Step 1: The Home Search Process
- Browse the web & discover what your looking for
- Familiarize yourself with your local market
- Organize your TEAM of professionals
A home purchase is a one of the biggest purchases you will make, and we want to ensure it is an exciting and enjoyable process!
Statistics show that people start searching for a home about a year before truly beginning and engaging in the process. While searching online or via app, you are likely to compare styles, prices, and locations as well as start to better understand the market. Additionally, it is important to understand the process and what steps may be involved to accomplish your goals. With so many different resources online, we’ve streamlined the process so you can both search for your home, learn about the market, and start learning the steps to home buying all from our website – call us your one-stop shop!
Step 2: The Loan Qualification Process
- Connecting with a mortgage lender
- Verifying your financial status
- Obtaining a loan approval to begin house hunting
Before going house hunting, you will want to set yourself up for success by selecting both your Realtor and lender.
If you do not have one already selected, your Realtor will align you with the best lender whose job is to educate you on the best loan program based on your financial qualifications. They will verify your income, savings, financial picture and job history; which is used to establish your purchasing power and establish your loan approval. Your Realtor then has the pivotal part of finding you the right home and negotiating the purchase contract with the terms and conditions that match the loan program. With loan approval, we now can start the house hunting process!
Step 3: The Home Buyer Consultation Process
- Understanding the home buying process
- Building your home wish list
- Creating a customized search for your needs
Once you have your loan approval, you will meet with a Buyer’s agent who will walk you through the process of purchasing a home. They will educate you on their job, current market conditions, the buying process, and any questions you may have. You will also spend this time to share with your Realtor exactly what you are looking for in your home. He or she will ask you questions about your must haves and deal breakers and will go into specifics of what exactly you are wanting. This criteria will help them to put together a customized search for you so you can see homes as soon as they come on the market.
Our agents are experts on the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area. Best of all, this is FREE to you, meaning it does not cost you anything to hire a Realtor!
Step 4: The Home Shopping Process
- Touring homes that meet your criteria
- Narrowing down your search to your top favorites
- Property evaluation report for the home’s value
This is where the fun and exciting part begins!
You will work closely with your Realtor to find the home that matches your criteria; based on your buyer consultation and your budget. You will tour homes in your price range and do a comparison list for the ones you prefer with the amenities you are seeking. Next matching the home to your evaluation of the neighborhood, area, schools, community, traffic, shopping, and public transportation. Your realtor will always keep market activity in mind while showing you homes, so you have the best tools to decide on what home is right for you. After narrowing down to one or two homes, your Realtor will do a property evaluation report for value before you make an offer.
Step 5: The Purchase Contract Process
- Negotiating the best offer
- How to handle counteroffers if it arises
- Having earnest money ready to go
Strategic negotiation in any market is a notable skill that our agents hold. The market is always shifting. Our team consistently tracks activities, so we are prepared to educate you on what is needed to make the best offer.
Your Realtor will negotiate a fair offer in the current market conditions. The loan program that was already established will be taken into consideration and we will educate you to how to handle closing costs and counteroffers if this should arise.
After the contract is written up and submitted, negotiations will begin and at this point it is important to have your earnest money ready which is typically a 1% deposit that is applied to your loan at closing.
Step 6: The Home Inspection Process
- Inspection scheduled after mutual acceptance
- Awareness of any repair needs that arise
- Agreement of terms of the inspection.
The purchase offer is typically contingent on the home inspection of the property.
Your Realtor will set up the inspection within the first couple days of mutual acceptance and it will determine the structural integrity of the home. Allowing for discovery of any serious deficiencies, repair or replacement requirements, age, and life expectancy of major components; plus pointing out the positive aspects of the home and allowing the potential buyer a “home” orientation. Additionally, giving maintenance and safety information to you the new homeowner. This contingency protects you by giving you the opportunity to negotiate your offer based on the inspection discovery without the concern of losing the home or your earnest money.
Once the terms of the inspection are agreed upon, the appraisal is ordered.
Step 7: The Appraisal Process
- Assess the value of the property in relation to your loan
- Post-inspection requirements prior to final underwriting
- Loan package is submitted for final lender approval
The purpose of the appraisal is for the bank to assess the value of the property in relation to your loan (Loan to Value Ratio). In various markets there may be a difference between how much you are willing to pay for the home versus how much the bank is willing to loan for the home. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that the home is priced for fair-market value.
After the appraisal is complete, any lender “required” work would have to be complete before closing. This condition would be a post-inspection requirement prior to final underwriting of your loan. Once cleared than your loan package is submitted for final lender approval.
Step 8: The Escrow Process
- Loan Package is sent to Escrow for verification
- Down Payment if applicable will be due to Escrow
- Scheduling the signing appointment
After the appraisal is completed and final underwriting has been verified with your lender, the loan package is sent to Escrow; which is a third-party company who clears the Title of the previous owner, and sets up home owners insurance, records your ownership with the county and verifies the loan program that was agreed upon with the lender.
After title and lending has been cleared, an appointment will be set for the signing of all the legal documents related to the purchase of your new home.
Any down payment that is due will be brought in at this time and delivered to Escrow and they will make sure that any taxes, liens, insurance, encumbrances, and fees of the seller’s will be paid and cleared from title.
Step 9: The Closing & Key Receiving Process
- Final walk-through of the home
- Final Loan Package review
- Receiving your keys!
Just before or after signing your closing documents, a final walk-through will be conducted within 3-5 days prior to closing, this is the opportunity to approve the condition of the house; making sure that all work orders were complete and the home is in the condition expected.
Before you receive your keys, the loan package is reviewed along with your credit worthiness one last time. (This is why it is so important to keep your same job and not make any major purchases during this entire process).
Then the final step for you to receive keys is the deed for the property will put in your name and recorded with the county. The home is officially “Closed”.
You will meet your Realtor and receive your keys! Congratulations the home is yours! Enjoy!