Understanding the Home Buying Process
Whether you’re a first time or an experienced home buyer, the home buying process can be a little confusing. There are many steps to the buying process that need to be done sequentially. Here’s a quick guide to how the buying process works.
Get a real estate agent.
You’re thinking of buying a home. At this point, you don’t have to be certain that you’re going to buy a home, you just have to have an interest in looking for one. The first thing you need to do is select an agent.
Make sure that your agent completely understands what you’re looking for in a home. Talk about all the features that you like and all the items that are deal-breakers.
You also want to make sure that you choose an agent who fits well with your personality. By picking an agent who is easy for you to get along with, you will be able to have strong, open communication and create a bond of trust.
Get financially pre-qualified.
Now that you have a realtor, you need to find out more information about your price range. By talking to a lender early in the shopping process, you can learn the ins and outs of home mortgages and easily determine your home price range. This pre-qualification process should result in a top dollar amount that the lender is willing to loan you.
Start looking at houses.
You have already talked to your realtor about what you’re looking for in a home, and your lender has helped you decide on a price range. Now, your realtor can start showing you all the options that meet your criteria.
While you’re in this shopping phase, make sure that you’re saving (or have already saved) money so that you can put forward a good amount of earnest money when you make an offer on a house.
Submit an offer.
You’ve found your new home, so you submit an offer. It’s likely that there will be offers and counter-offers until finally, both parties agree on the amount and terms of the home sale.
Once an offer is accepted, you will remove contingencies and apply for a mortgage. To apply for a mortgage, you will need to submit a credit report, an appraisal of the home, among other documents. This process should be fairly streamlined if you’re working with the same individual who issued your pre-qualification.
Let the professionals do their jobs.
At this point, lots of different people start doing different jobs to ensure this sale happens. Your loan agent is busy getting everything set for your mortgage. A home appraiser is creating an estimated value of the home to ensure that a proper legal sale transaction is occurring. Underwriting is looking over the paperwork for the home sale and verifying that everything is correct. Your title company is completing a title exam and a survey. A home inspector is checking that everything is structurally sound and safe. Your real estate agent is working to keep everyone on task.
Meanwhile, if some issues arise in the home inspection, then you, the seller, and your realtors will negotiate what should happen. Sometimes this involves repairs or monetary allowances, but sometimes no changes need to be made at all.
Get ready for closing.
Normally, the night before closing, you’ll do a final walk-through of your future home. Basically, you’re looking to verify that the home looks as you would expect it to look before you take possession of it.
For closing, you’ll want to have a cashier’s check for the exact amount that you owe, your driver’s license, and any other paperwork that may be requested. Make sure that you show up for closing on time and that you give yourself a couple hours to complete this process.
Close on your new home, and get your keys!
At closing, you’ll sign a bunch of papers, hand over your cashier’s check, and get the keys to your new home!
Here at Ramseier Realty Group, we know that the home buying process can be complicated. We’re here to help! If you’re thinking of buying a home, give us a call at 816.262.8077 or contact us through our website. We’d love to help you find your way home!