Are you interested in buying a home and aren’t sure where to begin? Here are some steps to help you get started!
1 – Call a Real Estate Agent
Generally the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent are paid by the seller. We can save you time by actively looking for homes that meet your criteria. We will advise you, help you negotiate an offer, prepare paperwork, and coordinate your transaction through closing.
2 – Visit with Your Lender
Things to keep in mind: Do you have a DOWN PAYMENT? (100% loans may be available.) Do you have funds for an EARNEST CHECK? Do you have funds for your CLOSING COSTS? A lender can help you figure out your price point and the best loan program. They will give you a Good Faith Estimate (Preliminary Cost Estimate) which lists your estimated closing costs and lender fees. *If you need a lender, we would be happy to provide recommendations.
3 – Start Your Home Search
When you find the home that meets your goals, we will help you decide on the best price to offer and what items you should negotiate. We will prepare your Purchase & Sale Agreement and submit it to the seller’s agent. The seller is given a short period of time in which to respond to your offer (generally 1 to 2 days). They will respond by signing your P&S Agreement, rejecting your offer, or by giving you a counter offer. If you are given a counter offer, you can either reject it, accept it, or respond with your own counter offer. Once you have a fully signed agreement, the next step is the home inspection.
4 – Home Inspection
Inspections are generally paid by you, the buyer, at the time of the inspection. If you need help deciding on a home inspector, we will provide you with a list of recommendations. Any structural, hazardous, or unsafe items found in the home inspection will go on the inspection contingency, asking the seller to make repairs. Picky repair items are not appropriate to put on the contingency. After the home inspection is performed, we provide the seller with an Inspection Contingency Release Notice. The seller will either agree to make the repairs at their expense or they will refuse. If the seller refuses, you can decide to continue the transaction or withdraw.
5 – Appraisal & Title
Your lender will order the appraisal. Appraisals are generally paid by the buyer at closing (depending on the agreement). Often your lender will ask you to preapy the appraisal (approximately $400-$600). The title company will conduct title searches for existing claims on properties, prepare title insurance, and maintain necessary escrow accountse. The appraisal usually takes 7-10 business days.
6 – Closing & Celebrating
Usually the closing documents are signed the day before the actual closing. The closing date is the day the funds are transferred to the seller and the home is recorded in your name. Typically the buyer needs to sign documents at least a day or two before the specified closing date. This will helip ensure that the transaction will fund and for you to receive the keys to your new home on the day of closing. We will be with you at your signing to make sure everything is in order.
7 – Getting Settled In
Once moved in, we will follow up and make sure you are loving your home!