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Buying a Home in Southern Utah

Learn what to do before and during the buying process.


Download the Buyer's Guide by Bob Richards to see what having over 25 years of experience on your side means when you choose Bob Richards and Associates to help you find and purchase your home.

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  • Many Buyers are anxious to start looking at houses. This is understandable. However, the old maxim, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail" applies to real estate transactions too. There are a few steps you should take to ensure a great real estate transaction.

    • The first step is to discover how the current market conditions match up with your wants and needs.
    • This Initial Consultation can be done via email, phone, or in person.
    • You will want to discuss all the details regarding the kind of property you are looking for, your time-frame and your financial situation.
    • You will have the opportunity to ask questions about the buying process, the market, and the specific things we, as your Advocates, will do to assist you.
  • During the Initial Consultation you will want to discuss what it means to have your own representation, review agency agreements, and decide exactly how you and our Team will work together. There are laws and policies that govern the legal relationship between REALTORS® and Clients. In Utah, REALTORS® are required to have an agency contract with their clients before they write an offer on a home. So expect Bob to talk with you about the contract. You will have the chance to ask about our experience, practices and availability. Ask as many questions as it takes for you to feel comfortable moving forward to the next step.

  • If you plan on securing a loan to help with the purchase, it is vitally important for you to get pre-qualified. We have many recommended lenders. They are posted on our web site in the Preferred Lender section. They offer the most favorable financing terms and have a level of customer service which we require in serving our clients. You should meet with them as soon as possible. Your Lender will check your credit, look at your debt to income ratios and talk over the mortgage product that best fits your needs. Your Lender should provide a Good Faith Estimate and tell you what purchase price you are qualified for. The Lender will break down the monthly costs and closing costs for the loan so you can firm up your financial plan. They need to provide us a “Pre-Qualification” or “Pre-Approval” letter that we will use when presenting an offer. Remember, even though you are pre-qualified for a certain amount does not mean that price should be your target purchase price. Just because you coulddoesn’t always mean you should. Talk with Bob or a member of his Team about how your “Pre-Qualification” or Pre-Approval” amount fits in with your real estate goals. Then the excitement begins…

  • There are so many amazing tools to help you select the homes you want to view. We invite you to use the convenient MLS search on our website. You will also find interesting properties as you are driving around the area. We will be calling you with details on properties too. In fact, everyone who knows you are looking for a new home/investment will likely try to help. That is wonderful, but there are a few guidelines you should follow. Call or e-mail Bob with details on ANY property you find from ANY source (For Sale By Owner, Discount Brokerages, Non-KELLER WILLIAMS properties, etc. – We are here to help you with ALL of the possibilities.) Let us, as your Advocates, be the Seller’s first contact. This sets a standard of professionalism with any Seller. Bob will research all the homes you have an interest in and set appointments for you to view the selected properties. As we are going through the homes together, feel free to ask questions. All the way through the process, ask questions. If we don’t know the answer we’ll find it. It may be a matter of “love at first sight” or it may take some time, but you have taken the right steps and you will be ready make an offer when you find the right property. We do more than unlock the door for you, we unlock the understanding of value for you in every real estate transaction.

  • Value is one of the most important aspects of your experience We will provide a market analysis on the home you select. That way, you will know before the offer is written what the market value is (regardless of asking price.) When writing an offer to purchase a property, we’ll use a standard contract called the Real Estate Purchase Contract or REPC. You will generally need to include a personal check, cashier’s check or cash to be used as an earnest money deposit. This represents your sincerity in the attempt to purchase and is totally refundable IF the offer is not accepted. An earnest money deposit of at least 1% of the purchase price is strongly recommended. This money is generally kept in the trust account of the real estate brokerage and is not turned over to the Seller. It is transferred to the title company at closing as a CREDIT to your purchase.

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How Much House Can You Afford?


This mortgage calculator can be used to figure out monthly payments of a home mortgage loan, based on the home's sale price, the term of the loan desired, buyer's down payment percentage, and the loan's interest rate. This calculator factors in PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) for loans where less than 20% is put as a down payment. Also taken into consideration are the town property taxes, and their effect on the total monthly mortgage payment.

Preferred Lenders

This mortgage calculator can be used to figure out monthly payments of a home mortgage loan, based on the home's sale price, the term of the loan desired, buyer's down payment percentage, and the loan's interest rate. This calculator factors in PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) for loans where less than 20% is put as a down payment. Also taken into consideration are the town property taxes, and their effect on the total monthly mortgage payment.

Purchase & Financing Information

Show me the calculations and amortization

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St. George, Utah Buyer Agency & Representation

Buying a home can be a VERY involved process. One of the key decisions buyers make is who they will use to represent them through this adventure. Did you know that when a real estate agent represents a client they have specific legal responsibilities they owe that Client? These responsibilities are called fiduciary duties and are similar to the responsibility an attorney owes their clients. A careful and well informed choice about representation is vital. “Fiduciary” means we place YOUR interests above our own.

Imagine you were shopping for a new car. You could go to various car lots and talk with the sales representative of each make of car and get their opinion on the various automobiles they are trying to sell you. You would certainly learn something about the cars, but you would know that everything you are being told is crafted to get you to buy their car.

Now, imagine you first consulted with an automobile expert who know all of the cars in the current market and the history and statistics for car sales across all makes and models. You tell this expert what you are looking for and they take your goals and after thoroughly researching the current automobile inventory they match up your goals with the best possible options available. Then, they go to the car lots with you and accompany you on a test drive – all the while answering your questions and describing the features and challenges of each option with the intention of assuring you make a well informed decision. Everything this expert does is in YOUR behalf as YOUR ADVOCATE. That is similar to the benefit of having your real estate agent representing you in the purchasing process.

To facilitate this agency relationship Utah law requires that licensed real estate agents create a contractual agency relationship with clients that clearly identifies the rights and responsibilities of clients and their agents. The client commits to use the agent as their exclusive representative which assures that the agent will receive compensation when a transaction is successfully closed. The client in turn has the benefit of the fiduciary duties from their agent as well as access to the agent’s market knowledge, negotiating skills, experience, expertise and professional tools.

This page contains information about Real Estate Agent, Realtors and Buyer Agency and Representation in the Saint George Utah area. This information is also applicable for St. George Utah, Washington Utah, Ivins, Utah, Santa Clara, Utah, Hurricane, Utah, Dammeron Valley, Utah, LaVerkin, Utah, and Cedar City Utah.

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25 Years of Tips and Tricks To Help You Buy a Home