Buyers | The Home Buying Process
Thursday Feb 25th, 2021
So, you’re thinking of buying a home, eh? First of all, congrats! And secondly, brace yourself. It’s a wild ride, let me tell ya.
Buying a house is likely one of the most expensive transactions you’ll make to date, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Of course, each home buying transaction varies, but many steps are standard. I’ve broken down this seemingly daunting and overwhelming task into 8 steps to help make the home buying process manageable, so you can make the best decisions possible! I’ll explain all the nuances of home buying along the way, but here, I want to give you an idea of what to expect, so you’ll feel confident as you step into your home buying journey. Let’s dive in!
MEET WITH A PRO
The first thing we’ll do is meet to discuss your short- and long-term goals, your budget, and expectations. This will give me a good sense of what you’re looking for, so I can help you find the right house and negotiate a great deal.
The purpose of this zero-obligation meeting is to give you a greater understanding of the home buying process, so you can move forward confidently. And the best part? It doesn’t cost you a thing to use an agent! Buyers are not responsible for the commission payout of their agent (aside from special, rare circumstances); we’re compensated from the commission paid by the seller. In other words, you’re spared paying your agent out-of-pocket but receive the expert guidance of an active professional.
GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE
Before you head out shopping, you’ll want to know what your overall budget is looking like. You’ll meet with a lender to get a solid understanding of what you can afford. They will review your financial background by taking a look at pay stubs, W2s, and bank statements. Plus, almost any offer will require we submit a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter, so it’s best to just get it out of the way before house hunting.
Psst! Are you self-employed? The financial docs lenders need vary a bit, as do your work history requirements.
LET THE HOUSE HUNT BEGIN!
Now for the fun part! I’ll schedule showings, so we can start touring prospective homes. By now, we both know what you’re looking for in a home, but we’ll take this a step further by separating your must-haves from those features you'd like but don't really need. I’ll help you get a solid grasp of what you can afford and why, so you have a realistic understanding of what the market offers within your price range.
MAKE AN OFFER
Home-buying is like marriage: part love, part legal transaction, and always starts with a proposal. So now that you’ve found the perfect home, it’s time to make an offer that the seller can’t refuse!
I’ll do my homework and present you with a thorough analysis of what will make a fair and competitive offer. From here, we will move forward on the price and terms you choose. At this stage, many legalities need to be adhered to, which I’ve been professionally trained to understand and manage.
Warning: it’s not like on HGTV. It may take a few tries to land on a deal -- but hang in there! This is an important step.
If you get a solid “no” to your offer, it’s back to Step 3. If you get to a “yes,” celebrate! More likely than not, though, the seller won’t come back with a simple yes or no but a counteroffer for you to consider. Our negotiation potential will depend on several market conditions such as: the number of days on the market, the price range, the location, etc. The negotiating process is a dance of sorts. But don’t worry, I’m a good dancer ;)
Your new home is under contract when the seller has accepted your offer, but the sale is not yet final.
In most cases, the contract provides you with a timeline to obtain financing, as well as time to inspect the physical condition of the home. I’ll inform you of all of your rights and responsibilities related to the contract and make sure that we’re hitting all deadlines in a timely manner.
THE FINAL DETAILS
We’re on the home stretch! I’ll work closely with your lender to finalize financing documents and make sure we’re on track to hit our closing date. I’ll also give you a heads up on what to expect after closing and connect you with all the right people (i.e., movers, utility company, water supplier, etc.).
CLOSING TIME (SORRY, HAD TO)
At closing, you’ll read and sign papers and then read and sign some more. Facilitated by an independent third party (usually a title company), you’ll transfer the funds and ownership, and finally, get your hands on those keys!