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Contact: Dawn@TetroTeam.com, Call: 404-216-0884
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Buyer's Guide


Buying a home in the Atlanta area represents unique challenges.  That is why you need an experienced and Certified Buyer's Agent (ABR) that is familiar with the many areas of Metro Atlanta.  I will walk you thru the overwhelming options and unrealistic expectations in this Buyer's Market.  Together we will find your dream home, I will guide you toward the best solutions and I will negotiate on your behalf.  I assist you in every step of the transaction until we successfully close your purchase.  I, and my team, are your Realtors of choice as your Certified Buyer Agent, hire us.


If you have already decided to buy a home in the Atlanta area, you couldn't have made a better or more important decision. So you can move through the steps from decision to ownership with pleasure, not apprehension, we offer these tips on real estate practices in the Atlanta area. 

There is an important first step that veteran and first time home buyers must follow prior to our starting to look at properties.  You must get qualified for your loan.  I can recommend loan officers to pre-qualify you, if you don't have your own.  This is a very important first step when buying a home or investment property.  This process will inform you of the lenders requirements and which type of loan you may qualify for.  The majority of loans made today are FHA and they do have restrictions.  However, they are the best for those who have a minimal downpayment.  Conventional loans are available for those with 10% or better to put down.  Additionally, there can be different progams for first time home buyers.  Your lender will be able to provide you with the program best suited for your needs.

  • The next step is to determine the features of your future home and your preferred area.  Together we will narrow down our search to your perfect place to call home.
  • Love at first sight needs to be revisited.  We will look at different communities and properties in the area of your choice.  If you are new to the Metro Atlanta area, I will guide you to the best area that suits your lifestyle.
  • Now that we found the area and the community where the home is located, I suggest you drive the neighborhood at different times of the day.  If you see people outside, stop and ask questions.  This is the best way to learn about the neighborhood.  Of course, we are here to answer any questions you may have.
  • I'll make suggestions on how to make the house your home. Acoat of paint and cleaning up the yard fo a long way.  Don't let a great property scare you away because of a little maintenance.
  • As your Realtor, I will assist you to determine the "fair market value" of the property.
  • Once we find your dream home or investment property that meets your needs, we make an offer.  A purchase contract is submitted and negotiated, as needed, while keeping your best interests in the forefront.
  • Generally, earnest money equal to one(1%)percent of the purchase price is submitted with the offer to purchase.  This check is written to my brokerage company, and if the offer is accepted, will be applied towards a portion of your downpayment.  If the offer is not accepted, or later terminated within contract terms, this money is refunded.
    Please note that should one or more other offers come in before yours has been submitted to the seller, they will all be submitted to the seller with the order in which they were received. If the seller decides to accept one of the others, you may not have an opportunity to improve the terms of your contract, so it is wise to make your original offer to purchase a reasonable one.
  • Within the Due Diligence period (usually 10 - 15 days or sometimes less) you move quickly to satisfy the contingencies in the contract, such as the inspection, possible Termite inspection, financing and appraisal clauses.  The contigency requiring the most time to satisfy is usually the one pertaining to financing particularly if your loan is to be an FHA loan.
  • More negotiating may be needed after we move to remove the contigencies.
  • When your loan has been approved, a closing will be set and held in the office of the attorney who represents the loan company. In this area, closing attorneys usually wait until just prior to closing to prepare the closing statement. (In Georgia, the common amount of time it takes to close is 30 to 45 days, sometimes less or more).
  • The final HUD-1 Settlement Statement is usally provided 24 to 48 hours in advance of closing providing you with the exact figures and amount of cash to bring to closing.  The cash is submitted in the form of a Cashier's Check made out to yourself and then endorsed over to the closing attorney at closing.  Personal checks are often permitted in amounts under $500.
  •  At the closing you will sign all necessary loan documents (many), and pay the balance of your down payment with the certified funds. The seller, having paid off any liens not assumed by you, will sign a deed transferring his ownership to you, give you the keys. 
  •  CONGRATUALTIONS  and Welcome Home!


How You Can Help Me Help You

  • Pre-qualify for your loan.

  • Determine the amount you plan to use for a downpayment.
  • Check to make sure your credit report is clean
  • Determine the price range that you wish to purchase in while keeping in mind the boundaries of what you pre-qualified for.
  • Consider the school district.  Even if it is not an immediate need for your family it is important for you to consider for resale value.
  • Determine the distance you are willing to commute for your employment.
  • Think about the size of the home and the size of the yard you may need or are willing to care for.
  • Consider your surroundings.  Do you want to live in an urban environment?  Be close to parks, schools, shopping, highways for commuting, etc.?
  • Compare the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, common living spaces that work for your family now and what you may need to change.
  • Contemplate any special needs for your lifestyle.  Do you want to have one or two stories? Does this help give privacy to multiple family members?  Does it hinder access to older family members? Do you need extra space in the garage for storage or an additional vehicle?

Dawn Tetro, your Certified Buyer Agent, and Residential expert in Metro Atlanta since 1994.
No obligation, contact me at 404-216-0884 or email me at tetrod@comcast.net  and I'll be glad to answer any questions you might have!


Errors to Avoid in Buying Your Home


Shopping for a new home is an emotional experience. It’s also time consuming and  comes with a myriad of details. Some buyers, however, caught up in the excitement of buying a new home tend to overlook some items. Their home purchase turns into an expensive process. These errors generally fall into three areas:

  • Paying too much
  • Losing a dream home to another buyer
  • Buying the wrong home

When you have a systematic plan before you shop, you’ll be sure to avoid these costly errors. Here are some tips on making the most of your home purchase:

Bidding without sufficient information
What price do you offer a seller? Is the seller’s asking price too high? Is it a deal? Without research on the market and comparable homes, you could lose thousands of dollars. Before you make that offer, be sure you have researched the market. A professional realtor, can offer an unbiased opinion on the value of a home, based on market conditions, condition of the home and neighborhood. Without knowledge of the market, your offer could be too much. Or worse, you could miss out on a great buying opportunity.

Buying a mis-matched home
What do you need and want in a home? Sounds simple. Yet, clearly identifying your needs and bringing an objective view to home shopping, leaves you in a better position. Sometimes, home buyers buy a home that is too large or too small. Perhaps they didn’t consider the drive to work, the distance to school, or the many repair jobs waiting for completion. Plan ahead. Use your needs list as a guideline for every home you view.

Unclear title
Before you sign any document, be sure the property you are considering is free of all encumbrances. As part of their services, a realtor can supply you with a copy of the title to ensure there are no liens, debts, undisclosed owners, leases or easements.

Outdated survey
Before the purchase is completed, an updated survey is essential. This report will indicate boundaries and structural changes (additions to the house, a new swimming pool, neighbor’s new fence which is extending a boundary line, etc.).

Unexpected repairs
For $300 - $500 a professional inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the home. This way, you’ll have an idea of the cost of future repairs. Make the final contract subject to a favourable report.

Shopping without pre-approval
It only takes a few days to get financing pre-approval. When you are shopping for a home, this gives you more power. A seller is more likely to consider an offer from a serious buyer.

Remember additional cost
Besides the funds for the purchase of a home, you’ll need funds for items such as loan fees, insurance, legal fees, surveys, inspections, etc.

Rushing the closing
Before you sign, ensure that all documentation clearly reflects your understanding and conditions of the transaction. Has anything been forgotten? Don’t rush. You could lose money, financing or even the sale.

Home Buyer Reports


Be sure not to pay too much for your home!
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Ensure A Smooth Home Purchase
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Avoid the Most Common Buying Errors
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Things To Keep In Mind When Buying Your First Home
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Any questions? Please call or text me at: 404-216-0884 or email: tetrod@comcast.net