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Viva Larson

Direct: (616) 862-9138
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Buyer Information

My personal vision is to demonstrate Superior Customer Service for each and every one of my clients! 

A real estate transaction is always part of an important life change, and one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life! Whether you are moving halfway up the block, or halfway across the country, a move is a commitment to a change in lifestyle, and maybe even a change in life's direction.

I have been there, and I understand all the feelings you may have. That is why I view my real estate career a little differently than most agents. My commitment to my clients is as unique as your own real estate needs. One of my clients asked me once "am I your only client?" That is exactly how I want my clients to feel, valued! I strive for excellence and expect the same out of my team.

By choosing me to help you with your real estate needs, you have chosen an agent that will make this important move as "simple" as it possibly can be.

Full attention to every detail means constant contact during the process from start to finish. It means, I will keep an eye on the current market, which may lead us to a switch our strategy. It means explanations along the way, so you know what to expect, and what options are available to you.

The Home Buying Process

First and foremost you will need to meet with a mortgage lender to determine what amount of mortgage you will qualify for.  Please choose the amount that you are comfortable with. Not what the bank is willing to lend you

Determine what price range feels comfortable for you and your lifestyle

Please take the taxes or mileage rates; the pros and cons. Most of the time taxes will be included as part of your payment quote

Once you are approved, we will set a time to go out and look at homes

We will discuss some of your home needs, the areas you would like to live in, as well as other criteria that is important to you

When you find the home of your dreams, we will sit down together and write an offer on the house, I will discuss what homes are selling for, how the market is changing, and what price you want to offer. Ultimately you are the one making the decision regarding your offer 

At that time you will need to write a check for your good faith deposit to show your commitment to buying this home. Amounts will vary depending upon the price of the home you are purchasing, starting at about $500, higher end homes will require a much larger deposit. (This money will be credited back to you through part of your closing costs at the time of closing)

Once the negotiations are completed, the next step is having a home inspection on your new home. Inspectors or contractors will need to be paid the day of the inspection, prices vary.

The only way you will loose this deposit is if you change your mind for no reason at all. Having inspections will allow you the opportunity to see the house better through another set of eyes should it be an inspector or contractor. Once inspections are completed we will discuss whether you accept the house as-is or there are repairs you would like the seller to fix. Should you decide the house will not work for you based on what you found in the inspections you have the legal right to remove your offer and retain your deposit

After inspections and final negotiations, we will be preparing for closing on your new home!

Your lender will be guiding you through the rest of the closing details, like gathering all the final documents they need to process your loan. Other items they will need from you such as purchasing homeowners insurance etc...

Four Things to Avoid When Purchasing a Home

There are four major things to avoid while applying for a mortgage. Any one of these four things can greatly impact your ability to qualify for a mortgage, so it is critical that you understand the impact they may have on the closing process.


Changing jobs before or during the loan process can create a real problem in qualifying for a loan. During the loan process, it can also create time delays as the new job will need to be verified


It is best to leave your money right where it is until your loan is closed. Moving your money to a new bank or even into a new account can wreak havoc with the verification process


Your loan officer will advise you if it is necessary to pay off bills to help you qualify for a loan. They will also show you the best way to pay off bills to make sure they have evidence that the bills have been paid


Many borrowers make the mistake of buying a new car, some furniture, or making another major purchase without realizing the impact it can have on their ability to buy a home. A large monthly payment can affect the amount of home you qualify for and, during the loan process itself, actually make it extremely difficult to get your loan approved 

If you must do any of the things listed above (even if you have just been preapproved for a loan) contact your loan officer. They can help you by re-qualifying you if necessary and advising you of your options. By avoiding these four things, you can look forward to a successful closing

What Is Buyer's Agency? How Does It Affect Me?


Buyer agency was created to protect the buyer. Once a home is listed on the MLS (multiple listing service) it is the obligation of ALL agents to represent the sellers, until they enter into a buyer agency relationship. Hence the need for the buyer to be represented fairly, and so buyer agency was created!

As your buyer agent I will help guide you through the pre-approval process, and through the process of selecting a home that meets your needs, as well as fit your budget

As your Realtor? I will protect your best interests, and work hard to see that you find the home "you want"

I will set up an online home search, and in the background watching the market looking into data and history of a home you are interested in. When you decide to make an offer you will be fully informed and feel comfortable with your decision

As your buyer's agent I will set up private previews of any home that interests you, there will be no influence from the seller's agent or homeowner

Negotiating is my strong suit, as your buyer's agent I will negotiate all the details of your offer, such as price, possession, etc...with your input we will decide together what price you would like to offer

By choosing to work with me, you can rest assure I will be there from start to finish making sure all obligations are met in order to have a successful closing!

Beware of contacting another agent! If you ride by a house and assume it wasn't on your list "It Is" (my RE/MAX site is updated hourly). Remember I represent you and your needs only...the listing agents job is to represent the seller so he or she will get as much information about you as they can and they will share it with their client! If you do not contact me to show you the house you will have "no" representation and it is a myth that you can get a better deal through the listing agent!


What about when I see a "For Sale by Owner"

1)   Keep in mind it is very important that you have a buyer representative working for you "for sale by owners" do not always know what their home is worth and it is in your best interest to have your agent do a market analysis to help decide the current market value of the home

2)   You do not pay me to help you buy an individuals home. For Sale By Owners are usually very willing to work with a Realtor, especially if they are motivated to sell their home

3)   All you have to do is write down the address and/or phone number. I will set up the appointment, as well as do a market comparable to make sure that the home is priced correctly

4)   Once you look at a For Sale By Owner and feel it is the home you would like to purchase, I will do all the negotiating with the owner on your behalf, to get the best price...I will negotiate my commission with the homeowner, you pay me nothing

5)   If your offer is accepted I will then proceed to get everything in order for us to close without any problems

6)   It's that "Simple?" you will have the peace of mind knowing you have me representing your best interests


What about  "Foreclosures and Short Sales"?  

Three things you need to know before buying or looking at a foreclosure 

1) You must have "preapproval" for your financing, or bank statement to show you have "cash" to buy the home

2) You must be ready to act fast, and trust your Realtor® you are working with as to the value of the home

3) You must be able to do the work, and have the money if the home needs fixing up


More details: Foreclosures that are in good shape, or priced below market value are sold within a few

never see them  unless you have a Realtor® looking out for your best interest

You can have a friend or family member loan or "gift" you money to buy a home, yet the offer will need to have a

"gift letter" attached 

A preapproval letter will only be given to you if you have documented everything with your financer

If you buy a foreclosure that needs a lot of work you need to take the cost of fixing it up into consideration,

otherwise you may be better off buying an existing home

In order for the foreclosure to pay off, you should plan to own it for a couple years, flipping is not that easy


Three things you need to know before buying or looking at a shortsale

1) You  need to know that "short sales" typically take longer to get an answer on whether or not the bank is willing to take your offer

2) You will have to really love and want the "house" also there is a chance you will not be able to buy it after waiting patiently

3) A short sale can be a really great value for your money 


More details: A short sale is when the homeowner has had some type of hardship which causes them to not be

able to afford to make the payments on their home anymore. The bank is contacted and made aware of the situation

through documentation. A Realtor® then lists the home and states "This sale of this home is subject to bank

approval" .


When an offer is submitted the bank will then review the offer and must decide whether they are willing to take that

amount as "payoff", or they may negoiate with the buyer on the exact price that the bank is willing to take.


Why Do I Need a Home Inspection?

Purchasing a home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make in your life, so it is important for you to know information about the home that you choose

Inspectors are trained professionals hired by you; they do not work for the seller or me

The inspector works for you!  Their job is to show you different problems the home may have.  Some are simple little fixes that are pointed out for your benefit

The main problems an inspector is looking for are major expensive issues or health and environmental problems

I can provide you with the names and numbers of a few local inspection companies you can choose from or you may have your own inspector in mind

Once you?ve chosen an inspection company you can either set the appointment that is convenient for you both, or I will set it for you, it is important that inspections are done as soon possible we do have a legal timeline we must follow

If you have a personal friend or family member you are welcome to use them or anyone you feel comfortable with


***Please keep in mind inspections must be set as soon as possible***

It's also a good idea that you are there during inspections 

A Typical Home Buying Experience

I call it your "education on wheels"

If we have time, I will send you a list of homes that may meet your needs. Please go through the list and eliminate all the homes that do not meet your needs or are not in the area where you want to live

If time is of the essence I will set up a choose a few homes and set up the showings, so we can get out there and look. Once you view homes you will have a better feel for how the homes are priced

When looking at the list of homes, take into consideration age, square footage and other amenities that the home may or may not have to your liking, but don't throw them completely out because if we don't find what you are looking for we may want to see some of them later

Please do not judge a home by the picture, if it fits your needs keep it in the group

(Once I told my Realtor I would not look at a certain house because it was ugly, she encouraged me to look at it and I bought it the same night I saw it!)

When you have the homes narrowed down, please write down the MLS numbers and email, phone, text or fax me the ones you have chosen

We will then pick a day or evening that works best for all of us (day is really good because we can see so many more homes, you may want to take a day off if you can) I will need time to arrange all the showings and map our route

If you are a couple either of you can go, or the person who will do the eliminating can look first if it's a matter of convenience. We will try to see as many homes as we can


Keep in mind this is a typical situation, You are my client and I will work around your personal preferences and schedule!  

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that buyers ask

What does it cost as a buyer to use an agent?

Typically your real estate agent is paid by the seller.  In other words, there is no cost for you as a buyer, the seller pays the buyers agent.  In a buyer agency agreement, there may be some cost to the buyer, those costs should be in writing and explained by your agent.

Can my agent give me information regarding properties from other companies?

Yes, if that other company is a member of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) ? Most real estate companies are.  For Sale by Owner (FSBO) properties are not listed in MLS so your agent will have to gather the necessary information from the seller or the local township offices.

What if I find a property on my own?

You should contact your agent and not the property owner or the agent listing the property.  Having the address or the MLS number is very helpful and will assist your agent in gathering information regarding the property.

What type of information will my agent need from me?

An agent will need any type of information regarding the property you are looking for that is important to you.  For example, number of bedrooms, garage size, price, location and number of bathrooms are common criteria.  Other considerations include the school district, type of home (ranch, tri-level, etc). Keep in mind that a search that is too specific may narrow your list of properties too much while one that is too broad may give you more properties to look at than you have time to go through!

Can I go to open houses without my agent?

You can go to open houses without your agent.  However, you need to make sure that you indicate you are working with an agent already.  If you don?t, your agent might not be able to help you write an offer on that property in the future.

How can I find out about new properties?

Your agent should be able to accommodate your particular situation whether it is via e-mail, phone calls, etc.  Clients with e-mail capability can receive automatic updates from the MLS system as soon as new listings are entered.

What if I am unhappy and want to switch agents?

Let the first agent know that you are unhappy and the reasons why.  See if you can work out the issues with them.  If not, tell the agent you no longer want to work with them and they may be able to help you find another agent.


When purchasing real estate, a real estate agent can be an invaluable resource if you remember your responsibilities:

  1. Work with just one agent
  2. Make sure you tell your agent everything
  3. Always tell other agents you are already working with an agent


Real estate is my "Career of Choice"

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