Purchasing a home can be fun and exciting, but trying to decide where to begin can be frustrating and stressful. Here are some simple steps you can follow to help you through the home buying process.
STEP 1: Get Pre-Approved Avoid falling in love with homes you can’t afford – get pre-approved before you start your search. Speaking with a lender is as easy as making a 15-minute phone call, but it’s important to call an experienced loan officer who can meet your specific needs. Call me to discuss your options or email me to receive a list of lenders who have done a great job for my clients.
STEP 2: Select an Agent Once you’ve determined your purchasing power and defined a price range, it’s time for you to come in and meet with me. At this initial meeting, we’ll discuss your needs and wants (including size, location, style, features), the local real estate market, the types of properties currently matching your criteria and the types of reports I can provide you. We will also review the buyer representation agreement. This will help you understand how I work and how I can help you through the process of purchasing a new place to call home. Contact me to set up a meeting.
STEP 3: Drive-By Homes This is the perfect time to drive around the areas and see which neighborhoods feel like they could be ‘home’ for you. Using the active listings as a guideline, drive by the listings and see if you like the locations and lots. This is also a great time to test your commute.
STEP 4: Tour Homes With Your Agent Once you’ve identified properties and neighborhoods that you are interested in seeing, I will set up a tour so we can see them together. At each property, I’ll provide you with the full listing report, the property tax record and the comparable market analysis of the neighborhood. As we explore each home, I will give you my extensive analysis pointing out positive features, potential problems and issues related to resale.
STEP 5: Writing an Offer There is a lot of research that goes into writing an offer and it is different with each and every property. I will advise you on negotiating strategy and I’ll bargain hard to get you the best price and terms.
STEP 6: Contingencies Home inspections, termite inspections, appraisals and surveys. I’ll make sure protections like these are written into your contract and then I’ll walk you through the process of releasing them.
STEP 7: Get Insurance Speak with the company that provides your car insurance first. They are likely to give you a competitive price in order to keep all of your insurance policies at their company. If you are purchasing a condo, call me to discuss some very important coverage issues you want to avoid.
STEP 8: Closing This is where the purchasers and sellers sign many papers and exchange keys for money. Part of closing or settlement is the final walk-through. This is where we inspect the property to make sure that it conveys to you in the same condition as when you decided to write the offer and that any negotiated repairs have been completed. Reviewing the settlement documents before closing is also an important part of the process.
STEP 9: Moving It’s the big day! Don’t forget to change your address and change your locks.
STEP 10: What’s Next? Once you have moved into your new home, I hope you will continue to think of me as a resource for you. Feel free to contact me if you’d like me to recommend a contractor who may assist you in home repairs, maintenance and remodeling. And my list of recommended lenders can also assist you with issues related to home equity and refinancing.