The Buying Process is complicated, time sensitive and time intensive. Working with me ensures you find the home (or property) that meets your criteria, and I will make the process as streamlined as possible.
If you are thinking about looking for a new home, let me help you through the process. It’s always better to learn from other people’s mistakes than learn from your own!
The Home Buying Process
The Closing Process
The Buyer’s Consultation
This is a no-obligation meeting. I feel it’s important to be open and honest from the first time we meet or talk. I’ll ask lots of questions so I can get a better understanding of you and what you are looking for in a home. In turn, I’m available to answer all your questions about my credentials, my experience, the buying process and anything else you may want to know.
We will discuss your pre-approval (or the need to get one) and what you can expect in today’s market. I’ll explain the ratio of listing prices versus sale prices in the area you are wanting to buy. I believe strongly that it is not only my duty to represent my clients to the best of my ability, but also to educate them throughout every step of the process, armed with top-notch information and market insight, so that they make the best decisions possible. I take this responsibility serious!
We will discuss your needs and wants, must haves and desires as well as your time frame for purchasing. We will discuss your lifestyle and family situation. For instance, do you enjoy nature trails near your home, do you have school-age children, do you have outdoor pets, how many bathrooms do you want, do you prefer an open plan, are you interested in a fixer-upper or do you want move-in ready, etc.—all these things help me know what to look for when selecting homes to show you.
We’ll discuss schedules and how best to stay in contact. I’ll introduce you to my sister, Broker/Owner Janice Guckert of Guckert Realty Group. I do this so, if I’m ever unavailable for a showing or to answer a question, Janice will be available and you will have already put a face and name together. (But, don’t worry. I’m generally available by cell and/or text 24/7.)
Bottom line, when you leave our initial Buyer’s Consultation, I want you to know I have the grit and tenacity to work diligently—even unrelentingly—to find you the home, land or commercial property you are seeking. I understand that buying a new property is an investment in your life, your future, your family’s future and well being. It’s not merely property to you—it’s your peace of mind, your happy place, your family’s refuge from the world. I take this challenge seriously.
You’re excited. You’ve been thinking of buying a home for a long time. You’ve decided now is the time. Congratulations!
Want to increase your odds of a successful home search? Get pre-approved! It shows both realtors and sellers that you are serious about purchasing a home and you are qualified to bid on their properties. Without a pre-approval, you might be wasting your valuable time looking at homes well beyond what you can afford. Wouldn’t it be disappointing to find the perfect place, only to learn that you don’t qualify for that home? Likewise, you might be selling yourself short and don’t realize you can afford to dream bigger.
Sellers are also less willing to accept offers from a buyer without a pre-approval. However, if you are pre-approved, you have more room to haggle. Sellers may be more willing to lower the asking price, include appliances, cover closing costs or make other allowances to work with a pre-approved buyer. I’ve put together more information on why you need a pre-approval and what the difference is between pre-qualification and pre-approval on the page here.
We can provide a list of lenders our other clients have found to be reputable and helpful. Additionally, Mississippi has a great program for First Time Home Buyers. And, you will be surprised who all might qualify! In fact, you can be a previous home owner yet still qualify for this program! Any lender will be able to help you with the First Time Homebuyer paperwork if you qualify for these special rates and programs. Check out the details here.
As your REALTOR®, I will work with you to obtain your pre-approval and to find homes and properties within your budget. Please let me know if you have any questions.
After our initial Buyer’s Consultation and you have gotten a Pre-Approval from your lender, we will begin looking at homes and properties that meet your criteria. Perhaps, you will want to look at the homes online to narrow down the list. I will generally be available to personally show you homes, but, if not, my sister, Janice Guckert, Broker/Owner of Guckert Realty Group will be available. This part of the process can be quick or it can take a longer period of time depending on your schedule and what’s available in the marketplace.
As your REALTOR®, I will help you decide how much money you want to offer for the house along with any conditions you want to ask for. I will provide you with an accurate, current market analysis of the home you are interested in. I want to help you to not overpay for a house that would perhaps leave you unable to get your money out of it when you go to sell. I will help you determine an offer with terms and conditions that work best for you. I will make sure you get what is customary in today’s marketplace and that you don’t leave anything on the negotiation table. We will also want to be sure to include appropriate contingencies in the contract to protect you from having to purchase the house if certain conditions are not found to be acceptable.
I will then present the offer to the seller’s agent; the seller will either accept your offer or issue a counter-offer. You can then accept, or we can continue to go back and forth until we either reach a deal or decide to call it quits.
Before submitting your offer, take another look at your budget. This time, factor in estimated closing costs (which can total anywhere from 2% to 5% of the purchase price), commuting costs and any immediate repairs and mandatory appliances you may need before you can move in. And think ahead: It is easy to be ambushed by higher or unexpected utilities costs in your new larger home. You might request the energy bills from the past 12 months to get an idea of the average monthly cost.
If we reach an agreement, you’ll make a good-faith deposit called earnest money. The purpose of this money is to let the seller know that you are serious —or earnest —about your intentions to purchase the home. After all, the seller is going to take the property off the market so that you can purchase it. If you back out, the earnest money goes to the seller as compensation. If the seller backs out, the money is returned to you. The process then transitions into escrow. Escrow is a short period of time (often about 30 days) where the seller takes the house off the market with the contractual expectation that you will buy the house—provided you don’t find any serious problems with it when you inspect it.
To complete your purchase, you’ll have to deposit additional funds into escrow. Your original earnest money deposit is generally applied toward your down payment; you’ll need to submit the rest of your down payment and pay your closing costs (unless the seller has agreed to pay them). For more information, check out the page What Is Escrow?
My job is to make sure you purchase a home at the best price. When we draw up a purchase offer, as your REALTOR®, I’ll make sure your offer includes contingencies that will protect you as a buyer such as:
- Obtaining financing at an interest rate not to exceed a certain percent that you can afford
- The home inspection not revealing any major problems with the home
- The seller fully disclosing any known problems with the home
- The pest inspection not revealing any major infestations or damage to the home
- The seller completing any agreed-upon repairs
These contingencies often must be removed in writing by certain dates (known as active approval), which we will state in your purchase offer, for your deal to close. However, in some purchase agreements, contingencies are passively approved (also known as constructive approval) which means you didn’t protest them by their specified deadlines.
Even if the home you plan to purchase appears to be flawless, there’s no substitute for having a trained professional inspect the property for the quality, safety and overall condition. You don’t want to get stuck with a money pit or with the headache of performing a lot of unexpected repairs.I will help walk you through the inspection period where you will have the opportunity to evaluate the property and make sure this property is suitable to you. If the home inspection reveals serious defects that the seller did not disclose, you’ll generally be able to rescind your offer and get your deposit back. Negotiating to have the seller make the repairs or discount the selling price are other options. I will be available to guide you through this process, so you know all bases have been covered and you are well protected.
A pest inspection is separate from the home inspection and involves a specialist making sure that your home does not have any wood-destroying insects (termites or carpenter ants). You wouldn’t want to buy a house with a termite problem, as even a small problem can spread and become very destructive and expensive to fix. Wood-destroying pests can be eliminated, but you’ll want to make sure the problem can be resolved for a cost you find reasonable (or for a cost the seller is willing and able to pay) before you complete the purchase of the home. In fact, if any pest problem, even a minor one, is found, the mortgage company will require that it be fixed before you can close. My extensive network of trusted professionals can be used to ensure you are given all the facts when the home is inspected.
Monitor Closing Process
Closings do not happen by themselves! I will make sure you understand the paperwork involved, and I’ll be available to answer any and all questions you might have. There are several parties involved and everyone is required to finish their part of the puzzle on time. It is critically important to work with reputable parties to ensure a smooth, timely closing. I can help introduce you to these other reputable parties. Likewise, you will want a REALTOR® like me to coordinate with all the involved parties, so nothing is missed. Most people don’t realize the long list of details and paperwork required for a home to close, but it’s my job to know these things and to ensure they are handled properly.
I will accompany you during the vitally-important final walk prior to closing, so we can confirm all repairs have been made satisfactorily and nothing has changed in the home or on the property since signing the contract. I will also accompany you to the closing, and I’ll be there to answer any questions.
My services are not finished when we close! I am still available to you if any issues should arise. I will follow up with you to make sure the transition to your new home is going well, and I’ll provide resources that may be helpful to you in getting to know more about your community.
Why Buy with Gary?
A Valid Question
No doubt you are asking yourself, “Why should I trust Gary Haygood to find my dream home and negotiate the best price for me? What knowledge and experience does Gary Haygood bring to the table that will insure a smooth transaction?” And, these are perfectly valid questions. Let me briefly answer your concerns.
Not all real estate agents are equal, and I bring more to the table than most realtors. I have undertaken additional training and certification to become a Broker Associate with Accredited Buyer’s Representatives (ABR®) and Seniors Real Estate Specialists® (SRES®) designations. Additionally, my background in Residential and Commercial Landscape Architecture brings my Buyer Clients added benefits. I can help Buyers see a property’s potential—or pitfall—based on how they want to use the site.
But, that’s not all I offer you.
I have the grit and tenacity to work diligently—even unrelentingly—to find you the home, land or commercial property you are seeking. I understand that buying a new property is an investment in your life, your future, your family’s future and well being. It’s not merely property to you—it’s your peace of mind, your happy place, your family’s refuge from the world. I take this challenge seriously.
You can view more specifics about my qualifications, experience, values and much more on the Why Gary page.
ABR® and SRES® Designations
I have undertaken additional training and certification to become a Broker Associate with Accredited Buyer’s Representatives (ABR®)and Seniors Real Estate Specialists® (SRES®) designations. As a REALTOR® with an ABR, I know how to work both smart and hard for my Buyer Clients. Earning my SRES® means I’m certified to specifically address the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50+.
All together this means I have more resources and marketing tools along with a strong, professional referral network that puts me in the best position to represent you as a Buyer or Seller Client. But, it’s more than my designations and certifications that make me, Gary Haygood, the right person to be your REALTOR®.
Metro Jackson Area Specialist
I specialize in Metro Jackson Area homes and properties, although I’m able to help you relocate anywhere in Mississippi or, if needed, outside of the state. I’m active in the marketplace and have extensive knowledge about properties throughout the Metro Jackson area.
I understand a home purchase is one of the largest—if not the largest—expenditure you will make. But, buying a home is about more than money; it’s an emotional and personal decision.
You should work with a REALTOR® that will take the time to understand your needs and wants in a new home, someone that has the drive and determination to find what you are looking for and someone willing to do whatever it takes to sell your house.
I am that kind of REALTOR®. I make the same pledge to each of my clients: I will be committed to doing whatever it takes to help you achieve your goals whether buying or selling.
Are you relocating to this area? Looking for more information to help you find the right city and neighborhood for your family? Perhaps, you are just looking to move across town. Using me as your Buyer Agent will make any move go quicker and easier. Check out our Community Resources and Communities to find helpful information on Jackson Metro Area homes.
real estate & more!
As a Licensed Professional Landscape Architect (PLA), my background in Residential and Commercial Landscape Architecture brings both my Buyer Clients and my Seller Clients added benefits. I can provide a creative vision for improving curb appeal, and designing or reworking exterior spaces to better accommodate your needs. I can help Buyers see a property’s potential, even helping them decide between lots based on both the landscape architecture potential and the costs to achieve the private oasis you desire. I know how to take advantage of the best views and the natural elements within your site. I provide my Seller Clients professional advice on ways to improve curb appeal and best position their home to sell, even if working on a shoestring budget.
Although many people think we are “landscapers” and install plants, in reality, PLAs conceptualize the design and create architectural plans similar to that of other architects. We then work with landscape contractors to implement those designs. In a nutshell, we work with the natural environment to create inviting outdoor spaces.
I’ve amassed nearly 30 years of commercial landscape architect experience working on high-end projects across the Southeast. This wide-ranging commercial experience allows me to bring my residential clients a unique blend of styles and creativity not common in the Mississippi market. I like to use my experience in luxury design to bring a resort feeling with an element of “Wow!” to my residential clients.
A natural, meandering style or a contemporary, urban style. An outdoor cooking and living area or a secluded relaxing spot nestled in your backyard. Or a pool complete with fountains. Whether you need to improve the curb appeal of your home so you can get the best possible price, or you want to create the oasis of your dreams in your backyard, I’m able help you. I have extensive experience in the residential market and work with residential projects of any size. Or, if you need to discuss a site’s potential for residential or commercial use, I’m available to discuss feasible options with you.