Congratulations! You’re on your way to buying your first home or maybe this is a repeat purchase. Regardless, if this isn’t something you do every day, the process may be a bit fuzzy. We want to make sure you understand everything about the process of buying a home so that you can make better informed decisions and make the entire process much less stressful. Knowledge is power so we want to make sure that you understand all the details to the home buying process. While there are a lot, there are some basics to know.
Before looking at homes is important to understand your financial situation. Are you planning on obtaining a home loan? You’ll need to be preapproved by a lender before looking at property. Why? Let’s say you find a beautiful home but haven’t done the financial homework necessary to know if you can afford the monthly payment or not. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a home you love only to discover you can’t afford it. The preapproval process will avoid this frustration and discouragement by giving you a price range ahead of time. Armed with this information, you can limit your home search to properties that meet your budget and your criteria.
Contact us at any time to speak to a lender in our area that can offer an easy and simple preapproval process.
We can’t stress this enough. Having your own buyer representation means that your interest, negotiating strategies, and finances are kept confidential and working on your behalf rather than the listing agent and seller of any property. When buyers consult the listing agent on purchasing a property, that listing agent is working for the seller first, not the buyer. A buyers’ agent receives a commission from the sale of whichever home the buyer chooses so it really is beneficial to have your own agent when purchasing property. Contact our office at any time for information on getting the perfect buyer’s agent for your needs.
Once you have the preapproval process underway and even enlisted the help of a buyer’s agent, it’s important to know what you really want out of the home. Are you looking to live in the home for the next 5 to 10 years? What are your needs both now and in the future? Will you be increasing your family or downsizing? How far away do you want to be from work, friends and family, general necessities and conveniences? By making a simple checklist of must haves and deal breakers, you can better decide on the home before even stepping foot on the property.
The offer process.
Once you have found a home you love you and your agent will write up a solid offer to submit to sellers. There may be counter offers and negotiations, but once mutual acceptance has occurred, and earnest money deposit of anywhere from $500 to 10% of the purchase of the property will be deposited into an escrow account, essentially “opening escrow”. Escrow and title companies will work to gather documents, insurance, and the necessary financial paperwork to finalize on the property.
We always urged all of our buyers to have a home inspection. This is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make so it’s important to know as much as you can about the property. Ask questions, be detailed in your understanding, and negotiate any repairs or financial compensation with the seller.
Once all contingencies have been satisfied, financing has gone through, and the inspection is completed, buyers and sellers can move on to closing. You will receive a phone call from your closing agent on final signing. Bring with you identification and any closing costs or down payment and within 1 to 3 days after final signing you should receive the keys to your new home.
If you have any questions on buying a home, the buying process or obtaining a buyers agent, contact our office at any time.