The unfathomable numbers. The endless details. Buying a home can certainly seem like a daunting process. It’s not something you do every day, so don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed. The following is an overview of the basic steps we’ll go through to make homeownership a reality. My goal is to facilitate a smooth and enjoyable process and to keep you smiling along the way.
I. Preapproval with a reputable lender
The first, and possibly most important step (unless paying cash), is to get preapproved with a reputable lender. This may be a mortgage broker or bank. It is so important to choose a lender with a known track record. I am happy to make recommendations or assist you in evaluating the lender. Go to the RESOURCES page on this site for a list of reputable lenders. If you’re “shopping” for a lender with the best rates be sure to make your calls on the same day as rates change constantly.
II. House hunting!
OK, you’ve provided your lender with all the pertinent information and you’re preapproved. Now we can search with confidence knowing we’ve established a realistic purchase price. Together we’ll determine our course of action. We’ll select your neighborhoods of interest and the features you desire that fall within your target price range. I will preview most of the properties that match (or almost exactly match) your criteria. This saves you the time consumed by seeing properties that will not be of interest. We are a team, and therefore, I encourage you to take an active role in our search as well. Should you drive by an available property that looks interesting or see an ad in the paper, please let me know. You should also feel free to search online. We will talk about some good websites for that. Often what you see may be something I’ve already seen and/or something that doesn’t fit your criteria, but you’ll have the comfort of knowing it was considered. You should also know that I keep a watchful eye on the For Sale By Owner market. My goal is to give you access to all available properties.
III. Making an Offer
We’ve done it! We’ve found a property that fits your needs and now we’re going to make our next move. I will have already provided you with a copy of the Purchase and Sale Agreement for your review. We will write the offer! I will explain our legal rights and responsibilities and we will discuss negotiating strategies and the finer points of financing, inspections, title, escrow and more. Once we’ve written an offer with which you are comfortable, I will immediately contact the listing agent or seller to present it on your behalf.
IV. Satisfying Conditions
Congratulations! We have successfully negotiated all items of price and terms and we’re on our way. Now, it’s time for the details. Most likely, we have made ouroffer subject to certain conditions; inspection, approval of Form 17, title and review of the Resale Certificate (if the property is a condominium). It is at this point that those conditions will be exercised.
The biggest concern often lies with the condition of the improvements on your property. You will hire an inspector to evaluate this for you. Again, I am happy to make recommendations or assist you in evaluating the inspector of your choice. Via the inspection, we will determine if there are any repairs necessary or actions that you would like to see performed by the seller. We will have a specific time period within which to perform our inspection and if we see fit, to ask the seller to repair items. The seller then has the opportunity to determine the cost/scope of said repairs and his/her willingness to rectify these items.
B. Form 17—Seller’s Disclosure
State law provides for sellers of real property, within certain exceptions, to provide buyers with information regarding their property via a Seller’s Disclosure. This is a lengthy questionnaire within which the seller must disclose any known material defects of the property. You have a prescribed amount of time, generally coinciding with our inspection period timeframe, within which to approve, question or disapprove of the information contained.
C. Title Report Review
As a buyer you will also have the opportunity, with my assistance, to review the preliminary title report for the property to make certain there are no adverse conditions on title. These items can include encroachments, liens, easements and/or restrictive covenants of which you may not approve.
V. Moving on to Closing
We’ve satisfied all of our conditions and are confident we are moving forward with the transaction. At this time your biggest responsibility will be to with the lender on completing any additional paperwork or meeting any conditions they need satisfied. Most of the work from this time forward takes place behinds the scenes. These items include the following:
B. Submitting your loan for final approval
C. Setting up escrow
D. Communication between all parties to insure a smooth
As a buyer, one of your last responsibilities includes securing homeowner’s insurance and making sure all monies are available for your down payment. Once final loan documents are prepared, you will schedule to sign your documents with escrow and prepare to close on your new home. I then deliver your keys...Congratulations!