Simplified Using a Professional Real Estate Agent
Congratulations! You’ve decided to buy a house-your first or a new one-either way it helps to understand the steps we’ll be going through in the buying process. Working with a professional real estate agent will make this process smoother and less complicated. Here’s what you can generally expect from start to finish when working with Megan Owens.
- Pre-qualify for a loan
I will refer you to mortgage loan lenders that best fit your situation. Before contacting them, order your credit report and fix any mistakes. During this buying process do not apply for additional credit cards or make any other large purchases that will reduce your chances of being approved for a home loan. Once contacted, most lenders, after verifying your income, credit history and credit score, can provide you a pre-approval letter with a pre-qualified loan amount on the same day. Determine the maximum loan amount and a payment level that makes you feel comfortable, which may be lower than the amount you were approved for.
- View Homes
Make a list of desirable features and rank them in order of preference. Is owning a ranch style home more important than having dual vanity bathroom sinks? Is having a three car garage more important than owning a ranch style home? It shortens the buying cycle if you have a pretty clear idea of what features matter most. Looking at houses online often helps quickly narrow down what you like and dislike. I’ll use your preferred neighborhood and house features to set up appointments and provide you a copy of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sheet that includes photos and features so you can take notes on it and refer to it later.
When we find your dream home, I’ll look at “comps” or recent comparable sales in the neighborhood and then we’ll present a fair offer to the selling agent. Our offer will include contingencies for financing and home inspection results. It’s common for a seller to counteroffer. Don’t worry. I will guide these negotiations for you until we reach a price that works for your budget. Once agreed, you will present “earnest monies” or make a “good faith deposit”, which indicates you are a serious buyer. This money is applied to the purchase once the contract is finalized.
- Loan Application & Qualifications
Now it’s time to contact the lender and let them know you have a contract in place. They will update your application and finalize the loan process. Most likely you will be asked to supply additional information before the loan is submitted to an underwriter for approval. Within three days of applying for the mortgage loan, you will receive a Good Faith Estimate from your lender that breaks down what costs you can expect at closing.
- Home Inspection
I always suggest a home inspection before closing and most lenders require it. I will provide you a list of reputable inspectors to contract and we will meet them together to discuss the findings. If needed, I’ll negotiate any request for repairs on your behalf.
- Home Appraisal & Home Insurance
An appraisal provides peace of mind, knowing you are paying a fair price for the house. Your lender will arrange this to get an independent estimate on the value of the house you are buying. You will be asked to pay for the appraisal before it is ordered and will receive a copy of it upon completion. If the appraisal comes in low, I will negotiate with the seller’s agent to lower the price of the home because it’s never a good idea to pay more for a home than it’s worth. Before the loan is approved, you will also have to provide proof of home insurance to your lender. Once again, I can furnish you with a list of reputable agencies providing home insurance coverage.
- Final Walk Through
Before going to closing, we will do a final walk through at the house to ensure nothing’s changed since our last visit and that all agreed-upon repairs have been made and all agreed-upon fixtures have remained. If something needs fixed or changing, I’ll handle this for you.
The closing date and time are typically set during the contract negotiation stage and is usually 30 days or longer-often dictated by lender requirements. Several days before the closing, your lender will give you a Settlement Statement, which provides you the actual amount of money you need to bring to the closing. At closing, paperwork is finalized and papers dispersed. You will present your closing costs in the form of a certified check and the title for the property is transferred from the seller to you. You will be signing a lot of papers, which will be fully explained to you-mortgage documents, legal disclosures and tax records. Once all funds are dispersed and papers signed, you will receive the keys to your new home.
See, it’s really not that difficult if you are led by a real estate professional that understands the process, simply explains it and smoothly guides you through all the necessary steps.
Ready to start looking for your new home?
Let’s get started.
Contact me today.
Real Estate Professional
Phone Number: 402-689-4984
©Copyright. January 2016. Linda Leier Thomason
All Rights Reserved.