Is this home “the one”?
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Your Rhett Smillie Real Estate Buyer Specialist will spend time with you to explain the buying process in detail. Our goal is for you to never wonder and always know what to expect next! You have already made one of the most basic and important decisions...that you want Rhett Smillie Real Estate representing your best interest. Here is a preliminary checklist to help you get started.

Before you start looking for a home, you need to know how much you can spend. Getting your mortgage pre-approval is one of the first steps in the process! It will strengthen your negotiating position when you're ready to submit an offer and help you focus on the right properties in your price range. 

Consult with your bank/mortgage specialist. They will look at your current financial situation and pre-approve you for a mortgage. We have done this 100s and 100s of times so we know who is great to work with if you need a referral! Be sure to get your pre-approval in writing. Your pre-approval letter will typically be valid for 120 days.

Its imperative that you know the costs to be aware of when buying a home because they can add up quickly (on top of your purchase price.) When you meet with your lender of mortgage officer, be sure to ask for the Loan Estimate. It looks just exactly like the final Closing Disclosure you sign as you are closing on your new home and lists all of the closing costs. 

One of the responsibilities of your Agent is to ask you all the right questions that will help you create your home wish list. There are a lot of factors to consider but start with the main ones first:



We cant wait to empower  you with the latest and best online property search tools that gives you direct access to the same MLS system used by Realtors. With our Free App, you can now search in real time (no more delayed property info) on any device. its user-friendly and instant; it looks a lot like your favorite social media tools where you can like, comment, save and share listings. it also allows you to easily communicate with your Rhett Smillie Real Estate Buyers Agent by making comments on a listing or requesting showings. We know many people start looking long before they are ready to buy, and we think that is great! The more educated we can help you become the better! Whether you are ready now, or next year, you can download our free app here


We know how busy life can get and that your time is valuable. We’ll help streamline which properties you see to ensure they meet your criteria and price range so you aren’t wasting your time. You’ll want to keep track of which properties you preview and provide honest feedback on each one to your Agent. 

In today’s hot real estate market, if you find a property you love, you’ll have to decide quickly if you want to put in an offer. Many properties are selling with multiple offers (bidding wars where there is more than one offer on the same property) or selling before properties even make it to the market!

When you submit an offer (Real Estate Contract to Purchase), the main components for you to be aware of include:

  • Offer Price
  • Earnest Money Deposit
    • This is money that goes with your offer to show that you are a serious and able buyer. The earnest money is applied to the sales price at closing and is refundable for many reasons per the contract (e.g. financing falls through, the property doesn't appraise, there is a problem on the inspection, etc). The typical amount for earnest money varies, sometimes as low as $500 and sometimes, for more expensive property, earnest money can be 10's of thousands of dollars.
  • Closing/Completion Date - This is the date that you pay for and take title and possession of your property.
  • Inclusions and Exclusions - When submitting an offer, your Agent will list items you wish to include or exclude from your purchase
  • Terms and Conditions
    • A condition is a clause the buyer needs to waive or fulfill by an agreed time in order for a sale to be finalized. This is commonly referred to as the Due Diligence Period  The most common conditions are financing and inspection. Often in a hot market or in a multiple offer situation it's common practice to submit offers with no conditions. A term is used to clarify what the buyer expects to be done or included with the property. We will advise on all the necessary clauses and terms to include in your offer to protect you through the purchase process.

Once your offer has been successfully negotiated and accepted by all parties, we are now Under Contract. It is now time to perform our Due Diligence (inspections, finalize financing, perform a title search, etc)  Once our due diligence is complete (conditions have been fulfilled according to the agreement), your property remains pending until our Closing Date. We typically have a title of closing company facilitate the closing of your property. The title/closing company is a 3rd party intermediary that helps protect all parties, securely and safely handle all the funds (your earnest money, the loan funds, and your down payment)  and ensure that you get good title to your property. 

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