Galen Jacobs


The Buying Process

Where do we start?

With a map and then a quick get-together with one of our brokers who’ll listen to your plans and interests. We’ll ask whether you’re looking for a home, condominium, or building site. We’ll want to know your vision: a house in a town, a country escape, a ski-in retreat. We’ll talk some rough numbers.

How long does it take?

Our schedule is your schedule. Some of our clients have found homes they love in a couple of days or even less. Others take a more leisurely approach. Our objective, always, is to direct you to property you'll fall in love with relatively quickly. But if it takes days and miles, that's not a problem; our cars are comfortable and well-stocked.

What if we're located elsewhere?

If you’re still searching and have to leave the valley, we’ll keep an eye on the project for you, pursuing every possible avenue. In the meantime, if you see an ad or a sign for a property that looks interesting, call us, and we'll secure further information and photos.

Who does the real estate agent work for?

In the past, most real estate agents worked for the seller. Today, there is a wider variety of brokerage relationships.

  • TRANSACTION BROKER - This is the most common form of brokerage relationship. As a transaction broker, we assist you through the transaction without being an agent or advocate for you or the seller. You are not legally responsible for our actions and a written contract with us is not required. As a transaction broker, we disclose to you, among other things, any adverse material facts we know about the property. In addition, we will not disclose to the seller that you may be willing to pay more than what you offered.
  • BUYER'S AGENT - Occasionally buyers ask us to represent them exclusively. This requires a separate buyer agency agreement that identifies the kind of property you want, with an expiration date for the relationship
  • SELLER'S AGENT -A seller's agent works solely on behalf of the seller. Almost all of our listing agreements have a Transaction-Broker Addendum that allows us to "default" to that form of relationship with both Seller and Buyer when one of our agents shows you an "in-house" listing.

Which brokerage relationship do we choose?

When you come in to meet us, we'll talk it over and mutually select the alliance that makes the most sense. Then we'll sign a statement acknowledging our discussion and your choice. This is not a contract. This disclosure statement does not bind you to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in any way, it just acknowledges the particular relationship we've established. We keep it on file as required by the Colorado Real Estate Commission.

What happens when we fall in love with a particular property?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties will help you prepare an offer. We use approved Colorado Real Estate Commission forms with modifications and addenda specific to this area, with additional provisions tailored for you.

What about earnest money?

Your offer to purchase is normally presented with a 5% to 10% deposit, often wire-transferred to a local title company or delivered via check within two days of agreement.

When can we close?

If the seller accepts your offer, you can expect the closing to take place within 30-60 days, depending on your due diligence requirements and financing.

Can we negotiate?

Of course, but if the seller rejects your offer, don't be discouraged—we will help you figure out the next step to take, whether to pursue the original property or to move on.

How do we get the best price?

Make offers as clean as possible, with minimal contingencies. Seek diamonds in the rough. Many buyers can't visualize "potential"...if you can, that's an opportunity. If you want to finance your purchase, get pre-qualified with a local lender and submit that approval with your offer.

How do we arrange financing?

The majority of buyers secure financing through valley-based mortgage brokers. Most homes and condominiums valued under $1 million can be financed up to 100% of the purchase price. Terms for loans over $1 million are negotiated individually, as are loans for vacant land and construction. Processing takes about 30-45 days. Be prepared to provide tax returns and thorough financial information.

What about closing costs?

Some areas require a transfer tax at closing. Different areas have different transfer taxes, which we can discuss when you find the property that is right for you! Upon sale, Colorado requires that 2% of the proceeds be withheld from non-resident sellers by the closing agent in order to be certain the seller files a tax return in Colorado reporting the gain next year. Any excess withheld is returned.

Who pays settlement fees?

In Colorado, surveys and title insurance — your guarantee the seller will convey clear title to you— are typically paid by the seller. Settlement fees usually amount to less than $250. Your lender will review financing costs (points, appraisal and credit report fees, tax reserves, etc.) with you.

Can we do this long distance?

These days, we handle many closings long distance, thanks to electronic signatures via email, FedEx, and the wire-transfer system. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties will handle all the details of the transaction.

What will a real estate agent do for us?

Besides helping you track and find your dream home? We handle the big picture and these countless little details:

  • order the appropriate inspections
  • work with your lender and the appraiser to be certain your loan is approved in time
  • confer with the title company about dozens of closing details and the preparation of your settlement statement
  • make sure you receive a recorded deed and title policy
  • remain your primary source of information and assistance, months and years after closing.

How does my real estate agent get paid?

The National Association of REALTORS explains it the best. CLICK HERE to view an article explaining the compensation of your real estate agent.

How can we be sure this is right?

The bottom line is that we won't sell you any property that we're not comfortable with or don't believe in. The reason? We want you to do business with us again and refer us to your friends.