Purchasing a home can be a difficult and timely processs, but knowing these ten steps to a successful purchase can help make it more enjoyable and rewarding (keep in mind state requirements may vary). I look forward to sharing my home purchase experience with you in person, so if buying your first home or your last, know that I am looking forward to being a part of your real estate purchase team.
1. Home Selection: You have worked with a Mortgage Broker to determine how much you can afford, defined your home purchase criteria and narrowed into a few select areas to live. Now its time to visit homes and make a selection. Days, weeks or months has past, and you have finally seen your dream home! Before you decide if its really right for you, you will undoubtedly want to revisit it one or more times, comparing it to your short-list and assessing its appeal and shortcomings. As a real estate agent, my goals vary throughout this process. I will help you find a Mortgage Broker and use your criteria to identify homes and establish listing appointments. My next goal is easy - to make the visiting process fun, by working around your schedule and visiting style. During this process, I also work to educate you about neighborhoods, conveniences, home amenities, and the real estate purchase process. To the best of my ability, I provide you information and tips throughout the entire process to make sure that you have chosen the right home and understand any investment required.
2. Making an Offer: Making an offer requires a mortgage qualification, a small earnest deposit check, and completing a Contract of Sale. With a home sale benchmarks in hand, your are well equipped to determine if the home is fairly priced and what offing price to make. After the offering price is established, I complete an electronic or paper-based Contract of Sale for you to review and sign. Once completed, I position and present the offer so good-will and a positive first impression is achieved!
3. Negotiating a Sales Price: Negotiating a sales price can be simple or require a comprehensive bidding war strategy. Managing the home purchase negotiation process is a critical skill that cannot be overstated. To the best of my knowledge, I provide expert-level guidance so that you can make informed decisions about your offer, competitive risks, and the possibility of its acceptance.
4. Attorney Review: Once accepted, the offer is typically reviewed by Attorneys and agreed upon by both parties. Attorneys create a Rider that holds precedence over the Contract of Sale. The Rider includes changes and additions to the Contract of Sale, stating particular needs that are critical to both parties. Though I cannot provide any legal advise, I can point out if a requested change appears to be unusual, so that it can be discussed in additional detail with your attorney. I also can take note of your concerns, so that your attorney has a starting point when drafting the Rider.
5. Home Inspection: Attorney review requires a minimum of three full business days, but often can take longer. Once complete, the clock starts ticking to perform a home inspection. While the selection of a Home Inspector rests in your hands, I can provide you with recommendations of good inspectors that I have worked with in the past. A home inspection in New Jersey is performed against NJ standards, but it has limitations which the inspector will discuss with you. In particular, it is a visual inspection and unless permission has been obtained, does not include any invasive or subsurface inspections.
6. Negotiating Inspection Issues: The home inspection is a critical step in the home purchase process that requires careful review. Should defects be found, and they are almost always found, significant corrective actions require successful negotiation. This process, managed by either the Attorney, myself, or both of us, is a very important step in the home purchase.
7. Mortgage Approval: Typically within thirty days of completing Attorney Review, the full approval of your mortgage is required by the Seller. During this time, your attorney will have been working to conduct a title search to determine if the title is free and clear of all leans and can be transferred into your name. In addition, a survey of the home is conducted to verify boundary lines and ensure that there are no encroachment or easement violations. These steps, along with others (review of financial paperwork, etc.), are required by the Mortgage Broker to fully approve your Mortgage.
8. Home Insurance: The Home Inspection process and Mortgage Approval process often provide critical information required by the Home Insurance Company. Home Insurance is necessary to protect your investment and many of your belongings as well. I provide you with a list of popular Home Insurance companies so that you can evaluate prices and suitability.
9. Moving: Now, or even earlier in the process, you begin thinking about the move! From packing belongings to selling unwanted items, and from selecting local U-haul providers or or Moving Companies, I will provide you with local and online resources to make the process easier and more stress-free.
10. The Closing: The day has finally arrived! Yesterday, the Mortgage Company has provided you with a HUD statement showing closing costs and money transfers and with this information in hand, before the closing you either pickup a Cashier's Check or wire any final funds required for the closing. We then meet at the home to perform a visual inspection before the close. This important process is designed to verify that any agreed upon home inspection issues were performed and that the home continues to be in the same condition as last seen (e.g., not damaged by their move or by any other unexpected problem). Now its time to make our way to the attorney. With pen in hand, you complete the Mortgage paperwork and money transfers are verified. Now its the best time of all; we shake hands. Congratulations - you are the proud owner of a lovely home, ready to fulfill new and exciting dreams!
As a PMI certified Project Management Professional, I take pride in providing you with the help throughout all of these activities, tracking events and ensuring that your home sale comes to a successful and rewarding close! If you are in the market to purchase a home, I am looking forward to helping you make your dreams come true!
*Information is reliable, but not guaranteed. It is for educational purposes only and may vary State to State.