First Time Homebuyers
Helping people to buy their first home is such a rewarding experience for me. It can be very
overwhelming to start the process in talking to a lender about all of the different programs and
trying to find properties online. By the time most of my clients are connected with me they are
completely overwhelmed with information and aren’t sure how to sort through it all.
My goal in working with first time homebuyers is to help them sort through all of the
information on how to obtain the loan, connect them to the best lenders (from multiple banks)
in the city that will help them to understand the process and get the loan closed on time with
minimal hassle. The lenders I refer business to will also offer them estimates that will allow
buyers to compare different loans on the same form so they can find the best value for their
Calling multiple agents and having to search the internet and drive around the city looking for
properties can be cumbersome. I can set up an auto search with the specific criteria so that you
don’t have to waste time looking for homes without seeing the interior and without knowing
what homes are within your price range. I can set the search up to fit any specific requests and it
will send you an automatic email when the properties come on the market in your price range.
The negotiation process is an area where having a professional is important. I will always
provide my clients with a comparative market analysis and provide my professional opinion
about the market conditions and level of inventory in the area compared with the Cincinnati area
average to help a client determine if the property they have chosen is the best investment for
Since buyer representation is paid by the seller of a property in almost all cases, it is always best
to hire a professional who is experienced in working with first time home buyers and who is
knowledgeable about the market that you are looking in.
I created a cartoon based on a conversation with one of the first time home buyers I knew in
When you are looking to buy a home it is very important to have professional representation. When
a seller hires an agent to list their home that agent represents the best interest of the seller. If you call
that agent and go on your own to the property, your interests are not being represented.
How is a buyer’s agent compensated?
Having buyer representation in Cincinnati is almost always paid for by the seller. When a seller signs a
listing agreement for an agent to market their home, the contract commission is already agreed upon
when the agreement is signed and that commission amount doesn’t change due to a second agent being
Finding a home
As a buyer’s agent I am able to set up a property search for you with more specific data than you can
search for yourself. I have access to the property history of the listings you are interested in and have
specific market knowledge of the areas I work in to assist you. This includes a comparative market
analysis and the neighborhood sales report to see what the homes in the area have been selling for. In
addition, I know of many “pocket listings” or properties that aren’t listed that may meet your needs. I
also have a network of agents that I work with to be able to access their “pocket listings” as well.
When negotiating a contract, having buyer representation could save you thousands of dollars. As your
buyer’s agent you will benefit from my market knowledge, analysis, and excellent negotiation skills. I
use Cincinnati Area Board of Realtor contracts which have been drafted by the attorney’s that advise
the board. This saves you from using one from an Office Store that may not cover all of your bases. Of
course you are always encouraged to review all contracts with legal counsel.
Transaction- Contract to Closing
Once you have a property under contract, I have lenders, inspectors, contractors, and title agents to
assist you from day one of the accepted contract through the life of your home so that you are sure that
every step of the way you are working with professionals. I do my best to make the process informative
and enjoyable for you as a buyer and am available to you anytime to discuss concerns and address any
issues that arise in the process. I am your agent for life!!
Home Buying Process 101- General Time Frames
Loan Pre-approval Letter- Should be obtained before any home search commences
If Cash Deal- Proof of Funds letter should accompany offer
Home Search- Varies…anywhere from 1 day or a month to a year or more
Write An Offer- Varies
Earnest $- Write check with offer, deposited after contract is accepted
Accepted Contract- 1 day to a week or more (varies on how many counter offers occur)
Make Loan Application- within 5 days of accepted contract
Home Inspection- within 5-10 days of accepted contract
Home Inspection Remediation (if applicable)- 5-7 days after inspection period ends
Loan Commitment- 25-35 days lender has final loan commitment and is almost ready to close once all
conditions are met
Final Walkthrough- 24-48 hours prior to closing
Closing- 30-45 days from accepted contract
Possession- day of closing or as negotiated in contract
Time to close on your property: What to expect
Prior to day of closing:
1) Conduct a final walk-through of the property
2) Talk to your insurance company to obtain a homeowners insurance policy starting the
day of closing.
3) Call to activate all utilities starting the day of closing.
4) Change your address with the US Postal Service and all other providers who need your
5) If all parties with an interest in the property do not plan to attend the closing then be sure
to have a Limited Power of Attorney (POA) drafted, signed, and notarized a couple of
days prior to closing so that another family member or I can sign for you. Be sure the title
company approves the POA so that there aren’t any issues with the wording.
6) Ohio is a dower state so anyone who is married must sign a quitclaim deed or a release of
their interest before the property can be sold and ownership can be transferred.
7) Review HUD-1 closing statement with your lender, myself, and your attorney to ensure
that there aren’t any errors.
8) If you are wiring any funds be sure that you have the funds in the title company’s account
48 hours prior to closing. Check with the title company to ensure the exact time frame
Day of Closing
1. Bring driver’s License or other government issued photo identification
2. Bring a certified or cashier’s check made payable to yourself from your bank for the
amount indicated by your lender on HUD-1 (closing statement). You CANNOT write a
personal check for more than $1,000.
3. The title agent will explain to you the documents but they do this relatively quickly, you
are welcome to bring your attorney and take your time signing the documents.
4. You will receive packet of all documents you have signed and a fully executed HUD-1. If
the HUD-1 is not yet executed by both parties at closing since the second party is a bank,
corporation, or seller who isn’t present, it will be mailed to you.
5. You will be offered an Owners Title Insurance Policy and Buyer’s Protection Insurance.
An Owner’s Policy of Title insurance protects your downpayment and equity in your new home
in the case that other lien holders on the property surface after the closing and challenge you to
repay the outstanding debt that they are owed.
6. Be sure to receive all manuals, garage door openers, codes, keys, and any other important
info on the house. It is a good idea if both parties are comfortable with it to exchange
emails or phone numbers in case questions come up later, if not agents can always
reconnect with questions later.
7. Deed will be sent to the Courthouse where it is recorded.
8. Owner won’t receive a copy of the deed for several weeks, but the property is still yours.