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Purchasing a home is probably
the second largest personal transaction
you will make in your lifetime.

The largest should be when you sell your home.

Home Ownership has always been the American Dream — to have a place of your own. Now is a great time to buy because interest rate are lowest in decades, prices have come down and a buyer's selection is the best it has been in a very long time. This adds up to a strong Buyers' Market.

If you are reading this page, you are at least curious about owning a home. I remember purchasing our home, I didn't know much about home ownership so the idea seemed a bit scary. I didn't have anyone guiding me so I made some mistakes; it was a learning experience. Today, as a Realtor, I am here to guide you around the possible hazards of purchasing a home.

First, I suggest we attempt to satisfy your curiosity—  is purchasing a home the right thing for you? If you are not sure, View the Buying-vesus-Renting Comparison.

If your situation leans toward buying, your first task is a hire a guide. You need someone that knows the business, understands the current market, negotiates to best deal, has the experience to safeguard your interests and is available when you need him or her. That person should be a full-time Realtor.

I would like to apply for the position. Many salespeople enter into real estate. However, I believe a Realtor is not a salesperson and should not act like one. A Realtor is your personal representative — your agent, project manager, negotiator, problem solver, protector and enforcer. My experience includes all of these functions. Realtors have nothing to sell: neither they nor their company maintains an inventory of home to sell. I do however have access to all homes for sale in the area.

If you are just beginning to consider home ownership, there is some very good news that you may not yet be aware of. The real estate industry is set up to insure that home buyers can always afford the professional guidance of a Realtor. The process can be complex, especially for a first-time buyer. It is very important to the sellers that the contract flows smoothly and does not encounter problems. Delicate plans have been made for their new home and timing is critical. That is one reason why sellers pay all Realtor fee at settlement from the proceeds of the sale. As a buyer, the agreement you have with your agent should not cost you anything.

Preparing To Buy A Home

Today, home buyers have many sources of potential financial assistance. There are government grant programs, community development funds, first time buyer tax savings just to name a few. One size does not fit all but I can steer you through the course and help make home ownership a reality for you. (Even in cases where there have been credit problems, we can guide you to a solution. You have to be willing to do the work and it may take some time but there is a path).

Speaking of credit, it is always wise to stay current and aware of everything on your credit reports. Check them periodically. You are entitled to one FREE credit report (1 from each agency) each year -- take advantage of it. I've had hopeful buyers whose credit reports contained information that the buyer knew nothing about; information that had been posted erroneously. It delayed the process several months before we were able to get it straightened out. You do not want surprises.

The Home Buying Process:

  1. Before you go shopping for anything, you probably check your wallet to see how much you can afford to spend. The same holds true when you are shopping for a home; you must have a firm handle on the financing. By "a firm handle" I mean to have met face-to-face with the mortgage officer of the bank who will be pre-approving your loan. The more senior the loan officer and the more reputable the bank, the firmer the handle. Some banks have a sterling mortgage reputation; others do not. I know the good ones and the ones to stay away from.

    When buyers select me as their Realtor, I refer them to lenders who are established and leaders in the mortgage industry. Together, we assure that your deal will go through on schedule WITH NO SURPRISES.

    The points listed below are items that need to be addressed by, or for, the buyer. I have a specific processes for guiding my customers through these tasks. However, I cannot document too much because I am not writing this web page to serve as a procedure manual for aspiring real estate agents. We all must develop our own methods.
  2. Give thought to your “Wants” and “Needs” for your new home. This should be a Team Project – enlist the entire family.
  3. Develop a effective and efficient work mode with your agent. Leads should get to you in a timely manner so you can check out and react promptly when your future home comes on the market. I once scheduled an appointment, submitted the buyers' offer and obtained a ratified contract (at 12:32 AM), before the property had been on the market one full day. The sellers were leaving town for awhile and we got the offer to them just before they left. We won the deal before the other offers were even submitted because my buyers reacted quickly.
  4. Prepare a very effective offer, complete with all the magical ingredients.
  5. Eliminate concerns about the worthiness of the property.
  6. Assure against any problems throughout the process - up to and including settlement. One organization published a list of 88 types of turbulence that tend to disrupt and/or prevent settlement. I help guard against turbulence.

One last note: My job is simply to help you reach your real estate goal, whatever that may be. I work hard to provide the best service possible with the hope that you will be so impressed by the level of service that you will recommend me to all of your family and friends. That is how my business will continue to grow.

For additional buyer information from Century 21 Click Here

My contact information is listed below. As a Full Time Agent I take pride in being available to my clients. There are times (settlements, classes, meetings, etc.) when I may truly be beyond reach. If you encounter such a time, please leave a message. I return phone messages as promptly as possible. All phone numbers below have voice mail capability.

Mark Swiss
Realtor

Century 21 Horizon Realty

3117 East Joppa Road
Parkville, Maryland 21234
Office: 410-882-0021
Home Office: 410-866-8508
Cell: 443-474-6412
e-mail: Mark@MarkSwiss.net


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