EVERY TRANSACTION IS DIFFERENT and comes with its own unique circumstances, but here are some things to consider when starting your home search:
When you are gearing up to buy a home, YOUR FIRST PRIORITY IS FINANCING. You’ll need to find out how much house you can afford, then decide what you’d like to spend and set a target price for yourself. CALL A MORTGAGE BROKER ASAP and let him or her get you pre-approved!!! We have our go-to brokers who we think are fantastic at their jobs, and we know will take excellent care of you. We’ll be happy to share their info at the start of our journey! Once you have your pre-approval, you’ll have a better sense of your budget as we start our home search.
Please bear in mind you will need to have money set aside for closing costs. Speak with your lender early on to get a clear understanding of what these costs may be.
Start out with a list of must-haves and deal-breakers, both in terms of the location/town, and the house itself. Nothing is ever going to be perfect but what you can’t live with or without can help narrow down your search.
When we find a house you’re in love with, here’s what you need to make an offer:
Pre-approval for the amount you’re offering
Contract – to be filled out by us, your agents
Sweetening the deal – in a competitive market we have a lot of tricks up our sleeves to help you get the house you want should you be up against other buyers in a multiple offer situation (we can discuss the potential bells and whistles when the time comes)
This process can be tricky but we’re here to walk you through it every step of the way.
WE GOT THE HOUSE, NOW WHAT?
Congratulations! You got the house of your dreams! What to do? Buckle up because it
all moves very quickly from here.
Once we get the contract back from the listing agent signed by the sellers, we have a fully executed contract that will go immediately to both attorneys, yours and the sellers'. (Yes, you need an attorney, and we can share a few names when the time comes. You can certainly choose your own, but make sure they are a real estate attorney, and it always helps if they’re local). Your attorney will draft a notice of disapproval (known as “the rider”), and once you sign off, that rider will be sent to the sellers’ attorney. You are now in attorney review. We do our best to move you quickly through this period as either buyer or seller can change his/her mind for any reason during the review process and end the deal. Once both attorneys wrangle over the fine print and both buyer and seller have agreed to the changes, attorney review is complete, and you are now under contract.
As soon as you’re under contract, let your lender know, so that they can start working on your mortgage. Make sure to provide all the documents they request in a timely manner. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ANY BIG PURCHASES DURING THIS TIME (like a car or furniture for your new house) AS IT MAY AFFECT YOUR CREDIT AND YOUR ABILITY TO GET A MORTGAGE!
The first deposit is typically due 10 days after the end of the attorney review period (time and amount will be indicated in the contract). We will remind you when those funds are due. Please make sure your funds are liquid and available.
You will need to conduct all your inspections and submit your letter of requests to the seller within 10-14 days after the end of attorney review. This is totally do-able! We strongly recommend the following inspections:
• Home (including Radon and Wood Destroying Insect inspection)
• Oil Tank Sweep
• Chimney Inspection
• Sewer Line Inspection
After we receive the inspection reports, we will review along with you so that you can make a list of items you would like the seller to address prior to closing. Please know, the seller is not obligated to address anything and many deals live and die with the home inspection, so it’s very important that we are thorough and understand the severity and impact of a potential defect. That said, the sellers often will offer to remediate an issue if it’s especially serious. No seller will address cosmetic requests, like chipped paint or a scratch in the floor. So, your list should really be limited to structural, safety, environmental, and mechanical (plumbing, heating, electrical) issues, which really are the important things. If you and the seller cannot come to terms over inspection issues, then you have the right to cancel the deal and get your money back. This is often the most stressful period in the home buying process and we will do our very best to get you through it and get you the repairs and/or credits you need to make sure the house is safe and in working order.
Property appraisal is ordered by your lender relatively early on in the process. The appraisal is a way for a bank to assess whether or not the value is in the house and it’s the only part of the closing costs you pay upfront (the rest is due at closing). We will meet the appraiser, with comps in hand. You do not have to be there.
Once appraisal is done, the inspection issues are agreed upon, and the mortgage commitment is issued by the lender, you’re ready to close! The closing usually takes place at the buyer’s attorney’s office. You will bring the rest of your down-payment and closing costs, and will sign about 1,000 pages before you get the keys to your new home!
In addition to mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys and home inspectors, we have a network of painters, plumbers, roofers, carpenters, floor refinishers, movers, masons, landscapers, electricians, etc., which we are happy to share with you. Please email us and we’ll be happy to send you our list.