Skyline Realty’s A-to-Z Guide for Buying a Property
First of all, he home buying process can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor while it can be a stressful. You’re more likely to have a positive outcome if you use a knowledgeable real estate agent and have knowledge of the buying process since it can be complex. Here are the A-to-Z steps of buying a property:
1. Home buying process step 1, receive a loan pre-approval letter
Pre-approved home buyers receive preferential treatment when negotiating home purchases. Why? Because pre-approved buyers have proof they are financially qualified to purchase the home, sellers consider them more serious than buyers without a pre-approval letter. Consequently, you don’t want to find the ideal home in the perfect area, and then not qualify for enough financing to close the deal.
2. Select an a great agent
Before you start looking, this is one of the most important steps in the process. You and your agent will be partners. Your agent will be the person who deals with any problems that crop up along the way. A quality agent is the key to finding the right place in the right area for the right price. During the process be selective, look for someone you feel comfortable with and who’s trustworthy, knowledgeable, and experienced. Your agent should represent you exclusively.
3. Meet with your agent for an home buying process consultation
This is the important step in the home buying process when you and your agent prepare each other for exactly what to expect. The following points should be covered and fully understood during this meeting:
- Your exact needs, where you’re looking, your price range, then your timeline. It takes generally takes 30 to 60 days from purchase to closing.
- How often you are available to look at properties and what you expect from your agent in terms of availability and communication.
- Your agent should give you copies of all the paperwork you will be expected to sign throughout the process and briefly explain each form.
- During your home buying process, your agent should explain buyer brokerage vs. seller’s representation, and the benefits of signing an optional buyer broker agreement.
- Sign the Massachusetts Mandatory Agency Disclosure Form, which is required by law.
- Be open to any suggestions that your agent may give you. Your agent may suggest a different strategy or type of property that might be more suitable for your needs.
4. Start your search
This is the fun part. It is important to limit the number of homes you visit in a day. It’s a good idea to keep a checklist to help you track the properties you’ve seen. Furthermore,, It is also helpful to narrow down the properties after each visit. Remember, communication with your agent is crucial. It’s important to let your agent know which houses you like and why, as well as which houses you don’t like and why. Sometimes looking one time helps you and your agent really know your exact needs. Ask your agents to research on any advertised properties that look interesting to you. That’s the agent’s role. If you should become interested in a for-sale-by-owner property, ask your agent to contact the seller first to see if the seller will cooperate (pay a commission) with a buyers’ agent.
5. Find your ideal property
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to one or two homes you really like, your agent will do research to help you make your decision, but the decision will ultimately be yours. And surprisingly enough, it’s going to be pretty easy to decide. Local Zoning and Planning offices are a good source for future road plans, etc. Once you’ve selected a home, your agents will do a comparative market analysis on that property. This involves determining “fair market value” by looking at what other buyers were willing to pay for similar properties in the same neighborhood or area.
6. Making an Offer & Handling Negotiations
After making an offer on a property, it is important to decide ahead of time how much you are willing to pay after you conduct important reserve. Now you have to decide:
- Price you will offer
- Deposit amount
- Personal property you wish to have included (remember, everything is negotiable)
- Inspections you plan to conduct
When negotiating with any seller, it’s best to remember not to take anything personally. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes. Figure out what’s not negotiable to you, and be willing to give a little on the things that are negotiable. A good agent should be able to give you sound advice about how to structure your offer. Once your offer has been presented, the seller will accept your offer, reject your offer, or counter your offer. The counter process can go back and forth many times. It’s important for all parties to keep their cool and focus on the goal.
7. Arrange for inspections
During the home buying process you should ask for time to be allowed to have inspections conducted on the property. Offers can be contingent upon the following:
- Receipt of acceptable condo documents
- The sale of property
Because it is important for all deadlines to be met and all conditions removed exactly as described in the contract, agents are responsible for making sure this is done correctly otherwise file for extensions when needed.
8. Select an attorney to help you review important documents
Most importantly, to complete your home buying process, an attorney should be brought on board. The attorney’s job is to verify all legal documents and prepare your Purchase and Sale Agreement, which is your sale contract with the seller. This agreement will list all the items agreed upon and contain special riders, conditions, and much more. Skyline Realty agents do not handle the Purchase and Sale transaction. You are required to have an attorney around the time of your offer acceptance.
9. Conduct the final walk-through
Most sales agreements will give the buyer the right to one Pre-Closing Inspection, since this is your last chance to find any problems and have the seller correct them. Most contracts state that all electrical systems, plumbing, appliances, heating, and air conditioning need to be in working order at the time of closing. In addition, these are the items you check during walk-through. You also check for any other items the seller previously agreed to fix or replace. If anything is found to be defective or missing, you have several options.
10. Closing on your new home
Finally, on the closing day, you will sign all of the mortgage documents, which can seem never-ending. The attorney conducting the settlement should be able to explain every document to you in a satisfactory manner. Do not ever feel intimidated. If you don’t understand, don’t sign. Your attorney’s job is to make sure you understand everything. You can request blank copies of the documents you will be signing in advance, so you have time to carefully review them. You will have to present all down payment and closing-cost funds. Bring a certified check; personal checks are usually not accepted.
11. Moving and relocation
This is the last step of the home buying process. A little bit of planning and forethought will make for a much smoother move. You will want to make arrangements with a moving company as soon as you can. Call at least two in order to get competitive quotes. They will usually ask to come to your home to get an idea of how much they will be moving and the distance they will need to travel. If you’re moving onto a congested street and don’t have a driveway, contact the city permit office to have them hold a parking space for you that’s the size of the moving truck.
Lastly, be sure to change your address with the post office, your banks, and any creditors at least 30 days in advance. To avoid late payments, actually call and verify receipt of the address change whenever possible. Call to order your utility hook-ups approximately 10 days prior to your move. Be aware that some utility companies will keep you on the phone for a long time, so use an online option whenever possible.