We think it's always a good idea to make informed decisions. We've noticed over the years that there is frequently confusion about the home buying process. What follows is an overview of that process and how it works.
The most important piece of this puzzle comes early in the game. Probably one of the most significant decisions you will make will be what Real Estate Agent you choose. Baring glaring differences in skill levels most Real Estate professionals are capable and able people. In other words, most brokers will be able to steward you through this process. We feel that the most important criterion for choosing your agent is based on feel. Does this person feel right for me? Is this person a good fit for me? Is this person a good listener? How well do our personalities match? And finally, do I trust this person? In effect, do I like this person?
Our method for determining this fit is simple. We arrange a meeting that fits your schedule in a place where you feel comfortable. We take the time to get to know each other. The meeting takes its own course and we both decide on making the commitment to work together. We tailor our time together to fit around your work schedule and other personal commitments. We arrange our first day of house hunting.
Our house hunting is also tailor made around your needs and style. It is something that we design together. It revolves around how we exchange information, how we remain in contact and how often. What you’ll experience is a custom built relationship.
Our job is to make you the best buyer possible before we go out shopping, getting you pre-approved for a loan, funds available for purchase and inspection costs and criteria of your search clearly stated.
Typically, that relationship yields exactly what you’ve envisioned in your home. It will be a reflection of your personality and a statement about who you are. When that special home is found we will sit down and craft an offer to be presented to the sellers through their broker/representative. They decide to either accept your offer, counter it with changes to some of the terms of our offer, or they can simply say that they’re not going to accept it. Let’s assume that your offer is accepted.
What follows after writing an offer and getting it accepted is the time that the value of your agent really comes through. There are numerous tasks that much be completed in a timely manner that will determine the successful maneuvering through the transaction. Here’s the sequence of events that occur:
- All paperwork is sent to an escrow company (we’ll talk more about that later)
- We make formal loan application within a specified time period and provide the bank with a copy of the sale agreement and any additional paperwork they might need
- We start to order all of our inspections for the home. These include:
- A full home and dry rot inspection
- Additional inspection noted by your home inspector (electrical, furnace, roof, mold, etc.)
- A sewer inspection
- Radon inspection (with homes with basements)
- After the home inspections are done we negotiate with the seller(s) to see what repairs they’re willing to do.
- When we’ve reached an agreement on them we notify the bank to proceed to the next step and order the appraisal of the property (this will tell us about the value and condition of the home (did we pay too much or did we offer the true value of the home?)
- When the appraisal comes back the bank goes into the final approval stage and you are given formal full approval to buy the home.
- All of the paperwork required to purchase the home goes to your escrow company. This is a neutral third party that processes paperwork and acts according to the terms of your sale agreement. They can only do what you and the seller have instructed them to do in writing.
- We all go to the escrow company. You bring them the funds needed to get your loan and sign all of the paperwork.
- The paperwork goes back to the bank for review and they give their approval.
- The escrow company is told about the approval, they get the deed to the county for recording, and the home is yours! You can usually move in by 5:00 the day the deed is recorded.