8 Steps to Buying a Home
- GET PRE-APPROVED. Unless you plan to pay cash for your home (yeah, must be nice), contact your local lender about getting pre-approved for a loan. Your lender will ask you a few simple questions, run your credit, and will typically let you know how much you qualify for in a day or two. Your lender can also answer any questions you have about various loan options (such as Conventional, THDA, USDA, FHA, VA, etc.), required down payment amount, and current interest rates. Don't have a go-to local lender? I'll be glad to connect you with a lender who will take great care of you.
- COMPLETE THE "ALL ABOUT YOU" FORM. This form is crucial to me delivering you the highest quality of personal service. It not only lets me know what homes to be searching for, it also helps me get to know you better as a person. While I hope to be able to treat you to coffee soon to discuss your home-buying goals in person, I've also included the All About You Form on my website so you can get started on this important step.
- SEARCH FOR HOMES ONLINE. I've invested in a state-of-the-art website that will keep you a step ahead of other buyers. Once you sign up for a free account on my site, you can save your searches and tag your favorites so you can easily keep track of the homes that top your list. Unlike many (frustrating) home-search sites that don't tell you when a home goes under contract, my site lets you know as soon as that information becomes available so you don't waste precious time. In addition, I can set up custom searches for you so that you'll receive an email as soon as a home that meets your criteria comes on the market or is reduced in price. Never again miss an opportunity to make an offer on your dream home because you saw it a day too late.
- SEE YOUR FAVORITE HOMES IN PERSON. When you see a home online that catches your eye, contact me ASAP and I'll arrange for you to see it at your earliest convenience. I'll meet you at the showing with additional information I've obtained about that home so you can make an informed decision. We'll look at as many homes as it takes for you to find "the one" for you.
- GO UNDER CONTRACT. Once you find a home that checks your boxes, we'll write up an offer, submit it to the seller, and wait 24 hours or so for a response. The seller may reject the offer, accept the offer, or counter the offer with an offer of his or her own. If we can't come to terms, then we'll keep looking until you find another home on which you'd like to make an offer. However, if we are able to come to terms, all parties will sign, the offer will be "Bound," and you'll officially be "Under Contract." At that point we go to work meeting the deadlines as specified in the contract--two of the most important being the inspection and the appraisal.
- REVIEW THE INSPECTION REPORT. Within roughly the first 10 days after you go under contract, a Home Inspector will inspect the home from top to bottom and produce a written report with descriptions and pictures of his findings. If the inspection reveals defects that require more work than you're willing to take on, then we can give notice to the Seller that we are not going through with the purchase of the home due to the inspection results. Most of the time, however, the inspection uncovers relatively minor items that can be repaired, in which case we'll negotiate with the Seller to fix the most important items. Most sellers understand that if they wish to sell their home they must be willing to make reasonable repairs.
- REVIEW THE APPRAISAL REPORT. Within the first 14 days after you go under contract, you will pay the Lender to order the appraisal. The purpose of the appraisal is to make sure the home is worth as much as you've agreed to pay for it. If the home is appraised at or above the agreed-upon Purchase Price, then we breathe a sigh of relief and prepare for the closing. If, however, the home is appraised below the Purchase Price, we'll renegotiate the Purchase Price with the Seller. Sometimes the Seller will lower the Purchase Price to the appraised value; sometimes the Buyer will pay out of pocket at closing to cover the shortfall; and sometimes the Buyer and Seller will split the difference. If we can't come to terms with the Seller, then you can always walk away, get back your Earnest Money, and resume your home search. Typically, however, an agreement is reached and we can move forward to the closing.
- SCHEDULE THE CLOSING. Once we get past the appraisal, the Title Company and the Lender will be requesting information from you in order to prepare all the paperwork for closing. It's important during this period to respond promptly so that closing is not delayed. Three days prior to closing, the Lender will disclose an itemized list of all your closing costs, so there will be no surprises at closing. On the day of closing, the attorney at the Title Company will walk you through each document you'll be signing. I'll also be there to make sure everything goes smoothly and to help troubleshoot any last-minute hiccups. Once the papers are signed, I'll hand over the keys and congratulate you on buying your NEW HOME!
Yeah, it's gonna be a good ride.
Can't wait to accompany you on the journey.