Buying Guide

Thank you for the opportunity to let us represent you in the purchase of your new home. We think of our clients as individuals with specific needs. With this in mind, we strive to give you exceptional service.

In response to the more challenging market we have experienced over the years, we have become more determined and assertive with marketing and technology. This has allowed us to be very successful in securing results for our clients.

This is absolutely the very best time to be a buyer. Here are 3 reasons to confirm your decisions to buy:

  1. Interest rates are still very low.
  2. Prices for resale properties are great investments.
  3. Sellers are motivated.

The first step to purchasing a home is to select the right Realtor to effectively and profitably represent your interests.

Thank you for the privilege of allowing one of my professional team members to show you the best possible listings available.

Buying Guide

Step 1 – Is now the right time?

  • How long are you planning on living in your next home?
  • Consider the benefits/drawbacks to owning a home.

Step 2 – Get preapproved for a mortgage

  • How much can you afford?
  • What are the different loan programs available? (FHA, VA, Conventional)
  • Make sure your credit is in good shape.

Step 3 – Find your dream home

  • What kind of home do you want?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Are school districts important?

Step 4 – The escrow process

  • The home inspection.
  • Reviewing disclosures.
  • Ordering the appraisal.
  • Securing financing.

Step 5 – Closing

  • The final walk through.
  • Schedule the move.
  • Changing over utilities.

Personal Information

  • Full names of all purchasers as they are to appear on title.
  • Social security numbers of all purchasers.
  • Present residence address for all purchasers.
  • Previous address for all purchasers backdated two years if they have not resided in the current home for 2 years.
  • Home, office, cell phone numbers.

Employment Information

  • Present Employer: Name, address and a contact person to send employment verification form.
  • Explanation for any gap during 2 year history.
  • Relocation letter for any transferees – giving date, salary, new location, and any relocation benefits.
  • Previous Employer: Name, address, and a contact person, going back 2 years if not in present job 2 full years.
  • Present Salary: Year to date pay stub and last 2 years’ W-2s
  • Diploma or transcript if student during 2 year period.
  • If any variable income, commission, part-time income, bonus, overtime, etc., is being used to qualify: 2 years’ signed federal tax returns and W-2s and/or 1099s.
  • If self-employed: 2 years’ signed federal individual and corporate returns (if applicable). Also a profit and loss statement and balance sheet.

Other Income

  • Rental Income: Copy of lease which is current and at least one year in length.
  • Income From Notes Held: A copy of the ratified note.
  • Alimony and Child Support (only if used for qualification): Copy of divorce decree and property settlement(ratified) setting out terms. Proof of payment will also be requested at application.
  • Retirement, Social Security and Disability Income: Copy of award letter and latest check showing amount of present payment. Copy of end of year statement if applicable.


  • Bank Accounts: Name of bank, address, account numbers, types of accounts, and present balances. (With checking, use average balances.)
  • Copy of two most recent statements of all accounts.
  • Stocks and Bonds: Copy of certificates or copy of recent (within 30 days) broker statement listing the holdings.
  • Life Insurance: Cash value, only if being used for down payment.
  • Vehicles: Year, make, and value. Copy of title if under 4 years old with no outstanding lien.
  • Real Estate: Address and market value. If free and clear, deed of release, deed or mortgage payoff.
  • Present Home: Copy of sales contract, settlement sheet and/or lease.
  • Gift Letter: Form will be provided by financial representative. Donor Capacity must be verified.
  • (Receipt of funds must be shown in account.)


  • Credit Cards: Account numbers and outstanding balances.
  • Alimony and Child Support: Copy of Ratified Decree and property settlement setting out terms.
  • Loans (Auto, Mortgage, Personal, Student, etc.): Name of institution, address, account numbers, outstanding balances, monthly payments, months left on loan. Copy of next payment coupon. 2months’ statements or canceled checks for present mortgage.

VA Loans

  • Certificate of Eligibility: To obtain certificate, you will need a DD-214 (Separation of Service) or if in the Service, you will need a Statement of Service signed by Commanding Officer of Personnel Officer (certificate must be updated prior to application).
  • If in service, you will need Authorization to Live Off Base (DD-1717 from Housing Office) and Transfer Orders (if applicable).

Dos and Don'ts

There are certain “Dos and Do Nots” which may affect the outcome of your loan request. These remain in effect before, during and after loan approval up until the time of settlement when your loan is funded and recorded. Many times credit, income, and assets are verified the hour before you have signed your final loan documents. Here is a list that you should comply with:

Make Sure that you DO NOT:

  • DO NOT do any of the things that may alter your credit and may risk you obtaining your loan. Also, these things may put you in default of your Sales Contract, may put your ESCROW deposit at risk, and may put you at risk of being sued.
  • DO NOT quit your job or change jobs. If this is likely, consult with your loan officer and call this office should this occur.
  • DO NOT allow anyone to make an inquiry on your credit report except your lender.
  • DO NOT apply for credit anywhere else except with your lender. This causes more “hits” on your credit rating which can reduce your credit score.
  • DO NOT change bank accounts or transfer money within your existing accounts.
  • DO NOT co-sign for anyone, for any reason, for anything.
  • DO NOT purchase or attempt to purchase anything else on credit such as another car, truck, boat, furniture or other real estate.
  • DO NOT charge any abnormal amounts to your current credit cards or credit lines.
  • DO NOT send in late payments, or incur late fees for anything.
  • DO NOT wait longer than the time frame given per your contract to provide all necessary paperwork and information to your lender when requested.

Make sure that you DO:

  • DO keep all accounts current, including mortgages, car loans, credit cards, etc.
  • DO contact both your lender and your sales associates anytime a question may arise.
  • DO make all payments on or before due dates on all accounts, even if the account is being paid off with new loan.
  • DO have any lender-required money/funds to your loan officer within 72 hours after home inspection is complete.
  • DO return phone calls from your agent, loan officer, settlement company, or anyone else involved in your transaction within 2 hours of a message.

Credit Score

Getting pre-approved is 100% a benefit to you as the buyer because it will give you confidence to write offers and prevent any heart ache down the road. In a competitive market like ours a good agent and a smart seller will not even consider looking at a financed offer without a preapproval letter.

Credit Bureau Scoring

Credit bureaus use a subtle formula that they don’t publicize how they crunch your credit history down into a single credit score. One of the things that can cost you points on your credit score is to have a bunch of inquiries coming in very close to each other. So, should you worry about what mortgage pre-approvals will do to your credit reports? Probably not.

The “Ding” for One Inquiry is Very Small

The most a single inquiry on your credit report will cost you is five points. Often, your score, which can range from 300 to 850, will suffer even less than that. Unless you are seeking a new mortgage and are right on the cusp between a good credit score and a fair credit score, five points shouldn’t make any difference in your loan terms.

Making the Mortgage Process Easier

All of the credit bureaus understand the complex timing of getting a mortgage. Therefore, they have instituted measures to avoid reflecting pre-approval inquiries on credit reports. For instance, if you are shopping around for the best rate, and several mortgage companies make credit inquiries about you within 45 days of each other, all of those inquiries will be bundled into a single event with a miniscule effect on your credit report. Your credit report also does not include any credit inquiries made within 30 days prior to your loan application. It is, therefore, nearly impossible that the mortgage process of pre-approval will cause enough damage to your credit score to hurt your mortgage terms, so don’t worry if your real estate agent asks to see your letter of pre-approval. In short, getting pre-approved for the mortgage you want will not hurt you.

Active Buying

In this market it takes a proactive and aggressive approach to find you the best home at the best price. Every buyer has access to the homes for sale in the Multiple Listing Service through various free websites such as Zillow or Trulia. The reason why more buyers choose to work with us than any other agent is what we do above and beyond the multiple listing service to find our clients the best deals.

Door Knocking

One of the best ways we find our clients a great home not yet on the market is we constantly door knock through the specific area you as the buyer would like to live. We come across many potential sellers this way or a neighbor who knows of someone that would like to sell their home.


Similar to door knocking, once you as the buyer identify the area you want to live in we will also call through those neighborhoods looking for potential sellers who are not yet one the market.

Expired, cancelled, withdrawn

These are homes that were on the market at some point in the past 3 years and for whatever reason did not sell. Often times these sellers would still like to sell their home without having to go through the hassle of fully marketing their home.


We have a database of over 3,000 clients who we actively keep in communication with and have many clients who with the right buyer would be happy to sell their home without having to go through the hassle of having their home on the market.

The Offer

Here are some things to consider to ensure your offer gets accepted:

Are there multiple offers on the property?

  • This is not uncommon for homes priced right for the market and in great condition.
  • Often times the seller will ask for your “highest & best” offer. In other words, what is the highest price you will offer that if another buyer offered more you would not have any regrets because you gave it your best shot?

What is the seller’s motivation?

  • Are they price driven or are there other terms that are important to them such as a lease after sale?
  • How long of an escrow are they looking for?

Do you need concessions for closings costs?

  • Closing costs such as title, escrow, and lender fees usually cost between 1-3% of the sales price.

What type of Sale is it?

  • Foreclosure
  • Short Sale
  • New Construction
  • Traditional Sale

Is it priced right for the market?

  • What is the buyer activity?
  • Are there offers on the home?
  • What other homes are for sale in the neighborhood?
  • What has sold recently in the area?
  • How long has it been on the market?

The Market

Navigating this market can be very complex at times. In your search for a home you mostly come across three different types of sellers. Each one will have different escrow timeframes, negotiation styles, pricing strategies, and timeframes for accepting your offer. Without knowing the different characteristics of the different types of sellers it can be very frustrating out there as a buyer.

Traditional Sales

These are sellers who have equity in their homes and are usually looking to close escrow in 30 – 45 days. When writing an offer on a traditional sale we will usually negotiate directly with the seller through their agent.

New Construction

For homes above the price range of $250,000, we have an inventory of new construction homes that you will want to see. It’s important to work with an experienced agent that is familiar with the new construction process as builders and the features they provide vary. Our team is second to none when it comes to new construction in Southern Utah.

Short Sales

These are sellers who owe more than what they can sell their home for and therefore have to negotiate with their bank to receive a lesser amount. Typically the negotiation process with the bank can take 4-6 months to get an offer approved and the price is subject to change during this time. There is also a chance that the bank will reject the seller’s request for a short sale and instead foreclose on it. We are experiencing fewer short sales now than in recent years.


These are the homes which have been foreclosed on and taken back by the bank also known as REO’s (Real Estate Owned) or “bank owned”. Like the traditional sale the bank will want to close escrow within 30 days upon accepting your offer. The banks are motivated to sell these homes quickly and will typically price them slightly below market value to get multiple offers and create a bidding war to drive the price up. Even though you may pay over the asking prices these can still be great values. Our market doesn’t have as much inventory of foreclosures as we have had in the past.

The Model Home Effect

Because of our model homes, we meet over 100 home buyers per week. We inform all of these home buyers with the information about your listing and try to sell them your home before any other listing on the market.
At the Gatchell Group we see a parade of potential home buyers every day of the week all year round. In addition to our regular marketing and sales activities, our sales team works at model homes in a few different new-construction developments throughout Washington County – and that’s great for you if you want to sell your home.
Buyers come through our model homes in Washington County and get very excited about the quality and the features they see. They also find out that they can trust us to help them buy the home that’s going to be best for athem and their needs.
For some of the people we meet each day, the best home for them will be a new construction home. But for most of the people we meet, their budget and preferences may lead to buying a home like yours.


  • Flooring: Greg Broz – Sids Carpet Barn – 619-997-3800Moving: Amir – 619-886-1141
  • Windows: Mike Czadek – All American – 760-716-1773Painting: Mike Romero – 760-703-9821
  • House Cleaning: Bella Sole – 760-270-4639
  • Structural/Geological Engineer: Masoud – Private Eyes - 760-599-8566Home Inspections: California
  • Building Inspections – 760-436-0961
  • Mold: ESN Restoration Services – 800-487-1095
  • Contractor/Handyman: Sean McDonnell – 760-470-2486
  • Electrical: Brian Scott – 619-987-0229
  • Plumbing: Alt Plumbing – 760-471-8667
  • Plumbing: ARS – 800-968-7758
  • Roof and Siding Work: Jim Brown – 760-942-3225
  • Interior Design: Interior Images Design 760-802-8806
  • Landscaping: Luis – 760-644-2251
  • Pool Service: CA Cool Pool – 760-602-5060
  • Clean Out & Hauling: Jayson Hauling – 760-420-9689
  • Feng Shui: Robin Mayfield – 760-736-3541
  • Kitchens, Cabinets, Countertops: Picasso Kitchens - 858-578-1889
  • Heating and Cooling: Stillman Heating – 760-431-8266
  • Drywall Installation/Repair: Richard Bright – 760-224-8175
  • Locksmith: Leading Locksmith – 760-599-4003
  • Tile Work: Oscar Garcia – 760-525-0792