There are a lot of steps involved in buying a home. Below is guide to help you understand the process a little bit better.
Before you go out looking at homes for sale you should start by getting pre-approved by a lender so you know what you can afford. If you start by looking at homes over your budget it’s going to be very difficult to go down in price and find something you are happy with.
When looking for a home to purchase it’s a good idea to look at a few homes before you make an offer. Once you see around 5 or so you should get a good feel of what you can get it in your price range. You also might have to edit your wish list after seeing a few homes. The art of home buying a home is the art of self-compromise. A lot of buyers make the mistake of looking for a “deal” soley looking at price. Keep in mind that most likely you will be living there for a while so buy a home you want to live in.
Once you find a home you like have your real estate agent prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA). The CMA should have at least 3 sold properties that have sold in the last 6 months similar to the subject property. The CMA should be able to help you decide a price range for the subject home based on days on market, style of home, neighborhood, condition, size of home, etc..
There is much to consider when preparing an offer on a home. It’s crucial to contact the listing agent to see what kind of activity there is on the listing. With that information along with the CMA you can come up with a game plan. For more information on negotiating, click on the negotiating link on the sidebar under helpful articles.
Once the buyer and seller agree on all terms of the contract then it’s considered mutually accepted. Once you have mutual acceptance then all of your contingencies with expiration dates will start. Mark the contingencies down on a calendar and pay close attention to them. It’s also time to had in your earnest money and get a copy of the contract over to Escrow, Title, and to the lender.
You normally have a few contingencies’ that were negotiated in your contract. The most common contingencies’ would be a financing contingency and an inspection contingency. A financing contingency normally would state that the buyer has a certain amount of days to get lender approval. If the buyer isn’t able to get approval then the buyer would get the earnest money back.
The inspection contingency is similar to the financing contingency except that the inspection contingency usually provides another opportunity to re-negotiate depending on the how the inspection goes. You should also have an out if you don’t approve the inspection report.
Once Escrow has the accepted purchase and sale agreement they will setup both the buyers and sellers information. They will send out disclosures to both parties and should update you if they need anything signed. Once the Title is cleared and loan docs are in they will send you a HUD statement that will show in detail your closing costs associated with the transaction and how much money you will need to bring in to close the transaction. Usually buyers and seller are called into escrow a couple of days before the closing date.
Once the contract is turned into the lender they will be getting a hold of you for more information. Items they could be asking for could be w2’s, tax statements, employment letters, copy of checks, bank statements, death certificates, divorce creeds. Your lender will most likely preparing the file for the underwriter for final approval. Once documents are cleared to close they will be sent to escrow for you to sign.
Once the contract is turned into the Title they will work on clearing any issues with the Title. It’s a good idea to also do some of your own due diligence since not all issues show up on a title report. Check for city violations and talk to neighbors when possible. Once all known issues are cleared, Title will inform the lender and escrow.
Closing generally happens during the end of the day once the Country records the transaction. Once the county records the transaction and recording numbers are in then the house officially become yours.
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Listing courtesy of John L. Scott, Inc..
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