When you’re a buyer’s agent, there are many things that you need to keep organized in order to complete a smooth transaction. There are numerous dates, documents and appointments to keep track of so things move along swiftly. We’ve put together a handy checklist to help you navigate the process quickly and accurately!
This disclosure is given to the buyer to explain what the agent is going to do for them during the transaction. It’s purpose is to help avoid any confusion that the buyer may have. It covers risk management, compliance, the agent’s responsibility and the buyer’s responsibility. This document needs to be signed by the buyer after they read through it thoroughly.
Fully Executed Contract
This is the signed contract (As-Is Residential contract). It has the signatures from both parties, as well as initials where required. (Note: many times people miss initialing in the correct places, be sure that each and every required initial is there so you don’t have to go back and ask again).
Fully Executed Seller’s Disclosure
As a buyer’s agent, you’ll get this from the listing agent. Try to urge them not to just check the “I don’t know” box and honestly fill out the disclosure. Even if they do use that option often, it won’t necessarily get them out of any big problems revealed later. As always, try to get a good inspector that will thoroughly go through the house.
Lead Paint Disclosure
This is very important to have in your file. It needs to be filled out correctly and honestly by the seller first. Then have your buyer sign it as well.
Any Other Addendums
These would be FHA, VA, Condo Writers, HOA, etc. Make sure they are signed and in the file.
Permits and Code Violations
This document covers any permits or code violations that are associated with the house. Be sure there are no:
- Open permits
- Code violations
- Expired permits
- False numbers concerning the true square footage of the house
For example, if someone has converted the garage into a bedroom and there is no permit, the appraiser is not going to count that as a bedroom and also will not count that footage. Be sure to make sure that the true square footage of the house matches what is listed on the MLS. You can check for the permits online either through the county or city, depending on where the property is located.
Pro Tip: As the buyer’s agent, you need to double-check everything that the listing agent gives to you. This doesn’t mean you don’t trust them, it’s just the reality that sometimes there are newer (or even seasoned) agents that overlook things or don’t do a good job. You want to protect your buyer and ensure they get the house of their dreams, so make the extra effort to double-check everything.
Buyer Pre-Approval Letter or Proof of Funds
You will need a copy of their pre-approval letter from their lender if they are getting financing or a copy of their proof of funds if they are paying cash for the house. You will also need a copy of their first earnest money deposit, as well as their second deposit. Now is also a good time to check off the inspection period and the appraisal on the contract.
Note: The financing contingency had some changes go into effect in April. You now have to notify the listing agent at (or before) 30 days as to whether or not your buyer has:
- Gotten approval for the loan on the house
- Has not gotten approval for the loan on the house
- Not gotten an answer from the lender yet and request an extension
If you fail to notify them, they can terminate the contract. For example, say your buyer did get approval from the lender, but for some reason, you forgot to notify the listing agent. They can turn around and terminate that contract and accept another offer immediately. You don’t want this to happen- you would have very unhappy clients on your hands.
Buyer Walk Through
This is the final walk through for the buyer. It’s a chance for them to make sure that everything is what they agreed to in the contract and that it’s time for closing! Make sure to have them sign this document after they inspect the house.
This is the document that the buyers and sellers sign at the closing. Be sure to get a copy from the title company as well as a copy of the check stub.
And that’s it! Refer to this checklist and you’ll be sure to have an accurate and complete file to submit to your broker at the end of your transaction (as well as staying organized throughout the process).
At Dalton Wade we believe that today’s buyers and sellers need a trusted resource that can guide them through the complex world of real estate. With our extensive knowledge and commitment to providing only the best and most timely information to our clients and agents, we are your go-to source for real estate industry insight and advice. Contact us today to learn more!