Dear First Time Home Buyer: Part 2
Dear First-Time home buyer,
I hope that the comments in my last note were useful and you feel less intimidated about the path to home ownership. My role as your REALTOR is to offer guidance and advice so you can make informed decisions throughout the process. In this letter, I am going to explain the steps you will take once you have found the home you want and completed the mortgage pre-qualification process.
STEP 1 - Review Home Information
Take some time to investigate the property. It will be to your advantage to understand as much as possible about the home before you submit your offer. I will be able to provide you with any property surveys, community restrictions, public records information and state required supplements that were added to the MLS.
The Seller Disclosure packet often includes:
Sellers Disclosure of Real Property – a questionnaire completed by the seller that identifies specific information about the condition and specifics of the home.
Radon Disclosure – An acknowledgement by the seller regarding any known radon test and the results of those tests.
Lead Based Paint Disclosure – A statement provided by the seller regarding any known lead based paint hazards in the house (not relevant for homes built after 1978).
STEP 2 - Prepare Your Offer
I will be instrumental in helping you understand and complete the Agreement of Sale. This 9 page document identifies the key terms of the offer.
There are many decisions that you will need to make including the purchase price, settlement date and contingencies. This will become the legally binding contract if accepted by the seller, so it is critical that you include the items that are important to you.
You will then sign the agreement and I will present this to the listing agent along with the signed seller disclosures and your mortgage pre-qualification letter.
STEP 3 - Negotiate Terms & Get Ratified
It is very common (if not offering full price) for the initial offer to be countered by the seller so that they can get more of what they want. I will play a crucial role in working with the listing agent to help share the factors that are most important to you.
Ultimately, it will be you and the seller who come to an agreement (or not), and you will each sign the agreement of sale once the terms have been negotiated. Both seller and buyer are now bound to the terms of the ratified contract.
STEP 4 - Stay on Time
The agreement of sale includes specific actions to be completed within a certain timeline. Most of these actions are the responsibility of the buyer. I will be there to guide you and help you stay on track.
This is also the part of the process where many of the other key people will get involved. Applications will need to be made, inspections will be ordered and a settlement attorney will be hired.
STEP 5 - Work Through Issues
The ideal scenario is for a hassle-free transaction, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Home Inspections, loan applications and other terms of the contract can uncover issues that will need to be worked through.
I will be your advocate in working with the selling side to find solutions. By this point both you and the seller have taken significant steps to fulfill the terms of the contract and usually an agreement can be reached.
STEP 6 - The Home Stretch
The week before settlement is going to be a busy period for you as the buyer. There are lots of last minute things to do to ensure there is a smooth transition between you and the seller.
Your Lender will want to review your financial documents (usually called Closing Disclosures), the utility companies will be expecting you to call and transfer service into your name and you will be working with me to schedule a final walk-through of the property to make sure all agreed repairs (if any) have been made.
STEP 7 - Final Settlement – Also Known as “Closing”
The settlement attorney will have prepared all the paperwork and the seller may or may not be present. The attorney will review each document that needs to be signed and answer any questions you may have.
The process can take as little as thirty minutes or as long as an hour. There are no silly questions when you are about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, so don’t hesitate to raise your hand! I will be present with my notes and file to assist if there is a specific question.
You are now a home owner! it will surely be an adventure, but the reward is worth the ride.
Home ownership offers many advantages, the most important of which is having a place that is rightfully yours. A place to build memories, grow your family and add your own sense of style and personality.
The short-term pain will be worth the long-term gains!
The Nitan Soni Group