Ready, Set, Go!
(Well, sort of...)
How does the Buying process work?
1. Goals - We want to know why you're looking to move? Need to be closer to work or family? Have a specific school district in mind? Need more room for the kids and/or pets? Want to downsize with less to take care of? All of these points will help us narrow your search.
2. Pre-Approval - Why is pre-approval always the first action step to the Buying Process? First off, it's crucial to understand your personal financial situation, and what amount of monthly payment or mortgage you'd be comfortable with. A qualified lending institution or lender will be able to help answer questions and guide you through this process. Fair warning...Be prepared to have at least 2 years back taxes, two months of payment stubs and bank statements, etc. at hand for the lender to verify. This can seem intrusive, but is designed to protect you from getting in over your head, and the banks from making bad loans.
Secondly, in today's market all offers must be accompanied with a pre-approval or proof of funds if purchasing with cash. It's heart-breaking to fall in love with a home, only to lose it to another party because you don't have your pre-approval or proof of funds in hand!
3. Tools - Now that you know what price range of home will match your monthly mortgage criteria, it's time to shop! We have the tools that will help you stay current with listings that match your search criteria, with live refreshes from the MLS every 15 minutes. What's more, you can save your search criteria and choose to have notifications emailed or sent to your phone via text message as soon as new listing hits the market. This way you don't have to login and continually monitor the web 24/7.
4. Tours - The fun has begun! Once we've found a desirable home or set homes, it's time to go tour. We'll sort out the pros and cons of what's available, and always keep an eye on the potential resale of the property, and how that may or may not influence your decision making.
5. Offers - Local area knowledge and experience helps to structure an offer so that you can be competitive, yet leverage yourself to get the best terms. Additionally, we'll review the real estate contract in detail and discuss how the contract will perform in terms of financing, timeline, buyer requests, closing, etc.
6. Acceptance - Once an offer is accepted you'll be given copies of the contract, a calendar of events that includes when is the appropriate time to conduct inspections, schedule closing, have the utilities transferred to your name, etc.
7. Inspections - With an accepted contract, the stopwatch starts and the Inspection Period begins. This is generally a 10 day period, unless negotiated otherwise, that allows Buyers to do their due diligence. We're here with recommendations, and can help schedule these inspections that generally include but are not limited to: a whole house, termite, and radon inspection.
After the Inspection Results are in, Buyers have an opportunity to do one of 3 things:
- Accept the Property As-Is
- Offer to Renegotiate
- Cancel the Contract
8. Appraisal - Assuming the Inspection Resolution is satisfied, the bank will then order an appraisal of the property. If the appraisal comes in at or above the sales price of the contract, we're good to go. However, if it's lower than the sales price of the contract, Buyer and Seller can choose to honor the contract price with the Buyer paying the difference, or they can agree to:
- Use the appraised value as the new purchase price with the Seller making up the difference
- Meet in the Middle
- Cancel the Contract
9. Closing - Assuming all goes well with the appraisal, it's time to get ready to move! We'll help you navigate the small details leading up to closing to ensure a successful experience.
10. Moving Day! - Congratulations you've bought a home!