STEP 1: Contact Agent
As real estate agents, we're here to help guide you through all the steps involved in buying a home, including: finding the right house, securing financing, writing an offer, reviewing contracts, inspection, title, escrow and closing. We have extensive knowledge of the local market and are dedicated to finding the right house for our clients. Get in touch today to discuss your unique needs and schedule a consultation.
STEP 2: Financing, Financing, Financing
In today's market, cash is king. Getting a loan is difficult and it is important for prospective buyers to go through a pre-approval process. A pre-approval means that based on your loan application, financial records, and credit rating a lender has agreed to finance your loan up to a certain amount. If you are pre-approved, you are in a great position to get a loan and can move forward in the home buying process with an accurate sense of your budget.
If you are not yet financially prepared to qualify for a home loan don't fret. You can get a plan together and be on your way in no time. Get useful tips for how to prepare your finances for home ownership here.
STEP 3: Making An Offer
You found a home! Now you have to write an offer. Fortunately, we're here to help with all steps and paperwork involved in making your winning offer. Below are some key points we'll need to discuss before writing the offer.
- Offer Amount: We will help you determine a good offer.
- Earnest Money: Earnest money is what you put down as your “deposit” on the contract. In the end, it is applied to your purchase price.
- Financing: Check! Hopefully we already took care of this part with a pre-approval.
- Closing Costs: These can be paid by the buyer or seller. Which one?
- Closing Date: Varies depending on how financing is handled.
STEP 4: Contract
Now you are under contract. You qualify for the purchase of your next home, but what are all of these additional details and timelines? Below is a simplified walk through of terms and considerations.
- Inspection: 5-7 days from mutual acceptance of offer/contract
- Title Review: 5 days from receipt
- HOA/Resale Certificate: 5 days from receipt
- Financing: Usually around 30 days from mutual acceptance
- Other: Some transactions have additional contingencies like short sale timelines etc... Don't fret, we're here to help you cross all of the t's and dot all of the i's.
STEP 5: Inspection
Hire a Home Inspector: The inspection process is detailed and requires the attention of a licensed and bonded professional. From foundations and electrical to exterior condition and plumbing, there are a lot of variables that a good inspector will clue you in on. We have a growing list of experienced inspectors that we refer to our clients. The cost can range from $400 to $1000 depending on the age and square footage of a house. The buyer is responsible for paying for the inspection process at the time it occurs, so having as much information beforehand can help you eliminate any wasted costs.
STEP 6: Title
Title insurance protects your right to the property once you have purchased the home. Reviewing the title is one of your main contingencies that is part of every contract. Buyers have five days from receipt to review the title report. Most of the time the report is clean but things can go wrong at this step in the process. Make sure to understand the following possible problems: CCRs Condos/Co-Ops, Joint Maintenance Agreements (Townhouses), Sewer Capacity Charges, Judgments, Liens on the Property, Easements, Encroachments, and Land Use/Zoning Restrictions.
STEP 7: Escrow
Escrow is the the neutral third party that manages funds between the buyer, seller, lenders, real estate companies, and other lien holders, while recording the deed with the county. This is the final review period in the buying process. Below are some considerations:
- Complete the Disclosure Statement and return to Escrow as soon as you can.
- Work with Escrow on your signing date.
- Prepare funds for down payment and closing costs in the form of an electronic wire or cashiers check. Make sure those funds are available at least 10 days before closing.
STEP 8: Closing
The last three days before closing are a whirlwind due to the number of entities that are involved. You have every player in the process moving paperwork and money around. Our job as agents is to make sure everything is running smoothly during this complex part of the process. Below are a few things to keep in mind.
- The buyer signs the paperwork with the Escrow officer about 2-3 days before closing.
- The lender wires the money once they have received signed documents.
- The title is recorded with the county.
- You get keys on closing day. Boom!
YOU OWN A NEW HOME!