A GUIDE TO THE HOME BUYING PROCESS
Finding the right home, in the perfect neighborhood and at a cost that is within your budget is no small task. Thats were I come in. As your Realtor, I am committed to diligently seeking out potential homes for you, thoroughly researching your top candidates, and advocating strongly on your behalf to ensure you secure your next home at the best possible price.
Making Sense of the Data.
Theres lots of information availableon the web, in books and through friendsto assist you in your home search. So much that its sometimes overwhelming. I can help you navigate though the data, understand the relevant aspects and have clarity around the process and what to expect.
Peruse Homes and Neighborhoods.
Its helpful to start your search on a broad scale so that you become familiar with all of the options. Youll quickly define style, floor plans and communities that resonate with you.
Explore the Market.
Knowing data and the current oer environment help you become a better informed buyer and successfully compete in todays market. I have the tools to help you make the best decisions.
Identify Mortgage Parameters.
Meet with local mortgage lenders to find out what the best home loan programs for you are. This helps you evaluate options ahead of time and a lender pre-approval letter is a must have in todays market.
RESEARCH. EXPLORE. PONDER.
Neighborhood.Floor Plans & Styles. Condition. Price.
Once you have clarity about the type of home, neighborhood and price range you are looking for, it helps to create a list of your must have and nice to have criteria for your new home and reevaluate it often through the search process.
Look at Homes that Meet Your Criteria.
Together, well scour the market to make sure you dont miss anything. Well see potential homes and identify candidates for purchase. We will adjust criteria as needed based upon the knowledge you gain along the way.
The Top 3.
Well keep a running Top 3 list of the homes that best fit your wants and needs. No home will be perfect, but if it meets most of your criteria, it might be worthy of consideration. We can then evaluate the facts and data to make a solid decision.
FINDING THE RIGHT HOME
Research and Review.
Well thoroughly research and review your Top 3, including looking over the sellers property disclosure statement (Form 17) to ensure you know about any known defects and accessing public records and permit history. Ill relay any questions you may have to the sellers broker for a response.
If you find yourself competing for the best homes in todays multiple oer environment, you might give your oer a significant boost by conducting a pre-inspection of the home and eliminating your inspection contingency altogether.
Based on the age of the home and potential concerns you may have, Ill recommend further evaluation by professionals as appropriate (i.e. oil tank certification, sewer scopes, geo-tech surveys, etc.)
INVESTIGATE THE DETAILS
In additional to preparing a well-written agreement, Ill outline the major components of your oer and highlight its strengths in a cover letter. Many buyers also opt to include a personal letter to the seller telling a little about themselves and why they chose to make on oer on the sellers home. Sometimes this personal touch makes all the dierence as most sellers would rather make a concession for a buyer they like.
Before writing your oer, Ill do a market evaluation to determine value so you can make knowledgeable decisions and avoid paying too much.
I will review optional clauses, financing, appraisal, inspection, and title contingencies with you and explain how they work. Ill help you determine what you need to protect your interests.
Ill advise you on how to best structure a competitive oer based on your purchase objectives, and discuss strategy alternatives, so that I can best represent you at the oer presentation.
If not done already, Ill recommend further evaluation by professionals as appropriate (i.e. oil tank certification, sewer scopes, geo-tech surveys, etc.)
The Oer.Youll sign the oer and write an earnest money check (typically 1-3% of the price) to show good faith. If possible, Ill present your oer in personcreating a professional impression and personally explaining the merits of your oer.
Seller Decision.The seller can accept your oer, counter it, or reject it. In a multiple oer situation, the seller will typically chose to counter the strongest oer first.
Counteroer Process.The most typical seller response is a counteroerwhich might address major hurdles such as a gap in price or minor tweaks such as a change in timing.
Buyer Decision.After evaluating the sellers counteroer, your choices are to accept it, counter it back, or reject it. Ill walk you through the process and communicate your decision to the sellers broker.
Mutual Acceptance.Mutual acceptance occurs when the buyer and seller have agreed, in writing, to all contract terms and signed documents are delivered to the other party with no further changes. Verbal agreements show a parties intent but are not legally binding.
Potential detours.If the seller accepts a dierent oer, or you decide this isnt the right home to pursue, go back to your Top 3 or look at homes again until you find one you would be interested in making an oer on.
THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS
Loan Application. Make formal loan application (typically within 5 days) to meet the requirements of the financing contingency. Missing this deadline may put your earnest money at risk if you cant get your loanunless, of course, you are paying all cash!
Appraisal. An independent appraiser hired by the
lender visits the property to conduct an appraisal and verify the sales price
matches current values.
Title Review. You will receive a title report from the title insurance company. Together with the title ocer, youll verify the property has no liens or encumbrances that would aect title.
Inspection. If you didnt conduct a pre-inspection, youll schedule home inspection with a
licensed professional home inspector who works on your behalf to determine safety
and structural issues that would aect your ownership.
Information Verification. This contingency allows you to verify the
sellers statements through public records, neighbors, or document review.
Evaluations and Insurance. Any professional evaluations you opted to have would be done at this time (i.e. oil tank certification, sewer scopes, geo-tech surveys, etc.). This is also a good time to call your insurance broker for a binder.
Now that you have come to terms with the seller, its time to conduct your due diligence under the contract. Ill create a timeline checklist to provide clarity over what needs to
happen and when. Here are some of the typical contingencies that need to be addressed.
CONDUCTING YOUR DUE DILIGENCE
Piece of Mind.
A big part of my job is providing you information to make sound decisions, making you aware of your rights and options, and managing the process so nothing is overlooked.
Through each contingency and evaluation, Ill help you prepare the appropriate notices and walk you through the options, protocol and process so you know exactly what to expect.
Then Ill timely communicate those notices to the sellers broker and keep you informed of the status every step of the way.
FinancingHOA ReviewVerificationAppraisalLead PaintUtilities
InspectionFeasibilityInsurance Evaluation Title Review Form 17
NAVIGATING THE PROCESS
Your Advocate Every Step of the Way.
When the unexpected complication arises, Ill help you understand your options, communicate your decisions to the sellers broker, and negotiate a resolution or termination based on your wishes.
The bottom line: I want you to be happy in your home for years to come and Id like you to think of me as your real estate resource for life. My goal isnt to make a quick sale, its to help you secure the right home for your needs.
Title issues Low appraisal Financing challenges
WORKING THROUGH ISSUES
Loan Approval. Your loan package goes to underwriting for loan approval.Underwriting is a formal analysis of your ability to repay the loan.
Escrow Signing.You will set an appointment to sign escrow documents, typically several days prior to closing. Youll bring your ID and a cashiers check for the amount due at closing.
Escrow Statement.Loan documents are sent to escrowa neutral third party who facilitates closing of the sale. Escrow will prepare an estimated settlement statement for review.
Ill be in close contact to help insure this process moves along as seamlessly as possible. If issues occur, Ill communicate them immediately and help develop a plan to quickly resolve
THE FINAL STRETCH
Final Lender Review.After all parties have signed escrow documents, the lender will perform a final review. Upon approval, the deed is released for recording at the county. This is a good time to transfer all utilities into your name.
Closing.Closing occurs once the deed is recorded and funds transferred to seller. Depending on the time of recording, funding can occur on the same day or the following day.
Possession.9 pm on the closing date unless otherwise agreed. Sellers often agree to grant possession once their funds are released. Ill coordinate delivery of the keys with you.
Congratulations!You are the proud new owner of your home! Please consider me your local real estate connection going forward and contact me with any questions, issues or concerns that arise. I am always happy to help in any way I can. Enjoy your new home!!
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