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Fred Duke
Duke Homes & Land LLC

21129 East Via Del Oro

Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Phone: (480) 241-4344

Contact Fred

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Steps to Purchasing Your Home

Step by Step Home Purchase

When you purchase a home using my service you do not pay me a commission.  I am paid by the seller’s real estate broker, who in return is being paid by the seller. I represent you and only you in the purchase transaction.

Financing - Unless you are paying cash, you need to obtain financing through a lender. I work closely with a lender and would be happy to refer him to you if needed. 
You need a Lender’s Pre-Qualification Letter to submit an offer. If you are paying cash you will need to show Proof of Funds.

Home Search - You are now Pre-Qualified and know your price range.  It is time for the FUN to begin! You will tell me what Price, city/town, square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and garage size that you want. I can even narrow it down to a single level or 2 story home, pool, subdivision, schools, golf lot, etc. Once I have your search criteria I will set you up on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) search and send you emails of homes that fit your search criteria. When you view a home or homes that you want to see, just let me know the address or MLS# and I will set up the appointment. I can meet you at the home or pick you up, which ever you prefer. As new listings or price changes occur, they will be automatically emailed to you. Please keep in mind that the MLS is the Grand Daddy of the real estate search engines. It is the MAIN Machine! Zillow, Trulia,,, Redfin and every other real estate site including my own personal website receives their listings from the MLS. If you are searching for homes on these other sites you will already have the homes sent to you from the MLS. The only time you will get anything different is if you change the search criteria that you gave me on these sites. Many times we have buyers call and have me look up a home that they found on Trulia or Zillow only to find out it sold 6 months ago. The MLS is up to date and homes are emailed to you instantly as they come on the market.

If you would like to look at “new” homes I can show you those homes also. Please do not walk into a new home subdivision without me. I have to be with you on your first visit to a new home subdivision for them to pay me. Keep in mind that the agent in the new home subdivision represents the seller not you. If you see a For Sale by Owner please write down the number and let me call them. Most owners will work with realtors on the buying side. 

The very first home you see may be the one you purchase or it may take you a 100 showings. Take your time and find the home you really want. I have worked with a couple that took them just over a year to find their home and that was showing them homes almost weekly.

Making the Offer – You have found the home that fits your needs and wants and you are ready to make an offer. I will advise you on the offer you make and show you comparables of the neighborhood, however it is really your decision on what you would like to offer. A little advice though… If you are in a price range where there are lots of buyers and investors ($100,000-$200,000) and you really want a specific home, don’t low ball the seller and expect to get the home. In that price range and in a decent seller’s market there is always a buyer coming in behind you that same day, looking at the home you just looked at. Give them their price or close to it. Homes that are new to the market are usually going to hold firm on their price for a few weeks. The longer on the market, the better chance on getting a lower price. Remember, I work for you not the seller. You can offer whatever amount you want and I will write it up.

When I write the offer there are items to consider that are part of the Purchase Contract:

  • Obviously the offer price
  • How much earnest money do you want to offer? It is usually a personal check or cashier’s check from your bank account. Earnest money tells the seller that you are a committed buyer and it goes towards your down payment or closing cost. The earnest money is held in an escrow account at Title. 
  • What date do you want to close on the house? (Close Escrow)
  • Do you want to ask the seller for any of their personal property such as their washer and dryer, refrigerator, riding lawnmower, etc. I had a buyer ask for a very nice ATV in the contract and the seller included it in the sale. This is usually not a good thing to do if you are low balling the seller or asking for your closing cost to be paid by the seller, but then again it is your choice.
  • Do you want the seller to pay any of your closing cost?
  • Do you have a Title Company that you prefer to use? If not we can refer one.
  • Do you want the seller to pay for a home warranty for you? 

Once the offer is written I will then send it with all addendums and your pre-qualification letter to the seller’s agent. The agent will then meet with the seller and they should do one of the following before the deadline that we have given them on the offer:

  • Accept your offer and sign it and all addendums
  • Counter your offer because there was something in the offer they did not agree with.
  • Reject your offer

Your Offer Has Been Accepted! – Awesome!! You have a home under contract! Now the waiting, the inspections, the appraisal, tons of paper work, more waiting, etc. Here is what happens usually in this order:

  • I open escrow at the title company with a copy of the contract and your earnest money check. The title company will cash your check. Title will then order the sellers loan payoff, HOA demand fees and Title Commitment; which checks for liens, judgements, tax liens, unrecorded easements, etc. They will send you paper work that will need to be filled out ASAP. It will let them know who you are just in case there is more than one person in this country with your same name.
  • I will send a copy of the contract to your mortgage lender so they can start the loan process and order the appraisal. The appraisal will usually be ordered after the home inspection is completed and finalized. The appraisal is paid by you. The lender will be asking you for lots of documents. Please return all items that are asked from the lender ASAP.
  • Within 3 days of contract acceptance, you will receive the Sellers Property Disclosures. You will need to sign the disclosure verifying that you received it. The disclosure will inform you about the property and the area.
  • Within 5 days of contract acceptance, you will receive the Sellers Claims History Report. This will inform you if the seller has had any insurance claims on the property.
  • Within 5 days of contract acceptance, you will receive the Lead Base Paint Disclosure if the house was built prior to 1978.
  • If you are not paying cash, within 10 days you will need to sign and return the Lenders Notice of Intent to Proceed.
  • We will need to do a Home Inspection and ask for any repairs to be completed or cancel the contract due to disapproved items within 10 days (or what number of days we agreed on in the contract) of contract acceptance. The home inspection is paid by you. If you do not have a home inspector you can browse the internet for an inspection company or I can refer one to you. You should show up at least 30 minutes before the inspection is completed so that the inspector can explain to you what has been found. They will also send you a completed report with photos. If you would like to, you can attend the entire inspection. They usually last about 3 hours. After you have viewed the inspection report, we will meet and you will then decide to go forward and ask the seller to fix the disapproved items or cancel the contract due to the disapproved items found during the inspection.  If you elect to cancel, all earnest money will be returned to you. If you want to allow the seller to fix the problems I will write up the repair request and send it to the seller’s agent. They then have 5 days from receipt of the repair request to respond back to you. The following is what happens when the seller does not respond back or does respond back to your repair request within the allotted time:
    • The seller does not respond back within 5 days of receiving the repair request then that is deemed as seller’s refusal to correct any of the items disapproved. You will then need to decide if you want to go forward with the purchase or cancel the contract.  If you cancel, all earnest money will be returned to you.
    • The seller responds back that they will complete all repairs. You then go forward and close on the home. Around 3 days before close of escrow we will do a Final Walk-Thru of the home to make sure all repairs are done and the home is in the same condition as when we made the offer.
    • The seller will do some repairs but not all repairs that you requested. You will then need to decide if you want to go forward with the purchase or cancel the contract.  If you cancel, all earnest money will be returned to you.
    • The seller offers to reduce the price of the home or pay for some of your closing cost in lieu of doing the repairs requested. You will then need to decide if you want to go forward with the purchase or cancel the contract.  If you cancel, all earnest money will be returned to you.
    • The seller refuses to do any of the repairs requested. You will then need to decide if you want to go forward with the purchase or cancel the contract.  If you cancel, all earnest money will be returned to you.

Keep in mind, this is not another counter offer situation. What the seller says they will do is just that. You then have to decide how you want to proceed with the purchase…go forward or cancel.

  • Appraisal is completed after the home inspection is finalized. The appraisal is ordered by your lender. The following is what happens with the appraisal:
    • The appraisal comes in at the Purchase price. You then go forward and close on the home.
    • The appraisal does not come in at purchase price. The seller will need to reduce the price of the home to the appraisal price or since your lender will only lend you money at what the appraisal came in at, you will have to make up the difference in money between the appraisal price and the selling price. If the seller is not willing to reduce the price of the home to the appraisal price and you are not willing to come in above the appraisal price, then the sale will be cancelled and the earnest money will be returned to you. The sad thing is you can’t purchase the house you wanted and you just paid for a home inspection and appraisal that you can’t get your money back. The good news is… in 20 years of doing real estate I can’t ever recall this happening to any of my buyers. It can happen, but usually if the seller wants to sell, they will come down to the appraisal price. 
  • Now it is kind of a waiting game. Your lender is getting everything ready for the underwriter and asking you for tons of documentation. The title company will be sending you Title Commitment. They will also want to know how you are going to take title in Arizona. I have attached a page on holding title to real property. You may want to get your utilities ordered for the closing date so you have electricity and water when you move in. The back of our business card has all the phone numbers. I know you have spent countless hours at Home Depot, Lowes and furniture stores. Just dreaming of your personal touches to the home. I know this may be difficult for some people, but PLEASE do not buy anything on credit at this time. Wait until the home closes. If the lender has to pull a credit report before closing and you have purchased some items on credit, it may disqualify you from buying your home. Don’t take that chance!
  • 3 Days before you close… Your lender is required to give you the Closing Disclosure (CD) at least three business days before you close on the mortgage loan. The CD is a five-page document that gives you more details about your loan, its key terms, and how much you are paying in fees and other costs to get your mortgage and buy your home. By law, you can not close on your home until you have received the CD and had time to review it for 3 business days.
  • About 3 days before closing we will do a Final Walk-Thru on the home to make sure all items that were asked to be repaired were completed and that the home is in the same condition as the day we made the offer. 
  • About 2-3 days before the Closing Date or Close of Escrow (COE) we will go to the title company to sign a TON of papers. If you are paying cash then there will be a lot less papers. Title will have told you how much money you need to bring in (cashier check or wire the money) to close. If you bring in a cashier’s check, it will need to be made out to the Title Company. You will also need to bring in a valid driver’s license. Although you have signed and given the title company your money, you will not get the keys to the house that day. On COE and when title has recorded the deed at the county, It is then YOUR HOME!
  • On COE and when title records the deed; title will then call me and I will then immediately call you and let you know that you are new homeowners! I will set up a time to meet you at your new home and give you the key in the lockbox. All other keys, including mail box keys, garage door openers, HOA clubhouse and pool keys, etc., will be in the house. I highly recommend having a locksmith rekey your new home and even your mailbox. 

NOTE: Sometimes things don’t go as planned and we do not close escrow on time. This can be very frustrating for EVERYONE! Vehicles are packed and you are wanting to move in. Sellers are loaded up and even sometimes on the road to another state. We do not want this to happen to you! We all need to stay on top of the lender to make sure they get all the documents to title 3 days before COE.   
Sometimes Good Things Fall Apart so Better Things Can Fall Together.

You Have a New Home!

Congratulations on Your New Home!


Fred Duke | 480-241-4344 | Contact Fred 
21129 East Via Del Oro - Queen Creek, AZ 85142
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