The home buying process can be a daunting task to navigate, and it can vary depending on whether you’re buying a home for the first time or seeking investment properties, as well as real estate laws in your area and personal circumstances. While there are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during a successful real estate transaction, knowing the main links in the chain of events, and knowing what’s required of you and everyone else involved in the transaction will bring clarity and confidence as you embark on your home-buying journey and invest towards your future.
1. The Prequalification Process
The prequalification process gives you an amount you are likely to be approved for if you were to apply for a loan. This is an initial step in the mortgage transaction that benefits you as a borrower. Getting prequalified is a simple and quick process, and can even be done over the phone.
2. Look At Homes
Looking at homes is and should be FUN! Our expert agents at Levin Rinke know this and prioritize our clients’ needs and wants before hitting the road to look at homes. At this stage in the process, it’s important to discuss the intricate details of each micro market you’re considering and cull down to a modest list of homes you’re ready to tour.
3. Evaluate the Options
After you’ve toured properties, it’s important to evaluate several details regarding the home.
- Current Price
- Cost of ownership on each individual property
- Goals for current purchase
Discussing your thoughts on why you do and do not want to purchase a particular property will help your agent write the best offer and terms for your situation OR find another property more suitable for your needs.
4. Make An Offer
Making an offer is more than just the purchase price. Terms and conditions as well as differing opinions of market value will come into play. Be sure to work with an agent who can honestly explain to you how strong of an offer you are bringing to the table when bidding on a home.
If the initial offer is not accepted, the seller has the right to counter or decline the offer all together. More often than not, the seller will counter, at which time your agent will communicate with you the terms in which the seller will agree to. Buyers and sellers may go back and forth several times to achieve a win-win for all parties.
6. Offer Accepted
You and the seller have now come to terms on the purchase of their property and it is time to get to work to ensure both parties end up at the closing table!
7. Escrow Deposit
The earnest money deposit is agreed to in the terms written in the contract. This amount is often a low percentage of the agreed purchase price, but can sometimes be more depending on terms. The buyer is responsible for getting the deposit to the agent or closing company within the amount of time determined by the contract.
The Deadlines are important! The buyer is responsible for providing the deposit, and all other items needed to the mortgage and title company based on the contract timelines. The Realtor is responsible for ensuring all inspections, appraisals, and other items are scheduled and completed within the time frame listed in the contract.
The title of your property will be checked to ensure ownership can convey to the new owner without any issues. Generally title insurance is issued as well, protecting the new owner from issues that could arise from the past.
Inspections are an important step in the process. You will want to have a professional look at all of your major systems to determine the condition.
11. Home Insurance
Insurance is an important component of your purchase. You will want to insure one of your largest assets is protected.
A survey will show the your property lines and allow you to make sure your property is not encroaching on another’s property and that no one is encroaching on your property.
An appraiser will give their opinion of the home’s value to make sure it is in line with the agreed upon sales price. This will be required when financing is involved.
14. Loan Commitment
At this point your lender has decided that all conditions of making your loan are satisfied, time to move forward to closing.
The pre-closing walkthrough is to confirm the property is in the correct condition for the buyer to take possession. It is important to ensure items that are supposed to convey with the property are there and that items that were to be removed have been removed.
16. Transfer Utilities
Your agent can provide a list of the utility vendors for your specific location.
Paperwork will be signed transferring the property to the buyer. If a loan is involved, loan documents will be signed as well.
Time to move in and enjoy your new home!
In today’s fast-paced world, answers are only a Google search away, and there are some who may wonder what the benefits of hiring a real estate professional to help them in their home search are. The reality is, with the addition of more information, there can be more confusion.
Shows like Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, and the dozens more on HGTV can give a false sense of what it’s like to buy and sell a home. Now more than ever, there’s a need for a highly-trained, highly-skilled expert on your side who is going to guide you toward your dreams and not let anything get in the way of achieving them. Buying a home is not something that needs to be stressful if you are in the right hands!
So why work with a Levin Rinke real estate professional? Here are just some of the reasons:
There’s more to real estate than finding a house you like online!
Again, there are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. A Levin Rinke Realty agent has been there before and knows what these actions are. Our agents help achieve the real estate goals of their clients because they undergo countless hours of training to understand their local market, to navigate the forms, paperwork and possible red flags during the home buying process, and to evaluate their clients wants and needs in a home.
A skilled negotiator is crucial to the home buying process.
In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way, from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal, you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes. Our agents are well-trained in the negotiation process and well-connected to a network of professionals that are paramount to getting their clients the best possible outcome in a real estate transaction.
What is the home you’re buying or selling worth in today’s market?
There is so much information out there on the news and on the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your potential new home at the beginning of the buying process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a lowball offer?
Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:
“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you
should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”
Our agents always have their finger on the pulse of the market, making their clients buying experience an educated one. They are well-versed in obtaining a detailed comparative market analysis (CMA) on property, and ready to answer any question their clients may have.
Because the home-buying process can be an emotional one, our agents are interested in telling you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear. We hold our agents to the highest standards when they deal with other professionals and certainly their clients. We are known for our training, knowlege and integrity, and we are eager to show it!
Bottom line: Today’s real estate market is highly competitive. Choosing a knowledgeable professional who’s been there before with your best interest at heart to guide you through the process is a simple step that will give you a huge advantage!
Experience the Difference!