Home Buyers: We know it is a lot to read, but it can be very helpful.
Steps in the Home Buying Process
Home buying is a large undertaking. By utilizing these steps, the process will be much easier.
1. Choose a lender and get pre-qualified or pre-approved. This will give you an idea of how much home you can afford, how much you want to put down, and what your monthly mortgage payment would be. Find someone you trust and would enjoy working with. If you would like assistance, we have many lenders available for many different situations, please contact us and we will be able to put you in touch with the right lender for your situation. Also, if you are a first time home buyer, talk with many lenders to see what type programs are available to you. These programs can range from down payment assistance to large tax breaks.
2. Decide what you want in a home and consult with us. Now that you know how much you can afford and what price range is attainable, decide what you want in a home. For example, how many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How many square feet do you want the home to be or does it even matter? Do you want a gas fireplace? Do you want a yard? Do you want to take care of that yard or would you rather pay an HOA to take care of that for you? Once you have thought about these questions, please consult with us about what you would like. We recommend making a want and needs list of items you are looking for in a home. This way when we discuss your needs and wants, we will be able to find the best homes that will fit you. We will then set up a personal search for you with all your criteria and send your possible dream home your way.
3. Go look at properties. Once you find a property or properties you would like to see, please contact us and we will go view these together. This is a very exciting part of finding a new home. This will also help give you a better understanding of what you are looking for in a home.
4. Put your pre-approval or pre-qualification to work. Once we find a property you would like to buy, we will discuss market conditions and decided the best approach to make an offer. We will then submit a written offer to the sellers of the property, at this point utilizing the pre-approval or pre-qualification letter you have already.
5.Acceptance, counterproposal, or rejection. We then will receive a response from the seller. They will either accept the offer, we will go into negotiations for a new price (counterproposal), or the offer will be rejected (which we will then discuss our options and may have to go back to step 3).
6. Under contract. Once the offer has been accepted by the sellers and all parties have agreed to the terms, the house is officially under contract. The ball is now rolling. We will get the contract over to your lender and title company so they can keep the loan process moving forward.
7. Schedule inspection and sewer scope. These are optional, but very very highly recommended. Just a heads up: these are out of pocket expenses that are not included in closing costs. The cost of these usually range from $400-$600 depending on the size of the home and what tests you would llike done. If desired, we will discuss dates and times to schedule the inspections. It is not necessary, but we highly recommended you as the buyer be present for the home inspection.
8. Inspection Objection. We would send (in writing) issues not acceptable to you found during the inspection (if any). These usually consist of saftey issues or problems with major systems of the home.
9. Inspection resolution. This is where the seller will respond to your request with which items will or will not be fixed in the home.
10. Appraisal. At this point, if everything has been resolved with the inspection resolution your lender will order the appraisal. This will ensure the price you are paying for the home is the price it is worth on the open market. This step is mainly for lenders to make sure they are securing their investment when giving you a loan.
11. Lender does their thing. At this point in the transaction, the lender will be asking for many documents and paperwork (if they haven't already). Once they have everything they need, they will then send these documents to be reviewed by an underwriter. They will get your loan approved usually a week to three days before the closing date. At this point you will receive your final numbers from the lender. This will include your monthly payment, your final closing costs, and how much money you will have to bring to the closing.
12.Final walk-through. This is where we will walk through the property the day before or day of the closing. We will be looking to see if everything that was included in the contract is still in the home and has not been removed or exchanged. We will also be checking to see if anything was damaged during the seller's move.
13. Closing! This is where your hand will start to cramp from signing all the documents, but once that process is done, the house is yours. Most of the time you will receive the keys at closing. Other times, depending on the contract, you may have to wait a day or so for the sellers to move out and then you can take possession.
During this process there may be some questions or concerns you might have. As always, we will be available. Please do not hesitate to contact us during any time of this process.