There are Three phases to becoming a homeowner: Prequalification and Planning, Searching for a home and Purchasing a home.
In Phase I, we’ll lay the ground work and create a plan that fits your budget and time frame. In phase II, you determine your wants and needs, and enjoy the search. Phase III is the “heavy lifting”, till you get the keys to your new home. In Our First Meeting, I will have a thorough overview of the entire process. Oftentimes, the home buying process takes 2-3 months, sometimes longer. From the Time you get your prequalification to begin searching and finding your home is often 3-4 weeks. After your home is selected your home to the time you get the keys is often 30 to 45 days!! Purchasing a home is a major financial commitment, but it is also a serious commitment of time and energy, to get there.
PHASE I. Prequalifying and Planning
The Mortgage Prequalification is an important first step, in the homebuying process. We can introduce you to qualified mortgage professionals who will be thorough in this early first step, so as to avoid potential pot holes, “down the road”. Your credit score, W-2 source of income, 2 years tax returns and sum of your monthly obligations should be enough to do a preliminary qualification. Underwriting does a more thorough job, later in the process. Why is this important first? It creates the framework for your “BUYING POWER”. Then we’ll proceed to The Purchase Planning Interview to define the size, qualities and location you want within your purchase limits. We’ll also review your OUT OF POCKET costs that you can expect, in addition to your down payment.
PHASE II. SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT HOME
Developing a Customized plan
The first step of your home search is to have a search plan, customized for your needs and around your schedule. Considerations include the kind of home you want,
choosing the best communities, customizing your home search and sources of data. We began this process in the Interview phase, but now we are getting ready to go to work!!
Nearly all of the home information you’ll receive will be through Multiple Listing Service. (MLS). You will have access to my database/website and daily email updates of new listings and price changes. We will work together to create a custom search that is most likely to sort for homes that meet your criteria.
The First Sort may be overwhelming and you will be able to Save your Favorites. From the List of Favorites, I’ll be able to see what appeals to you. Subsequent emails will be much shorter, with only the new listings and price changes from the past 24 hours. This will make it easy to stay updated and never miss a new listing.
Once you are on my database/website, I recommend you AVOID sites like Zillow, Homes.com, and Trulia where the information is often stale and incomplete. I regularly receive calls from people looking at listings from five years ago! There are Homes that are NOT for SALE, homes that are pending and sold. Even their foreclosure list is merely a list of addresses, where the owner is behind on payments, and not an offer to sell. (its just a data feed from a mortgage source). REALTORS, and the MLS are the Source of new listings, and we are held to a higher standard for accuracy and timeliness. My Website is updated Daily, from the MLS, and my direct MLS feeds update at least twice a day.
Looking at Homes
OUR FIRST TOUR OF HOMES, may not produce the home you will ultimately buy. At this time I am actively listening to you and watching your reactions to what you see. We may see 3 to 8 properties, each with unique attributes that you may like or dislike. This is valuable information in assisting you, in the final home selection.
Private Showings—Once your search criteria are well defined, I recommend private showings. This allows you the privacy and time necessary to carefully look through a home. I will accompany you to private showings, which we will schedule in advance. We will be able to uncover the pros and cons of a home and to discuss it’s value.
PHASE III. PURCHASING THE HOME
Once you choose a home, the home buying process begins. The most important and complicated part of my job begins once you choose a home.
My Role Includes: oversight and management of the whole process, be in contact with all the parties including mortgage broker, listing broker, provide you with updates and explanations at every step, and consult you in every decision.
1.Writing an Offer. We will write an offer together which will outline the terms and conditions of your purchase. An Earnest Money deposit is necessary; typically 1% of the purchase price. (credited to the purchase). Your Earnest money deposit Opens and ESCROW, at a title company and They have duties to the process. You’ll have both an escrow and title officer working on your purchase.
There are contingencies in the offer to protect your interests and your deposit. The primary contingencies are:
There are many additional contingencies and addendums to the primary purchase offer we can include, when applicable.
My Role Includes: create a market price analysis for the home you choose, craft with you the best terms and conditions for the offer, write your offer, review all the offer’s clauses and contingencies with you, present offer to the seller’s agent and possibly the seller.
2. Negotiation. The terms of the offer will be negotiated. The end result must be such that all parties are happy with the outcome. This process may take several days and can be complicated.
My Role Includes: representing you in the negotiation of the price and other terms of the offer, relaying information from the seller and seller’s broker, assisting you in making decisions about negotiation including how to handle counter offers, and knowing if and when to walk away. Additionally, there are timeless that must be adhered to and documentation I’ll take care of.
3. Inspection. Once an offer is accepted, you will have your home inspection within a week or so. The inspection can take several hours, depending on the size of the home. You will receive an inspection report from the inspector. If any part of the inspection is unsatisfactory, the terms of the offer can be renegotiated. Either the price will be adjusted or the seller will be responsible for repairs.
My Role Includes: reviewing the issues uncovered during inspection, assisting in finding appropriate repair people for quotes if necessary, presenting any concerns to the seller and seller’s agent, renegotiating the contract which may include repairs to be done by seller or reducing the purchase price.
4. Acceptance. We now have a binding agreement between the buyer and the seller outlining all the terms and conditions of the sale. This should be finalized within a week or two after inspection. The purchase and sale outlines the following:
Detailed description of the property
What is included in the sale, (appliances, fixtures, etc).
Any encroachments / easements
Sale price agreed upon after inspection
Mortgage and appraisal contingencies, and any others outstanding
Reviewing the Title Search
Seller and buyer responsibilities
My Role Includes: overseeing the details of the contract, reviewing the document for key issues, coordinating between mortgage broker, appraiser, any repair people, and the listing agent. I will also guide you through the tasks you must do before closing – outstanding mortgage requirements, buying insurance, booking movers, etc.
5. Mortgage Commitment. This is one of the most important days in the whole process if you are taking a mortgage. The financing contingency expires on a certain date which is outlined in the Purchase and Sale. This deadline protects you in case the bank does not approve your loan. If the bank rejects your application, it is by this date you need to notify the agent to recover your earnest money at escrow. If you miss this deadline and your loan is rejected, you risk losing the whole deposit, 5% of the purchase price. Remember the prequalification? The comittment from the bank often doesn’t come till the final days before closing. A thorough pre-qualification tends to avoid pitfalls at this late stage.
My Role: Ensure you meet your deadlines, stay in touch with the mortgage broker for updates.
6. Closing. With the mortgage in place, we are ready to close. At the closing, the seller signs the deed and the buyer signs the mortgage paperwork. You’ll receive the keys to the home AFTER it is recorded at the county. Typically this is a few hours after everyone has signed or the NEXT day!
My Role Includes: scheduling and accompanying you to the walk-through the property before the closing, accompanying you to the closing, delivering the keys to your new home.
In All, in the background there will be a minimum of 11 people working together, to facilitate your purchase. As your Agent, I keep track of every step and detail between all parties.