We’re with you every step of the way.
A home isn’t a dream home because of its dimensions. It’s how you feel when you walk through the front door, and the way you envision your life unfolding there. A home is about more than real estate. It‘s about your life and your dreams.
You’re looking for a new home, and we’d be honored to be the real estate professional helping you. We work with each of our clients individually, as each has unique needs and lifestyles – and we’ll do the same with you. This page contains helpful information for home buyers to help you understand the process you’re about to take on.
We are so excited to get started on finding you the perfect home.
The Home Buying Process
The process of buying a home can be difficult to navigate through and overwhelming at times. That’s why we’re here!
We’ll guide you through the following steps to make the process as smooth as possible.
1. Determine Your Budget
In order to know the loan size for which you qualify based on your personal finances, consult with a mortgage broker, bank or financial advisor. We have an army of resources to help you start this process. These consultations will dictate your purchase price, which is key as you and your realtor embark on the search for your new home.
2. Get Pre-Approved
After determining your budget, obtaining a pre-approval letter from a bank or mortgage broker will validate your credibility and will be submitted with any offers to purchase. This step is also important to get all of your documents ready to show your lender.
Documentation they may need could include bank statements, W-2s, tax returns for the last two years, statements from current loans or credit lines, landlord names(s)/address(es) from the past two years, etc.
3. Find “The One”
Once you’ve made a list of your must-haves, we will keep our eyes on the market and send you all new listings that match your criteria. We will schedule and accompany you on showings.
In addition, we encourage you to look online (Zillow, Realtor.com) and send us properties of interest. If you see any for sale by owner properties, those sellers expect buyers to come with agents and we are happy to schedule these showings and accompany you.
4. Make an Offer
When you find the right house, we’ll submit the formal offer paperwork to the seller. The seller can accept, counter, or reject the offer. Of course, accepting or countering are the most common responses. Often negotiations can take multiple rounds of back and forth countering between buyer and seller.
The typical offer includes the following four documents:
i. Purchase Agreement: defines the terms and conditions of your offer, such as purchase price, closing date, down payment, type of financing, contingencies and various deadlines.
ii. Seller’s Sales Disclosure: completed by the seller when they list the property. It lists all the major components of the house (e.g., furnace, roof, fireplace, etc.) along with any known defects.
iii. Lead-Based Paint Certification & Acknowledgement:
discloses any reports or direct knowledge of lead-based paint on the property.
iv. Agency & Marketing Services Agreement Disclosure: explains the different types of agency relationships (buyer’s agent, seller’s agent, and limited agent).
5. Negotiate the Contract
Your Realtor will guide you through the negotiation process. Buyer and Seller will negotiate on any and all terms presented in the Purchase Agreement. While price is paramount, other important things to consider include timing for close and contingencies for financing.
Multiple bid situations are prevalent right now – but there are several ways to make your offer more appealing besides pricing. We will help you!
6. Deposit the Earnest Money
Once a Purchase Agreement is signed and accepted by the seller, the buyer seals the contract with an earnest money deposit. This is typically 1% of the sales price, and is due within 48 hours of offer acceptance. The earnest money is held by the listing agency until the closing. At closing, this amount goes toward your down payment.
7. Get the Home Inspected
The primary purpose of an inspection is to uncover any major defects and to ensure you are making an educated decision with all the pertinent information. A major defect is defined as an issue that will affect the future value of your new home. If any major defects are found, you have several options:
Request the seller make the repair prior to closing.
Request a monetary credit from the seller to make the repair after closing.
Walk away from the purchase & refund earnest money.
Take responsibility of making the repair after closing.
The Purchase Agreement states that the buyer should only request major defects fixed by the seller; however, there is some objectivity involved at this stage if you stay within reason, which I will help you navigate to maximize your benefit.
After the inspection, we’ll meet to discuss the inspection report and determine if we will be asking the seller to repair (or give you a credit to repair) any items found during the inspection.
8. Get Appraised + Final Loan Approval
The lender will walk you through this process in detail. The most important thing to emphasize is that you should send the lender all the necessary documents as quickly as possible because this could delay closing.
9. Prepare for Closing
During the week of closing, you will need to:
• Transfer utilities
• Obtain repair verification (if applicable)
• Review the settlement statement
• Wire closing funds to title company, or bring a cashier’s check if under $10,000 (Note: The lender will give you exact amount prior to closing. Always confirm wire instructions with the title company before sending funds.)
• Do a final walkthrough of the property to ensure no catastrophic incident has occurred
10. Close on the House
Who attends? All buyers on title or mortgage, sellers, both agents & the title company’s closing agent
Where does closing typically take place? At the title company location
How long does closing typically take? One hour
What do you bring? Driver’s License or government-issued photo ID
You just bought a house. Congrats!
12. Keep in Touch Afterwards
After your first mortgage payment has been made, confirm with county assessors office that both Homestead tax exemption and your mortgage exemption has been filed. And don’t worry – we’re still here for you! You’ll always be a friend and client, and we’re here as a resource for your family.
Need resources like lenders, inspectors, movers and title insurance? Interested in reviewing sample closing costs?
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