Step 1:  Research – Have a Game Plan!

Often overlooked is the simplest concept: have an idea of where you might want to live!

As your Realtor, I will happily take you anywhere you would like to go to view a property. I can provide some information about the town…home values, home types, municipal services…sometimes even activities and happening around that local, but as the buyer you must do your own due diligence. I am constantly asked certain specifics about an area that I cannot legally or ethically comment on.

It’s good to have a general idea of where you may want to be, and you can do so by speaking to family, friends and others who may live in some of those areas you are considering. School District is also a good indicator of a town (and of taxes), and you can utilize free service such as to research school district ratings. Using sites MLS websites (such as will also give you an idea of what homes in a specific area may cost to purchase.

Having a general game plan is a great way for me to maximize the time we spend together and in finding you that perfect home. Of course, having your true mortgage pre-approval (see Step 2) plays a big role in the locations you’ll be looking in and on occasion results in a complete re-work of that game plan!

Step 2: Prepare – Get PRE-APPROVED!

One of the most important steps you can take as a prospective buyer is getting pre-qualified, rather pre-approved with a lender. Doing so shows that not only are you a serious and credible buyer, but it shows you’ve taken to time to review and learn more about your financial situation and thus what you can comfortably afford when buying a home; including the tax or maintenance costs you should not exceed.

A good mortgage broker will also review other expenses with you that you may have not taken into consideration; closing costs, possible attorney fees, expenses such as homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance (if in an area close to water), utilities and of course the most important, the actual monthly mortgage payment. More often than not, potential buyers receive “sticker shock” with these type of costs and find themselves having to re-evaluate their purchasing situation as to live more comfortably within their means.

Do not be fooled by quick-approval online promotions for a mortgage! Time and time again, home owner hopefuls fill out a few simple questions online and are presented with a “qualified purchase amount” number. THIS IS NOT A TRUE PRE-APPROVAL! To receive an actual pre-approval for a mortgage from a lender you will have to supply financial documents such as tax returns and pay history. You’ll also be asked about other debts and liabilities as to calculate your true debt to income ratio.

Once you have that pre-approval in your hand, then when we find “the one” you will be ready to make an offer knowing that financing the sale is not a problem. Without the true pre-approval, many times you cannot even make an offer on a property as the selling agent and seller themselves will not entertain the offer presented (sadly, within a matter of days where buyers then rush to get their documents together for a pre-approval, that highly desired home has already been placed into contract and no longer available).

For those who are fortunate enough to purchase a property in cash, you obviously will not have to worry about the mortgage pre-approval process. You will however be asked to provide proof of funds (POF) as the offer will require this documentation when submitted. POF’s can consist of a bank statement or statements showing the funds available to purchase the home, investments accounts, etc. As long as you have access to those funds shown in the documentation to close on the property, the seller will have no problem entertaining your offer.

Step 3: Commit – To Finding That Perfect Home and To Your Agent!

Time is valuable; both yours and mine. Both myself and all of my team agents take what we do very seriously. We are committed to finding our buyer’s that perfect home, and in return we expect our buyer’s to be committed to finding it (and in remaining loyal). That being said…

It’s a rule of thumb; the good ones go…and they go quick! Part of my pledge of service to clients is that I make myself readily available and accessible…even at the craziest of hours…to get them into that home to preview it and to get them newly listed properties that they may be interested in. As the prospective buyer, its best that you look at the home lists you are sent as soon as possible and that you carve some time out in your days or evenings to go see those homes with me. When a new, hot property comes on the market…one that may be your dream home…other buyers are going to be knocking on their door as well. A delay of even a day or so can result in losing your ability to see that home in person or to even submit an offer as they may already have gone into contract with someone else.

As a client of mine or my team, often you are given exclusive access to many properties that have yet to be placed onto multiple listing services. The sellers of these properties want to get their homes sold as quickly and efficiently as possible, and appreciate buyers who are serious about getting to the home fast to view it. It is my job to employ advanced technology as well as classic procedures to ensure that you are able to find and secure your home under the most advantageous terms.  For this level of service, I ask for loyalty and will quite often allow certain buyers to enter into a buyer-agency relationship with myself, my team and my brokerage.

Step 4: Compare – Needs…Must Haves…and More!

Together we will pursue the step by step process towards a successful transaction by finding the best location, the price you need, the financing you want, and the time frame you desire. We will determine your wants vs needs list, as well as what to plan for down the line.

The market is competitive and I love winning! I know how to craft an offer package that succeeds in multiple offer situations…often even against all cash. I have honed my negotiation skills in on providing successful results for my purchasers. I’ll show you my proven strategy for winning even in the most aggressive market.  By researching the comparable properties as well as the recently sold homes I will help you make a wise buying decision.

 Step 5: Execution – The Race to The closing table!

In New York, our process differs a bit than much of the rest of the nation. Whereas in many locations, acceptance of an offer will advance you to escrow and ultimately being in contract, here in New York there are a couple of steps in between and we also involve some other parties.

After the winning offer package is crafted and accepted, it is important to give your attorney a heads-up that a contract may be headed his or her way. During the short time that the seller’s attorney is preparing contracts, it is important to book your home inspection [if you are choosing to do one] to uncover any potential problems with the home you may be purchasing. As your agent, I can recommend an excellent attorney and home inspector, as I have carefully taken the time to build relationships with such individuals who I can trust and who I know will take the same care with my clients as I do. It is important that these individuals are secured immediately and that you get to the contract signing as soon as possible because any delay can always result in another potential buyer scooping up that home.

While as the buyer, you are always entitled to utilize the services of attorneys, engineers/inspectors and even lenders that you find on your own, I cannot recommend enough using the ones that are recommended. Many buyers don’t realize that there are many cogs in the machine that must work well together for you to get to the closing table. There is a veritable orchestra of processes that can go wrong, and as an experienced agent who looks to make the process as stress free as possible for his buyers, I become the maestro of this masterpiece. The vendors I have chosen to work with know to keep me informed every step of the way and to let me know of any problems that arise. This allows me to proactively attack these issues and find a solution…all the while still moving forward towards the finish line. Sadly, I cannot even begin to tell you how many times a lazy attorney or spiteful home inspector have dashed the dreams of a purchaser as their deal went south and that home was handed to another buyer.

Step 6: Close and Celebrate!

With every part of that orchestra mentioned in the previous step playing together harmoniously, we will reach that closing table without any problems at all. Typically you’ll have anywhere from 30 – 60 days to secure your mortgage and tie up any other bits and ends such as homeowner’s insurance, from the date of offer acceptance to close. With the exception of foreclosure properties, closing dates can and are often flexible as required by both the selling and purchasing parties. I remain with you every step of the way and as part of my service, see you through not to just the closing table, but after as I want to know you are happy with your new home.

As you’ll see from my record of phenomenal reviews, I maintain relationship with my clientele long after the closing table. For me, it’s not just about the commission and have a nice day…it’s about getting my clients to the next stage of their lives and making sure they are satisfied and continued to be satisfied with their purchase decision.

If you’re looking to buy a home, give Matt a call today at (516) 316-0158 or send him a message through this website.