My name is Jesse: Realtor Extraordinaire! I would like to give you a guide on the home buying process because, quite frankly, this is a huge step to take–and albeit emotional–and I wanted to take the time to tell you how to do it right! Without further ado, let’s begin!
The very first thing you want to do is establish if you’re paying with cash or financing; if with cash please go to the next paragraph. If not, pay attention! To get financing you will need to talk to a lender (of whom I just so happen to know a few) who will do a “hard pull” of your credit history. This sounds scary, but fret not! This temporarily affects your credit score by a few points, and it’s not much worse than applying and getting denied for a few rentals. During this time the lender is simply weighing whether or not you’re a good fit to lend money to, and your credit score and monthly debt to income ratio will be factored to determine loan length, amount, and interest rate. There are a few different kinds of loans: FHA, VA, and conventional mostly, so please discuss with your lender which is best. For example, if you’re a veteran ask about the VA loan that requires no money down. If you qualify ask about the FHA loan and a possible grant for the down payment for first time home buyers. That all said your lender is your friend and you need to listen to them! As a Realtor, I cannot give you advise about lending or credit, but they can! And if you don’t qualify then they can set you up with someone who can help you work on your credit score. Now don’t tell them I told you this, but you have 45 days after talking to the first lender to shop around for a better loan without your credit being affected, so please take advantage of that!
Once pre-approved for a loan, come talk to me! Now is the time to start house hunting, and I highly recommend you utilize a licensed Realtor such as yours truly because: a) our commission is built into the listing price of homes for sale on the MLS so my services to you are not out of pocket, b) we do this every day and are the best with negotiations and advising, c) paperwork (need I say more?), and d) if you don’t hire us the listing agent of the homes for sale gets all the commission in lieu of splitting it with me while you’re left defenseless! That said, for buyers we can either be Transaction Brokers or Buyer’s Agents. I highly recommend you sign the buyers agreement to hire me as your Buyer’s Agent (or another agent if you must) because it is an agreement between us both that we will both behave and provides protection for all parties. Either with or without a Realtor though, I promise the entire process is very anxious so just be emotionally prepared for that.
Once the house hunting is done, negotiations and offers have gone back and forth, and the day is comes that your offer is accepted you will be what’s called “under contract.” During this time you will have paperwork sent and submitted to and fro (unless you’ve hired me) and you will be closed on and moved into your new home in normally 30-45 days. At this time you must have your “earnest money” (a check written to the title company promising to fulfill your end of the contract, which you will get back when I do my job correctly) within 72 hours of your offer being accepted. The title company can also request additional documentation, and I suggest you start talking to your lender to find out what all they need from you. While under contract I beg you to please never do anything out of the ordinary with your finances like paying off a lump sum of credit or buying a car without talking to your lender first because you may find yourself forcefully out of contract.
Lending stuff aside, while under contract you will have at least two other out of pocket expenses: general inspection and appraisal. The average cost for an inspection is normally around $300, and again ask me for suggested inspectors that I know who will do a great job (another perk of hiring an agent). I did say “at least” because you may have other inspections done at your discretion as well such as a sewer scope or a radon inspection which I may or may not suggest depending on the property. Now just take note that it is the job of the inspector to find absolutely everything wrong with the property so it will seem like the place is falling apart on their report, but just breathe and talk to me about this and we will work this out together! it is at this point where you may or may not elect me to submit an inspection objection where we ask the sellers to fix a few things, and if not you can either back out of the contract to get your money back, continue on either way, or some combination of the two as all is negotiable. The Appraisal is another out of picket cost, normally around $400 unless you’re a VA loan buyer where you may or may not pay for the appraisal depending on the lender. Either the house will be worth as much as you’ve offered, or it won’t. In that case the sellers must agree to either lower the price, you agree to come to the closing table with the difference in cash in hand, some combination of the two, or you can back out of the contract and get your earnest money back.
If everything is gravy other deadlines may include, but are not limited to, Title Resolution, Association Documents, Off-Record Title, Loan Application, Surveys, Property Insurance, and et cetera deadlines. All of which will be expedited by either myself or your agent. As well as all the enumerated above deadlines, there will also be loan processing and underwriting with your lender–again, your lender is your friend so choose a good one! After your lender gives you a “clear to close” we go to the closing table together and you get your keys if all goes according to plan!
If you have any more questions call, text, or email me at any time at 801-391-5568 and firstname.lastname@example.org. 🤴