Columbia, South Carolina
Relocation/Home Buying Guide
by Mel Coker, Realtor

Page 1: Your Realtor * All About Columbia * Schools * Cost of Living
Page 2: Getting Started * Towards Closing * More from Mel Coker
Mel Coker's Real Estate website

Page 2 of 2

Ready to relocate and buy a home in the Greater Columbia, SC area? I've prepared an online guide to assist you with your move to our friendly area. Please contact me when you are ready to buy a home. I would be very happy to assist you.

Columbia, SC Realtor - Mel Coker When you complete this "online short course", please fill-in the registration form linked at the end. Please take the time to read this information.

Mel Coker
Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI
RE/MAX Metro Associates
Telephone: (888) 528-2258
email: Mel Coker

Mel Coker, Columbia real estate Getting Started...
Before you get started, you need to contact Mel Coker! Call or email, and be sure to let me know that you have graduated from this online course. With your initial contact, I will discuss with you, or email or call to discuss with you, your home search needs. This may involve buying a new or resale home, or buying a lot and building a home. Whatever your real estate needs may be in Columbia, I can help. Let's get started, please contact me today. I'd be very happy to mail you some current listings matching your needs.

Mortgage Pre-qualification
A very important first step in starting your process of buying a home is to start the mortgage pre-qualification and/or information gathering process. I highly recommend that you contact a mortgage professional before our first visit, or, at least within a few days of your first meeting. I also highly recommend that you use a local mortgage professional. This initial contact is in no way binding and does not cost anything. Please feel free to contact different lendors (I highly suggest at the same time and same day) to make fair comparisions of interest rates and lender costs. When you are ready to make mortgage application, be sure to ask for a Good Faith Estimate.

CLICK HERE for Mel's Recommended Mortgage Professionals

First Meeting
Please let me know when you plan to visit and/or move. I can even offer suggestions for a hotel if you need accomodations. At our first meeting, we will complete or review a form for your home search needs. You will need to consider and let me know your specific needs, including: desired area(s), price range, age of home, size of home (square footage and/or # bedrooms), garage (necessary or nice), other rooms such as formal dining or living rooms, construction (brick, vinyl or wood), community amenities (such as community pool, tennis, etc.) and needs for schools for your children (if necessary). There may be other specific needs, so, be sure to let me know these. Knowing a price range that you want and can qualify for is very important.

Also, at our first meeting, I will explain S.C. Agency Dislosure information. This is important buyer representation information for you and IS REQUIRED by state law. There is NO cost in buyer representation by Mel Coker. Remember, obtaining professional real estate representation by an experienced Realtor is important. I will be happy to share my Personal Experience and Client Comments books with you.

Home Search
I'll work hard for you to find just the right home for you (and your family). Over 80% of my clients buy NEW homes. I am very knowledgable about new home communities around Columbia, and Lake Murray lots if you wish to build at Lake Murray. If we have worked hard and efficiently at the office to determine what kind of home you want, the computer search should make this process much easier. Remember, I have access to ALL homes in the Columbia Multiple Listing Service. I find that most clients are able to look at about 5-12 homes to find the right home.

When you find the right home, we will work together on a contract offer. Of course, your offer will be structured the way you want it. I can provide advice and comparable prices for similar homes that are currently for sale and those under contract or closed within about the last two years. In your offer, you will need to consider price, closing costs, closing date, any contingencies (such as selling your existing home, if necessary), closing date, and inspections, securing a home warranty, among other things. Usually, from contract acceptance, a final closing date can be scheduled between 2 and 4 weeks, if you wish. Mortgage pre-qualification will be very helpful.

Getting the right advice and assistance at this step is an important reason to have Mel Coker as your real estate professional.

Mel Coker, Columbia real estate Towards Closing...
After terms are agreed to by both parties, you have an accepted contract. Soon you will be in your new home in Columbia! Of course, there is more work to do and I will be with you all the way to closing. I'll provide you with an "Reminder List of Important Things To Do." Here are the highlights:

  • Make mortgage application. Click here for recommended mortgage professionals.
  • Arrange for a home inspection. I can make suggestions for you if you need this. My recommended home inspection profession is Joe Boyle with HouseMaster Home Inspections. This needs to be done within 10 days of contract acceptance. You are encouraged to be present for your home inspection. I'll be there too.
  • Select a closing attorney. My recommended closing attorney is Tom Anderson.
  • Arrange for moving and new utilities accounts in connection with your closing date. I will provide you with a list of utility service providers (electric, natural gas, water/sewer, telephone, cable). Also, I can suggest moving companies to help you with your moving needs.
  • Funds required at closing (down payment, closing costs, and "prepaids") will need to be in certified funds or cashier's check.
  • Arrange for homeowner's insurance in conncetion with your closing date. I can make suggestions for the following companies: Allstate, State Farm and Southern Farm Bureau.
  • Termite and HVAC inspections. I highly recommend that you be responsible for these inspections (rather than the Seller). This way, you will probably get a better and unbiased inspection. I can make suggestions and be present for these inspections.
  • Conduct a final walk-thru inspection, ususally on the day before closing.
  • I will accompany you at closing to review the final settlement statement (HUD Form 1).

    Buying a home or property is easy and efficient with Mel Coker as your Realtor and Buyer's Agent. Call me today at (803) 932-2144 and let's get started.

    Mel Coker, Columbia real estate More Service From Your Realtor, Mel Coker...
    I'll stay in touch after we close on your home. Please remember to complete and return the Client Survey form. I'll keep in touch with periodic mailings and client events, including an invitation to my annual Client Picnic at Lake Murray.
    Be sure to read my monthly email newsletter. It's full of national real estate articles that may be of interest to you. Oftentimes, there are money-saving and tax articles. Also, there is local information that I write for each newsletter. Finally, I draw by random number selection, at least one winner each month for a dinner certificate. I anticipate giving away over $400 in prizes each year through the names on my email distribution list. You have to recieve the newsletter and read it to be eligible to win. Make sure that I have your current email address after you close on your home.

    If you like, I can also prepare your own "home" page on the Internet. This is another FREE service that I provide. I'll take a picture of your new home and put your own web page up on the Internet for you to share with family and friends anywhere in the world. I'll leave the page up for about 6 months. The "address" will be . Example

    Finally, I really appreciate referrals. I hope after you see how hard I work for you, that you will want to remember to refer your new co-workers, neighbors and friends to me when you are aware of their need to buy or sell real estate. I'll provide you with a nice thank-you gift when you refer someone to me and it results in a closed transaction.

    Don't forget... To BUY or SELL, call Mel.


    You're Finished! Congratulations.

    CLICK HERE to return to Page 1 of Mel Coker's Online Buyer's Guide

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    Contact MEL COKER
    Excellence in Real Estate Service

    CLICK HERE to Fill-in my "instant service" e-mail form

    "Selling Columbia, Lake Murray, Irmo,
    Northeast Columbia, Lexington!"

    Mel Coker
    MAX Metro Associates
    690-B Columbiana Drive
    Columbia, SC 29212

    Office : 803-749-5800
    Toll-free : 888-528-2258
    Home : 803-


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