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Home Buying Process

While the internet is a great first step to identifying prospective homes, working with an agent that represents your specific interests as a Buyer is invaluable to navigating the complex process of buying a home. A home purchase is one of the most significant investments in life. So the more prepared you are at the outset, the less overwhelming and chaotic the buying process will be and the better the outcome.

I assist my buyer clients by….

  1. Identifying a qualified lender that helps determine your buying power and provide financing options.
  2. Leveraging relationships with other agents to identify properties that may not be actively listed.
  3. Providing local community and neighborhood information.
  4. Negotiating an offer and determining the right terms to be competitive.
  5. Recommending reputable inspectors for due diligence during the evaluation of the property.
  6. Guidance through the closing process so there are no surprises at the closing table and the transaction flows smoothly for all involved.
  7. Guiding through the closing process so the transaction flows smoothly with no surprises at the closing table.

6 IMPORTANT STEPS IN THE HOME BUYING PROCESS

1 INITIAL CONSULTATION

We should meet face-to-face to review your overall objectives in searching for a new home (i.e. time frame, desired features, etc.) and discuss the process. I will have you complete a questionnaire and we will begin to narrow down types of properties and neighborhoods so we have an efficient search.

2OBTAIN A LOAN PRE-APPROVAL

You MUST have a lender PRE-APPROVAL LETTER to write a contract. Therefore, it makes sense to start this process before looking at properties. I will recommend a few reputable lenders or you can select your own. A lender will review your salary, credit and source of funds for the purchase to determine a comfortable loan amount before providing a pre-approval letter, which shows your borrowing power. You can consult with multiple lenders within a 30 day period and their credit inquiries will not negatively affecting your credit score.

3 ESTABLISH YOUR HOME SEARCH CRITERIA

In addition to the basics (i.e. # of bedrooms, baths), we will discuss your “wish list” (i.e. the desire for a yard, open floor plan for entertaining, big kitchen, man cave, etc.). There will definitely be trade-offs – but our goal is to find a home that meets the majority of your requirements within a comfortable price range. Once the criteria is established, I will email you regularly with listings to review to determine if they are worth touring.

4LOOK AT HOMES

This is the fun part. Once we’ve completed a search and narrowed down the options, we will schedule time to tour homes. Many properties will be on “lockbox” so we have flexibility to visit —whereas others may require an appointment. I will also identify Open Houses for you to visit on the weekends.

5CHOOSE A HOME & MAKE AN OFFER

No aspect of the home buying process is more complex or personal than bargaining between buyers and sellers. This is the point where my experience is most valuable because I know the market; will likely know the seller’s agent; and have negotiated hundreds of real estate transactions. An Offer is comprised of the following key terms:

  • Offer Price (including down payment)
  • Earnest Money Deposit (typically 2-3% of sales price)
  • Settlement Date
  • Financing Letter (specifies amount, terms and FHA or Conventional financing)
  • Contingencies ((i.e. financing, home inspection, appraisal, sale of home, etc.)

A Seller has the option of:

  1. Accepting the offer
  2. Rejecting the offer
  3. Making a counter offer

6OFFER ACCEPTED – WHAT NOW?

The contract is forwarded to the Title Company with the earnest money deposit check and …
  • Home Inspection is scheduled – typically within 7 days.
  • Buyer makes full mortgage application within 3 days of contract ratification
  • Review Condominium documents (if applicable)
  • Research and obtain Homeowner’s Insurance (required to finalize financing)
  • Arrange to connect utilities (i.e. electric and gas service)
  • Review the HUD-1 Statement (1-2 days prior to closing) which outlines all expenses associated with purchasing the property. The fees should look familiar—and be very close to the numbers provided on the Good Faith Estimate provided by your lender.
  • Conduct a walk-through of the property prior to closing to ensure the house is empty and “broom clean”, all agreed-upon repairs have been made, and to check that all systems are operational.