10 Steps to Buy your first Home!
Step 1: Contact us
Let us know what you’re looking for in a home! Are you looking for a single family home, condo, townhome, investment property, etc? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you prefer? Where do you want to live? What other features in a home and neighborhood are important to you?
Our number one goal is to help you find what you’re looking for at the best possible price! We can help you find helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that aren’t easily accessible to buyers. Our experience, knowledge of the market, and negotiation skills will be very valuable to helping you get the best price for the home you want.
Buyer’s always need representation when purchasing a home! Contracts can be confusing and Buyer's need to know what they're getting into with someone looking out for their best interests, not listing agents who represent the Seller's best interests. The best part is, our services won’t cost you anything! Buyer’s agents are compensated from commissions paid by the Seller at the time of closing.
Step 2: Get Preapproved
Contact a lender to find out what type of loan you're approved for and your maximum price range. Not all properties will qualify for every loan. It’s best to find out the types of properties you can buy, before going out to look at properties. Your time is valuable and we want to take you to the best properties that will work with your financing from the start. It’s great to know beforehand what your estimated down payment and closing costs will be. A lot of buyers forget about closing costs when configuring what they’ll need to buy a home. Your lender can give you an estimate and so can we! Your lender will also ask you for financial information to get you fully approved. Some of the items they may ask you for are: your social security number to run your credit report, W-2’s, bank statements, paycheck stubs, 2 years of taxes, etc. Start gathering these documents as soon as possible to make the process much smoother and easier once you're under contract.
Step 3: Go see Homes!
We will send you listings we think will be perfect for you. Let us know which ones you’re most interested in and we will schedule a day to see a few! When you work with a team, you’ll get the best service and availability options when you want to go see a home. Homes are still selling fast! We don’t want you to miss out on a home just because your realtor is already booked with another client for the time you want to see it. Anyone on our team would be happy to accommodate your time schedule! Don’t be afraid to take notes and take pictures of the homes you like the best during a showing.
Step 4: Make an Offer!
Take as much time as you need to find the perfect home. When you’re ready to make an offer, we’ll give you valuable information on comparable homes in the same neighborhood so you’ll feel confident you’re not offering too much or too little. We’ll help you decide on a fair offer price, inspection period, financing, and any other contingencies you’d like in your offer. If the seller accepts your offer, you’re under contract! We’ll make sure you know the process from start to finish and meet your obligations and timelines.
Step 5: Put Down Escrow
Your offer will most likely say that you will put a predetermined amount in escrow within 3 days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This amount can vary but it should be something you’re comfortable with! Just remember the purpose of escrow is to prove you are a serious buyer and you will be working in everyone’s best interest to close on the property. Usually the escrow is made via bank wire or a certified check to the title company’s escrow account. They hold the money, not the seller’s. At closing the title company will apply your escrow to your total balance due at closing.
Step 6: Get a Professional Home Inspection
Usually new home purchase offers are contingent on an inspection period. It’s best to get this scheduled as soon as possible as your inspection time period starts the second the seller’s sign your offer and deliver it back to us. A home inspector will check the home for signs of items that may need to be fixed or structural damage. The purpose of the inspection is to make sure you’re comfortable with the condition of the home and you still want to go through with purchasing the home. If there are unforeseen damages that you weren’t expecting and you no longer want the home, the contingencies we put in your offer should protect you by being able to withdraw your offer without penalty. Another great reason why all buyer’s need representation while buying a home!
Step 7: Complete your Mortgage Application
Feel free to shop around for the best lender and interest rates. But don’t take too long as most contracts give you only 5 days to complete a mortgage application. Once you feel comfortable with the lender you’ve chosen and the type of loan you will use, complete your application. At this point, your lender will also ask for supporting documentation such as pay stubs, bank statements, W-2’s, taxes, etc. They may ask for more documents throughout the process too. Get all requested documents to your lender as soon as you can so you don’t cause a delay in closing. We work with great lenders so let us know if you’d like a referral.
Step 8: Get the Home Appraised
Your lender will arrange for an appraiser to come out to the property then turn in an independent estimate of value of the home. Appraisers are members of a 3rd party company and are not associated with your lender. The purpose of the appraisal is for all parties involved to make sure you are paying a fair price.
Step 9: Finish Turning in Documents to your Lender
There will be a lot of paperwork to turn into your lender to get your final loan approval. It can seem never ending! Just remember that the lender must comply with all lending laws to get your loan approved. They want to do everything in their power too to get your loan closed on time too. Turn in documents as soon as possible and don’t be afraid to ask them questions and we are also here to help too! The lender will also coordinate and handle all paperwork needed for the title company too.
Step 10: Close on your Home
Your lender has given you the clear to close. The title company finished the title order, title insurance, and survey. You’re ready to schedule closing! This can be done in person at the title company or if you’re not local, they can arrange a “mail away” closing. Typically, 3 days before closing, the title company will provide you with your closing disclosure so you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll need on the day of closing. On the day of closing, you will pay your closing costs and down payment to the title company. You will also sign all of the paperwork required to complete your purchase which will include your loan documents. Once these items are complete, your lender will fund the loan. The seller’s will also sign their required paperwork with the title company. Once all of these steps are complete, you will get the keys!