Today’s real estate market can offer more opportunities yet can be filled with more risks than ever before. There are a multitude of factors to consider and decisions to make. It’s important to enlist the help of a trusted real estate professional who’ll be able to provide expert guidance at each step of the buying process.
Given that buying a home is such a big step, it’s very important to educate and prepare yourself as much as possible. Since buying and financing a home are so closely related, it also means examining your current financial situation and projecting how much you can afford. Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll be in a better position to research housing and mortgage options and create an action plan and timelines for moving forward.
Buying real estate is a complex matter with many factors to consider since no two homes or transactions are alike. When choosing a real estate professional to guide you through the property search, financing, negotiation and transaction processes, you should consider their local market knowledge, experience, and track record.
The pre-approval process involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and credit history. On the basis of this examination, the lender may provide you with a document detailing the amount you can borrow to buy a home. Consider looking online to see what different lenders offer, or contacting your local bank or credit union. As a qualified buyer you’ll be taken more seriously when you make an offer to purchase a property. Additionally lenders can tell you if you qualify for special programs that will help you afford a better home.
The key to the home search process is “knowing” what you’re looking for. Here are a few recent facts about the search process:
• 92% of buyers use the internet to search for homes.
• The typical buyer searches for 12 weeks and views 12 homes.
• You can view many homes online in detail, take video tours and access neighborhood info all before ever visiting the property.
Once you’ve found the home you’d like to buy, it’s time to make an offer. Your state or local real estate association likely has contracts that are generally used for transactions in your area. These contracts enable you to specify a sale price and also allow the inclusion of clauses specifying various terms of purchase, such as the closing and possession dates, your deposit amount, and other conditions. You should carefully review these clauses with your real estate professional to be sure that they accurately express your intended offer. In addition to drawing up the contract, your real estate professional will be happy to address all of your questions about the offer process. Once you’ve written the offer, your real estate professional will present it to the seller and/or the seller’s representative. The seller can accept your offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process. Successive counter-offers, with deadlines for responding and meeting conditions, may be exchanged between you and the seller until a mutual pending agreement is reached or the negotiations breakdown.
Unfortunately, too many buyers suffer negative consequences from not fully understanding their financing decisions. It’s crucial for you to work with people you trust. In this regard, a good real estate professional can become a true friend for life.
Once you have a pending agreement, it’s time to return to your chosen lender to finalize mortgage details in order to close the deal.
Key steps to closing include:
• Getting a title search – you will need a historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of the property – to ensure that there are no claims against the title of the property. It’s also necessary to purchase Title Insurance for protection in the event of errors in the records or mistakes in the review process.
• The final walkthrough – you will be given the chance to look at the home one last time to make sure it’s in the same condition as when you signed the contract.
• The settlement – On the closing date you’ll meet with a lawyer, or escrow agent to verify and sign all the paperwork required to complete the transaction. The settlement will include paying your closing costs, legal fees, property adjustments and transfer taxes. At that point, you’ll receive the property title and copies of all documentation pertaining to the purchase.
(above provided courtesy of realtor.com)