Robin Vilter’s Complete Homebuying Guide for Leland

Robin Vilter’s Complete Homebuying Guide for Leland

As you’re thinking about buying a home in the area, you probably have lots of questions. Does the current market favor buyers or sellers? What will I need to do before anyone will agree to sell me their home? What happens before closing? This article will answer all of these questions, and by the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a thorough understanding of what’s required of you when purchasing a home.

What’s the market doing right now?

Home prices have dropped over the past year, but the market seems to be turning to favor sellers again. Most homes go under contract in less than two weeks, and if a home is in especially high demand, it may not last a week on the market. Most homes receive multiple offers above asking price, and these offers sometimes have waived contingencies that favor the seller. Needless to say, the market is hot right now, so be prepared to act quickly and make a competitive offer once you find a home that you like.

How long will this all take?

It would be nice if a home purchase could happen in only a few days, but this is never the case. It may take several weeks for you to find a home that you like, and in a competitive market, there’s a chance that you have to make offers on multiple homes before a seller chooses to accept your offer above any other offers they receive. Once you go under contract to purchase a home, you’ll have to wait somewhere between 30 and 45 days until closing. During this time, several things will happen, such as the inspection and the appraisal. The title company will run a thorough search of the title’s history to ensure that the seller has the legal right to transfer ownership of the home, and the lender will begin the process of underwriting so that you have the necessary funds to bring to closing. Altogether, you’re probably going to spend multiple months working to purchase your new home.

What should I do before I start looking?

If you’re thinking about buying Leland, MI real estate, a good first step is to speak with a lender about what you can afford. A lender will run numbers based on your current debt-to-income ratio and credit score, and they may ask to see proof of income in the form of recent pay stubs or previous years’ tax returns. Once they get all of your information together, they’ll tell you if you pre-qualify or pre-approve for a loan. This is important information to have while shopping for a home because some realtors will only work with pre-approved buyers, and sellers will often ask to see a pre-approval letter before they’ll agree to sell you their home. Remember that different lenders can offer different interest rates, so give yourself plenty of time to shop around and see who can offer you the best deal.

Robin’s Suggested Lenders

Mercantile Bank

Emily Kelly
AVP | Mortgage Lender 
NMLS: 1602686
Mobile: 231-360-4525
Email: [email protected] 
Pre-approved by applying online at  

Lake Michigan Credit Union

Lee Miller
Mortgage Loan Officer
Lake Michigan Credit Union
P (231) 932-6289|  C (231) 883-7092| F (231) 932-6299
[email protected]  | NMLS # 564684
310 West Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49684

Huntington National Bank

Christine McMaster
NMLS: #581941
Mobile: 231-632-6416
Office: 231-922-5759
[email protected]
Pre-approve online by applying at

What should I look for in a home?

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

This depends on your family size, your preferred lifestyle, and your individual tastes. Many buyers today are looking for energy-efficient homes with spacious outdoor living areas. Most buyers also prefer homes with open living rooms and kitchens that make the area feel larger and more connected. The best way to determine what you want is to look at several homes online to get a feel for what’s available and what you can afford based on what sort of loan you pre-qualified for. Once you get an idea of what features or amenities are most important to you, you can communicate with your realtor about what you want in your home. Your realtor often hears about properties before they come onto the public market, and they can recommend new homes for you to see based on what they know about what you want.

How can I put together a competitive offer?

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Once you find a home you like, you’ll work with a realtor to make an offer on the home. In a competitive market, you probably won’t have much luck offering anything below the asking price. If the home is new to the market, it’s likely that other potential buyers are considering the home as well. In addition to offering a higher number than asking, you can suggest waiving various contingencies in order to make your offer more appealing to the seller. Some buyers will even write a personal letter to try and appeal to the seller’s emotions and motivate them to accept their offer.

What happens between the time when I agree to a deal and the closing date?

After you agree to a deal to purchase a home, you’ll begin to prepare for closing. You should order an inspection on the home as soon as possible, especially if your contract has an option period. The inspector will look over the home and tell you if there are any foundational or structural concerns you should be aware of. An appraiser will also visit the home to confirm that it’s selling for a fair market price. This is an important step in securing a loan to buy your home. As this is going on, a title company is confirming that the seller is the legal owner of the home and there are no other outstanding claims of ownership. You’ll communicate with your realtor on a regular basis leading up to closing since they’ll be asking you questions about how you want certain parts of the contract to read.

Who can help me shop for a home?

Robin Vilter loves real estate, and she’s passionate about helping each of her clients find their dream Leland, MI home. Her vast knowledge of the current state of the market will be a tremendous asset for you as you search for property in the area. If you’re thinking about buying or selling Leland, MI real estate, make sure Robin is one of your first calls.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Robin Vilter

Robin Vilter


About the Author

I was raised in Cincinnati but always summered on the lake in Leland. Being able to spend my summers up here was such a gift. Starting at the age of twelve we were able to drive the boat into town or to the yacht club or to a friend's house. My days were jam-packed. I would wake up and teach sailing school at the Leland Yacht Club from nine to one, then take a nap on the dock or the beach, shower, then drive into Leland in the late afternoon where I had a job as a hostess. My sisters and I did this every summer and when we had a driver's license we had more options for employment. I started teaching sailing school in Omena and working at night waiting tables at The Cove in Leland. We stashed away thousands of dollars every summer. Yes, we worked our tails off, but it really did not seem like it since we were enjoying all the beauty of Leelanau at the same time.

I attended Miami University in Ohio and chose creative writing since that was my easiest subject. I’ve not yet written a novel, but have started about five. After graduation, I bought the Riverside Inn with my mother and my sister. I later sold my shares when I realized that being a single parent and working late nights did not pair well with my mental health. It took a decade to raise my kids and go through two divorces.

I Earned My Real Estate License in 2016

By that point, I had bought and sold houses seven times over the course of twelve years. I had to be a real estate expert by then, right? The simple truth is I love real estate! Why did I even bother going to college? I felt like I should have been doing this since I was eighteen. What I love most about real estate is establishing great relationships. Each new client is a wonderful surprise. We live in such a small community, yet I get to meet new people all the time and usually, they turn out to be great friends. The other thing I love is the variety. Every house is different, every client is different, and it all comes with its own unique challenges.
I decided to separate from Coldwell Banker in 2021. Real estate boomed in 2020 and 2021. I managed a huge amount of volume pretty much by myself. Coldwell offered the power of a big brand, but I figured I could somehow make up for that. I took a big leap and joined Five Star Real Estate. The marketing group with Five Star encouraged me to build on my familiarity with the area. Many of the residents have heard of me in some way shape or form and I could build on my good reputation.
I chose Robin Vilter Group as the name of my business. We chose the robin bird as the logo for my name but also because of the symbolism. The robin is Michigan's state bird. It symbolizes hope, renewal, rebirth, new beginnings, and new projects, and is a sign of good things to come.

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