Buyer's Resources

Buyer Resources

This page is designed to be a comprehensive resource for real estate buyers and their representatives. We are including all of the checklists, forms, and calculators that our licensed professional REALTORS® use to advise their clients and manage their transactions.  If you are involved in buying real estate, or if you are representing a buyer, then you should bookmark this resource page now!  It is the most complete resource that you will ever find anywhere! 

Don't forget to read our "Feature Stories" section to get valuable insight on topics related to buying real estate!

Introduction to Buying Real Estate for 1st Time Buyers

Preparing to Buy Real Estate

What You need to Know About Home Ownership

Home Ownership has often been referred to as the fulfillment of the American Dream. Indeed, the desire to own your home is born in the hearts of all people. It is instinctual. A person's home is often their largest investment, but it is also a very big responsibility. It can become a nightmare if it is not maintained and managed well. The following links will help you learn about home ownership and the responsibilities that come along with it.

Consumer Guide

Home Maintenance Costs

Tax Considerations of Home Ownership 

Property Insurance

What you Need to Know about Radon

What you Need to Know about Lead

What you Need to Know about Asbestos

What you Need to Know about Mold

What you Need to Know about Septic Systems

Prepare Your Finances

Once you have learned about home ownership and you feel you are prepared to take the plunge, the first step is to prepare your finances. The following checklists and calculators will help you to prepare your finances so that you can qualify for a mortgage.

Get your Annual Free Credit Score Now!

How to Repair Your Credit Score

Protect Your Credit Rating!

Mortgage Loan Paperwork Checklist

Learn About Your Financing Options and Get Pre-Approved!

Do some research on Banks, Mortgage companies, or independent mortgage brokers, and find a mortgage lender that you want to work with on this transaction. Talk to the mortgage specialists at these institutions and get pre-approved. Work them to determine what their fees are and have them estimate your costs of doing business with them. Banks and mortgage companies often run discounts on origination fees. Starting a relationship with a mortgage specialist at this step of the process will help you when you have finally made an offer and are ready to move forward with financing. Get Pre-Approved!

FHA

VA

Conventional

First Time Home Buyer Programs

Down Payment Assistance

HUD - Home Ownership Voucher

Free Grant Money

Hamilton County Home Improvement Program

Decide What is Important to You in a Home

Now that you know how much you can afford, begin thinking about the home that you need. How many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, how big is the lot, how big is the garage, basement, etc. Start with what you need so that you end up with something you can afford. Use the forms below and create a version for needs and another version for wants.

Start Your Property Search

Why You Need a REALTOR®?

REALTORS® who work with Buyers are called "Buyers Agents".  All of the homes for sale in Cincinnati that are listed in the MLS are secured by lock boxes that only a REALTOR® can gain access to.  You need a REALTOR® to assist you in gaining access to those homes.  The Buyer Agent's commission is paid for by the Seller, so there is no cost or penalty for hiring a REALTOR® (Buyers Agent) to represent you in a buying transaction.  In addition, a Buyers Agent will work for your interests in the transaction.  They will assist you in writing the best offer, help you negotiate the final price, navigate through the inspection and repair process, work with your finance company to secure your mortgage, and review the contracts all the way to closing to make sure that every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed.

At Cincinnati Real Estate Today, we work to ensure that all parties in a transaction are Winners!  If you need a REALTOR® to represent you, then look no further!  Call us at (513) 401-5777 or chat with us from this page!

Tell Your REALTOR® What You Want

Help your REALTOR® get to know you and tell your REALTOR® what you want in a home and what you expect from the home buying process.  At Cincinnati Real Estate Today, we have checklists and training that help our REALTORS® get to know you and understand your needs, wants, and expectations.  If you are meeting with a one of our REALTORS® for the first time, then be prepared to complete these forms together, so that our REALTOR® can get to know you better.

Buyer Consultation Questionaire

Buyer 10+ Experience Questionaire

Keep Your End of the Bargain

Your REALTOR® will be dedicating a significant amount of time on your behalf in this process.  Since they only get paid by the Seller when a transaction closes, they are working on your behalf in good faith.  Buyer Agents work hardest for you when they have a Good Faith Promise and a Loyalty Agreement from you.  If you want to have a totally dedicated Buyers Agent, then give them the Good Faith Promise and Loyalty Agreement.  You will not regret it!

Buyers Good Faith Promise

Buyers Loyalty Agreement

Smarter Property Search

Finding homes for sale that meet your criteria in your target area is the specialty of our REALTORS® and the Research Group at Cincinnati Real Estate Today. There is a good chance that the home you end up buying is not on the market today. When that perfect home comes on the market, you need to be the first to see it. If you are not the first to see it, then there is a good chance that someone else will beat you to the table. Thanks to the work done by our Research Group, when you hire a Buyers Agent from Cincinnati Real Estate Today you will get immediate alerts when a home hits the market and our Buyers Agents will act quickly to get you access.  When you find your dream home, move quickly!  In today's real estate market there is a lot of competition and another Buyer can quickly jump in front of you.

Prepare to Show Homes Checklist

Notes on Viewed Properties Checklist

Preparing to Make the Offer

You have found your dream home, now you need to make an initial offer, which is the first step along the path to negotiating a final contract. There are many things to consider when making an offer. Your Buyers Agent will advise you on all issues, such as how much earnest money to put down, if you want to include the appliances and/or other personal property in the offer.  You can ask the Seller to pay for a home warranty, property upgrades, and closing costs?  Be sure to include a final walk through in your agreement.  You may want to include contingencies for inspections, financing, and the selling of your existing home, etc.  Be aware that contingencies weaken your offer in the eyes of the Seller. All offers include a time contingency and will expire if the contract has not been accepted or a counter offer has not been received.  

Checklist for Preparing the Offer

Checklist for Writing the Offer

Buyer Estimated Closing Costs Calculator

Make the Initial Offer and Negotiate the Terms

Once you make your offer, the Seller can do 1 of 3 things.  They can accept it as is; they can make a counter offer; or they can ignore it and let your offer expire.  If they let the offer expire, then you may want to reconsider your interest in the property. You can submit a higher offer, or you can move on to another property.  A counter offer means that they are interested in selling to you but they want a change to the terms of your offer.  Through the process of counter offering, eventually you will come to some agreement on the terms of a contract.

Do Inspections and Re-Negotiate the Terms

Schedule the inspections as quickly as possible. The purpose of the inspection is to alert you to any material defects in the property that were not included in the Seller disclosure. If the inspection finds material defects in the condition of the property, then the Buyer can re-negotiate the terms of the contract and ask the Seller to fix the defects. If the Seller refuses to fix the defects, then the Buyer can walk away from the contract. Since the Buyer is not reimbursed for the cost of the inspection, if the buyer walks then it could get expensive.

Secure Your Financing

There many choices available to you. Hopefully you prepared for this moment because of the preparation you did in the beginning of this process.  Our Realtors work with many different mortgage providers and we can recommend the mortgage companies that are performing best in our experience.  We do not get compensated by referring a mortgage provider and our recommendation is based on the mortgage company that performs best in our experience.

Select Title and Insurance Providers

Often your financing institution may have a preferred title company.  If not, then your Cincinnati Real Estate Today REALTOR® can help you select the Title and Insurance companies for your transaction.  There are many companies that provide these services in the Cincinnati area.

Prepare for Closing - Final Walk Through Inspection

Your Cincinnati Real Estate Today REALTOR® will work on your behalf with your lender, title company, insurance company, and contractors doing repairs to make sure that your transaction goes smoothly.  Prior to closing, you will have a final walk through inspection of the property to ensure that the condition is according to contract.  Your Cincinnati Real Estate Today REALTOR® will also prepare you with a pre-close estimate of closing costs so that any discrepancies in the closing documentation can resolved at the closing meeting. 

Close the Deal

Once all of the paperwork is complete by your lender, and all of the details of the transaction have been arranged and the paperwork prepared for everything, a closing meeting will be scheduled to close the deal.  You, your cosigners, a closing agent representing the bank and title company, and your REALTOR® will be present at the table.  The closing agent will review all documents with you and get your signature on all documents.  Closing usually takes about an hour if there are not issues.

Congratulations! I hope you open a bottle of champagne! You are experiencing the American Dream! Now you get to move in and make it your own special home!

Save Money on Services You Use Everyday

Now that you have purchased your dream home, why pay more for the services you use everyday. We've negotiated special discounts on many of the services you use everyday. To take advantage of the discounts we've negotiated, you have to access the vendors through the links on this page. If you have any questions, then please call us at 513-401-5777 or contact us through the chat window on this page.

Save on Gas Rates!

Save on Electricity Rates!

Save on Your Cable Bill!

Pay Less for Cell Phone Service!

Get Your Credit Score!

Refinance Your Mortgage!

Get a 2nd Mortgage!

Pay Less to Finance Auto/Boat/RV!

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