Here are a few simple steps to follow when you are getting started:
Determine Financing and Get Pre-Approved
The very first step of the home buying process is to get a pre-approval letter from a lender stating how much you are qualified for. It's important to ask your potential lenders some questions to make sure they are a good fit for you.
Don’t understand something your lender says? Stop and ask for clarification. This is your home buying journey, and you deserve to understand the process every step of the way. For more details on Financing Options.
Create a “New Home” Checklist
Before we hop into the home search, I like to advise my clients to create a "Needs" list and a "Wants" list. This will help us to really focus on the things that are most important in your future home.
Needs are the non-negotiable features; the features you simply must have in your next home. Wants are the ones you’d like to have, but you can add or change down the road.
Start Home Shopping
The way buyers search for a home is changing, currently 97% of buyers start their search for a home online. Well, you are here aren’t you? You can start the process by searching below. However, working together we will refine your criteria, scour MLS and private listings for new homes and review each opportunity. When the right opportunity knocks, it will be us at the home for a showing.
Found your Match? Time to Make an Offer!
So you think you’ve found “the one” and you’re ready to put in an offer—one that will be simply irresistible to sellers. Let's talk about making an offer that stands out.
- Include a pre-approval letter that shows that you’re serious, qualified, and ready to purchase.
- Use a friendly tone. Let sellers know you want their home—and that you’ll be easy to work with all the way to closing.
- Put your best foot—and price—forward. You may only get one shot, so make it count. Use comps and trends as a guide, but go in with a strong number you know a seller would find favorable.
- If you can pay “all cash,” say so. When you don't need financing, your offer is less risky for anxious sellers.
- Propose to close quickly and only include contingencies if you must.
- If you really want to make an impression, include a short hand-written note with your offer. Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that have the most significant impact.
I will guide you through putting together an offer that gives you every advantage in landing the home of your dreams. Looking for more, here you go!
- You’ll need to meet with a mortgage lender to firm up financing details and lock in your interest rate. You have 5 days from the date of contract execution to begin the mortgage loan application. During the 30-45 days before closing, the lender will be finalizing your mortgage.
- The inspection will uncover any issues in the home that would have otherwise been unknown. Once the home inspection report comes in (and you should definitely request a home inspection), we may need to negotiate any repairs with your seller.
- The goal of the appraisal is to verify the value of the property for the lender and to protect you from overpaying. The contract is contingent upon whether the appraisal comes in at or above the purchase price. If the appraisal comes back short, we will be back to the negotiating table.
- Unless the seller already has a recent & acceptable survey of the property, the buyer is required to pay for the survey (this will be in your closing costs). The survey is a sketch showing a map of the property lines/boundaries among other things.
- The title company will conduct a title search to ensure the property is legitimate and find if there are any outstanding mortgage liens, judgments, restrictions, easements, leases, unpaid taxes, or any other restrictions that would impact your ownership associated with the property.
You made an offer, and it has been accepted—go ahead, cue the confetti! And while it’ll be a few more days until you can move in, you’re well on your way to closing the deal on your new home sweet home. Here's a quick rundown on what happens after you make an offer and your new home is “under contract.”
You've gotten the "clear-to-close" and we've scheduled our closing date and time – let's answer some questions you may have about closing day:
Q: When do we do the final walk-through?
A: The final walk-through allows the buyers to do one last walk through before closing to confirm that the seller made the repairs that were agreed upon and to make sure no issues have come up while under contract. We will typically schedule to do this right before closing.
Q: Who will be at closing?
A: Situations vary, but you can expect some combination of these folks: Buyer (that’s you!), seller, real estate agents, mortgage lender, and title company representative.
Q: What should I bring?
A: Bring a photo ID and a cashier’s check to pay any closing costs. I will tell you any other documents specific to your situation. The closing process is relatively simple but be prepared for A LOT of paperwork. (And always, always, always ask if you have a question along the way.) The good news is once you’ve signed the last page, it’s time to get a hold of those keys and celebrate!