Step by Step to Buying a Home
Are you ready to buy a home of your own? Although the process may seem scary and confusing, I will map out exactly what this process includes with a step by step guide to buying a home...
Step 1: Choose the realtor that you would like to work with. Building a solid relationship is very important, you will be working closely with your realtor throughout the entire process.
Step 2: Decide on a monthly budget and obtain a pre-qualification from your preferred lender. If you do not have a preferred lender, and aren't sure where to begin, your realtor may refer you. This will be a process of providing documentation of your employment history, tax returns, etc., to determine the amount of money that you will be qualified to borrow.
Step 3: Once you have received a pre-approval, it is time to go shopping for the perfect home. Your agent will seek out homes in your preferred area, based on the criteria that you provide. You can receive listings that meet your criteria via email, and then your realtor will arrange times to show you the homes you really like.
Step 4: Once you have decided on a home, your agent will draft up a purchase agreement, and advise you on customary practices, local regulations, and protective contingencies. You will need to provide an earnest money deposit so show the seller that you are a serious buyer. Your realtor will then present your offer to the sellers agent, in which the seller will either accept, counter, or reject your offer.
Step 5: After negotiations, and an agreement has been made, escrow will be opened, and your earnest money deposit will be deposited into a trust account and held until escrow closes. Escrow will act as a neutral third party to ensure all aspects of the contract are met, and will coordinate with your lender and will handle all funds involved in the transaction. Customarily, the seller and/or sellers agent will determine which escrow company and which title company will be used for this transaction.
Step 6: Now that escrow has been opened, your contingency period has began, in which your agent will coordinate and assist you with the following items to be completed;
- Obtain a home inspection report
- Obtain a termite report
- Obtain an appraisal report
- Obtain loan approval
- Review & approve sellers transfer disclosure statement
- Review & approve the preliminary report
Step 7: Get quotes for homeowners insurance. Once you have found the insurance company that you would like to use, that information will be forwarded to escrow and your lender, and they will handle the rest.
Step 8: Your escrow officer will arrange an appointment for you to meet with a notary to sign your loan documents. From here you will receive wire instructions to take to your bank to wire the remaining funds needed to close, including the remainder of your down payment (minus your initial earnest money deposit) and your closing costs.
Step 9: At the close of escrow, your lender and escrow officer will ensure all needs have been met, and all aspects of the contract have been fulfilled, in which then the lender will fund your loan. Once funding has taken place, your title company will file with the county to record the change in ownership.
Step 10: You are officially a home owner, and will receive the keys to your new home!