Over the years, I have noticed that even if someone has purchased a home in the past, I shouldn’t assume that they are experts in the home buying process.  It’s always important to spend a few minutes with all buyers outlining the process.  Many buyers don’t know where to start, and in order to ensure a seamless and exciting home buying experience, we here at MAY GROUP REALTORS recommend following these steps:

1.Work with a Real Estate Professional

Purchasing real estate can be complex and a major decision that involves many details.  An experienced real estate agent can guide you through the process and help you avoid costly mistakes.  A buyer’s agent is one who represents you and your needs.  Similarly, the seller will have a seller’s agent representing them and commissions are generally paid by the seller.  There may also be a situation where a real estate agent can represent both the buyer and the seller which is called Dual Agency. 

2.Let your Real Estate Professional know what YOU WANT and what you DON’T WANT

The more information your realtor knows about the type of house you are looking for including location and amenities, the smoother the search will go.  Here is a basic checklist to get you started:

  • What type of house are you looking for – ranch, two story, new construction, resale?
  • How many bedrooms/bathrooms?
  • Do you want to live in the city or more rural area?
  • Do you have a school you want to be nearby for your children?
  • Do you want a large kitchen, master suite, number of beds on the same level, laundry room on a specific level, air conditioning?
  • Lots to think about but doing your due diligence will pay off in the end

3.Get pre-approved for a loan

This is a great way to show sellers that you are a serious and creditable buyer.  You will need to work with a local lender to determine if you qualify for a loan and for how much.  While the pre approval loan does not guarantee a loan, it is the first step towards getting a mortgage and your new home. 

4.Select and view properties

Using the information you gathered for your realtor on what type of home and amenities you are looking for, you can now start looking for available properties to visit.  You also know what your price range is from your pre-approval.  Filtering on this information will give you a good idea of what is available and if there are amenities you can add or remove to work within your budget.  Your realtor can help you pull this list together as well.  We are here to help as much as possible throughout the process so don’t hesitate on asking any questions. 

5.Making an Offer

At this step you have found your home so it’s time to make an offer and start negotiations.  Your realtor can determine the price of comparable homes and give you an idea of where to start with an offer.  Sellers usually price a little high expecting to go back in forth until there is a final agreed upon price.  With an agreed upon price, you are ready to put up an earnest money deposit as a sign of good faith and that you are seriously interested in buying the home.  The good faith is normally 1% of the sale price of the home.  The offer, good faith check and pre-approval letter will then be presented to the seller. 

If your offer is rejected or there is not a final agreement, your earnest money will be returned to you.  If the seller accepts, you will proceed with the property inspection and secure your mortgage.  You are now one step closer and still on track to owning your new home. 

6.Inspection time

Typically purchase offers are contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection report.  This will allow for a licensed home inspector to find any structural issues or anything that needs to be fixed, literally ANYTHING.  Once the report is done, you can request in writing to have the seller repair or replace items by a certain date before close.  If the seller does not agree to the inspection objections, you have the right to terminate the contract to purchase.

7.Choose a mortgage

Work with your lender to choose a mortgage that’s right for you.  In additional, if you are pre-approved the following tasks will be done by your lender:

  • Get a survey of the property if needed
  • Ask you to provide them with your current pay stubs and bank statements
  • It is very important during this time that you do not make any large purchases that might affect your credit score or rating.

8.Title Insurance and Appraisal

It’s the seller’s responsibility to provide you with title Insurance before the title deadline in the purchasing agreement.  If there are any unresolved issues on the title, the seller will have to take care of them with the title company to assure you a clear title.

  • Your lender will assign an appraiser to go out and appraise the property.  The cost of the appraisal will either be paid by you up front when you apply for your pre-approval or at closing.

9.Obtain home owners insurance

Before your bank allows you to close on your home, they will want to verify that you have home owners insurance.  This is a less painful task, just need to find an option that right for you. 

10.Closing

You made it! 

  • The home title will transfer to you
  • The home owners insurance will be verified
  • The terms of the mortgage will be finalized
  • You will receive the keys to your new home

Moving in is that last task so rest up and enjoy your new home. 

Congrats!

The May Group