The Buying Process: Step by Step
Choose Your Agent: Your real estate agent is your transaction manager, advisor, and negotiator. During our initial consultation, you explain your wants, needs, and plans to me so we're all working together to fulfill your goals. We also go over the buying process so you know what to expect once we present your offer to the seller. If you like, your agent can also use their professional tools and connections to help you find the home that's right for you.
Financing: A Preapproval Letter or Letter of Guaranteed Funds must be presented with your Offer to Purchase. It may take 2 or 3 days for your lender or banker to issue your letter; possibly 14 days if there are extenuating circumstances. My clients always have this ready before we begin shopping so they know exactly what they can comfortably afford and we can get in with a winning offer before other buyers when an exceptional home comes on the market.
Choosing Your Home: First, we will define what the home needs to do for you. Next we will eliminate those that do not meet your needs. Then we will look at the final contenders IRL (in real life) to compare condition and amenities. Our goal is to find the home which needs the least amount of work to give you the most of what you need and want.
Research: When you find the home you like, I will give you the vital statistics and information on that property and neighborhood values. Then you can make an informed decision.
The Offer: I will help you structure your offer so that you have the best chance of getting the seller to enter into negotiations with you. An offer consists of an Offer To Purchase & applicable addenda, the Preapproval Letter (or Letter of Guaranteed Funds), and an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD). I will call you immediately when the seller responds. If they counter our offer, you will decide whether to accept, reject, or counter back. Once all parties agree on the initial terms, we move forward to inspections. We may use DocuSign or other electronic signature tools if convenient for you and acceptable to the seller.
Inspection Period: The Inspection Period begins the day after the contract is signed. The length is defined in the contract; usually 5-14 days. During this period of time, the owners grant access to the property for the purposes of inspection. I will coordinate and be there to allow entry to all inspectors you choose. *Entering property without permission is legally known as trespassing so buyers will not try to go into the home without their agent first making the appropriate arrangements.
Negotiations: Once the inspections are complete, we will determine if you want to go forward with the purchase, back out of the contract, or ask for repairs to be made. We will submit our Request for Resolution of Unacceptable Conditions along with our Inspection Notice before the deadline. More on Real Estate Negotiations.
Waiting: Then we will wait for the sellers to respond. There is a 5 day period built into the real estate contract during which time neither party may withdraw from the contract unless both parties mutually agree to withdraw. This was added as a cooling off period due to the emotions involved in buying and selling a home.
Go or No: When the sellers respond, we will either accept their offer to resolve the unacceptable conditions found on inspections, counter again (negotiate), or reject their offer completely.
Moving Forward: When all parties come to agreement on the resolutions, I will tell the mortgage lender and the title company to begin their part in your transaction. The mortgage lender will do their appraisal and begin processing the loan (3 weeks is usual). The title company will activate their file and begin preparing the closing documents. Any repairs agreed to will begin; I will monitor progress on all fronts, making sure everyone has the documents and information they need to proceed.
Before Closing: You will have an opportunity to do a final walk-through after the repairs are completed to assure that they have been made to your satisfaction. We will also get a copy of the HUD-1 Final Settlement Statement before closing. You will go over it; I will go over it; any discrepancies, omissions or errors will need to be resolved before signing the closing documents.
Closing: We will all meet at the title company at the specified time and date. You will sign papers giving you legal title/deed to your new home and consenting to the terms of your mortgage. The title company will disburse funds to all parties as indicated and have the changes recorded with the appropriate government entities. I’ll give you the keys to your new home. You move in.
After Closing: You move and settle into your new home. I will be available as a resource should any questions arise or if you need referrals to reliable contractors for any home maintenance or improvements.
The 3 Components of an Offer To Purchase / Real Estate Contract:
1. Signed Real Estate Contract - complete with all applicable addenda
2. Letter of Preapproval or Letter of Guaranteed Funds
3. Earnest Money Deposit (EMD)
Do You Know JACK? ... (CAUTION: don't read this one unless you have a sense of humor)