Buying a Home

Find the Home of Your Dreams

As your Barrington & Northwest Suburban real estate experts, we'd first like to welcome you to the neighborhood! With so much to see and explore, there are a hundred reasons to love the area and even more reasons to buy a home here! Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is exciting. After all, you're not simply purchasing a property or a building; you're finding a niche in a community where you will belong, a place that will truly feel like home. When you team up with John Morrison, we'll make finding the home of your dreams a dream come true.

Let us know what we can do to help you—we look forward to teaming up soon.



Finding a home with the right features in the right neighborhood that also fits into your budget can be challenging. With our advanced home search tools, you can search homes by price, city, and neighborhood, and even specify your desired features and amenities.

Bonus: Creating a Property Organizer allows you to save your favorite properties or receive alerts when new homes matching your criteria hit the market!


Your Guide to Home Buying

Looking for local information about the Barrington or Northwest Suburban area or some home buying tips and tricks? We've got you covered. Check out some of our exclusive resources below to get a head start on your home search, and let us know if you have any questions. We're here to provide the hyper-local expertise you need to find the home of your dreams!

The Buying Process

It's important to ask potential agents questions relating to their experience and routines, and to listen for the questions they ask you to get a feel for if they're really intent on understanding your needs.


Experience in your preferred neighborhood and/or style of home is important, but so is the comfort level between agent and client, because buying a home is a highly personal experience. Your agent should be someone you like, trust, and respect-and who feels the same way about you.

In today's home-buying environment, a mortgage pre-approval is essential. It not only lets you know what you can afford to buy, but also demonstrates to sellers that you are a willing and able buyer. What's more, it gives you an important head start in securing an actual loan commitment.

Almost every home purchase involves some degree of compromise. There are many variables to think about depending on your lifestyle, budget and future plans, but some universal considerations include:


LOCATION: Consider important factors such as schools, transportation, and neighborhood amenities like shops, restaurants and parks.


TYPE OF HOME: There are a variety of housing styles to consider. Weigh the pros and cons to narrow your focus.


FEATURES AND AMENITIES: Think about your wants and needs, such as garage parking, hardwood floors, outdoor space, etc.

At this stage of the game, you are ready to begin your home search. Here's what you can expect to do:


REVIEW LISTINGS: Your Refine Residential agent will present you with available listings. Beyond price and property attributes, pay close attention to data like property taxes, market time, and monthly assessments for condos and


VIEW PROPERTIES: Your Refine Residential agent will schedule showings and accompany you on appointments.


OPEN HOUSES:  If you're attending open houses without your broker, be sure to mention that you are being represented by an @properties Christie's International Real Estate agent. This will save you from being inundated with calls from other agents trying to represent you.


COMPARE PROPERTIES: Provide candid feedback to your agent after every listing you see so he or she will be able to adjust their parameters in order to present you with alternatives. When you find a home that suits your needs, your agent will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (or CMA) to help you formulate your offer.

When you find a home, it's important to act quickly and make an educated offer based on the strategy you and your Refine Residential agent have discussed.


Your agent will draw up a contract that includes your offer price and other terms and contingencies. Here are some of the most common elements of a real estate contract:


PRICE : The market will determine the final price, but your agent will help you formulate an offer based on current
market conditions and comparable listings and sales.


MORTGAGE CONTINGENCY: A mortgage contingency stipulates that you will buy the home subject to obtaining a mortgage. If you cannot obtain a mortgage, and the seller will not agree to finance the sale, then the contract will be void.


HOME INSPECTION CONTINGENCY: A thorough inspection of the property by a licensed home inspector protects you against structural or material problems that may not be detectable in a casual walk-through.


ATTORNEY APPROVAL: Depending on the state in which you're purchasing, hiring an attorney may be recommended. Attorney approval is generally a one-week period in which your attorney can review the contract and suggest alterations to help protect you from any undue obligations. An attorney's review is always highly recommended.


EARNEST MONEY: Earnest money is a deposit, given to the seller, which secures the contract until the closing. If the sale does not go through due to contingencies covered in the contract, then the earnest money may be returned to the buyer.


CLOSING DATE: This is usually the date the seller must vacate and the buyer may occupy the property. Flexibility on the closing date can give a buyer a big advantage over other potential buyers.

After submitting an offer on a property there will likely be counteroffers made during negotiation. Your Refine Residential agent will draw upon his or her experience and market knowledge to offer sound advice during a negotiation, and he or she can also serve as a buffer between the buyer and the seller/seller's agent.

There are dozens of loose ends to tie up between signing the contract and closing the sale. Your Refine Residential agent will coordinate and oversee the following steps:

• Deliver earnest money

• Recommend and schedule a home inspector and accompany the buyer on the inspection

• Recommend a real estate attorney, if applicable

• Obtain important documents, such as property disclosure forms and condominium documents (budget, declaration, condo association minutes), and deliver them to the buyer and buyer's attorney, if applicable

• Recommend mortgage agents and help expedite the loan-application process Monitor all contingencies to ensure that they have been met

• Recommend service providers for moving, home-improvement and repairs

• Schedule a final walk-through. Both the buyer and buyer's agent should be present

• Coordinate and attend your closing

Your Refine Residential agent will work closely with you, your lender, and in some states, your attorney, as well as the seller's agent and the title company to make sure everything is in place for a smooth and efficient closing. Typically, a day or two prior to the closing, your lender will forward all loan documentation to the title company and let you know the amount required to close. You will be responsible for bringing the balance of your down payment and closing costs (such as lender fees, title company fees, and state and city transfer taxes) to the closing in the form of a cashier's check or other, predetermined payment form such as a wire transfer. At the closing, your attorney, if you are using one, or the title company and your agent will guide you through the documents you need to sign, including the bill of sale, the deed and the affidavit of title.

One of our core values is "Everything is Relationship". We maintain relationships with clients long after the closing. That means we're always glad to help you find service providers and tradesmen to perform work on your home or just make life a little easier.


As you're getting settled, here are a few situations you may encounter in the coming months and years that are important to think about.


REBUILDING YOUR SAVINGS AND MAINTAINING FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE: It's important to set up an automatic electronic payment with your mortgage lender, to avoid costly penalties associated with late payments. Buyers should also make a plan for gradually rebuilding their savings account.


REFINANCING: Keep an eye on interest rates even after you purchase your home. If rates go down, you may be able to save money by refinancing. Keep in mind refinancing is a major financial transaction with important implications. So be just as diligent in a refinance as you were in securing your original mortgage.


HOME IMPROVEMENT: Most new homeowners have at least a few projects they want to tackle once they move in. Your agent has the network and resources to help you find a variety of service providers to perform work on your home.

Work With Us

We're here to help! The Morrison Home Team wants to make sure you have a great real estate experience and ultimately find the perfect home you will absolutely love. So contact us today and let's get started.

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