Unlocking the door to your dream home is easy when you have the right key! As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), I have the experience and knowledge to take you through the home buying process with ease.
Step 1: Call your buyer’s agent. We need to determine your criteria and the specifics you are looking for. Don’t just drive around and call the listing agent. Did you know the listing agent is working only for the seller? Any information you disclose will be conveyed to the sellers because it is the fiduciary responsibility of their agent to disclose any information they are able to find out about potential buyers. As a Buyer’s agent, no personal or financial information will be disclosed to the seller’s agent because we don’t want to harm our negotiating power. The seller pays for the buyer’s agent commission, so why not hire a true professional for free, working solely on your behalf?
Step 2: Obtain a preapproval. A lender will review your income, debt ratio, employment and credit scores to determine what you are qualified to purchase. Once that number is established, he/she can provide you with more detailed information regarding your total estimated monthly payment and any closing costs. He/she will also help you determine which loan program is best for you.
Step 3: Viewing homes. We will set you up for auto-links that have all of your criteria that we discussed. Twice per day, new homes will be e-mailed to you that match the results. We also manually search daily to make sure there is nothing we are missing. Once you find some homes you want to view, I will do some preliminary work and pull important information such as public records, well & septic records, and sellers disclosures. we will create an itinerary for you and we will then go take a look! Typically 24 hours notice is needed to schedule appointments.
Step 4: Writing an offer. Once you choose a home, I will pull comparables of homes that have sold nearby to determine if the house is priced accordingly and to help us determine the offer price. In addition, we will discuss if you need assistance with closing costs, if you want the seller to provide a home warranty, when you can close, when we can get an inspection scheduled, etc. Your offer will either be accepted, rejected, or countered. Once your offer has been accepted, we will collect an earnest money deposit (EMD) which will be deposited into our (non-interest bearing) Team Hamilton escrow account within 24 hours.
Step 5: Inspection. You will have 7-10 days to have your inspection, which we will accompany you during. An inspection is for the buyer to obtain a baseline on the home and understand the future maintenance needs of the home. It is also to determine if there are any major health or safety issues that need to be addressed. Some of the major items that may cause you to go back to the table and renegotiate would be a bad roof, mold in the attic, unacceptable levels of radon gas or a failed water test. The cost of an inspection will vary depending on the size of the home and what all you choose to have done. You can budget between $300 – $600 for this.
Step 6: Formal application. Once we are through the inspection period, you will need to meet with your lender to make formal application. He/she will collect documents like paystubs, tax returns, bank account information and asset information. You will discuss locking in your interest rate and the appraisal will order the appraisal.
Step 7: Underwriting review. After the appraisal comes back, it goes to the lender’s underwriting department for review. The underwriting department will also determine if there are any other conditions that need to met by the buyers. They may need additional verification of things like deposits into your checking/savings accounts, questionable items on your credit report and many other little things. Usually these are all easy to overcome. The whole process takes 30-45 days so once we reach this point, closing day will be 2-3 weeks out.
Step 8: Last minute finishes. Once the target closing date is established, you will need to secure one year’s paid homeowners insurance on your new home and provide a copy of the paid receipt to the lender. You will also need to call the gas and electric companies to arrange to have the power transferred to your name, effective the day of closing.
Step 9: Review of closing documents. You will have your final closing documents to review usually 48 hours prior. Your lender will determine the amount of funds you need to bring to closing and you will be required to bring a certified check to closing along with your driver’s license for identification. Then, signing the closing papers is your last step. You are now proud new homeowners!
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions in your life and I would love to walk you through your journey.