No matter how many houses you buy, whether this is your first home or your fifth home, the homebuying process can be anxiety provoking! There are many steps you go through from the time you decide to buy a home to the time you close on your new home. The best way to reduce any stress is to know what to expect throughout the whole process. In a previous blog, we talked about what steps homebuyers should take before they even start looking at homes. Now, we will share with you the steps you will go through once you find your dream home…
1. Make an offer. Sit down with your real estate agent and write up an offer to submit to the seller. Be sure to include any items, conditions, contingencies or concessions you would like included.
2. Negotiations. There may be some negotiating on price and/or terms between you and the seller. Once all parties agree, you will go to contract and provide your deposit.
3. Choose an attorney. If you have not done so already, find an attorney to represent you throughout your real estate purchase. If you do not know of a real estate attorney, ask friends, family and/or your real estate agent for referrals.
4. Apply for a mortgage. You have already received your pre-approval, but now it is time to submit all of your paperwork and start the mortgage application process. Be sure to work with your lender to get all of the required information to him/her as soon as possible as to not hold up the transaction. Pay close attention to deadlines and due dates!
5. Home inspection. After you and the seller have signed the contract, you will schedule your home inspection. A home inspector will go through the entire house (inside and outside) and will alert you to any issues that he/she may find. After the inspection, if something came up that you were not aware of and would like the seller to fix prior to closing, you will work with your real estate agent to ask the seller to address these items.
6. Homeowners insurance. Start looking around and decide which company you will be getting a policy through. If you are unsure, ask friends, family and/or your real estate agent for some recommendations.
7. Appraisal. Your lender will send an appraiser to the house to be sure that it appraises for at least the purchase price. If for some reason it does not, you will need work with your real estate agent and go back to the seller to renegotiate.
8. Clear to close. Once your lender gets the “ok” from the mortgage underwriter, you officially have the clear to close. Your attorney and lender will work together to schedule and coordinate a closing date and time.
9. Final walk-through. Prior to closing, you will walk through your soon-to-be new home with your real estate agent. Be sure that everything that was agreed to in the contract is there and that the house is in the expected condition.
10. Attend the closing. Be sure to bring your bank check for your down payment and any fees. Your attorney will provide you with the correct amount. Next, get ready to sign a lot of papers! At the end, you will walk away with the keys to your new home!
*If you are planning on moving in right away, be sure to have already contacted utility companies to get everything changed into your name. Also, be sure to have moving companies (and any friends and family willing to help) coordinated for moving day!
Congratulations on buying your dream home!