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We don't just open doors, we find you a home

We live in an information age. Today's real estate buyer is armed with massive amounts of information, but the actual process of purchasing a home remains unfamiliar for many. We are here to guide you through the process, helping you avoid pitfalls and letting you dream big while we handle the details of home buying.

Our mission is to combine expertise and experience with the best service in the industry, in order to make the buying process seamless and understandable.

We help buyers navigate the search process, giving insight into Cleveland area communities, properties and property value.

We provide local market expertise, statistics and personal insights into living in a particular community. Most importantly, we negotiate and advocate on the buyer’s behalf, often saving thousands in the process.

Home buying process begins by meeting with a loan officer to determine an approximate purchase price range.  A loan officer will consider property taxes, home insurance and other fees to determine maximum monthly payments.  Often, consulting with different loan officers can offer flexibility in purchase price and more favorable loan terms.

Depending on the buyers situation, we are able to recommend meeting with different banks or mortgage officers that offer great terms.

  • Conventional loan with a 15% down payment and no PMI (private mortgage insurance)
  • A first time buyer program offering $3,000 down payment assistance program
  • Conventional loan with only 5% down payment (less stringent on minor repair issues)
  • Better closing cost terms
  • A mortgage provider offering rehab loans

On a rare occasion issues arise right before closing, and a buyer is declined – we’ve referred our buyers to our network of professionals and they were able to close on the loan in record time!

Touring homes can be fun but also tiring.  We’ve been in the business for decades and understand buyer needs and wants.  We are able to save buyer time and money by suggesting specific houses that would fit their search criteria perfectly.  We can also save time and disappointment of touring a home and making an offer only to find out that the buyers loan type does not allow for a particular home and its condition.

On several occasions, with extremely low inventory, we were able to find our buyers off-market opportunities.   We cold-call and door-knock for our buyers regularly!

Once we find a home, we don’t simply get a few signatures and ‘forward’ the paperwork to the agent, as is done in most cases.  We pick up the phone and call the listing agent to find out the seller’s situation.  Sounds simple, but buyers are in shock to find out how often this essential step is omitted.  If the house has multiple offers on the table, we know to counsel the buyer to submit their highest-and-best reasonable offer based on recently sold properties without overpaying.  We also advise to submit an escalation clause (another seldom used tool), offering the buyer to not be ‘stuck’ with their highest-and-best offer and give the opportunity to beat the highest offer by a small amount.  We dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ preparing and ensuring the offer packet contains all necessary forms to ensure the seller does not have any excuse to choose another offer.

If the house does not have any offers on it, we do not simply email an offer; we prepare a detailed, thorough market analysis to submit to the seller with professional, appraiser-like monetary adjustments with the written offer.  Solidifying the offered price, by sending sold comparable properties with proper deductions for specific characteristics in reference to similar ‘sold’ houses, along with pictures of those ‘sold’ properties; a quick comparative market analysis that shows ‘sold’ price per square foot and a detailed, respectful explanation of the necessary improvements.  Essentially, we run a report very similar to an appraisal.  The full offer package is presented and the seller is now being conditioned to decrease his/her price.  We use every negotiation tactic to ensure the best possible price for our buyer.

Once price is negotiated, we arrange the home inspection and its outcome.  We suggest a list of reputable home inspectors, whom we have seen work and are confident in their knowledge, training and experience.  We also have a list of trusted and recommended professionals for almost every trade.  We assist in getting second opinions or contractor estimates for necessary repairs and use that information to reduce the price further.  If there is an opportunity to re-negotiate with the seller, we recognize it and take it!

We are thrilled to offer our immense experience, yearn to go above and beyond and provide impeccable customer service.  We strive to recognize opportunities and always have a positive, solution focused attitude.

We believe in learning and advancing our knowledge, always!  The education is taken very seriously, with multiple professional designations, certificates, and awards.

Jelena Krilova has earned a Certified Negotiation Expert designation, holds a Professional Property Stager certificate and is a New Construction Specialist among many other training and negotiation seminars.

Tatyana Krilova obtained her Associate Broker license, holds a Graduate Realtor Institute designation (held by only 15% of agents nationwide); She is an Accredited Buyer Specialist as well as a First Time Buyer Specialist and is a Certified Negotiation Expert.

With over 20+ years of experience, and 60-70 closed transaction per year, the value of experience is invaluable.  Jelena often gently jokes that Tatyana is a ‘walking encyclopedia’; she has seen so much, the knowledge, insight and strategies are incredibly deep and involved.  Every purchase is unique and presents its own set of nuances and unexpected turns.  The team you surround yourself with is key to success.  Every complication has a solution; it’s a matter of knowing and willing to find a solution, knowing whom to ask while having a positive, solution focused attitude.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find frequently asked questions and answers about our buying services

What should I do before I start looking for a home?

The first step is to meet with a loan officer to get a formal pre-approval.  Mortgage pre-approval process determines what price range you can afford and most importantly, in what price range you would like to purchase based on monthly payments. Loan officer will review credit history, income, debts and other financial data and determine monthly payments.  The loan officer does not qualify for a purchase price, but rather determines maximum monthly payments with consideration of property taxes and home insurance.  Once a monthly dollar amount has been established, we can determine an approximate purchase price.  What a buyer can afford varies based on current interest rates, community property taxes and lender’s programs. 

Understanding costs associated with buying a home is essential.  In addition to down payment, there are pre-paid items, escrows and loan limitations that are important to know.  Loan officer will explain how much cash you have to have on hand to cover down payment and closing costs along with pre paid items.  In some instances, loan officer may recommend we ask the seller to cover buyer-side closing costs.  In other instances, a buyer can only qualify for a specific loan such as FHA.  FHA and VA loans require a home to be in a turn-key condition, meaning the house must not need any repairs or require any work.

Lastly, a pre-approval is necessary to submit an offer to purchase.  The real estate market is HOT, and if a good house comes on the market, there are often multiple offers on it.  For a seller to consider your offer, it must be accompanied by a pre-approval.  Depending on your lender of choice, he/she may or may not be available on short notice or over the weekend.  A few hours can make a difference of buying or not being able to buy your dream home.  Having a pre-approval on hand is essential.

Can you summarize a home buying process?

Absolutely!  While every purchase is different and no two are the same, there is a general ‘timeline’ of a home buying process.  Please click here to read it in full.  To summarize in a just a few words, getting a pre-approval is the first step (read more on the mortgage pre-approval process), then meeting with your real estate agent to discuss needs, wishes and priorities. Begin looking at homes, make an offer and get it accepted.  Once under contract, schedule inspections (inspection types and process) and file a loan application. Order appraisal, receive loan commitment, schedule a final house walk-through and sign the closing documents (closing process guide)!  Sounds easy enough, but in reality it is a fairly complex and involved process full of special nuances.  Working with an experienced realtor is key to a smooth transaction and avoiding unpleasant surprises.  

How do we start looking at houses?

The funnest part of the home buying process! Once you meet with a loan officer and determine the price range you’d like to stay in, call/text/email us to schedule a tour of listed homes.  We will meet to discuss what your preferences are, what the ‘must-haves’ are, what you like or do not like.  We will set up a notification system for you to be notified via email of newly listed homes and homes that have been listed that meet your search criteria.  If you see a home you like on a popular home search website, or a for-sale-by-owner home, please send them to us so we can schedule an appointment to see them.  We can show any house listed for sale by any company or any person; as long as its listed for sale…  And we represent you and only your best interest.

Generally, we pick a day and a time and meet by a specific house.  We have noticed that touring 4-6 houses is the optimal number of homes to see in one trip.  Any more and they all begin to blend together.  We however show as many as necessary.  If time is of the essence, we can tour as many homes as we need on one trip.  We have buyers who are very specific and one see one house at a time as those homes come on the market.

Sometimes a home gets listed that meets all criteria, then we suggest seeing in the first 24-48 hours.  The inventory is very low and is projected to be into the 2020-2022; having 4-5 or even 12 offers on one home is typical.  To have sufficient time to tour the home and prepare offer paperwork, it is best to schedule a tour in a timely manner.

We work mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends.  Dear buyer, you are never bothering us!  Please call us, email us or text us any time of day with homes you’d like to see or with any questions we may answer!  We are always happy to help, value your relationship and hope to become good friends!

A quick note on an overlooked real estate term – in our business, ‘procuring cause’ is taken very seriously.  Essentially, the agent that showed you a home and procured a chain of unbroken events that lead to the purchase of that home is the agent of record and is entitled to the selling fee.  We work very hard and truly consider all of our clients our friends; we hope if there is a home you are interested in, you call us; please don’t ever think you are inconveniencing us!  If you happen to drive around on a Sunday and see an Open House, please send us a quick text message to register you with a host agent.  If you are signing in, please put our name next to yours and let the host agent know you have your own representation.  The listing agent represents the seller’s best interest, never the buyer’s.  Additionally, once you sign in, the host agent will be contacting you multiple times – let us save you unwanted phone calls and handle the communication.  Spend your Sundays with your family, call us if there is a house that caught your eye and we’ll schedule a private tour without the hassle of an open house.

I want a deal, can I make a low offer?

Yes and no.  The question sounds simple but the answer is not.  Several things to consider when trying to bargain with the seller.  If the house was just listed and is the top house for the money, chances are the seller is getting numerous showings and will reject the offer outright.  If the house is your dream home, you may lose the opportunity to purchase as often sellers do not make a counter offer on a low-ball offer; they reject it without further consideration and without letting the buyer know that they are in a multiple-offer situation.  The buyer therefore does not have an opportunity to submit a reasonable bid and loses the house.  The house under question is the sellers home, and every homeowner likes and loves their home; a low, unreasonable offer can offend the seller and seller may choose not to work with a particular buyer.  Generally, homes that have been recently listed do not offer deep discounts on the listing price.

On the other hand, if a house has been listed for a while and has not had a price reduction in recent weeks, it may be possible to bargain with the seller.  Most sellers prefer to lower the price by a few thousand dollars to gauge buyer interest in hopes of an offer; majority do not wish to reduce by a significant amount.  For example, depending on the price range, few sellers consider accepting an offer that is $30,000 below asking price when they can reduce by $5,000-$10,000 and hope to generate enough buyer interest for a full-price offer or one that is close to the asking price. 

However…  We are big proponents of “never say never”, so, with regard to a specific situation, trying to bargain with the seller is something we do often.  Sometimes the seller just wants the house off his/her hands or their situation changed and our offer may be very timely offering a quick close.  Sometimes there are nuances of the house that we can work with; a certain feature or a necessary repair that can be used as a bargaining tool.  We can always find something.

What are your fees to work with a buyer?

The compensation for our services to the buyer is equated into seller’s total commission.  Every seller pays selling fees that get split between the sellers agent and buyers agent.  Every listing offers a certain commission split to the buyers agent for working the buyers side of the transaction.  So essentially, the service is paid for by the seller.  There is a real estate brokerage commission fee of $265 that is due to our broker at closing and title transfer.  This fee does not go to the agents but is charged as additional commission by the broker.  This is the only fee to the real estate broker that the buyer is responsible for.  Every brokerage charges a fee and ours is one of the lowest. 

We try to go above and beyond with our clients, whom we consider friends!  We dedicate much time, expertise, marketing expenses as well as pour our heart and soul into every home search and home purchase.  We are loyal and dedicated.  It is important to mention that our hard work gets compensated by selling fees only and only if a house is bought or sold; nothing is reimbursed and there is no base salary.  We hope for loyalty and commitment from our dear buyers; if there is a house you see listed, anywhere, by anyone, please call/text/email us any time of day and we will promptly schedule a private tour.  Please don’t ever think you are bothering us – we work mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends and we are always looking forward to hearing from you!  If you are driving by an open house, please let us know and we’ll register you with the host agent; and please write our name down on the sign in sheet if you are filling out a sign-in sheet…  The listing agent represents the seller and their best interest, not the buyers; if you sign-in, the host agent will be contacting you multiple times for follow-up.  We show and sell for-sale-by-owner listings all the time and are more then happy to schedule a showing with the seller offering buyer representation.  The real estate industry take the concept of ‘procuring cause’ very seriously.  It means that whichever agent showed the house and caused a chain of unbroken events that lead to a purchase of said house is entitle for compensation, even if another agent worked through the buying process and completed the transaction.  We appreciate and value your relationship and are always thrilled to hear from our clients that want to see a particular house!  Please contact us for anything, we are always excited to hear from you!

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