With interest rates at an all time low many first time home buyers have decided to take the leap into the real estate market and become home owners. For those of you who fall into this category, the list below will simplify the home buying process into five steps.
Step 1: Get your financial house in order. Speak to a reputable lender who will run your credit and assess your income and liabilities to determine whether or not you qualify for a loan and the amount. A good lender will not only evaluate your current financial state but also comfort level and long-term goals in order to help you decide how much you can and want to invest in a home. They will also make recommendations on different loan products to best meet your needs and finally provide a pre-approval letter. Many times this is required by the seller when submitting an offer to purchase their home.
Step 2: Contact me. My job is so much more than helping a buyer find and view homes. Over 90% of buyers start their own home search on the internet. My primary job is to educate buyers on the process, the market, and make them aware of the choices that may need to be considered. Once a buyer has been pre-approved by a lender, I have an initial needs assessment meeting with buyers where we put together a profile of their ideal home and start searching. Technology has greatly facilitated the house hunt, but with such low inventory, many times I will reach out to my network to find a home before it hits the market.
Step 3: Once the ideal home has been identified, I guide buyers through the process of writing and submitting an offer and will negotiate on their behalf. Negotiations happen not just around purchase price, but also around terms such as closing date or seller contribution to buyer closing costs. I have proven negotiation strategies that give my buyers the upper hand in such a competitive market. Once both parties have reached an agreement the contract is accepted and bound and the process continues.
Step 4: Remove contract contingencies. Once the contract has been executed the buyer and seller work towards satisfying the contingencies found within the purchase and sales agreement for the protection of the buyer. The buyer is entitled to obtain a home inspection and to negotiate repairs with the seller. Once an agreement has been reached the inspection contingency can be removed. The same is true for the appraisal and financing contingencies. The buyer works with their lender to process the loan and the lender orders a professional appraisal of the home to ensure its value.
Step 5: Get home owners insurance, close and move in! Once all contingencies have been removed from the purchase and sales agreement, the buyer gets home owner’s insurance and is ready to close on their home. When money has been exchanged and necessary paperwork signed, ownership is transferred to the buyer and they receive keys to their new place.
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