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Buyer road map


Meet With Suzie; Your Real Estate Professional
Make a list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:

  • ‘Must-Haves’ – if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered. (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms)
  • ‘Should-Haves’ – if the property hits all of the 'must-haves' and some of the 'should-haves,' it stays in contention, but does not need to have all of these features.
  • ‘Absolute-Wish List’ – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must-haves,’ most of the ‘should-haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner! 



If you are serious about buying your dream home, you need to get pre-qualifed or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.  Knowing your budget will give you the confidence to know if your dream home is within your reach.

It’s highly recommended that you work with a lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence.

One of the many advantages of working with Suzie is that she has relationships with many lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to complete their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

The 4 Cs can help determine the amount you will be qualifed to borrow:

  • Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  • Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  • Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  • Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be surprised at your ability to do so as well.


Make a list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:

If you are looking to purchase a home in the next six months, you have probably already begun looking at homes online.

We help buyers by sending updates of all homes that come on the market (and homes that are not quite on the market yet). With our “Exclusive MLS Database” we are able to submit your wants & needs list to find a perfectly matched home that is not yet on the market. This service offers a preview sneak peak of homes and gives you an advantage over other buyers.

If you would like me to include you in our “Exclusive MLS Database”, just give me a call at 480-262-0833 or email me at and I can explain how this program works.


If you’re beginning your home search and looking to purchase in the next six months, Suzie can send you updates on all the homes that come on the market.  Our Exclusive MLS Database gives buyers with the opportunity to have a “sneak peak” at homes that are not yet on the market.

Your list of  “must-have” specifications are entered into the database and many times we are able to match our buyers up with their dream home before it hits the market.  This provides Suzie’s clients with an advantage of viewing and making an offer prior to others seeing the home.

If you’d like me to include you in our “Exclusive MLS Database,” just give me a call at 480-262-0833 or email me at and I can tell you how it works.


Ready to Make an Offer?  TIPS FOR SUCCESS INCLUDE:

  1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

While it's not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.

This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ really should take place before you start your home search process.

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your o er with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).

  1. Act Fast

The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream home.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as soon as possible.

  1. Make a Solid Offer

Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. Suzie is a dedicated Realtor® and has been an East Valley resident for over 20 years.  With her knowledge of the city’s geography she can assist you with all of your Residential Real Estate endeavors!  Let her help you make your offer stand out in this competitive market!


Be Prepared to Negotiate

It's likely that you'll get at least one counter offer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you'll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford.

Suzie will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counter offer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met. When orchestrating deals for her buyers, she is assertive and effective without being too aggressive.


You and the seller have agreed to the price and terms. The home is effectively held for you untill closing.



So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. More often than not, Suzie may have made your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.

This contingency protects you in case the inspection reveals repairs that need to be made, or even if you need to walk away from the deal. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is led.

How to Choose an Inspector

Suzie has a short list of inspectors that she has worked with in the past that she can recommend to you. suggests that you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:

  • Qualifications – Find out what’s included in your inspection & if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
  • Sample Reports – Ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report the better in most cases.
  • References – Do your homework – Ask for phone numbers and names of past clients that you can call to ask about their experience.
  • Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Oftentimes, membership in one of these organizations means that there is continued training and education provided.
  • Errors & Omission Insurance –Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.

Ask your inspector if it’s ok for you to tag along during the inspection. That way, they can point out anything that should be addressed or xed.

Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof, crawling around in the attic, and on the oors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and nd any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, replace & chimney, the foundation & so much more!

Bottom Line

They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money in a home of your own. Work with a professional you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.



There are many potential homebuyers, and even sellers, who believe that you need at least a 20% down payment in order to buy a home, or move on to their next home. Time after time, we have dispelled this myth by showing that there are many loan programs that allow you to put down as little as 3% (or 0% with a VA loan).

If you have saved up your down payment and are ready to start your home search, one other piece of the puzzle is to make sure that you have saved enough for your closing costs.

Freddie Mac defines closing costs as follows:

“Closing costs, also called settlement fees, will need to be paid when you obtain a mortgage. These are fees charged by people representing your purchase, including your lender, real estate agent, and other third parties involved in the transaction.  Closing costs are typically between 2 & 5% of your purchase price.”     

We’ve recently heard from many first-time homebuyers that they wished that someone had let them know that closing costs could be so high. If you think about it, with a low down payment program, your closing costs could equal the amount that you saved for your down payment.