Simplified process relies heavily on lender pre-approval, allowing you to shop the best homes in your price range with confidence; pre-approval will also speed up the negotiation and closing process.
Be Smart: Shop around for the best rates – know before you owe.
Square footage, open floor plan, spacious bedrooms, walk-in closets, garden tub, eat-in kitchen, pool, corner lot, fenced yard, school district, etc. What are your deal makers and deal breakers?
SELECT A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Select an Agent you’re comfortable with – someone who is knowledgeable and works at your pace. An efficient agent will narrow down properties based on your specifications, schedule showings, coordinate inspections, explain processes and accompany you to closing. Be Smart: Choose me!
SCOPE OUT PROPERTY
Working from the list of homes provided by your agent, drive past your favorites at various times throughout the day – this will give you an idea of the daily life in the area. How much foot traffic? Car traffic? Loud music? Loitering? It’s also a good idea to drive past prospective properties after a heavy rainfall. Does the yard flood? Does the house flood?
Once you’ve narrowed down the list, contact your agent for private showings of the potential homes. Take your time walking through each room, the yard, the outside area around each structure, etc. Don’t feel pressured, or rushed. Purchasing a home is a big decision and you don’t want to be hasty! Simplified enough?
MAKE AN OFFER CONTINGENT UPON ACCEPTABLE INSPECTION
You’ve found the absolute perfect home for your family! You’ll now need to make an offer on the property. The offer, in simple terms, is a written promise to purchase a particular property, provided the results of the inspection is acceptable (or repairs agreed upon) and it appraises at or above the offered amount.
At this point you will be asked for a deposit and a copy of the Pre-Approval Letter provided by your Lender. Once the offer is accepted by the Seller(s) it then becomes a binding contract.
Be Smart: Ask for Comps (comparative market analysis). While not an exact science, it gives you a ballpark figure for starting negotiations.
DUE DILLEGENCE-HOME INSPECTION
The next step is to ensure the home is in sound condition as well as aesthetically pleasing. This is done by calling the structural expert – a licensed Home Inspector! Although not required to secure a mortgage, it’s a good idea to know the “inside workings” of the home is sound. An Inspector looks at:
- Structural Components
- Exterior Faults
- Heating & Air Condition
- Insulation & Ventilation
- Interiors & Appliances
You and your Agent should be present so any questions can be addressed by the Inspector on the spot. Be Smart: Choose a Home Inspector with Errors & Omission Insurance (not just basic liability coverage) and is a member in good standing of a respectable not-for-profit professional society such as American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI).
LET THE LENDER KNOW
A few days before closing, you and your Agent will take a final ‘walk-thru’ of the property. The purpose of this is to ensure that any item(s) negotiated as part of the sale remains, and that no damage occurred during the Seller’s move-out.
CLOSE THE DEAL
You select the Closing Agent! During this step the final mortgage documents are signed and funds are disbursed. It’s at this point you receive the KEYS to your new HOME!