5 Easy Steps to Buying a Home
Buying Step 1: Get Loan Preapproval.
Get a Preapproved Mortgage
Start the mortgage process well before bidding on a home. As a Realtor I can recommend a list of reputable loan officers and you can start shopping around. By meeting with lenders – either face to face or online – and researching loan options, you will find which programs best meet your needs and how much you can afford.
Preapprovals are also recommended for another reason: purchase forms often require buyers to apply for financing within a given time period. By meeting with loan officers in advance and identifying mortgage programs, it won’t be necessary to quickly find a lender, do a check credit and rush into a financing decision that may not be the best option.
What is Preapproval?
“Preapproval” means you have met with a loan officer, your credit files have been reviewed and the loan officer believes you can readily qualify for a given loan amount with one or more specific mortgage programs. Based on this information, the lender will provide a preapproval letter, which shows your borrowing power.
Although it is not a final loan commitment, the preapproval letter will be shown to listing brokers when bidding on a home. It demonstrates your financial strength and shows that you have the ability to go through with a purchase. This information is important to owners since they do not want to accept an offer that is likely to fail because financing cannot be obtained.
Buying Step 2: Target Your Search, Look at Properties and Choose a Home.
Determine What Â You Want in a Home.
First, list the features and benefits you want in a home. Consider such things as pricing, location, size, amenities (extras such as a pool or extra-large kitchen) and design (one floor or two, colonial or modern, etc.).
Next, determine your priorities. If you can’t get a home at your price with all the features you want, then what features are most important? For instance, would you trade fewer bedrooms for a larger kitchen? A longer commute for a bigger lot and lower cost?
Last, consider your future needs. If you’ll need a larger home later on, maybe now is the time to buy a bigger house rather than moving or expanding in the future.
Target Your Search.
Target your desired neighborhood. All neighborhoods and communities have a unique character and value. One community may be well known for historic homes while another offers both suburban living with easy access to downtown office areas. Determine which neighborhood(s) will work for you so you do not waste time looking where you would not want to live.
Look for Homes
I will find you home listings based on your criteria. You can also look for homes online, in local papers and real estate guides.
You may want to keep a file with information on each of the homes you like. I can help you determine the pros and cons of the properties you are interested in.
Choose a Home
Home Sweet Home! A home is where you live, relax, and entertain friends, raise families, and work. A home is where you spend much of your life, so take your time to choose a house that will become your home.
Buying Step 3: Offers, Counter Offers and Negotiation.
When you are ready to buy, you will need to make a written offer. We use a standard purchase agreement and will help you put together a written, legally binding offer that reflects the price as well as terms and conditions that are right for you. As your Realtor I will guide you through the offer, counteroffer, negotiating and closing processes.
How Much Should You Offer?
You sometimes hear that the amount of your offer should be x percent below the seller’s asking price or y percent less than you’re really willing to pay. In practice, a successful offer depends on the basic laws of supply and demand: If many buyers are competing for homes, then sellers will likely get full-price offers and sometimes even more. If demand is weak, then offers below the asking price may be in order. I will help you determine a suitable offer price and terms based on the current market.
How Do You Make an Offer?
The process of making offers varies. Typically, you complete a written offer that we will present to the owner and the owner’s representative. Sellers can respond with several options:
- accept the offer
- decline the offer
- make a counter offer
What is a Counter Offer?
A counter offer is nothing more than a change to the original offer. Counter offers reflect the back-and-forth activity of the marketplace. It’s a common, efficient and practical process, but also one that may contain tricky clauses and hidden costs. Because of this, and because counter offers are common, it’s important for buyers to remain in close contact with me during the negotiation process so that any proposed changes can be quickly reviewed.
How Do You Negotiate?
No aspect of the home buying process is more complex, personal or variable than bargaining between buyers and sellers. This is the point where my value as an experienced REALTORÂ® is clearly evident because I know the community, have seen numerous homes for sale, know local values and have spent years negotiating transactions.
Real estate negotiating typically involves compromises by both sides. Negotiating should be seen as a natural business process: buyers should be treated with respect, and owners should never lose sight of either their best interests or their baseline transaction requirements, which must be met before the home can be sold.
BuyingÂ Step 4: Home Inspections
An offer to buy a home can include a “subject to” clause that is dependent on a home inspection. Not all buyers elect to include this clause because they may be purchasing a new home that is already under warranty, they may know enough about homes and building that the inspection is unnecessary, or they may want to save money.
Home inspections give you a professional assessment of a home’s condition. With such a major purchase as a home, an inspection gives you peace of mind in knowing whether there are any deficiencies that need to be dealt with now or in the future.
Types of Inspections
A number of inspections are common in residential transactions. They include:
- Structural inspections (which may also include the foundation, roof, boiler room, furnace, heating, plumbing, appliances, )
- termite inspection
- fireplace inspection
- oil, septic, or well inspection
Structural inspections are particularly important. During these examinations, an inspector comes to the property to determine if there are material or physical defects and whether expensive repairs and replacements are likely to be required in the next few years.
Finding an Inspector.
As a REALTORÂ® it is my job to make the home buying experience as smooth as possible. I am happy to arrange all the inspections for you, and have a list of recommended inspectors for you to choose from. You are also more than welcome to find your own.
After the Inspection.
After inspection, the buyer may decide to proceed with the offer as is, make a notice of repairs with terms that address any issues found in the inspection, or withdraw their offer.
Buying Step 5: Signing the Deal: Closing Escrow
It might seem as though once a sale agreement has been signed that the buying process is complete. Not only is it not over yet, but some of the most complex aspects of a real estate transaction now begin.
Once a contract for the purchase of a home has been accepted, a series of inspections and checks are typically required to satisfy buyers and lenders. I will help you coordinate the transaction process by assisting with the many requirements found in a typical sale agreement. Iâ€™ll also help you prepare for closing, which is, finalizing the sale.
When Should You Close?
It takes time to arrange financing, conduct inspections, obtain appraisals, contact movers, pack and actually move. Most homes close 30 to 60 days after a sale agreement has been signed.
What Happens during Closing?
“Closing” is also known as “settlement” or “escrow.” It is usually a brief office meeting to sign the paperwork needed to complete the sale transaction. All necessary papers have been prepared by title companies, lenders and lawyers. This paperwork reflects the sale agreement and allows all parties in the transaction to verify their interests.
The closing process is as follows:
- Property title is transferred from seller to
- The seller receives payment for the home, a portion of which is deducted to pay the
- From the amount credited to the seller, the closing agent subtracts money to pay existing mortgage and other transaction
- Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared, signed and filed with local property record offices. Usually the closing agent also completes the paperwork needed to record the
- Transfer taxes are paid and other claims settled (including closing costs, legal fees and adjustments
Before closing, buyers typically have a final opportunity to walk through the property to ensure that its condition has not materially changed since the sale agreement was signed.
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates
10795 Double R Blvd
Reno, NV 89521