Finding and purchasing a home that will meet your needs is a significant and often stressful time. Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible. We are experts in the area, and once we learn what it is that you’re looking for, finding your dream home is simple.
How to Start the Buying Process
Getting started in your first home purchase or your fifth includes essentially the same steps. It’s a multitude of considerations including evaluating your wants and needs, deciding on the ideal home style and neighborhood and making sure you are financially ready. That may sound daunting, but it’s an exciting time to explore your options and your REALTOR® will be there every step of the way.
1 Wants vs. Needs.
These are all important questions to ask yourself as you begin the home search process. Your agent will open the door to a bigger and better real estate market and create a plan that will allow you to find a home that’s as unique as you once you have examined your fundamental wants and needs.
- What are you looking for in your next home?
- How much space will you need?
- Are there specific amenities you can’t live without?
- How long do you intend to stay in the home?
2 Ideal Home Style and Neighborhood.
Decide what is important for location. Do you want to be close to work, school, your place of worship or specific city amenities? What home styles speak to you? You will find list making and pros vs. cons analyses an important part of your journey and your answers will be invaluable pieces of the puzzle for you and your REALTOR® as you begin your search.
3 Financial Readiness.
Obtaining pre-approval shows sellers that you are equipped to purchase and helps you hone in on a purchase price range you find most comfortable. This is important so you don’t search for homes too high or too low for your situation. Getting preapproved requires that a lender verify your financial information, and it serves as their commitment to lend a specified amount based on that information. It will give you a number of advantages. When you find a property, sellers will take your offer more seriously given that you have a lender that has committed to backing your offer. It also gives you the assurance that you’re looking at homes you can confidently afford to finance. Your efforts will be focused on properties that match your financing abilities. You’ll have an edge over other buyers who aren’t pre-approved. In situations where there are multiple offers on a property, this can be the difference between having your offer accepted or losing the property to another buyer.
Presenting an Offer
Presenting a successful offer is part art, part science, part dance. Your agent knows the market and knows what asking price is fair and competitive. Your agent will also guide you through the steps of an offer which include laying out not just the price you wish to offer, but all the terms, conditions and timelines.
In order to do this, F.C. Tucker agents use a leading paperless solution through DotLoop to securely manage your documents. This, secure cloud-based program allows everyone involved in your transaction to manage, share and sign documents through mobile technology.
You and your agent will decide on all terms – and the all-important price – and your agent will present the offer to the seller’s agent who will review the offer with their client – the seller. They will then either reject, accept or request concessions to your offer. The offer process can begin a process of multiple offers and changing terms in order to agree to terms that are favorable to all. This can be an emotional step, but your agent will guide you through it all.
Inspection Vs. Appraisal
These terms are often confused, however one thing is common. Navigating both will likely be the time you will rely most heavily on your REALTOR®. Your agent has seen it all and is bound to represent your interests first and foremost. After you have carefully considered any counter-offers and agreed, it’s time for inspections. It’s quite likely that an offer is contingent on inspection meaning any defects or faults in the home found through the inspection process are revealed and the plan for rectifying them is resolved between the buyer and seller. The inspector will provide a detailed report for your review.
An appraisal is a written report comparing the condition and features of a particular property with others of a similar nature. Its purpose is to produce a professional estimate of the market value of the property. Virtually every mortgage lender requires an appraisal performed by a licensed appraiser. The property must appraise for at least the amount of the purchase price, or the lender will not extend financing. When you apply for a mortgage, your loan officer will immediately want to see a copy of your signed purchase agreement, and then he/she will order an appraisal.
Accepting An Offer + Closing
After an offer is accepted on both sides, the process to complete the appraisal and schedule the closing takes about 30-45 days, however it can be completed more quickly in rare cases.
Closing is the conclusion of the real estate transaction, and your REALTOR® will be an invaluable asset in helping you prepare for it. The closing process varies from state to state. In Indiana, closing is done face-to-face; that is, the buyer and seller sit down at the same table to complete the sale. A face-to-face closing involves the resolution of two issues; first, the promises made in the sales contract are fulfilled, and second, the buyer’s loan is finalized, and the mortgage lender disburses the loan funds. It may be conducted at the title company or lender’s office or at some other mutually agreeable location.
Closing includes many, many signatures, an exchange of documents, the handing over of keys and maybe some champagne – congratulations!