10StepsToBuyingAHome

go here Step 1 : Get pre-approved

follow url Pre-Approved

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

 

Before we start this journey, we need to know which way you not only want to go but can go. In this step you will be introduced to a major player, your mortgage broker.  This can be your bank or preferably a mortgage broker that represents many banks. He or she will pull your credit, request some paperwork and tell you how much of a home you can afford and provide you with a pre-approval letter that you will need prior to submitting an offer on any home. In addition you don’t want to start looking for a home only to find out that you cannot qualify or that the mortgage payment is out of your comfort zone.

 

follow Step 2: Narrow down your search criteria


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After getting pre-approved with a mortgage broker, we want to either have a one on one meeting in the office (preferably the first time if we haven’t met already) or we will set up a phone meeting. This meeting is to go over your criteria and set realistic expectations of what the process is going to look like and how the amount you can afford will translate to a home (size, location and amenities).

 

Step 3: Start driving by homes

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This is the step many of real estate agents might have you skip, but it is an important one. There is a certain etiquette in real estate similar to why you wouldn’t pass gas at the dinner table or why you wouldn’t cut in line at the grocery store.  We want to be polite and respectful of others time. In real estate this translates to determining if you like the neighborhood or even the street (and neighbors based on exterior first impression) that a house sits on before you schedule an appointment with the owner to view the property. Start with narrowing down the homes that you think you like the best to save time you can further narrow down the properties by using Google street view and finally swinging by the properties. This will get easier as you go since you will start narrowing down your preferred neighborhoods more and more as time goes on.

 

Step 4: Start viewing homes

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Once you have found a property that is at the top of your hit list or if you have found a few properties that are of serious interest to you, it’s time to send your realtor the MLS numbers. Make sure you write the MLS numbers down correctly.  They will start with an “O” followed by a series of numbers.

 

Step 5: Make an offer

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Making an offer is vital:  if you go too low you risk offending the seller (even if they are overpriced), and if too high we risk having appraisal problems. Just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, your offer has to be just right for you and for the seller. Prior to an offer we will run comparables and make sure that the property on which you are about to make an offer is a good deal and that your offer is fair for all parties involved.

 

Step 6: Execute a Contract

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After some negotiation and most of the time some back and forth between us and the seller, hopefully we will come to an agreement and execute a contract. Once this happens, your countdown to official home-ownership has started. From here we will perform a series of tests on the property to make sure it is the perfect property for you and we will enact a system of checks and balances to make sure you are getting a structurally sound home for the right price.

 

Step 7: Perform Inspection

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You can choose your home inspector or take a referral from one of our preferred vendors. Regardless of who you choose, the inspector should be licensed to perform home inspections. The inspection is in place to find any hidden disasters that could turn your dream home into a money pit.

 

Step 8: Complete Financing

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This step started simultaneously with the executed offer being completed. However, post inspection your financing completion will now kick into high gear. Your daily relationship will now be transferred from you and us (your real estate agents) to you and your mortgage broker. Behind the scenes we will still be following up with you, your mortgage broker, the seller and the closing agent to make sure that your deal is coordinated properly so that you can get to that closing table.

 

Step 9: Obtain Clear Title

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Typically, the title company (aka closing agent, closing company, closing attorney) will provide us with proof of clear title about a week or two prior to closing. The title company will order a survey if necessary and I compare the title company to the quarterback of the closing. The title company will be responsible for taking in and disbursing all funds appropriately and filing your deed and all other important tasks pre-closing, at closing and post closing. The title company will also provide you with insurance to guarantee that the seller is providing you with a clear, marketable title to the property. The seller pays for this insurance and provides you with the policy at closing (you will pay for a title policy for the lender who is providing you with the loan). The seller is guaranteeing clear title to you and in turn you are guaranteeing clear title to the lender giving you the loan.

 

Step 10: Final Walk-through and Closing

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Typically, we like to do a final walk-through 48 hours prior to closing in case there are any issues to be resolved, but in some cases we will do the day before and in the rare occasion that your schedule doesn’t permit we will do the walk-through the day of closing. This is important so that you are able to confirm that the property is in the same condition it was on the day that you walked through and offered on the property, this is actually part of the contract. Closing will typically be at the title company (if the title company is local and sometimes on bank-owned properties they are not local).  There will be a stack of papers you will have to sign and you will typically wire your down payment prior to arriving at the title company. Voila, you are a homeowner! There are a lot more in between details but this is a great 30,000 foot overview 🙂

 

 

The Players:

 

The Buyers Real Estate Agent: We will show homes, write your contract, negotiate your offer and coordinate all of the other players until you get to closing.

 

The Mortgage broker: They are responsible for helping you to obtain financing on your new home. They will shop for the best deal among dozens of banks so you get the best interest rate possible with the lowest payment and costs. They will request supporting paperwork from you, order your appraisal and get you to the closing table.

 

Mortgage Processor: This person is responsible for gathering all the paperwork you give the mortgage broker. They might also contact the buyer to request additional paperwork if necessary. They will order and any flood certificates, title insurance and the like that are necessary to complete a mortgage package. The mortgage processor will be the coordinator between the buyer, mortgage broker and the underwriter.

 

Underwriter: The underwriter works for the mortgage broker or bank and it is their job to review all of your supporting documentation and make sure that it matches up with the particular loan product that you are applying for. They will request additional paperwork if they feel more paperwork is needed.

 

Home Inspector: They are our home detective looking for any hidden problems in your potential future home.

 

Title Company: Also known as the closing agent, closing company, escrow agent and more depending on who you are talking to but all are one in the same. They are responsible for gathering all of the funds from all parties and disbursing those funds properly. They also will be responsible for running a title check and providing you with title insurance (paid for by seller) to guarantee a clear and marketable title.

 

Appraiser: They are hired by the mortgage broker through a national registry of licensed property appraisers. They are responsible for viewing the property and completing a report that will give their opinion of value based on the facts and other sold comparables. They will ensure you don’t overpay for a property.

 

The Sellers Real Estate Agent: They will be responsible for representing the seller in the transaction.

 

Survey Company: The survey company will complete a property survey which will show you exactly where your property line starts and ends. It will also show you where any encumbrances and/or easements exist if any do.

 

Buyer: You

 

Seller: The homeowner opting to cash out or sell their property.

 

Important items to note:

* If you find a property online send the info to your Realtor and he/she will gather the information and can set up the showing. Even if it is a  “For Sale by Owner” most will work with your Agent.

*Your Realtor can help you with new construction–If you walk into a builders sample property (or model home) just tell them that you are working with a Realtor. This is at no additional cost to you and it never hurts to have representation.