Disclaimer: Every property and buyer is unique. Though the process is similar for all, each transaction can have different steps and requirements. We walk you through the whole process to provide knowledge and ease. Below is the general outline of the process.
WHEN TO BUY
All decision-makers should want to be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially ready to move forward in a purchase. Consult family, a lender, a realtor, and/or mentor to aid in your preparation to purchase. This is one of the biggest purchases and investments you will make, so be sure you are ready!
Whether you look for an agent or a lender first, you will need to be pre-approved before submitting offers. The process begins by interviewing a few lenders before applying. Ask questions about available rates, other fees they may have, how much needs to be paid up front, and how long their process will be in obtaining a pre-approval. A lender can make or break a deal, so be sure you are comfortable with the lender you choose.
FINDING AN AGENT/BROKER
Interviewing agents is important as they will be your guide and advocate through your purchase.A good agent should be knowledgable about the market, should listen to your needs, be able to guide you to options available to you, and be respectful in remembering that you are ultimately the final decision-maker.
Where you choose to buy depends on a number of things: what price range you can qualify for based on your budget and pre-approval amount, locations in relationship to your job, schools, entertainment, recreational choses, etc. Learning about the general pricing in various neighborhoods is easily done on the internet. However, this is something your Realtor can quickly advise in. A Realtor can help you find areas you like, but the decision-makers have ultimate say in preferences.
The reality is, you will be up against multiple offers for any given property and may need to put in multiple offers before getting an accepted offer. A Realtor is beneficial in advising a buyer so that they stand out among other offers.
A seller reviews all offers received with their agent and prepares for the next steps. Once a seller accepts your offer, a contract is created that all parties must adhere to.
Once an offer is accepted by both buyer and seller, escrow will be opened. An escrow company is a neutral third party where buyers and sellers deposit written instructions, documents, and funds until agreed-upon conditions set in the contract are fulfilled.
In this period, as agreed in the contract, you, the buyer, have the ability to complete all your due diligence, inspections, and reviews of documents received from the seller, the seller’s agents, and escrow. This is also the time to finalize your loan approved.
You should submit all requested documents to your lender promptly so they can underwrite and approve the loan to move forward with your purchase. Lenders will require a number of personal documents to substantiate you ability to pay.
Once the loan is approved, you will go through the process of signing the loan documents and depositing your down payment funds. The lender will fund the approved upon loan amount less their costs once they have received confirmation that your funds are in escrow. Escrow gives the Title Company deed and note for recording. Upon confirmation of recording, keys are delivered to the buyer.
Within a few weeks of being new homeowners, you will receive documents from county recorder, home warranty ( if you obtained one) and other legal documents. You may periodically have real estate questions. A good real estate agent will always be available to help answer any of your questions and explain documents you may have received.