Pick an Agent
When you are in the market to buy property it is very helpful to choose an Agent to help you with the transaction. A Buyer’s Agent is a special type of Agency that hires an Agent to help you purchase the property. The Buyer’s Agent has many duties to you the Buyer and you have a contractual obligation to use the Agent when buying property. Your Agent will explain this in detail and you will receive copies of any contracts or documents. You can only have an agency agreement with one Buyer’s Agent at a time.
Get Pre Approved for Financing
One of the first things you need to know when Buying property if you are going to need a loan is how much you are approved for. It is important to talk to a lender right away. There are many great programs available and they change rapidly so talk to a financial advisor and get a “Pre-Qualification” letter. Shop around! Get the best deal on interest rate and ask about closing fees. Have the lender send a copy of the letter to your Agent.
This is the fun part and can also be a challenge. It’s a good idea to come up with a list of things you would like to have in the property you want to purchase. Sometimes less requirements is more possibilities. You and your agent will find listings you like and then tour them. When you find the one, be ready to make an offer fast and strong. You may make offers on several properties before you make a deal happen so be patient!
Offer is Accepted
After you make an offer to purchase real estate, the Seller may make a counter offer, then you in turn may counter back and so on. Eventually you will both agree to the terms and the offer is accepted. This is considered “Under Contract” and then your agent will go to work on the piles of paperwork that are required. Sometimes deals fall through during the Process and it’s time to “Go Shopping!” again.
When you make an offer to purchase real estate it is customary to include Earnest Money as a token to the Seller that you are serious. This money is your promise to hold up your end if the bargain. If you back out of the deal after you are under contract you will lose your earnest money. If the deal goes to close the earnest money will be applied to the purchase.
Title Commitment and Inspections
At this stage the Seller will provide title insurance proving the ownership is theirs and they can legally sell the property. Buyer will look it over and obtain legal counsel if necessary to explain the documents. The Buyer then has the opportunity to have inspections of the property done. The cost of these inspections is the responsibility of the Buyer even if the sale does not go to close. If it does go to close the costs for the inspections will be handled in the “Closing Costs”.
After the Buyer places an offer on your property that is mutually accepted they are typically allowed to investigate and inspect the property for defects. The Buyer may ask for repairs or improvements. Time is allowed here for negotiations. Resolution is the end of the negotiation on these proposed repairs and improvements.
Appraisal & Inspection
If the property is being purchased with the help of a loan the Mortgagor will have an independent Appraiser assess the true value of the property to make sure the Mortgagor is making a sound investment. The Appraisal may also call for additional requirements based on the loan program.
Closing is the time when the transaction is completed and property is exchanged for valuable goods such as money. This is usually when the Title is transferred and ownership is exchanged. At this time the property should be VACANT and clean. Many signatures are usually required to complete the transaction. At Closing the money and keys are exchanged and the deal is done!