7 Basic Steps to Buying Your First Home
1. Can you afford a home? Contact a mortgage broker, a credit union or a bank. These institutions provide mortgage loan services and a variety of “products” that fit your needs. Your Agent can provide some suggestions on who to contact. Bottom line? You need a Pre-Approval Letter so that your Agent can move forward in selecting homes within your price range. [Check out HomeFundMe.com if you need to raise funds for a down payment! Click here: https://www.homefundme.com/en/first-time-home-buyer
2. What kind of home do you want? Your Pre-approval Letter may dictate what type of home you can afford. Then you can begin to strategize. Condo, townhouse or detached home? Preferred neighborhoods, schools or walkability factor? Your Agent will help you target the right home that meets your needs and your budget. Enjoy the search!
3. You found a home! Now you need to write an offer to buy the home. There are many documents to sign but your Agent will guide you through the process. The contract will require you to offer a price, indicate how you will be financing the home, include any contingencies, set desired settlement date and more. Then let the negotiations begin!
4. Now what? Your offer has been accepted. Assuming you are inspecting the home, you will hire an inspector and will be required to have the inspection done soon after the acceptance of your offer. Your Agent can provide names of professional inspectors. The inspector will spend three or more hours in the home and then prepare a thorough report on the findings. You have the opportunity to request that the seller repair or mitigate any issues found by the inspector. This is a negotiation, much like you negotiated the price for the purchase of your home. Your Agent will assist you throughout the process. Other inspections may or may not need to be done, at your discretion, such as termite, radon, well and septic.
5. Secure the money. As soon as your offer has been accepted and you have a signed contract for the purchase of your new home, you have a specific period of time to contact your chosen Mortgage Broker who will work with you to prepare the documents to secure your loan. They can explain the pros and cons of different types of loans and lock in a loan rate for a certain number of days. The bank appraises the value of property prior to going to settlement.
6. Line up a Settlement Company. The Settlement process requires experts who can bring all the paperwork together, makes sure the title to your property is clear, gets the checks in order, and prepares the many documents that you will sign at the Settlement table. Your Agent can provide two or three contacts for companies that you choose to handle the Settlement.
7. The big day! Get ready for settlement. A good Agent will have made sure all of the paperwork has been taken care of and will make sure inspections, repairs, title search, appraisals, etc. have all been completed (phew!) within the deadlines identified in the contract for sale and within all legal deadlines.
Real Estate Agents play many roles during the purchase of a home, but the most important is for them to keep your transaction on track, resolve conflicts on your behalf and advise you from beginning to end so that you can begin your next exciting life chapter in your home.
Let's get moving! Jean Tullier ... Call me at 410.279.9581.