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Wagner Auction and Real Estate

Buyer's Information

You are about to embark on the exciting journey of finding your ideal home. Whether it is your first home or your tenth, a retirement home or an investment property, we will make your home-buying experience fun and will get you the results you want – the best possible house that fits your needs for the least amount of money. We can help you find the ideal home with the least amount of hassle and we are devoted to using our expertise and the full resources of our office to achieve these results!

Purchasing a home is a very important decision and a big undertaking in your life. In fact, most people only choose a few homes in their lifetime. We will make sure that you are well equipped and armed with up-to-date information for your big decision. We are prepared to guide you through every phase of the home-buying process.  We also work with "non-traditional" sellers - For Sale By Owners, builders, etc. - to find the perfect home for you!

Please follow the links below to explore the home-selling process. It should serve as helpful information during and after your transaction and help you stay organized.

In every real estate transaction our main goal is to meet your goals and exceed your expectations. This is not only what we do as a careers, this is what we do for fun! We enjoy previewing homes, working out all the details, and getting to the closing table. We look forward to working with you and let’s get started!


Service Commitment

We here at Wagner Auctioneering and Real Estate are dedicated, passionate, and market-savvy professionals who put our clients’ satisfaction before all else. Our attention to detail, broad knowledge of the real estate industry as a whole, and our pure determination to indulge our clients with first class service sets us apart. We gladly work with For Sale By Owners, builders, and other "non-traditional" sellers on your behalf to get you into the home you want.

When so much is at stake, Wagners is the one you want to represent you. Our fair yet aggressive negotiating style and protectiveness of our clients’ best interests and ultimately, their assets, has gained us respect with colleagues and clients alike.

Whether it is patiently guiding first-time buyers through this exciting process or following through with clients’ needs long after the transaction is over, our warm, caring and efficient business style will turn you too into a client for life!

As the REALTOR® you have chosen to exclusively represent you in the purchase of your new home, we promise we will:

  1. Provide you with top-level customer service during the entire buying process.
  2. Organize and schedule your home search process.
  3. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each home in relations to your specific needs.
  4. Provide you with on-going updates on available homes.
  5. Help you compare homes and make a solid decision.
  6. Advise you on the terms and issues of the offer and fill out the purchase offer contract.
  7. Present your offer and negotiate on your behalf.
  8. Coordinate and supervise the preparation of closing documents and guide you through the closing process.
  9. Help you resolve any closing issues.
  10. Coordinate move-in and assist with any post-closing issues.
  11. Provide relevant information including local utility companies and school districts.
  12. Maintain a professional and personal relationship with you and your family.


The Home Buying Process

We have designed this entire website to assist you with the purchase of your new home. We assure you it is our goal to provide you with the most professional and informative service available. The following is a graphic of the process you are about to embark on!



Many buyers apply for a loan and obtain approval before they find they start looking at homes. Why?

Pre-Qualifying will help you in the following ways:

  1. Generally, interest rates are locked in for a set period of time. You will know in advance exactly what your payments will be on offers you choose to make
  2. You will obtain a reasonable expectation on what you can afford in your new home.

Pre-Approval will help you in the following ways:

  1. A seller may choose to make concessions if they know you financing is secured. This will make your offer more competitive.
  2. You can select the best loan package without being under pressure.

How Much Can You Afford?

There are three key factors to consider:

Down Payment – most loans today require a down payment between 3.5% and 5.0% depending on the type and terms of the loan. If you are able to provide a 20-25% down payment, you may be eligible to take advantage of special fast-track programs and possibly eliminate mortgage insurance.

Closing Costs – you will be required to pay fees for loan processing and other closing costs. These fees must be paid in full at the final settlement, unless you are able to include them in your financing. Typically, total closing costs will range between 2-5% of your mortgage loan.

Qualifying for the Mortgage – most lenders require that your monthly payment range between 25-28% of your gross monthly income. Your mortgage payment to the lender includes:

  • (P) – principle on the loan
  • (I) – interest on the loan
  • (T) – property taxes
  • (I) – homeowner’s insurance

Your total monthly PITI and all debts (from installments to revolving charge accounts) should range between 33-38% of your gross monthly income.

  • Key factors that determine your ability to secure a home loan:
    1. Credit Report
    2. Income
    3. Property Value
    4. Assets

Please contact your trusted loan officer for available loan programs, requirements, and specifics.


The "Ten Commandments" When Applying for a Real Estate Loan

  1. Thou shalt not change jobs, become self employed or quit your job.
  2. Thou shalt not buy or refinance a car, truck or van (or you may be living in it!)
  3. Thou shalt not use charge cards excessively or let your accounts fall behind.
  4. Thou shalt not spend money you have set aside for closing.
  5. Thou shalt not omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.
  6. Thou shalt not buy furniture.
  7. Thou shalt not originate any inquiries into you credit.
  8. Thou shalt not make large deposits without first checking with your loan officer.
  9. Thou shalt not change banks.
  10. Thou shalt not co-sign a loan for anyone.


How To Find A Great Home

There are many factors to consider when selecting a neighborhood that is right for you. Below are just a few of those factors – and you may think of others that are important to you.

Scout the Neighborhood!

Custom image 1Neighborhoods have characteristic personalities designed to best suite singles, growing families, two-career couples, or retirees. It is important that you scout the neighborhood in person. You live in more than your house.

  • Talk to the people who live there.
  • Drive through the entire area at different times of day, during the week, and on weekends.
  • Look carefully at how well other homes are in the area are being maintained; are they painted, are the yards well cared for; are they painted, are the yards well cared for; are parked cars in good condition, et cetera.
  • parked cars in good condition, et cetera.

Neighborhood Factors to Consider

  • Look for access to major thoroughfares, highways, and shopping.
  • Listen for noise created by commerce, roads, railways, public areas, schools, et cetera.
  • Smell the air for adjacent commerce or agriculture.
  • Check with local civic, police, fire and school officials to find information about the area.
  • Research the area concerning soil and water.
  • Look at traffic patterns around the area during different times of the day and drive from your area of work.
  • Find out if the neighborhood belongs to a Homeowner’s Association.


Making An Offer

Custom image 2Once you have found the home you wish to purchase you will need to determine what offer you are willing to make for the home. It is important to remember that the more competition there is for the home, the higher the offer should be – even if that is above asking price. Just be realistic. Make offers within your budget and you want the other party to sign!

An offer goes well beyond just the purchase price of the home. Other factors to consider are if you will ask the sellers to help you with your closing costs, providing a home warranty or title insurance, or any other further conditions you are seeking. Your type of financing can also be a consideration point for the sellers. They will be looking at the overall picture of the offer rather than only the selling price of the home.

To communicate your interest in purchasing a home I will present the listing agent with a written offer. When the seller accepts an offer it becomes a legal contract. When you write an offer you should be prepared to pay and earnest money deposit. This is to guarantee that your intention is to purchase the property and can range from $500 - $3,000 depending on the property.

This offer can either be 1) accepted as is, 2) rejected, or 3) the seller will make a counter offer. This is when we will negotiate terms of the contract if necessary.

The step-by-step contract procedure for most single-family home purchases is standard. Since most REALTORS® are not lawyers the purchase agreements used is a standard document approved by our local real estate board.

The purchase agreement constitutes your offer to buy and once accepted by the seller, becomes a valid and enforceable contract. For this reason, it is important to understand what is written on the contract offer.


The Next Steps

Now that you have decided to buy your home what happens between now and the time you legally own the home? A lot! A title company, attorney or mortgage broker may be able to handle the following items. NOTE – different parts of the country vary on who can perform some or all of these functions.

Earnest Money An agreement to convey starts the process once it is received at the title company.

Loan Application Once you submit the loan application it is usually subject to a credit check, appraisal, and sometimes a survey of the property.

Tax Check What taxes are owed on the property? In Indiana, taxes are paid in arrears which means our tax bills are for the previous year of ownership. At the closing, you will receive a credit from the sellers for the time they lived at the residence the previous year(s).

Title Search Copies of documents are gathered from various public records: deeds, deeds of trust, assessments and matters of probate, heirship, divorce, and bankruptcy are addressed.

Examination Verification of the legal owner and debts owed.

Document Preparation Appropriate forms are prepared for conveyance and settlement of the property.

Settlement An Escrow Officer oversees the closing of the transaction: seller signs the deed, you sign a new mortgage, the seller’s loan is paid off and the new loan is established. Sellers, agents, attorneys, surveyors, title company, and other service providers for the parties are paid. Title insurance policies will then be issued to you and your lender.

Title Insurance

  • Owner’s Title Insurance – covers and protects your equity in the property.
  • Lender’s Title Insurance – covers and protects the lender for the amount of the mortgage.

Both you and the lender will want the security offered by title insurance. Why?

Title agents search public records to determine who has owned any piece of property, but, these records may not reflect irregularities that are almost impossible to find. Examples: 1) an unauthorized seller forges the deed to the property; 2) an unknown, but rightful heir to the property shows up after the sale to claim ownership; 3) conflicts arise over a will from a deceased owner; or 4) a land survey showing the boundaries of your property are incorrect.

For a one-time charge at closing, title insurance will safeguard you against problems including those events an exhaustive search will not reveal.


The Home Inspection

If you are purchasing a resale property we highly recommend that you have a professional home inspector conduct a thorough investigation of the condition of the property. The inspection will include the following:

  • Appliances
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Air conditioning and heating systems
  • Ventilation
  • Roof and attic
  • Foundation
  • General structure

The inspection is not designed to criticize every minor problem or defect in the home, although your inspector will mention everything they find. It is truly intended to report on major damage or serious problems that require repair. Should serious problems be indicated the inspector will recommend that a specific professional to the problem inspect it as well.

Custom image 3Your home cannot "pass or fail" an inspection and your inspector will not tell you whether they think the home is worth the money you are offering. Their job is to make you aware of repairs that are recommended or necessary.

The seller may be willing to negotiate completion of repairs or a credit for completion of repairs or you may decide that the home will take too much work and money. At this point you can walk away from the house and your commitment to purchase. A professional inspection will help you make a clear-headed decision. In addition to the overall inspection you may wish to have separate tests conducted for termites or the presence of radon gas.

In choosing a home inspector, consider one that has been certified as a qualified and experienced member by a trade organization.

We highly recommend being present at the inspection at some point. This is to your advantage. You will be able to clearly understand the inspection report and know exactly which areas need attention. Plus, you can get immediate answers to many questions, tips for maintenance, and a lot of general information that will help you once you move into your new home. Most important, you will see the home through the eyes of an independent and objective third party. For legality and liability reasons we usually will not attend the inspection with you.



A "closing" is where you and I meet with some or all of the following individuals: the sellers, the seller’s agent, a representative from the lending institution from the title company all in order to transfer the property title to you. The purchase agreement you signed describes the property, states the purchase price and terms, sets forth the method of payment, and usually names the date and place where the closing or actual transfer of the property title and keys will occur.

If financing the property, your lender will require you to sign multiple documents usually including a promissory note as evidence that you are personally responsible for repaying the loan. You will also sign a mortgage on the property as security for the loan. This mortgage gives the lender the right to sell the property if you fail to make the payments. Before you exchange these papers the property may be surveyed, appraised, or inspected and the ownership of title will be checked in county and court records.

At closing you will be required to pay all fees and closing costs in the form of "guaranteed funds" such as a Cashier’s Check or money wire. I or an escrow agent will notify you of the exact amount just before the closing date.

Escrow Account

An escrow account is a neutral depository held by your lender for funds that will be used to pay expenses incurred by the property – mainly real estate taxes or assessments, homeowners insurance, and/or mortgage insurance premiums which will fall due in the future.

You will pay one-twelfth of the annual amount of these bills each month with your regular mortgage payment. When the bills fall due the lender pays them from this special account. At closing it will be necessary to pay enough into the account to cover these amounts for several months so that funds will be available to pay the bills when they are due.



Acceptance: the date when both parties, seller and buyer, have agreed to and completed signing and/or initialing the contract.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage: a mortgage that permits the lender to adjust the mortgage's interest rate periodically on the basis of changes in a specified index. Interest rates may move up or down, as market conditions change.

Amortized Loan: a loan that is paid in equal installments during its term.

Appraisal: an estimate of real estate value, usually issued to standards of FHA, VA and FHMA. Recent comparable sales in the neighborhood is the most important factor in determining value

Appreciation: an increase in the value of a property due to changes in market conditions or other causes. The opposite of depreciation.

Assumable Mortgage: purchaser takes ownership to real estate encumbered by an existing mortgage and assumes responsibility as the guarantor for the unpaid balance of the mortgage.

Bill of Sale: document used to transfer title (ownership) of PERSONAL property.

Cloud on Title: any condition that affects the clear title to real property.

Consideration: anything of value to induce another to enter into a contract, i.e., money, services, a promise.

Deed: a written instrument, which when properly executed and delivered, conveys title to real property.

Discount Points: a loan fee charged by a lender of FHA, VA or conventional loans to increase the yield on the investment. One point = 1% of the loan amount.

Easement: the right to use the land of another.

Encumbrance: anything that burdens (limits) the title to property, such as a lien, easement, or restriction of any kind.

Equity: the value of real estate over and above the liens against it. It is obtained by subtracting the total liens from the value.

Escrow Payment: that portion of a mortgagor’s monthly payment held in trust by the lender to pay for taxes, hazard insurance and other items as they become due.

Fannie Mae: nickname for Federal National Mortgage Corporation (FNMA), a tax-paying corporation created by congress to support the secondary mortgages insured by FHA or guaranteed by VA, as well as conventional loans.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA): an agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Its main activity is the insuring of residential mortgage loans made by private lenders. The FHA sets standards for construction and underwriting but does not lend money or plan or construct housing.

FHA Insured Mortgage: a mortgage under which the Federal Housing Administration insures loans made, according to its regulations.

Fixed Rate Mortgage: a loan that fixes the interest rate at a prescribed rate for the duration of the loan.

Foreclosure: procedure whereby property pledged as security for a debt is sold to pay the debt in the event of default.

Freddie Mac: nickname for Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), a federally controlled and operated corporation to support the secondary mortgage market. It purchases and sells residential conventional home mortgages.

Graduated Payment Mortgage: any loan where the borrower pays a portion of the interest due each month during the first few years of the loan. The payment increases gradually during the first few years to the amount necessary to fully amortize the loan during its life.

Lease Purchase Agreement: buyer makes a deposit for future purchases of a property with the right to lease property in the interim.

Lease with Option: a contract, which gives one the right to lease property at a certain sum with the option to purchase at a future date.

Loan to Value Ratio (LTV): the ratio of the mortgage loan principal (amount borrowed) to the property’s appraised value (selling price). Example – on a $100,000 home, with a mortgage loan principal of $80,000 the loan to value ratio is 80%.

Mortgage: a legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt.

Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP): the amount paid by a mortgagor for mortgage insurance. This insurance protects the investor from possible loss in the event of a borrower’s default on a loan.

Note: a written promise to pay a certain amount of money.

Origination Fee: a fee paid to a lender for services provided when granting a loan, usually a percentage of the face amount of the loan.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): see Mortgage Insurance Premium.

Second Mortgage / Second Deed of Trust / Junior Mortgage / Junior Lien: an additional loan imposed on a property with a first mortgage. Generally, a higher interest rate and shorter term than a "first" mortgage.

Settlement Statement (HUD-1): a financial statement rendered to the buyer and seller at the time of transfer of ownership, giving an account of all funds received or expended.

Severalty Ownership: ownership by one person only. Sole ownership.

Tenancy In Common: ownership by two or more persons who hold an undivided interest without right of survivorship. (In event of the death of one owner, his/his share will pass to his/his heirs.

Title Insurance: an insurance policy that protects the insured (buyer or lender) against loss arising from defects in the title.