SEVEN STEPS TO BUYING YOUR HOME
1. DEFINE YOUR NEEDS
Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home! Before you go house hunting, it’s a good idea to define what kind of home and neighborhood would best suit your desires and needs and make a wish list.. The finer the details, the more effective your home search will be. To further define your needs, you may want to divide your lists into negotiable and non-negotiable items, so we can operate with some flexibility when scouting for homes on your behalf.
2. GET PREQUALIFIED OR PREAPPROVED
Now that you know what you want in a home and neighborhood, you need to find out what you can afford. There are two ways to go about this: prequalification or preapproval for a home loan. I can refer you to a mortgage broker to begin the process. In most markets, preapproved buyers are preferred by sellers over those who are pre-qualified.
Your preapproved status lets the seller know:
- You have gone through an extensive financial background check.
- A lender is willing to do business with you.
- The likelihood of unexpected obstacles regarding financing is minimal.
3. LET THE HOUSE HUNTING BEGIN!
Now you are ready to embark on your home search – an endeavor that can prove overwhelming if not approached with some forethought. Using your wish list as a guide, I will alert you of new and existing listings that have strong potential. If these listings pique your interest, I will arrange home tours at your convenience.
4. MAKE AN OFFER
When you’re ready to make an offer on a home, I will help you determine the offer price by reviewing recent sales of homes similar in size, quality and amenities. With your input, I will draft a written contract that outlines what needs to be done by both parties to execute the transaction. If the seller accepts the offer, the document becomes a binding agreement, so it is imperative that we carefully review it together and discuss anything not clear to you. It’s important to note that if the seller changes any aspect of the offer, it is not a binding agreement until the buyer agrees to the seller’s changes.
5. STRIKE A DEAL
Sometimes, you get lucky and the seller accepts your offer as is. However, in most instances, the seller will make a counteroffer. This is where my experience in negotiations will be invaluable. Keep in mind almost everything is negotiable when you are buying a house. This can give you a great deal of leverage in the buying process – that is, if you have adequate information and you use it in an appropriate manner.
Some items you may negotiate:
- Closing costs
- Move-in date
- Appliances and fixtures
6. PREPARE FOR THE CLOSING
When an offer becomes a binding agreement, I will help you tackle the checklist of action items that you, as the buyer, have agreed to perform prior to closing. Depending on how the responsibilities are divvied up in the agreement, this is typically when you will:
- Conduct home inspection.
- Get an appraisal and finalize your financing.
- Secure title insurance.
- Shop for a home warranty.
Having these procedures done in a timely and professional manner is a must, as any delays could threaten a successful closing.
7. CLOSE THE DEAL
Congratulations! The moment you’ve been anticipating has arrived. The closing is where home ownership is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. Closing procedures usually are held at the title company’s. The closing officer will coordinate all the document-signing and the collection and disbursement of funds. A few days before your closing date, your lender will send a final closing statement that outlines your closing costs, if applicable. I will review this document with you to ensure its accuracy, as well as help you gather any necessary documentation that you’ll need to bring to closing.