Home Buying in 10 Simple Steps
Thinking about buying? Eventually everyone does! However, buying a home can certainly become an intimidating task. It can go from easy to stressful in a heartbeat. It is a delicate process, and alone it can take years to understand. Even the most skilled tour guides know there are many moving parts. They understand the importance of following the appropriate path, and how one missed step can spin everything out of control. Experienced professionals learn a lot, including the benefits of being prepared and we’re happy to help. Our 10-step guide quickly sums it up. It is our step-by-step guide to your home-buying success.
1) DECIDING TO BUY
This is what happens when lighting strikes twice. There are many things that inspire these thoughts. The most common are tired of renting, wanting to save, deciding to downsize, needing more room, bored of surroundings, kids in better schools, or relocation for work. This is the research phrase where thoughts start to manifest within. Ask a lot of questions, and work on some math. Get the family on board, the journey begins.
2) FIND A HOME
Now you’re a action hero, full plan in force! You’ll hop in the car and drive your desired surroundings, start surfing the net and maybe even attend an open house or a few. During this stop you’ll pick up your agent, and would of already enlisted your family and friends. Here you’ll determine your wants and your needs. Make a good list of your yeses and no’s. Narrow in on an area, set your mind on a price and start browsing some homes.
3) CONSULT WITH AN AGENT
Congrats, you fell for a home! Plus, you just became a party of five. By this step you’ve enlisted your family and friends, signed on an agent maybe let off a few and now adding a mortgage rep too. Your agent can help in getting you pre-approved and contacting a bank, it’s apart of the job. You’re ready to submit an offer and want to make sure your ducks are in a row. You’ll want to know the fees and what it will all cost you to close.
4) NEGOTIATE AN OFFER
Hello step 4! You’ve enlisted family, friends, an agent, a mortgage rep, got a really great rate for your mortgage payments, and finally settled on a home. Shake up the dice, its time to roll out an offer. You’ll layout your terms, itemize your stipulations and present your idea price. Your agent will go over the forms, and discuss market conditions. Think counters, contingencies, and deadlines. Get ready to tango there’s a lot of back and forth.
5) AGREEING TO THE TERMS
Talking about having a heated debate. In negotiating the tough gets going and the going gets tough. Thank goodness you have a skilled negotiator on board. Choosing your own agent aside from the listing agent is always a smarter choice, and it’s free. After going back and forth you can finally agree. Also decided was how much earnest you’ll put down. Be sure you saved enough for those out of pocket cost. Expenses add up!
6) START THE DUE DILIGENCE
Ready, set, GO! This step is about what you can find, and all in negotiated time. The last step determined when the due diligence period began and when it will end. Before it ends you’ll want to be sure the home is a right fit and cancel out if it’s not. Make the best of your time there’s a lot on the line. Arrange an inspection. Call up the schools, visit neighbors, and check for crime too. It’s your responsibility to verify it all, Georgia is a buyer beware state.
7) GET WITH YOUR BANK
By now we have several team players. Family, friends, an agent, mortgage loan rep, a home inspector, and the new neighbors too. Now we’ll add an attorney to the mix. Once all parties agree to an offer your agent will submit final paperwork to the bank and closing attorney. After they’re tagged they’ll start making their request, this includes talking to an agent for homeowners insurance next. Actual qualification happens here.
8) TYING UP LOOSE ENDS
Okay, let’s recap. Step 5 gave a due diligence period. Step 6 utilized that right, giving an option to request repairs, assuming the repairs didn’t scare you away. Once buyer and seller agree to new terms/items they’ll address, the seller(s) get straight to work. All repairs should be completed prior to close. This step makes sure timelines are met. You’ll determine if a re-inspect is needed. An appraisal is done. Almost there.
9) PREPARING TO MOVE
By now you would of found areas needing repair, agreed to what would be done, seen it all through and got a clear to close from the bank. This usually means the appraisal came back good and the bank is happy with everything else. Banks will only finance for appraised value. Now you’ll need to call the utilities, schedule them on at your new place and off at your last. Don’t forget the post office and to schedule your move.
10) CLOSING THE DEAL
Guess which hand I’m holding the key? You fell in love with a house. Settled on its cost. Got a great rate. Found the best agent. Negotiated like a pro. Survived the inspection. Qualified like a champ and now let’s finalize the paperwork. Final walk through is completed and off to the attorney’s office you’ll go. Be ready to read and sign, you’ll be signing a lot. Meet the sellers, they’ll be handing over the keys. Congrats on sealing the deal!
Search for a home, love a property, pre-qualify a loan, write an offer, negotiate a deal, bind a contract, find an attorney, schedule your closing, order an inspection, make the arrangements, request some repairs, agree to settle, wait on an appraisal, either way at some point you’ll want to rely on someone good and we do it all. Don’t hesitate to ask!
HELPFUL TIP: Your Real Estate Agent is responsible for making sure all timelines are met. One missed timeline can result in a fatal loss of your earnest money, an expense you do want coming back. So when they say time is of the essence it is literally and figuratively of the essence. #SmartPeopleUseKali