When you start to think about buying a home, give us a call. The whole idea of looking for and negotiating the purchase of a home may seem a bit overwhelming but when you have us by your side, you've got someone who's been through the processes hundreds of times guiding you along the way.
Here's the basic process:
1) Contact us to discuss your home buying needs. We want to know why you are considering a home purchase and what you hope home ownership will accomplish for you. Planning to buy a home might take 3 days or 3 years and that's ok. We should talk as soon as you're giving home ownership any kind of consideration.
2) Setup a home search on our website. If you're not buying for years, you might want to receive listing alerts montly. As you get closer to being ready, we will increase the frequency of the listing alerts to the point where you may want to get alerted the very instant a home that meets your search criteria comes on the market so that we can go take a look before anybody else.
3) Obtain a loan pre-approval letter or guidance how to prepare your finances so you can qualify for a home loan. You will want to work with a reputable lender such our our preferred lender Minuteman Mortgage or one of our endorced local mortgage brokers.
4) Tour homes in person. It is important that we only go touring homes in person once you've got your loan pre-approval letter in hand. Without that, you are not prepared to write an offer and we don't go shopping when we aren't ready to buy... until then, dream online all you want. Get an idea of what you like. Photos and virtual tours nowadays make it so easy to get a really good feel for a home. Just be aware that often a home looks bigger in the photos because of the wide-angle photography used to capture more of the room in a single photo. Let us know which homes you'd like to tour in person and when you are available so we can block the time to show you the homes and coordinate with the occupants of each home to be out to allow us to tour without distraction.
5) Write an offer. It seems simple enough but we may want to discuss offer strategy. When it's a seller's market and homes are getting multiple offers the first weekend on the market, we've got to find ways to stand out. The industry is constantly changing but we do this every day and will have the experience to know what will give us our best chances of winning an accepted offer without going too far... you sure don't want to offer a price or terms that you don't have to.
6) Offer Acceptance: Once we've got an accepted offer, the timeline is started and specific tasks must be performed on schedule. The very first task is to deposit an earnest money check with the escrow/title company. A typical purchase allows for a disclosure contingency, title contingency, HOA contingency, inspection contingency, appraisal contingency, and finance contingency. Any of these contingencies are opportunities to negotiate or terminate the purchase if you are not agreeable to the contents.
7) Lender requirements: While the real estate agent guides you through the purchase process, the lender guides you through the loan process. He will request specific documents from you and it is critical to provide what is requested as soon as possible and as thoroughly as possible. It is also critical that the lender know everything about your finances before getting into a pruchase so that potential red flags or obsticals can be avoided or accounted for so that nothing delays closing.
8) Closing appointment (aka signing appointment): Usually the day before the purchase is final, the buyer will be invited to come to the title company to sign loan papers and transfer of title. You should expect to be in the closing appointment for about an hour, more if you require explanation of each document. The escrow officer we are meeting with usually has a brief explanation of each document. If you feel like you will want to review the documents before signing, please request them from the escrow officer once you've been informed by the lender that loan docs have gone to escrow.
9) Closing Day: The day the purchase actually records at the county making it official. Depending on the purchase contract, this may also be your possession day. We will have discussed this with you along the way so there's no surprises.
10) Possession Day: Possession day and time is specified in the sales agreement. It is any time after what is in contract that we are able to meet at the home and obtain access to the home. Prior to that, we will have coordinated with the listing agent the method of access, keys, remotes, mailbox, key fob to ammediites (like HOA clubhouse), etc.
As your real estate agent, we represent you through the entire search, negotiation and closing process but we don't just walk away when the deal is done. We are committed to forever being your trusted resource for anything related to your home and community. If there's ever a question or situation we can't answer or resolve, we've got a referral network where you will get what you need.