Whether you are buying a home or vacant land, building a home, gaining recreation property, or looking forward to retirement, we are here to help you! The buying process can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time, but choosing the right person to represent your interests and guide you is the most important step in the process. Here is some information that will help give you an overview of the process. If you would like specific information about what I offer my clients (Services, lender connections, inspections, timelines), please to schedule a buyer's presentation.
By asking the right questions, you can make sure your property search is started on the right foot. It is best to know what purchase price you are approved for, and what monthly payment you are comfortable with, prior to the home search. Here is a good checklist:
- Interview several lenders. Your Realtor will be helpful in this process and should have preferred lender(s).
- Choose a lender you trust
- Analyze your credit report
- Provide your financial statements to the lender
- Obtain a pre-approval letter
It may be the most fun part of the entire process, but you still need to make sure you are diligent and thoughtful. Here is our recommended path:
- Make sure you sign agency documents and that they are explained carefully.
- Determine your home criteria, I recommend prioritizing them from deal breakers down to preferences.
- Typically your Realtor will be sending you listings that fit your criteria as they come on the market. Communicate with your Realtor about your preferences.
- What type of market are you in? Is the market fast or slow? Your Realtor will help you with this so you know how strong your offer will need to be.
Once you have decided on your potential home, this is where your Real Estate Professional earns their stripes. The rest of the process is where timelines, communication and experience become very important.
- Make sure you feel comfortable with the offered price. Your Realtor can help you with an offer strategy.
- Consider writing a letter to the seller – it can often be a differentiator in competitive markets
- There may be a series of counter offers back and forth before you reach mutual agreement.
- Mutual Agreement. This is when the clock begins to count for the subsequent contingency periods.
Ratification and the process that follows can sometimes be stressful. Try not to let it get to you. That why we’re here! However, knowing what’s coming can be helpful. Steps along the way include:
- Earnest Money - Generally must be to the Title Company you selected within 48 hours.
- Home inspection - This is often a secondary negotiation period, in Washington the standard is 10 days. A home inspection, which can range in cost from $350-$1000, will disclose to you any defects in the property that can be seen with an non intrusive inspection by a trained home inspector. The home inspector may point out things that need additional inspection by a professional in a specific field. In an Inspection Response, you will either accept the property as is, ask for repairs, or negotiate the price based on the inspection report. The Seller will either accept none, some, or all of your requests. You may back out of the transaction at any point in these 10 days, for any reason. The Seller may not back out based on your requests.
- Title Report - Will be provided for your review. This is a disclosure for you to review everything that is recorded on the property. If there are issues, your Realtor will work with the Title Company to resolve them.
- Lender underwriting process - You will formally apply for the loan with your chosen lender with the specific property. Your lender will help you comply with all the underwriting specifications.
- Home appraisal - The lender will order a home appraisal. Costs range from $500-$1000 and are the Buyer's responsibility. The appraiser will inspect the home and give it a market value. There also may be requirements for different loans that can be called out by an appraiser and must be met for the lender to fund the loan.
- Walk-through - This is typically 3-5 days prior to closing. You will be looking to make sure that any inspection items were completed and that the house is in satisfactory condition for you to close.
Finally! The big day is here. It’s time to close. Here is what’s involved:
- Choosing homeowner’s insurance
- The Settlement Statement
- The Deed of Trust
- Signing the papers
- GETTING YOUR KEYS!