Resources for Buyers
Things to Consider Before Buying a Home
- Check Your Credit – Your credit is crucial when applying for a loan; the better your score, the lower your interest rates will be. Be sure to check all three major credit reporting companies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion as the information in each report may vary slightly. Make sure you make copies of your credit report as well and check your score well in advance of applying for loans.
- Find a Lender – Most people need to take out a loan when buying a home, and you’ll want to be prepared to make an offer when you find that perfect home. It’s important to be sure that you’re pre-approved/pre-qualified for a loan before you start looking at homes so you don’t miss out on any opportunities. A pre-qualification letter from a lender allows you to look at homes with your agent as many sellers will not allow you entry to their home without it. If you need help finding a lender, I can recommend trusted lenders near you, ones that I have worked with on multiple occasions, who are trustworthy and get things done on time.
- Price Range – Calculate what’s realistic for you before considering different areas to live in to be sure things stay within your budget. Once you know your range, I can help you make the most out of your money.
- Research – Finding the right home can be time-consuming, but it’s important to consider everything before you decide. What’s the commute like to work? If you have kids, what are the schools like in the area? How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need? Do you prefer a newer or older-styled home? All are important factors to take into account during the home finding process. I am dedicated to helping you through the entire home buying process. Once we find that perfect home, I will prepare a written offer. With my experience in the market, I can help you arrive at an offer that both fits your budget and has the best chance of being accepted.
- Once Your Offer is Accepted – After your offer is accepted, you’ll have a grace period to have the house professionally inspected and request repairs or counter offer if the situation arises. Once this step is complete, your lender will verify the terms and conditions of your loan with you, and assist you in signing your papers. It is up to you to provide all requested documentation to your lender that is asked for so the lender can give final approval on your loan and verify with their underwriting department that you are approved for the loan. It is also up to you to meet all conditions the lender has placed on the loan prior to closing on the sale. Your lender and title company work together to ensure clean and marketable title exists on the property and that all required documentation is in the file for your loan and has been verified. I’m here to assist you with any questions you may have during the process.
- Moving Time! – Now that you’ve found your perfect home it’s time to make moving arrangements. If you plan on utilizing a professional moving company, I can recommend reputable, local movers. Don’t forget to fill out your change of address forms and inform the utility company of your move!
- Inspections, title search, final loan approval, and closing on your new home. After your offer to purchase the property has been agreed to in writing via the Purchase and Sales agreement, which is a contractual agreement between the seller and buyer of the property, the following items are running on a timeline and many are taking place simultaneously:
Inspections of the property chosen by the buyer and agreed to by the seller- these inspections are typically done in 10-14 days and any requested fixes or reductions in price the seller is being asked to agree to are presented to the seller within the timeline set for inspections in the Purchase and Sale agreement; so inspections, review inspection results, present requests for fixes or reductions to the seller to satisfy “significant” issues either undisclosed or unknown to the buyer; the seller is not obligated to meet these requests, and may meet none, some or all of the requests- this is called the negotiation phase of the home sale transaction and is typically done via the agents involved who have been in touch with their respective clients, buyer and seller. The issues are either eventually resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, or not resolved. Timelines for the negotiation phase do not drag out forever. Quite quickly it becomes clear which issues each side has flexibility on and which they don’t. If the sale falls apart because buyer and seller cannot come to terms, the buyer typically withdraws their offer and the seller puts the property back on the market and returns the buyer’s earnest money deposit, made when the offer to buy was initially submitted along with a pre-qualification letter from the lender (if the buyer is financing the purchase of the property); to the buyer- this is called a fall-through. Assuming both buyer and seller reach an agreement and want the transaction to continue such agreement is put in writing, the inspection phase of the agreement is closed, and the lender needs to order a title search through the title company, this is at the buyer’s expense. The buyer will also be asked at the closing of the sale to purchase lender’s and buyer’s title insurance. It is always suggested, though not required, for the buyer to purchase title insurance on the property. The lender will insist on a financed property that the buyer purchases lender’s title insurance at the closing, in case the buyer defaults on their loan payments.As the conditions for making the loan become clear and are fulfilled by the buyer with the help when applicable of the lender (usually a matter of obtaining pay stubs, work verification, credit scores, determining debt to income ratios, and other documentation. Eventually, all items are considered acceptable by the lender, and the “financial Package” consisting of a file is sent to the lenders’ underwriters for final approval and “CLEAR TO CLOSE” on the loan.
Once CLEAR TO CLOSE has been achieved by the underwriters, the financial package is then sent to the title company and both buyer and seller have their respective financial sides of the transaction translated onto the closing statement for the sale. The closing statement outlines the detail for both buyer and seller: costs involved in the sale, existing seller-side loans (mortgages) and other lien holders of the property are paid off, town pro-rations of taxes are applied, title insurance amounts are paid, commissions to the respective Real Estate agents are made, the loan is given with a promissory note and amortization schedule signed by the buyer for their loan, a mortgage agreement is made between the buyer as GRANTOR and the lender as GRANTEE which allows the lender to foreclose on the property if the buyer’s loan payments are not made in a timely fashion as per the promissory note, and the property sale closes. Keys and garage door openers are exchanged and the seller’s moving van pulls out and the buyer’s moving van pulls in. Simple as pie!