Find A Home
UNDERSTANDING THE BUYING PROCESS
Understanding the buying process coupled with the right real estate agent that can provide expert representation and guidance will make all the difference when finding the perfect home or property.
The Right Buyer’s Agent Is Crucial
When you are buying a home or property, your agent will play a major role in the process. It is so important to have a buyer’s agent who specializes in and is knowledgeable in your prospective areas so they can find you the right property. Your buyer’s agent needs to understand the current market and real estate trends to provide you with accurate and dependable information to help you navigate the buying process easily and efficiently. They need to have the skills so that you can be confident that they will negotiate on your behalf effectively and ensure that you find and secure your dream home.
Understanding Your Goals and Needs
The purchase of real estate happens for a multitude of reasons, and identifying yours, along with your real estate must-haves, is a crucial step in the buying process. Why are you buying? Are you moving from out of town? Do you need more space than your current home provides? Are you trying to be closer to work? Expanding your family and want a specific school zone? Are you purchasing a second home or an income property? Understanding your motivation for purchasing real estate will play a large role in helping you to find specific properties that meet your needs.
Other key factors will also affect your home search and should be considered early in the buying process. What is your timeline for purchasing? How soon do you need to be able to move in? Would you consider doing renovations or upgrades to the property you purchase, or do you require a home that is turnkey? Has that been factored into your budget? What property type are you looking for - single family, townhouse, or condo? How many bedrooms do you need? Is your purchase contingent upon selling your current home? All of these questions should be addressed and help to narrow your search to properties that meet the needs of your family.
Getting Pre-Qualified is a Must
Getting pre-qualified will not only make your home search easier, but it will ensure that you understand, from the start, the budget that you can realistically afford. This will help to ensure that you avoid the disappointment of visiting properties that are out of reach and will keep the focus only on the best properties that are within reach.
Pre-qualification determines your bottom line. That is, the maximum amount that you can afford while factoring in your mortgage payment, property taxes, home insurance, utilities and monthly living expenses. Understanding this baseline budget right from the start of your home search will help you keep your eyes on the prize and will return results that you can afford.
Finding Your Perfect Home or Property
Now that you and your local realtor understand your goals, your must-haves, and your budget, the real fun begins. It is time to start the search for your perfect property! Your realtor will use all of their resources to provide you with potential listings that meet your criteria. While they are compiling these listings for you, a great idea is to use this website to conduct searches for yourself. This is a comprehensive website with hyper-local search capability to help you narrow down your search. Happy searching! Be sure to save your favorite listings so you can compare them with the list your realtor provides.
Visit Potential Properties
Once you narrow down your options to your favorite homes, your realtor will set up showings for you to visit the properties. Keep a critical eye while touring potential homes and be realistic. Try to keep emotions at bay while analyzing the property. Does it meet your needs? If it doesn’t check all the boxes, does it come close? Prioritize your needs and make sure that the property meets your most important criteria.
Make an Offer
So, you have found the perfect property, now what? Make an offer! This is where having a great local realtor is key. Your realtor will provide practical insight on what purchase price to offer for the property. Everyone wants a good deal, and no one wants to over-pay. A good realtor will help you navigate this to make sure that your offer is competitive within the current real estate market trends, while helping to make sure that you get the best deal possible.
If you make an offer on a property that is below the listing price, the seller will most likely provide you with a counteroffer. At that point, the buyer is free to accept the counteroffer, reject it outright, or make another offer.
Finalize Mortgage Application
Once your offer is accepted by the seller, the next step in the buying process is to finalize your pre-qualified mortgage loan application. The exception to this would be a cash buyer. If you are not already pre-approved, it is time to meet with mortgage lenders. Ask the lender any questions that you have or for clarification on anything that you do not understand. It is important to meet with several lenders, at least 2 or 3, so that you can compare the loan terms and pick the best one for you.
When you have received a fully executed contract after your offer has been accepted, you have entered the inspection period. Inspection periods vary, but typically give ample time to complete the next steps. During this phase, you will need to schedule a home inspection. The inspection will confirm the condition of the property and alert you to any areas of concern.
Mortgage lenders will also require a professionally completed appraisal to get an estimated property value to confirm that the loan amount is valid. Lenders will typically not give a loan in excess of the appraisal price, so this step is crucial.
Also, during this time, buyers should shop for property insurance and schedule a property survey.
If the property is a condo, townhouse, or single-family home located in a community governed by a Homeowner’s Association, also known as an HOA, buyers will need to apply and receive approval from the HOA prior to closing.
Complete a Final Walk-Through of the Property
Once you have received the clear to close from the lender, a closing will be scheduled. But before the closing, you will complete a final walk-through of the property. Your agent will accompany you to evaluate the property one final time before you officially close and it becomes yours. This is your last chance to analyze the condition of the home before you take ownership. It is important that you verify that the property has been maintained in the same condition as when you initially made your offer for purchase. You should also verify that any negotiated repairs or changes have been completed by the seller and confirm that nothing was damaged during the moving out process. Your final walk-through should be completed as close to the day of closing as possible, preferably no more than the day before.
Closing on Your Property
You have reached the final step in the buying process! At the closing, the seller officially signs the deed over and ownership is transferred to the buyer. The lender provides payment of the loan balance, and closing costs are paid. Typical closing costs include title insurance, prorated property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, HOA fees, title insurance, and title search costs. Closing costs are usually paid by either the buyer or seller and can vary by transaction and location custom.
Once this has taken place, the buyer receives the keys to their new home!
The buying process can be a long and difficult process, but I will work tirelessly on your behalf. It is so important to me to earn your trust and confidence throughout the process and to make everything as fun and easy for you as possible. If I am successful in doing this, I sincerely hope that you will refer me to your family and friends. Client referrals are an integral part of my business, and I greatly appreciate each and every one. I look forward to helping all my clients and their friends and family find the homes of their dreams!
FAQ: How much do you charge to help me find a home?
Answer: Most if not all of our commission and fees come from the seller. If we don’t find you a home our service is free of charge.