Buyer's Guide

If you are a first time homebuyer in the Roaring Fork Valley, it is helpful to do your homework, research the markets, and work the numbers. You will find that Mason Morse sales professionals are knowledgeable, experienced, know each market, and are more than eager to do the assist you along the way.

Below are but a few helpful tips to guide you through the home buying process.

Selecting an Agent
Selecting a real estate sales professional is one of the most important choices you’ll make during the process. It’s a good idea to interview several sales professionals before selecting one to represent you.
  • Find a real estate agent that is reputable. Mason Morse agents are experienced and professionals. This will save you time and money. If you are a first time homebuyer or a veteran, it pays to finding the right agent.
  • In a real estate transaction, sales professionals may represent the seller, the buyer, or both parties. It is important to understand the differences between these agencies whether you are buying or selling a home. Please see Real Estate Representation for more details.
Starting your Search
Finding that perfect home to match your needs takes time. Once a Mason Morse sales professional determines what you are looking for, they will preview all the properties in the marketplace that meet your criteria. This way, we narrow the search for you so that your time is well spent. We will arrange showings of the properties that meet your criteria. If your search takes a few days, or it takes a few months…Mason Morse will continue to keep you updated with the latest properties as they become available.

Mason Morse sales professionals know the market, communities and neighborhoods of the Roaring Fork Valley. They are poised to act quickly when new listings go into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), but they also rely on our vast Mason Morse network that keep us informed of properties going to market … before it happens.

Financing alternatives
Since some mortgage options are less conservative than others, it's important to do your homework and talk to a lender. Typically homebuyers in the Roaring Fork Valley secure financing locally through mortgage brokers or community banks.

While loan to value percentages will depend upon the purchase price of your home, on average homes under $1 million can be leveraged at 75% of the purchase price. Homes valued over $1 million will vary, so contact your lender for your financing options.

Get a pre-qualification letter from your lender in advance; it will help you focus on the price range you can afford. In a “Sellers” market, a prequalification letter is often accompanied with the offer to purchase the property. If a seller receives two offers at the same time, it will give you the advantage!

There are many different ways to finance a home. The Mortgage Type table describes some of the options you should discuss with your real estate sales professional and the lender you select.

Making an Offer
When you find the property – it’s time to prepare an offer. A Mason Morse sales professional will work with you to throughout the process. Refer back to the Real Estate Representation section to ensure the brokerage relationship is mutually acceptable. Mason Morse uses forms approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission. Additional provisions will vary according to area.
  • If you plan to finance your property, include your lenders pre-qualification letter with the offer.
  • Your offer to purchase a property is often accompanied with a 5% to 10% earnest money deposit. Typically this money is wired into an interest bearing account at the title company within two days of a fully executed contract.
  • Demand in the Roaring Fork Valley continues at a strong pace. So, it is important to avoid too many contingencies that might scare off a Seller.
Home Inspections
Inspections help you understand the overall condition of a property. They save considerable time in the buying process, ensure a smart purchase decision, and protect your investment. Inspections could save you thousands of dollars in unanticipated repairs.

A standard home inspection can cover lot and grounds, roofs, exterior surfaces, garage or carport, structure, attic, basement, crawl space, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, fireplace or wood-burning devices, and appliance condition.

Other inspections may be necessary for the home you are considering. Be sure to discuss inspection requirements and recommendations with your Mason Morse sales professional before making an offer on a home.

Due Diligence and Closing
From ordering inspections, to working with the title company, to coordinating your appraiser and lender, to transfer utilities when they keys are handed over. Your Mason Morse sales professional will handle all the details and keep you apprised of the transaction from start to finish.

Many sales transactions today are handled from long distance. Overnight deliveries and wire transfers are common place these days. If you plan to be at the closing table, or in another state, your Mason Morse sales agent will remain the point person for the transaction, so that nothing slips through the cracks.
  • Settlement fees on the closing statement, such as surveys and title insurance, are generally paid by the Seller in Colorado.
  • Buyers are responsible for payment of transfer taxes. A transfer tax varies according to the area, so consult with your Mason Morse professional to determine what to expect.