In order to purchase a house, you will need to know how you are paying for it. Most people need a mortgage to pay for their house. Quite often, people have a list of homes they want to look at before they even know if they can afford them. Instead of looking for homes, you need to look for a lender and get pre-qualified! First you will need to find a professional mortgage lender who is experienced and easy to work with. We usually recommend working with a local lender as opposed to a national company. Your broker will have some lenders they can refer you to. (They are not compensated for the referral by the way.) A good lender will do everything they can to help you purchase a home. They are on your side! Remember, you are paying them for their guidance through the process, recommendations, and insight to get you to the closing table.
The lender will help you to determine what your price range is. This is a crucial step to take before looking at homes. Look at your finances and determine how much you are comfortable spending per month and work backwards from there. Be sure to ask your lender for a pre-approval letter. This will accompany your purchase and sale offer and help the buying process go faster.
The pre-approval letter will make your offer look stronger, and let the seller know you have all of your ducks in a row, and ready to buy!
A broker is your greatest asset as a buyer, and needs to be someone you trust and like working with. It's important to be on the same page with them and know that they are going to do their best to answer all of your questions, and be pro-active in your buying process. With the internet, your broker can send you listings as soon as they hit the market, look up county data on properties, and keep in constant communication with you. Even out of state buyers....we've shot videos of homes and sent them to buyers to watch if they can't make a trip to see it themselves. Your broker is your eyes and ears on the market. Take their advise, listen, and make sure they understand exactly what you want. What you want can change as you start to look at properties. Keep them up to date as you realize your "wants" have evolved.
What else do they do? One of the most important things your broker will do is document and facilitate the deal. Once your under contract to purchase a home, your broker will make sure you are following all of the timelines, requirements, and necessary steps in order to keep everything in accordance with the offer. One missed step on your timeline can terminate a deal. Example...if you are suppose to have an inspection done in 10 days, and you give your inspection response to the seller on day 11, you've just waived your right to request any repairs. The seller has every right to not look at any of your requests on that inspection response. Your broker will make sure you are staying on time and performing to your contract requirements!
So, you've all seen the TV shows and how pretty and relaxing it is to wander through 3 properties, and choose the 1 of your dreams! Well, that's not how it always works. Can it? Sure. We've had clients buy the first house they've seen. We've also had/have clients that have/are still looking for the "perfect property" a couple years later. It's different for everyone.
Your market condition is going to have an effect on how picky you are. If you have a $100,000 budget in our area, you should not expect a new 4 bed/2 bath home with walk-in showers and smart home technology. You need to be realistic. This is where your broker can help. Instead of meeting out at a home first, we like to meet in our office with a new buyer. We like to go over what the current market looks like, and what they can expect to see for their budget and time frame.
We also advise our buyers to go out and do a drive by first. Drive by the potential homes and see what the surrounding neighborhood is like. This will give you a better understanding of what areas you like/dislike. We enjoy having a buyer tell us that they really don't want to live in a certain area. That helps us eliminate and narrow down the properties that meet the buyer's needs.
Lastly, try to hold it to 3 or less houses per outing. If you see more than 3 houses in one touring session, you're likely to get a little mixed up on what property had what, and which elements you liked/disliked.
So, then you find it....the property of your dreams! Rainbows and unicorns fly through the air and you tell your broker..."This is it!...now what do we do?" Well, you make an offer!
You've found the property you love and want to make an offer. Your broker will then walk you through the process of figuring out what that offer is going to be and proceed.
To help make the process of buying a property easier to understand and follow, we've created this timeline for you. The following timeline will provide you with an itemized "reminder" to refer to during the purchasing process.
PRE OFFER ITEMS TO DO
- Get pre-qualified with a lender
FIND A PROPERTY AND MAKE YOUR OFFER
- After your agent helps you find your property, he/she will then compile the necessary paperwork for you to make an offer.
- You will meet with the agent and go over the seller disclosures and compose your offer
- The agent will present your offer and notify you with their response. (Determined by the offer deadline.)
- When you and the seller come to agreement, this is called Mutual Acceptance
-The agent will make sure your lender gets a copy of the contract as well as the title company
- You will then have to submit earnest money to the escrow company (determined by the contract.)
EARNEST $ DEPOSIT
- Upon mutual acceptance, you will either give your earnest money check to your agent to submit or drop it off at the title company yourself to be held through the process.
INSPECTION AND INSPECTION RESPONSE
- You will need to schedule an inspection of the property with a licensed home inspector.
- The inspection, which you may attend if wanted, will be performed. The inspector will provide you and the realtor with a detailed report to review.
-Before the inspection deadline, the agent and you will review the inspection and give the seller a response. your response will be a waiver, a request for repairs/remedies, or a withdrawal form the purchase.
- If the property is on a well and or septic system, this is the time to get it tested/pumped.
- The agent will collect a water sample from the property to get tested by a lab for contaminates.
- The seller will pump and test the septic system, then provide us with verification.
- You and the agent will be sent a title report by the title company to review. If there are any questions, your agent can contact the title company for you.
- If there are other contingencies in the contract, they will need to be satisfied as well.
APPRAISAL AND RESPONSE
- Your lender will order an appraisal to be performed on the property. if there are any issues, we will then have to address them with the seller through an addendum.
HOME OWNER INSURANCE
- You will need to provide the lender with an application for home owner insurance from your provider prior to closing. (Check with your lender for their requirements.)
FINAL WALK THROUGH
- You may/may not need to do a final walk-through on the property to verify repairs, or condition of the home. (This is very common on new construction.)
SCHEDULE A SIGNING
- The title and escrow company will contact you for a time to sign papers to "close" the deal. It's a good idea to verify the time with your agent as well.
FUNDING AND RECORDING
- Funding and recording of the transaction may occur up to 2 days after the signing of both seller and buyer. Congratulations!!!
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