The first step is to get pre-approved from a mortgage company. This way you will know how much you can afford to spend or how much you want to spend on your home purchase. Many people search online to find an affordable mortgage company with a lower interest rate, but often time there are hidden fees and it can result in paying more in the end. It's best to use a local mortgage company because they know the local area and some of them have special first-time home buyer programs specific to this area. In addition, when making an offer on a property, often times you are not the only offer, because of this many listing agents who represent the seller advice their clients to only accept an offer from a local mortgage company. You may contact a local bank to see if they provide mortgages, or feel free to contact one of the recommended mortgage representative below for quality & prompt service.
The second step is to hire a professional and local realtor like myself. A professional realtor is not always the one who dresses the nicest and drives the fanciest car, but instead, a professional realtor is the one who works hard for you. A local realtor is one who works for a locally owned real estate company. There are several large nationwide real estate companies in the area but they are very large companies with hundreds of agents and often times you get lost in the quantity and you do not get the quality local service and local knowledge that you deserve. Kingsway is a local company who has been serving clients since 1970.
In addition, most real estate companies charge you broker fees. At Kingsway Realty we do not charge any broker fees.
I can meet for coffee if you'd like. I'll be glad to assist you and guide you through the real estate process.
The third step is to figure out what you want or need in a home. For example, what school district or what area do you want to live, what style or type of home, how many levels, how many square feet, how many bedrooms & bathrooms, if you require a finished basement, if you require a garage, or how much land do you need?
With my experience I will help you work through the options to figure out what fits best for you.Once we know the search criteria that you prefer, then I will set up an automatic search where you will get automatic emails as soon as properties come on the market.
You may also search online directly to see what is currently available.
The fourth step is to notify me of homes that you have interest in so that I can schedule an appointment with the listing agents/sellers. Most times while we tour the home the sellers will leave the property. This way you will feel more comfortable while looking at the home.
While touring the home we will walk thru each room, checking it out in detail to decide if it is potentially the right fit for you. You will calculate whether your furniture fits in the home and imagine yourself living in the home.
The fifth step is to make an offer. Once you find a home that you feel could work for you then this is when you have to decide what amount you would like to offer for that property. When there are competing offers, often times in order to get the house you have to offer more then the home is listed at. If you are the only offer then this is the time where you can offer a lower, but reasonable offer. In addition to the offer amount, there are other decisions that have to be made...
• Offer Amount
• Deposit Amount (this is held by the listing office until settlement)
• Inspections (hiring an inspector to inspect the property for any issues)
• Settlement Date (date of when you sign documents and take ownership of the property)
Once this is figured out then that is when I will type up the necessary documents required to make your offer. The documents will need signed and initialed by you in order for me to send them to the listing agent.
Negotiating & Acceptance of your Offer
The sixth step is for what happens during the offer process. Many times an offer can be countered back and forth several times. A seller can counter back asking for more money, a higher deposit amount, or even ask for a different settlement date.
Once everything is agreed upon and all changes are signed and/or initialed then at that point is when we are under contract and can proceed with the next steps.
Going Under Agreement
The seventh step happens once you are under agreement. As soon as you go under agreement you want to complete the deposit check and deliver it to me or the listing company in a timely manor. This shows that you are serious about buying the home.
Next you want to start the mortgage process immediately. Depending on which type of mortgage you are approved for, it can take 25 to 45 days. The mortgage process includes an appraisal to be completed by an appraiser which is part of the timeline.
Also, you want to get your inspections scheduled and complete to ensure there aren't any issues. It is important to find any potential issues before moving forward.
In addition we will schedule a settlement with a settlement company where they will do a title search and prepare the deed. After this then we wait until everything is finalized and prepared for settlement.
The eighth step is your settlement. A few days before settlement it is important to transfer the utilities into your name, making them effective for the settlement date. Utilities can include electric, cable, natural gas, propane, oil, water, and/or sewer.
A day or two before your settlement the settlement company will give you the final amount for what you owe at settlement. This amount will need to be brought to settlement in an official bank check made out to the settlement company.
The settlement takes approximately one hour. You will need to bring the following items:
• Official Bank Check
• Photo ID (make sure it is not expired)
• Check Book (incase a mistake was made and more money is owed)
Enjoy your Home
The ninth and final step is enjoying your new home. Home ownership comes with a lot of responsibility. You have to keep the home maintained and updated, you have to maintain your yard, and you have to make sure to pay your mortgage payments. The best part is that you get to come home to something that belongs to you and your family. Something that you've worked hard for. A home sweet home!