What are the best sites to use when looking for homes during the preliminary search?

The most accurate and updated sites are official MLS sites. Examples of these are Athens Area MLS and GA MLS. We encourage our buyers to look on their own and recommend these sites. We also recommend using Realtor.com during your search as it pulls directly from MLS and tends to be more accurate than other sites.

I’m moving to Athens and unfamiliar with the area. Where should I look?

Athens and the surrounding counties are very diverse and contain many unique areas. Whether you are looking for new construction, a renovation, or somewhere in between, our agents will educate you as to the types of areas, price points, and assets associated with each. Take a look at our Neighborhoods page to see which areas most interest you.

When should I talk to a lender?

It is never too early to start developing a lender/buyer relationship. Building a relationship with a lender early helps you get to know one another.  A good lender can help advise you on the financial commitments necessary to purchase a home. It is a big investment, and they are there to help you every step of the way! Please let us know if you need assistance in locating a lender. 3tree agents work closely with a variety of banks and lenders in the area.

When should I get pre-approved for a loan?

It is good to start this process when you begin to actively search for a home. Generally speaking, it will be a requirement that you either be approved or be in the process of getting approved for the loan when you make your offer.

What type of loan should I get?

This is a question that you and the lender will need to discuss. A real estate agent does have knowledge about the many loan options, but it is the lenders job to help guide you in your financial needs.

How many homes should I see in person before deciding on a home to buy?

This varies based on the individuals involved and the situation. It is a very personal experience; no two home buying experiences are the same. Some buyers know the exact house they want and are just waiting for it to go on the market. Others need to look at multiple options and think about what will be the right fit for them. 3tree agents are willing to go above and beyond to educate their clients and help them make a good decision. No rushing on this end.

How do I know I am putting in a good offer?

Every situation will be different, and many factors go into making a good offer. 3Tree agents are very knowledgeable on current market conditions and are prepared to help you look at your offer in its entirety to determine its strength.  Always remember that when working with 3Tree agents, we represent you and work for your best outcome!

I have gone under contract on a home. What’s next?

Earnest Money, Due Diligence, and Home Inspections.

 

Earnest Money

Once you have gone under contract, the first thing you will do is get your earnest money to the broker. Earnest money is usually 1% of purchase and is kept safely in a escrow account under the broker’s name. This ensure that you are taking the purchase seriously, if all goes well the earnest money goes toward the purchase of the home.

 

Due Diligence

Due diligence is a negotiated period of time that constitutes the buyers’ opportunity to determine whether or not they want to continue with the purchase. A buyer can change their mind at any point during Due diligence and get their earnest money back in full as long as the offer is terminated properly. Due diligence is generally used to conduct inspections, surveys, get estimates for repairs or renovations, etc.

 

Home Inspections

This is a completely optional, but generally highly recommended part of the home buying process. During the due diligence period most buyers schedule a home inspection. The home inspection will reveal material defects about the home. Once the report is issued to you and your agent, you can discuss the repairs, if there are any, that need to be addressed before closing. The next step will be to negotiate for those repairs with and the seller. Your agent will guide you through this process and assist to the extent desired/appropriate.

What is the Settlement Statement?

The settlement statement will be prepared by the closing attorney and issued to you a couple days prior to closing. The settlement statement is like an accountant’s worksheet and it itemizes all the monetary aspects of the purchase. You will find the purchase price, closing costs, debits/credits including earnest money, title insurance, taxes and more on the settlement statement. The closing attorney will go into detail of the settlement statement at closing, but it is good to review prior to closing, in case of any miscalculations.