Step-By-Step Buying Process
When searching for a home, a real estate professional can help you throughout the process by showing you properties in your preferred neighborhoods, answering any questions you have, helping you with paperwork, and of course helping you to negotiate an offer when you choose a home. Because a real estate purchase is one of the largest investments in your life, it is important that you select the right agent, know the neighborhoods, and thoroughly understand the real estate transaction process.
Whether you choose to work with a real estate professional or a Realtor, it’s important to note that only a licensed professional can sell you a home. Make sure you take the time to ask questions about their background and qualifications before choosing someone to work with.
Questions to ask you Realtor or licensed real estate professional:
Buying a home is likely one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime so it’s not unreasonable to be a little selective when choosing a real estate professional. Remember, you have the right, and the freedom to choose a real estate professional who’s capabilities, experience, and drive you are most comfortable with. Coming up with a list of questions to ask prospective agents is a great way to get a better idea of their personality. Here are a few questions you may want to add to your list:
- What are you professional designations? What professional experience do you have?
- How familiar are you will my chosen community?
- What can I expect from you during the buying process? What will the buying process look like?
- Can I have a list of your references?
- How will you stay in contact during this process? How can I expect to hear from you?
- What’s your philosophy about working with inexperienced home buyers? On Honesty?
Getting pre-approval is an important part of the buying process. This is important because this step determines your buying power. This is when we will ask you questions about factors that may play into your buying power such as your income and debt. This information will help us to determine the best mortgage lending options for you.
Understanding your credit rating:
In today’s market is important to understand your credit rating so you can qualify for as much home as possible. Talk to your real estate adviser for a referral to a mortgage broker to get prequalified and know the exact amount of loan you will qualify for.
Know Your rights as a borrower:
- You have the RIGHT to shop for the best loan for you and compare the charges of different mortgage brokers and lenders.
- You have the RIGHT to be informed about the total cost of your loan including the interest rate, points and other fees.
- You have the RIGHT to ask for a Good Faith Estimate of all loan and settlement charges before you agree to the loan and pay any fees.
- You have the RIGHT to know what fees are not refundable if you decide to cancel the loan agreement.
- You have the RIGHT to ask your mortgage broker to explain exactly what the mortgage broker will do for you.
- You have the RIGHT to know how much the mortgage broker is getting paid by you and the lender for your loan.
- You have the RIGHT to ask questions about charges and loan terms that you do not understand.
- You have the RIGHT to a credit decision that is not based on your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or whether any income is from public assistance.
- You have the RIGHT to know the reason if your loan was turned down.
- You have a RIGHT to ask for the HUD settlement cost booklet “Shopping for Your Home Loan”.
Know what you really NEED, vs. what you WANT. Consider what’s most important to you as a home buyer. Factors to consider when searching for a home may be:
- Price and affordability
- Size (Number of bedrooms and bathrooms and room needed for growth)
- Garage and parking
- Resale Value
- How long you expect to stay
- Yard size
- Location (Schools, work, activities, etc.)
- Neighborhood (condition, demographics, etc.)
- Walkability (http://www.walkscore.com/)
Give as much information about your wishes and requirements as you can to your Realtor, such as local amenities, transportation, schools, shopping, etc. This way your Realtor can find your perfect home that matches all of your criteria.
Clients generally have an initial idea of what cities and neighborhoods appeal most to them. However, you should examine your criteria to determine the areas within the neighborhoods you feel are a good match.
We will personally take you to some of the neighborhoods, give you an overview of the area, and show a few representative homes. More importantly, we will provide you with information about local schools, parks, and appreciation potential of each area. Generally, clients should not purchase a home until they are familiar with the neighborhoods and have seen enough properties to truly recognize an excellent fit.
While shopping for a home, it’s helpful to utilize the many tools available to assist you during your search.
There are several ways you can shop for a home:
- By driving around the neighborhood,
- Contacting us for help in your search
- Create an account today and start searching
- Using site property search features (map, iPhone app)
We can help make the right offer:
During this step in the process we will work closely with you to help you negotiate and/or make an offer that you are most comfortable with. We will be there to assist you in:
- Considering your purchase price
- settlement and finance costs
- Negotiations and an offer price
- Inspection terms
- Finalization and closing
When purchasing a new home, it’s important to hire an inspector who will provide you with a written report of the current condition of the home. When making such a huge investment, it’s important that you don’t overlook this step. A home inspection will help to give you peace of mind in knowing that you are making a quality investment and that you know exactly what you’re getting as you move forward in your home buying process. If you’re satisfied with the results of the inspection, then your offer can proceed. If you aren’t, you may want to negotiate, asking the seller pay for repairs or asking for a lower price.
Some of the things you should have inspected are:
- The structure of the home (walls, roof, foundation, etc.)
- The exterior of the home
- Electrical and plumbing
- Systems (heaters and air conditioners, furnaces, fireplace, etc.)
- Doors and windows
- Basement and attic
If any problems are found, we can work with you and the seller to negotiate a solution.
The actual closing is typically handled by the title company. The closing appointment will take around 30 to 90 minutes and we will assist you in interpreting all important documents. In general, you should receive your keys within 2-3 days of closing!
Enjoy Your New Home!
Arturo Bugarin is here to serve you for all of your housing questions or issues even after you close.