The Home Buying Process
Are you Ready to Buy a Home?
Step 1: Hire a Great Realtor®(R)
Considering the many forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating involved, it makes sense to work with an experienced and professional team. Martin has you covered on Step 1!
Step 2: Get Loan Preapproval
Researching mortgages and lenders ahead of time will give you a clear idea of what you can afford so we can focus your search on homes that fit your budget. A lot of buyers get stuck on the price of a home when it's actually more important to focus on what monthly payment you will be most comfortable with. A loan officer will be able to help with this and walk you through the different types of financing options you may have. A preapproval letter will show sellers that you are serious and must accompany any offer we submit.
We work with some fantastic local loan officers and are happy to get you in touch with one of them.
Step 3: Target Your Search, Look at Properties and Choose a Home
In our initial meeting, we'll go through the features and benefits you want in a home, determine your priorities and consider your future needs. Using your criteria, we will target your search based on location and affordability. Together, we'll look at all the best homes until you find the right one.
Step 4: Offers, Counteroffers and Negotiation
There are a lot of considerations besides price in making and negotiating offers. When you find the right home, we will aggressively negotiate all contract terms and conditions in your best interest.
Step 5: Home Inspections
Buying a home is a major investment and doing inspections will give you valuable professional assessments of the condition of the home your are purchasing. We will schedule the home, termite and radon inspections, as needed, and negotiate the best possible terms on your behalf.
Ask us about our list of preferred home inspectors!
Step 6: Finalize Financing and Appraisal
Now that the home inspections are completed, it is time to finalize your financing. Your loan officer can help you select the mortgage option that is best for you.
Lenders require appraisals to confirm that the value of the home meets or exceeds the sales price. The lender will hire these independent agents. The fees vary and are typically built into your closing costs.
Step 7: Title Search and Title Insurance
A title search will be done to confirm that title to the property is valid, marketable and insurable. The title company will take care of this for you. Title insurance is necessary because even thought the history of the property ownership has been checked in the title search, it is possible that the records contain errors or unrecorded claims. The title company will explain your available choices in title insurance.
Step 8: Obtain Homeowner Insurance and Home Warranty
Homeowner insurance protects you in the event of a catastrophe and is a requirement of your lender.
A home warranty protects you from unexpected repairs that may result when covered appliances and systems break down within a year of closing. Home warranty's are optional and are often included in offers and an item used in contract negotiations.
Step 9: Transfer Utilities and Final Walk Through
Prior to closing, you will want to contact the utility companies servicing your new home to get your accounts set up. To avoid any disruptions, be sure to tell them that you are purchasing the home and that service should be transferred to you.
Usually the day prior to closing, buyers have a final opportunity to walk through the property to ensure that the condition has not materially changed since the contract was signed. We will schedule this for you and take you through a standard walk through checklist at the house.
Step 10: Signing the Deal - Settlement
The typical timeline from ratified contract to close is 30-45 days. The actual closing or settlement will be an office meeting to sign the paperwork needed to complete the sales transaction.
You will need to bring: 1. a valid government issued photo id and 2. a certified or cashier's check payable to the title company for the balance of your down payment plus estimated closing costs.
What's left to do after closing?
Safeguard your settlement papers, move, change your address and most importantly... Enjoy your new home!