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Knowing how much you can afford is the first step. Sellers are more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid the disappointment of pursuing homes outside your price range. Pre-qualification means he buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, the seller immediately perceives you as a serious buyer which is important if there are multiple offers for the property.
Close Real Estate works with mortgage lenders who stand ready to prequalify your for lending. The lenders we work with are listed below and their online application makes it easy to initiate prequalification.
2. IDENTIFY WANTS AND NEEDS
Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms & bathrooms you need for your household, accessibility, storage etc.). The second list contains your wishes, the things you would like to have - pool, outdoor kitchen - but aren't necessary. If you are a first-time buyers, you probably won't get everything on your wish list, but this delineation will keep you on track. Our comprehensive search list allows you to cull homes for sale by both wants and needs.
3. CONSIDER BUYER'S REPRESENTATION
Remember: when you see a broker's FOR SALE sign in the lawn of the home, that broker works for the homeowner, not you. Consider hiring one of Close Real Estate's agents to represent you as the buyer in the negotiations.
4. BE ORGANIZED
As you search:
- Maintain a list of favorites by developing a profile to fully use Close Real Estate's search feature
- Make sure you have a means to catalog information - pen & paper, phone, tablet - for taking notes as you search, especially if you if you have a long list of homes to evaluate.
- Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Understand your neighborhood by digging deep with Close Real Estate's market reports. Ask yourself: would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on
5. BE OBJECTIVE
Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? Are the rooms laid out to fit your household? Will you hold this house for a few years or a lifetime? Buy in haste, repent at leisure.
6. MAKE AN OFFER
If you can objectively say the home is right, it's time to make an offer. If you have a buyer's agent, they can help you craft a first offer. If the listing agent is working as an intermediary, their fealty lies first with the seller, but the are obligated to fairly represent you and devise that first offer using a promulgated contract.
In the contract,
- you'll be asked to tender earnest money to as a pledge to perform on the contract
- you can purchase the option to evaluate the home for a period of time (typically 10-12 days) and unilaterally vacate the contract if issues arise that can't be resolved with the seller.
- you can ask the seller's for assistance in paying for:
- closing costs for your mortgage on your new home
- a new survey (and you may not need one if one already exists)
- a homeowner's warranty to cover major repairs in the first year
- title insurance to safeguard against questions regarding the chain of ownership
- you can negotiate the purchase non-realty items like refrigerators, furniture, or portable buildings from the seller.
- you might negotiate a short-term lease from the seller so you can move in a few days early or the seller may ask you for a short-term lease after closing so they will have a few more days to move.
7. BE DILIGENT
Once your offer is accepted, you have a contract. In most cases, the contract comes with an option period and it is the buyer's responsibility to use this period to evaluate the property. Typically, a licensed home inspector performs a comprehensive review that gives the prospective buyer a clear understanding of the property's flaws. This report serves as basis for a final conversation between buyer and seller regarding the price of the home and the buyer's expectations regarding what repairs, if any, the seller must make. Once the buyer and the seller have agreed, the contract is pending for purchase.
8. IN THE WEEKS BEFORE YOU CLOSE
Once you have a contract that is pending for close, a few more things need to be executed:
- your lender will send an appraisal to evaluate your prospective home for lending. Depending what promulgated addenda you signed, you may still be on the hook to perform on the contract, even it it doesn't appraise for purchase price.
- you need to secure homeowner's insurance from your insurance agent
- any repairs you identified will should be made at this time. Depending on what type of financing you used, your lender may require that additional repairs be made before dosing.
- you need to be thinking about the logistics of your move and arranging for trucks, labor and equipment to facilitate the moving day.
- you need to have your home inspector return to the property to evaluate repairs and make sure they are appropriate and that they have fixed identified issues
9. IN THE HOURS BEFORE YOU CLOSE
In the 48 hours before you close, a few more things need to be executed. You:
- will be mailed an settlement statement from your title company. It will summarize all the charges associated with you purchase of the home. This document needs to be reviewed before closing. If mistakes are identified, you should contact the title company to make sure that a correct set of documents will be ready to sign on closing day.
- need to walk through the property yourself and make sure that the non-realty items were left by the seller and that no changes were made that are outside your contract with the seller.
10. CLOSING TIME
When the day arrives, you and your agent will meet at the title company to sign all the necessary documents to close your transaction for your new home. After a second & final review of the settlement charges, you'll be presented with a deep stack of papers to sign that outline the lender's expectations for repayment. Once done, you need to make sure you collect all keys and garage door openers from the seller to safeguard your new home.
This long list of details is routine work for a Close Real Estate agent. We stand ready to be part of your purchase to oversee the timing of elements key to your deal and make sure they take place when they should to forestall delays that can cost money, complicate your move, and prevent you from enjoying your home. Call a Close Real Estate agent to be your agent in this multi-step process to keep it simple and get your deal closed.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF & YOUR SEARCH SO WE CAN FIND YOUR HOME...