses in marketing campaigns. Ashley’s main focus is client satisfaction and retention, promotional strategies, visual design, and brand development. Ashley has a calm demeanor and a fierce commitment to being of service to others that stand out in her daily work. She is passionate about ensuring excellent client communications and relationships.

    Contact Ashley


    What is a Marketing Coordinator?

    As a Marketing Coordinator, I assist the team in implementing Jane’s custom marketing program for each home we list. design the graphic flyers and booklets we use to market your home. I design advertising postcards and maintain contact with our clients. Our main focus is client satisfaction and retention, promotional strategies, visual design and brand development.

And all the Great Reasons to Work with Us

  • Proven Process

    Jane's listing process is one of the best in the industry. The Best of KW plus 20+ years of experience in Collin County Real Estate!
  • Dedicated Team

    Janes Team is strong and knowledgable. They are the number 1 team in KW's multi-state region. 
  • Partnerships

    Jane's hard work, integrity, and timely communication have earned her a strong reputation with Real Estate Professionals, and Vendors alike.

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A monthly Print based newsletter Jam packed with Janes sage observations on the Mckinney Real Estate Market as well as our unique by nature lifestyle and some of the best culinary advice in Texas! Use the Contact Jane form on this page to add your name to our mail list

Finding the Right Buyer Agent

So, What is a Realtor, and why do you need one? A Realtor is a highly trained professional, certified and licensed by the State of Texas and held to a very high standard of Conduct by state and local regulatory boards. Organizations like the National Board of Realtors establish training standards and ongoing certifications to keep its members current and well-educated on issues in the field. National Brokerage Organizations like Keller Williams and its local offices like Keller Williams McKinney provide training and administrative Management to assure that property transfers meet the rigorous standards of the state of Texas, Your Best Collin County Texas Realtor will advocate for your best interest and is a crucial part of your home-buying team. But they don’t work for free. So how much should you be prepared to pay?

That’s right! In most cases, the seller pays your real estate agent’s fees, so using a buyer’s agent is free to you. Why would you not want to have a true pro in your corner as you make your biggest investment?

What should you look for in a buyer’s agent?

You may know a lot of realtors in your area.  But keep in mind that the real value of a Realtor in the level of knowledge, experience, and training they bring to bear on your Collin County Real Estate Transaction, Don’t work with an amateur just because they know your cousin’s sister-in-law’s best friend from 10 years ago. If you want to spend time with a friend or family member, catch up over coffee.  But don’t work with them to make your biggest purchase. You want an expert who can not only show you how to buy a home but can also get the home under contract and steer it to closing without a Hitch!

When you’re interviewing a real estate agent, don’t settle. A true rock star will have:

  • Specific experience assisting home buyers like you
  • A superb administrative support team backing them up
  • Full-time real estate experience for at least two years
  • Great communication skills
  • A super-serving attitude that makes you feel like you’re their only client
  • An impressively long list of sold homes every year
  • Exceptional experience in your local market

A true professional won’t avoid tough questions. They will want you to be well informed and ready to take advantage of opportunities in the Collin County residential market. The best McKinney Realtors, like the jane Clark Realty group, are ready to fight for your best interests as you’re searching for the perfect house. They are experts at making the right offer and negotiating the terms of the contract. As a home buyer, working with the Jane Clark Realty Group can be one of the biggest advantages you can give yourself!

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Are You Buying or Selling a Home in Collin County?

You need experience and expertise on your side! You need a Realtor that with an 20+ year history of succesful transactions. You need the best Collin County has to Offer. The more you understand about Collin County Real Estate, the more you understand the reasons why Your listing deserves the Jane Clark touch.

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Jane Clark Realty Group LLC
Keller Williams McKinney
7200 West University Drive #300
McKinney Texas 75071

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Looking for a new home?

Jane Clark "One of the Most Trusted Names in Collin County Luxury Real Estate"

One on One with Jane

As an award-winning agent and one of the most trusted names in Collin County Luxury Real Estate, McKinney Realtor Jane Clark built her reputation on a philosophy she embraced when she started in 1998.
Jane Clark grew her business by focusing on people, principles, and long-term relationships. It's what she does best!

Award-Winning Strategy

"When I first became a Realtor, I made a conscious decision to embrace a philosophy I call "Doing the Right Thing Creates the Right Results." It is tempting to take shortcuts when you are struggling in situations with immediate, adverse consequences. But with a solid belief system in place, it is easy to choose the right path, you already know exactly what you will do.."

The Power of Listening

“At the beginning of Jane's career, she realized that she was in the service business, not the sales business. A critical component of serving her customers is listening. It is essential to Identify the Client's priorities and determine what’s important in their lives. Buying or selling a home is an emotional process, and understanding all the different parts of the transaction from your customer’s viewpoint is priceless."

Best McKinney Realtor, Collin County Realtor

What happens after we accept an Offer?

  1. The first steps to selling your home are the buyer and seller reach a contractual agreement and the buyer’s option check is delivered to the seller.
  2. Selling agent delivers contract and buyer’s earnest money check to the title company, and the earnest money is cashed and deposited into a trust account with the title company.
  3. If purchased by the buyer, the unrestricted right to terminate begins the day after the effective date of the contract.
  4. Buyer orders any property inspections.
  5. Title company opens a file, begins title search, issues title commitment binder to buyer’s lender, orders property tax information and obtains loan pay-off information from seller’s lender.
  6. The buyer makes loan application (if a loan is involved); appraisal and credit report is ordered and buyer verifications are processed.
  7. Coordinate expiration of buyer’s option period and any proposed repairs and amendments.
  8. Buyer orders homeowner (hazard) insurance policy; insurance company commits to ensure appraisal of property completed; verify and lender requirements of property and any re-inspections.
  9. Lender prepares the buyer’s loan package and submits for final underwriting approval.
  10. Loan approval granted and lender’s closing department prepares documents and sends to the title company.
  11. Verify and lender-required conditions to be met by the buyer; survey ordered by the title company.
  12. Buyer’s and seller’s agents coordinate closing date and time with buyer, seller and title company.
  13. Title company receives the lender’s closing instructions, prepares additional closing documents and the HUD-I closing statement.
  14. The buyer does a final walk-through inspection of the property and obtains a cashier’s check for closing costs and balance of down payment.
  15. Title company closes the sale, returns or faxes required documents to the buyer’s lender for approval. Most loan companies require this before disbursement of funds. Title company receives and funds all monies from the lender, including payment of all delinquent taxes, termite inspection, mechanical inspections, bank charges, attorney’s fees, professional real estate fees, title company fees and any other accrued expenses in connection with the closing. Title company records the legal documents in the office of the county clerk, and a recorded deed is mailed to the buyer by the county clerk. Title company prepares and issues title policy and sends to lender and buyer.
  16. Possession is given to the buyer according to the terms of the contract.

Does my Mortgage Lender Matter?

There is no shortage of places to get a home loan from and there are plenty of qualified professionals who work hard in the lending world. Picking a lender is an important piece to the real estate puzzle, so how do you choose one? A good lender will help you avoid the issues that can cause delayed closings, sudden changes to terms of the loan and keep you from laying in bed with a massive headache worrying about how you’re going to buy your home. The best lender is the lender you know and trust.

When choosing a lender, there are a few things you should consider. You want someone you feel comfortable around, you want someone who knows the business and the loan products available, but most importantly, you want someone you can meet face to face.

Without that face to face connection, loans can become frustrating to the point of banging your head against a wall. This is why most real estate agents will advise against internet-based lenders. Although some of them may offer slightly better rates, if the loan doesn’t close, you’re still left without a home and that better interest rate means nothing.

Ask your agent who their clients are using and who is getting the job done. Ask your friends and family – but don’t ask your uncle who bought a house once in 1963 that isn’t in the same state as your new home. Local is the best way to go.

Once you find a lender that rocks – let others know, pass their name on. Just like real estate agents, lenders rely on word of mouth and referrals to build their business. Knowing your lender face to face can make a huge difference in the home buying process, so interview a few and find that perfect match.

What is the Process of Home Buying?

When you are ready to begin searching for a new home, the process can seem overwhelming. Not only do you have to take a look at the homes themselves, but you have contract negotiations, inspections, financing and more. That’s why it’s important to have a professional REALTOR® on your side to guide you through the process and help look out for your best interests along the way.

A typical transaction roadmap involves the following steps:

Loan Pre-Qualification -> Home Search -> Write an Offer -> Negotiate a Contract -> Property Inspections -> Secure Financing -> Closing

While each transaction can be different, these critical elements form the backbone of most real estate purchases in Texas.

Loan Pre-Qualification

One of the largest pieces to the home buying puzzle is financing. While some people prefer to pay cash for their homes, a large majority take out a mortgage in order to buy property. Getting pre-qualified with a knowledgeable lender can help you to understand:

  • The price range of homes you can afford
  • Loan types and their unique requirements
  • Monthly payments, taxes and escrows
  • Closing costs
  • Credit scores

Once you have a good grasp of your financing options, your lender can provide you with a letter stating your pre-approval status. If you are looking to purchase a home by paying cash, your financial institution can issue a similar letter verifying funds.

Many sellers in today’s market require evidence of financial viability before even reviewing any offers. With that in hand, then you can move on to finding the right home.

Property Search

One of the most helpful things you can do as a consumer is to come up with a list of priorities in your home search. If there’s a neighborhood or school district you have to be in, that can help you to narrow in on the right home much more quickly. If you have special needs (such as wanting to keep sheep) or extreme flexibility in your living space, it’s important to communicate these issues to your agent up front. That way they can work with you to narrow down your criteria and implement a comprehensive search of available homes.

Many people take up the home search themselves through the internet. This can be extremely informative, but also misleading, as many websites contain outdated or inaccurate information. Kimberly Howell Properties agents have access to thousands of the most up-to-date listings in and around San Antonio. This includes Boerne, New Braunfels, Pleasanton and even Seguin. They are specially trained to help you sort through your criteria, examine neighborhood features and show you available homes that meet both your wants and your needs. Even if a property is not listed on the local MLS, your agent can make arrangements to show you the property.

Your agent can then schedule times for you to tour your property choices, and help you keep track of your likes and dislikes for each home or area. If your criteria changes, your agent can adjust your search accordingly.

Writing an Offer

Once you have found the home of your dreams, your agent will continue to research the market and help you to formulate and negotiate an offer. They can explain the terms of the contract to you, and help you put together an offer that is strong but also meets your specific needs. The offer will address a sales price, but will also cover issues of closing date, home warranty, repairs, title policy and more, and your agent can explain the who, what and why’s of each element. The agent will give you advice and information, but at the end of the day, it is your decision as to what price and terms you offer. REALTORs® are required to use specific state regulated contract documents. You are always advised to have an attorney of your choice review any offers or contracts if you so choose.

Once an offer is submitted, you wait for a response from the seller. Possible responses include:

  • Acceptance: seller agrees to all terms as they were written, and signs the contract as-is.
  • Counter-offer: seller does not accept your offer, but replies back either verbally or in writing with their own proposed terms. Then it becomes your turn to accept, reject, or counter the seller’s counter-offer.
  • Reject: seller does not accept your offer and does not present a counter-proposal. Sometimes sellers will reject an offer and provide a list of changes that might make a future offer more agreeable, but the seller would not be bound by these terms.

It is important to note that contracts are not legally binding in Texas until signed by all parties. Many times offers are negotiated verbally for ease and expediency; however, until all parties (buyer and seller) have signed off on all terms, the contract is not enforceable.

In the case of multiple offers, there are very specific procedures that should be followed by the seller. Ultimately a decision as to which offer is accepted or countered lies in the hands of the seller alone, and even a full price offer may not be selected. A seller working with an agent should be advised to treat all parties fairly and no single offer should be given an unfair advantage over another. Your agent’s experience, education and professionalism can help you to navigate these tricky waters should you find yourself in this type of offer situation.

Offer Acceptance

When the negotiating ends and everyone has signed off on the paperwork, you’re officially under contract. Earnest money will be kept in escrow with the title company, a neutral third party.
There will be several critical elements that you and your agent can work together to address and complete as you move the process towards closing.

  • Inspection: You will want to have the property inspected almost right away. Home inspections can reveal serious problems, code violations or hazards that may not be visible to the untrained or naked eye. Your agent can help you to find a reputable inspector to review the home’s major systems and provide you with a detailed report. You can then use the report to negotiate repairs with the seller.
  • Loan Process: Once you have a contract, you will want to begin the formal loan application process with your lender. They must provide you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFI) which outlines the fees and costs related to your mortgage, as well as monthly payments, interest rates and more. Once you have submitted the application and all documentation required by the lender, then the file goes through the mortgage underwriting department for verification and approval. The underwriting process can be a lengthy one, so quick submission of requested paperwork is essential. Once the file is reviewed in underwriting, the lender may have a list of conditions that must be met in order for the mortgage company to give final approval of the loan.
  • Title Commitment: The title company will research the ownership history of the property and any liens that may be recorded against the buyer or seller. The liens on the property must be paid or cleared up before the title of the property can transfer from seller to buyer. The title company will use the information to issue a title insurance policy, which essentially is an insurance policy you, as the buyer and soon-to-be owner, have to guarantee that the seller had the right to transfer ownership to you and that no other parties or issues should arise that bring this right to ownership into question from prior acts or omissions.
  • Appraisal: Your lender will order an appraisal of the property. This report is an official assessment of the property’s value, based on the market at the time of the appraisal. Appraisers have very specific requirements that they must meet in their reports to determine value. If the property appraises above the sales price, congratulations- you have equity. If it appraises below the sales price, your agent can advise you about your options- re-negotiating sales price, contesting the appraisal, terminating the contract or paying the difference out-of-pocket.
  • Insurance: Homeowner’s insurance is a critical piece of the homeownership package. If you have a mortgage on your home, the mortgage company will require that you maintain insurance coverage, or they may even force you to pay for coverage, seek damages or even foreclosure. Finding the right type of coverage at the right price is something your agent and your lender can assist you in doing.

Closing

Once all of the above pieces come together, and the lender sends closing instructions to the title company for your loan, transfer of title, etc. you can arrange a time to close on the home. The title company will provide a breakdown of credits and expenses for both buyer and seller, called a HUD-1. You will generally go to a title company office to sign all closing paperwork and loan documents. You will deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs to escrow, and your lender will deposit the balance of the purchase price. The deal is not closed until monies have been paid. This is often referred to as “funding.”

Once the property funds, you can pick up the keys and move into your new home! Your agent can help you make the necessary arrangements for moving, utilities and more.

What Is a Repair Amendment?

You may need to think about repair amendments during the course of buying a home, typically during the option period and after your inspection. Your agent will prepare your repair amendments for you, but as a buyer, it pays to understand how to write an effective repair amendment as the language used in them can have serious effects down the road. Understanding both how to write a repair amendment with negotiations and the final outcome in mind, as well as how to write them so that what you want is really what you get, can save you a lot of time and hassle later down the road. Remember, these repair amendments become part of the contract and performance of the items contained within them is serious business. Many real estate lawsuits center around the repairs agreed to and made and whether or not they were sufficient. Know what goes into the repair amendment before you sign so you can avoid any issues that could affect your purchase.

Negotiating Repairs

After your inspection and your review of the inspection report, you’ll probably have a laundry list of items that you want to be repaired in order for you to continue with the purchase of this home. We understand anyone’s desire to have everything perfect in their new home, but the reality is that all homes have items that can or should be fixed. Even the inspection on a brand new home will turn up items that need correcting. The goal here is to come up with a list of items that the seller needs to fix…and that they will agree to.

Since no home is ever perfect, you’re going to need to take a look at the inspection report and decide what matters to you most and what can be negotiated by both parties to create the magical win-win situation. Simply sending over an inspection report and saying “fix everything” will more than likely get you a denial from the seller. So how do you determine what to ask for and what not to ask for?

You want to take a look at the big picture. What items do you feel are the so-called “deal killers” – those items that you cannot see past and will cause you to walk away from the home in an instant. Typically, we see these are big-ticket items like roofs and HVAC units or health and safety issues such as faulty wiring or items that create a risk of fire, electrocution or explosion (think leaking gas).

Every homebuyer is different though and what you might consider a no-go, the next homebuyer might not even flinch at. It all depends on your needs and comfort level.

As well as your needs, you’ll need to consider where the seller is coming from. Did they just take a really low offer from you on the home? Are they trying to move quickly due to a relocation? Are they facing foreclosure or perhaps they just need to sell because they don’t have the money? There are so many factors to consider and your real estate agent can help you see some of the potential pitfalls to the negotiation before they even happen. Remember, the goal is to get the seller to repair items, not bury them in so much that they refuse to do anything.

Writing Repair Amendments

Our biggest tips to writing repair amendments are simple: be specific, don’t overuse words and don’t under explain what you need, and let the inspection report do the talking.

Be specific. We’ve seen cases where repair amendments said something along the lines of “have sprinkler system checked.” The seller did exactly that. They paid to have someone come out and inspect the sprinkler system…and nothing more. There were issues with the sprinkler system (in this particular case a broken pipe under a sidewalk which was causing a major loss of water) and because of the language in the inspection report, the seller merely confirmed what everyone already knew, the sprinkler system needed repair. The two strongest words you can use in a repair amendment are repair and replace.

Over/under explaining things. Be succinct in your wording. Don’t become a junior inspector or plumber or electrician. Let the experts determine what is wrong and fix it. Sometimes people try to use a lot of big words or even legalese to make the repair amendment sound official. You want to write clearly and in simple, plain language to get to the heart of what it is you want to be accomplished.

Let the inspection report do the talking. Quote items in the inspection report and give reference numbers for pages or sections of the report where the item appears. Let the inspector’s words inform what needs to be done.

Remember, that all repairs must be done by a licensed person if the trade requires a license (plumbing and electrical are two examples) or by someone regularly employed in a trade that reflects what they are doing. In other words, if you hire a handyman to fix items on a repair amendment, they need to be a handyman as their regular job, not just Uncle Bob who says he can fix it. These two requirements can be overruled if agreed to by both parties and put into writing.

The more precise you are with repair amendments, the better your results will be. Remember to think items through as well, what are the consequences of the action you’re requesting? We see a lot of arguments over removing items like TV brackets. If someone requests “remove TV brackets” on a repair amendment, they might get exactly that. What’s left when you remove TV brackets? Big holes and mismatched paint. You may want to use something more along the lines of “remove TV brackets and repair, patch, texture, and paint to match current walls” so that you have a more detailed explanation of what you want to be done. Remember, there is no “they should have known what I meant” clause in contracts.

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About Home Appraisal

What is a home appraisal? An appraisal is a written document by a Licensed Appraiser hired by the Lender that will give you the mortgage on your home.

The Appraiser’s responsibility is to make sure the home is worth what you are paying for it and the Lender is loaning on it. It might surprise you to know that your down payments may also be taken into consideration. The Appraisal is not necessarily the value of what the home is worth.

The major determining factor is based on sales in the neighborhood of similar homes in size, condition and style, for the previous six to twelve months. These figures are derived from the same MLS system that REALTORS® use.

If your home purchase is a non-qualifying assumption or a cash sale, an appraisal is not required and in most cases, one is not done.

However in highly competetive markets where multiple offers are the rule, and offers above list are common, the mortgage lenders appraisal policies can become a dominant factor in making a succesful offer. In such cases, it is not uncommon practice for a motivated buyer to offer to pay the differece between the offered price and appraiser's value.

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Making an Offer

Here are some very practical tips on making an offer on a house. Whether you are buying or selling a home, consider the sale of a home as a transaction that is beneficial to both parties. It is true that an asking price is exactly that: An asking price. Very often buyers and sellers become emotional, feel slighted or even offended if neither party makes responsible and realistic offers

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About Title Insurance

Mortgage lenders require their customers to get title insurance. The companies also require that you pay for a title search. A title search is an extensive search through legal documents to prove the person selling you the property has legal claim to do it. So why have title insurance in addition to a title search? The search may have an error, or it may have come across forged documents, which would pass the title search. Around six percent of all policies have a claim, so it is not as uncommon as some may think. 

Closing, Title Company, Mortgage Lender

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