The home buying process doesn’t have to be a confusing process, today I hope to break it down in 11 easy steps!
#1 Priorities - I suggest writing down your priorities and listing what is important in the home you are going to purchase. Location is key, if you want to be close to work, school district or church. Size of the home, bedrooms, lots size, layout… all these are important factors and it is a good idea to write them down so you know where you stand.
#2 Pre Approval - Getting pre approved for a mortgage is key in many ways, it not only confirms your ability to purchase but also gives you an idea of your limits, payments and up front fees. It is a good idea to know all these figures so you can stay within your budget but also shop with confidence.
#3 Realtor® - Consult with a Realtor® to represent you and work with you in your home purchase process. Take advantage of the Realtor® knowledge of the process, contracts, negotiations, neighborhoods and much more. Remember a Realtor® does this every day so they know the ins and outs, it is a good idea to have them on your side.
#4 Search - As a Realtor® I give my client’s access to the MLS system, which shows accurate up to date information on listings in the area. This is very important because you will not only see homes in your criteria but accurate information in a timely fashion. Most internet sites can have dated information which means homes that are already under contract. This happens often and can be a time waste, instead having MLS access gives you direct up to the minute access to listings so none of your time is wasted.
#5 Offer - Once you finally find a home you are interested in purchasing it is time to make an offer. Again this is where having access to the MLS shines because you will have information on your side. We will evaluate the property and compare the property to sold data, not Zestimates, to make an informed offer.
#6 Contract - Once under contract there are a few things you will want to take care of right away. Three items will need to be addressed, first the earnest money will need to be delivered to the title company, option fee check delivered to the seller for the option period and the inspection scheduled as soon as possible.
#7 Inspection - The inspection will give you a detailed evaluation of the property so you have a better understanding of the condition of the home as a whole. Remember no home is perfect so expect to find some issues even new homes are not perfect.
#8 Repairs - After the inspection is completed we will meet to go over the inspection and decide what, if any, repairs you would like to ask the seller to make in order for you to continue with the purchase. Keep the timing in mind, you are doing this under the option period and can back out if you would like, so asking for repairs at this time is not out of the question. As long as they are reasonable the seller will either agree or counter the repair request so be prepared to negotiate. This is the second negotiation most buyers are not aware of, but having an agent on your side makes it easier.
#9 Appraisal - The lender orders the appraisal as soon as they know the repairs have been agreed upon. The appraisal can take a week or two to come in so the sooner this gets ordered the better. You don’t have to be present for the appraisal but you will receive the report once it is completed via your mortgage lender. Remember this report is private, so the seller does not get a copy of the report.
#10 1st Walk Through - The purpose of this walk through is to go about a week ahead of closing to make sure the agreed upon repairs have been completed. This gives you time to review the repairs and if they are not completed it gives the seller time to have them completed. This walk through often does not happen with other agents instead they wait until the last minute, which can be a disaster if there are unfinished repairs.
#11 Closing - Before the actual closing on the same day it is a good idea to do another walk through. By this time we are really just looking to make sure everything is still okay… no damage, vandalism or adverse possession. Remember once you go to closing, sign and the loan is funded the property is yours and if there are damages at the property it now becomes your problem… so we avoid this by doing a final walk through before closing.
Lots of information covered but I hope it was broken down in an easy to understand format. I hope this helps and as always do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have!
Luis Cuevas, Realtor® RE/MAX Cross Country 1990 Justin Road Highland Village, Texas 75077 (214) 783-0535 luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com