The Home Buying Process
The Home Buying Process doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you know what to expect every step of the way. Having a guide (like me), can really make you feel comfortable with buying a home.
1. Find a full time licensed real estate agent: The reason I say full time is because the market is constantly changing, and unless they are not actively working in the market, how do they know what is going on. The purchase of a home is a six figure purchase, why would you work with someone who does this on the side? Meet with an agent, preferably me, and find out more about the way that person can help you.
2. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage: If you are obtaining financing, find a mortgage lender to prequalify you. Prequalification gives you a better idea of how much of a loan you can be approved for and how much home you can afford.
3. Search for a Home: This is the fun part! Your Realtor has access to a lot of tools that provide them with a lot of listings and available homes. Through their network of agents & investors, they also have access to homes that are off market or about to be listed. Once you have selected a few that you love, your agent will schedule appointments and show you the homes.
4. Making the Offer: Be warned: Your first offer might not be accepted. I REPEAT: You might make a few offers that aren’t accepted in the process. The market moves fast, and with many factors at work, you might run into multiple offer situations, and situations where homes even sell above their listed prices, but do not be discourage, let your heart not be troubled, a home will be found. An agent will help you make the best offer based on your budget and terms.
5. Contract & Escrow: Congratulations, your offer has been accepted! The offer now becomes a contract. Your realtor should provide you with a list of important dates to abide by. First & foremost is your escrow deposit. Your escrow deposit is help by your title & escrow agency to secure your contract and is due by the time stated on the contract.
6. Inspection Period & Negotiations: The next time period in your contract is the Inspection Period. Depending on the terms of your contract, you have a certain number of days to hire a licensed inspector to do a thorough home inspection. During this period you can cancel the contract without reason and retrieve your escrow deposit. A home inspection can bring to light any issues the home may have. Once you have the inspection report in hand, you can use any existing issues to negotiate the price down. This isn’t always guaranteed, but sometimes, depending on what is found, you can bring down the price of the contract.
7. Appraisal: If you are obtaining financing, your lender will require you to pay for an appraisal. A licensed appraiser will be sent out to the home, and based on the condition of the home, and comparable sales in the area, the appraiser will prepare an Appraisal Report with a home value. If this number is higher than the contract sales price, congratulations, you are buying under market value. If it is lower than the contract sales price, you have another opportunity to possibly negotiate the price down.
8. Review Lender Terms & Final Details: You are almost there! The lender will provide you the final terms of your loan and your closing company will provide you with your closing costs. This will give you the amount needed to close.
9. Pre Closing Walkthrough: On the closing day, a final walkthrough will be completed. This walkthrough assures nothing has materially changed since the inspection, and that any agreed upon repairs were completed.
10. Closing Day!: Congratulations! On closing day you will meet at your title agency and sign all of the sale documents, and once the sale is funded, you will receive your keys. It is time to celebrate.
I would love to help you with any questions you might have. Be sure to contact me for help.