Step 1 – Get Expert Advice
Although you might be tempted to ignore this advice, please consider that you may only purchase a home several times throughout your life. Find a realtor that is trained to help and guide you through the entire process, often saving you money and time in your new home purchase. Using a team to help you purchase your home doesn’t cost you a penny!
FACT: According to research by the National Association of REALTORS, buyers that used a buyer’s agent found their home quicker and were able to compare more properties than a buyer that did not use a buyer’s agent.
Step 2 – Pre-Qualify
Get “Pre-qualified”. This means that you disclose your income and debts, employment history, available money, and any other special financial conditions. A lender can then determine how expensive a home you can afford under current lending guidelines. This step can be as simple as a phone call! It is also necessary information when you purchase a home. We believe that it is to your advantage to actually make a loan application and become “pre-approved” for a loan. Yes, even prior to deciding upon a house to buy! Why? If you are “pre-approved” for a loan you have much more bargaining power when it comes time to present your offer to a Seller. Your Pre-approval indicates that you are serious about buying a home and that you have done your homework. Pre-approval also lessens the stress at the time of the buying decision. You know what you can afford and don’t look beyond your means. For more information on Mortgages.
Step 3 – Look at Property
When looking for your new home, you should prioritize or make a wish list of what is most important to you. Consider both your wants and your needs. Inform your realtor about your likes and dislikes of the property we are showing you. Don’t leave anything out! We will not be offended by what you say.
After looking in the areas you desire, based on price and features, you should have a good understanding of the real estate market. If you cannot find exactly what you are looking for, you may need to adjust your expectations to what the current market will offer.
Step 4 – Offer
So, now you have found the property you want and you are ready to make an offer. You must consider what sales price to offer, terms, seller concessions, earnest money, as well as closing and possession dates.
Keep in mind that too low initial offer may anger the seller, which can lead to no compromise or a refusal to work it out. Your Realtor will do all the research necessary to make sure you do not offer or pay too much for the home.
This occurs when your offer is not acceptable to the seller, but the seller lets you know what is acceptable to him or her.
Unless you offer full price, in today’s market you can expect a counter offer from a seller. The seller’s counter offer may or may not be his last word.
Negotiation is among the top reasons for having a real estate professional assist you.
Step 5 – Acceptance
Acceptance occurs when all the parties to the contract agree to the price and all terms of the offer. At that time, the clock starts running to adhere to all the details that are lined out in your transaction.
Step 6 – Open Escrow
After all parties have agreed to all the terms of the contract, a copy of the contract and the earnest money must be delivered to the title company. The title company, a disinterested third party, must remain neutral throughout the transaction. They will carry out all the instructions of your contract, provide documents to transfer the property, and provide the title insurance.
The phone number of the title company chosen will be on your contract, so you can communicate with them freely. Your Realtor will contact the title company for all key factors and will review your final figures before closing. We will review the hud-1(closing statement) and make sure you have not been incorrectly charged.
Step 7 – Home Inspection
A home inspection is when a paid professional inspector — often a contractor or an engineer — inspects the home, searching for defects or other problems that might plague the owner later on.
Step 8 – Termite Inspection
A clear termite report is required by the lender prior to lending on a particular property. Your Realtor will ask that if termites are found at the property you are purchasing that the seller pay to remove them.
Step 9 – Appraisal
The appraisal is required by the lender to insure the property’s market value, and to certify the property meets certain standards.
Step 10 – Home Owners Insurance
Before closing you must obtain homeowners insurance. You will need to provide your insurance agent with the address, square footage, and age of the property. Some insurance companies ask for more information, you can obtain the answers from your Realtor.
Your insurance will not be in effect until your loan is closed and funded. Your insurance premium will be included in your closing costs and your monthly payments.
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Step 11 – Final Walk-Thru
A day or two before you close your realtor will take you back out to your new home for a final walk-thru. The purpose for this final walk-thru is to insure that the property is in reasonably the same condition that it was in when you agreed to purchase it and to inspect any repairs you requested as a result of the home inspection.
Step 12 – Closing
Closing is the date and time set-aside for you to come in and sign the paperwork. Your realtor will coordinate the time and date convenient for you and the title company.
Almost everyone schedules closings for the last day of the month. The overcrowding and large volume of closings can lead to mistakes and a rushing of the documents. A wiser strategy might be to close earlier in the month.
Step 13 – Funding
Funding occurs when all the loan documents have been signed at the title company and all conditions have been met (if any). The signed papers are returned to the lender for review. The lender will then send money to the title company to pay for your new home. Funding may occur on the day of the closing or on the next day. Careful planning will ensure that the expectations of all have been met.
Step 14 – Recordation
After the title company receives the money from the lender, the title company will send the necessary documents to the Maricopa County Recorders office to publicly record the documents. As soon as the documents are recorded the home becomes yours.
Step 15 – Possession
After recordation, your realtor will deliver the keys to the property to you and you become the official owner of your new home. Usually possession is given at time of recordation or shortly after.
On occasion possession can be before recordation (pre-possession), or after recordation (post-possession). If this happens it will include some type of rental agreement. If this is necessary, your realtor will handle all of the details for you.