So you want to buy a house……
Whether you’re a first time buyer, a buyer who recently purchased or one who hasn’t bought real estate in a long time, the following timeline will help you along your path to owning real estate.
- Get Preapproved– You need to know where you stand, financially, for shopping purposes but also to have an offer taken seriously if and when you find the home that you want to be yours. If you’re approved for x amount of dollars, it doesn’t make sense to be shopping in a price range significantly higher. If you go to the grocery store with $200, you can’t buy $300 worth of groceries. You may certainly negotiate a better deal on a house, but there’s no coupons in the housing market.
- Know your rights– See this page
- Shopping for a loan– Work with your lender to find the right package for YOU. There are numerous loan programs and types and they are changing all the time. Make certain that you’re comfortable with the one you select and know everything you can about it. I can help with this a little, but if you have a lender that you trust and have good rapport with, it won’t be necessary for my advice or intervention. I will certainly help you find a lender you’re comfortable with.
- Choosing the right REALTOR- You can do things like call listing agents on property they have listed or get random people while requesting info through websites but those may not the best methods of finding your agent. I, personally, think you’re in the right spot to find “the one.” Make sure you have a good rapport with one agent that you trust. The benefit in using ONE agent as opposed to bouncing around is that you have one email address, one phone number and a person that knows you and your needs. As long as that agent is working hard for you and meeting all your expectations, there’s no reason to look for others, right? I (and any licenced agent) can show you and help you purchase any house listed in the state. There’s no worry if it’s not listed by me, my office or my company. Anything out on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is there for me to sell.
- HOME SHOPPING– This is probably the most fun part of the experience, so enjoy it. There’s a chance, depending on how many homes you’ve viewed online that you’re going to fall head over heels in love with one tomorrow. There’s a better chance that you’ll want to see more homes. I’d like to find out what your NEEDS and WANTS are in a house and get you set up on a search to send you only homes that meet your desires. I know it’s fun to look online and I’d never want you to stop doing that, but the houses online are just populated through something called IDX that pulls listings from the MLS. I send my buyers updates twice a day (6am and 6pm) for houses that are newly listed, come back on the market, or drop price into my clients’ range. This way, I can be assured that my clients are never more than 12 hours behind
- Making an offer– We’ll determine a good market price for the home you’re interested in by something called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). It’s an operation of comparing a home to homes that have recently sold to make sure you’re not overpaying and are getting the best deal possible on a property. We will develop a negotiation strategy from there. Once an offer is made a seller has three options; accept it, reject it, or counter-offer. If they accept, yay! If they reject- boo (though this rarely happens). If they counter-offer, you get the same three options and it could go back and forth a number of times, though you’ll probably hear me utter the phrase, “Get to the gettin’” before too long.
- Inspection and modification– A home inspection is HIGHLY recommended! After the contract is accepted and finalized you should really have the home looked at by a professional who is looking for “problems” in it. If issues over $500 in cost are found, it’s within your right to ask the sellers to fix or give you monetary credit for them.
- Finishing the loan process, walk-thru and closing– Your lender will require some things of you on and off to complete your loan package. Once the loan is done and ready to be given, the attorney’s (which I also highly advise you to use) will set a closing date. We’ll take a walk through the house right before closing (or the night before) and make sure it’s in the condition we’re expecting it to be and before you know it, you’re home owners!