STEP #1 – THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP, unless you are paying cash
Get Pre-qualified with a Local Lender
Pre-qualification is different than pre-approval in that it gives you a possible price range that you can afford, but does not guarantee you the loan. Pre-qualification is important because it will educate you on what will be required to obtain your loan. It will also help you narrow your search to include only properties that you can afford and that qualify for your specific financing. Knowing what you can pay beforehand is so very important, it will save you both time and disappointment in looking at homes that do not fit your budget or qualify for your loan terms. Being Pre-Qualified informs your REALTOR® that you are serious and ready to find the just right property. CALL your LOCAL LENDER and begin this simple, most important process. You will be so glad that you did.
Get your Free Credit Report
Every 12 months, you are entitled to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies - Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You should make this request before you begin looking at homes in order to allow yourself enough time to identify and dispute any inaccuracies in your credit file(s). It is a great idea to make sure that everything is correct and up-to-date otherwise this can be a delay in your lending process equaling a delay in closing.
The Process for Buying Your New Home/Property
Once you've made the decision to buy a home/property, it's time to start thinking about what comes next. You may want a buyer checklist that will guide you through the process of searching for the perfect place, for evaluating choices and making a purchase.
Learn the Lingo
When you set out to buy a new home/property, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the area you intend on purchasing in, various real estate terms and conduct research on the market value of homes in the area (your REALTOR® can assist with this process). This information will help as you view properties, talk with your REALTOR® and get further into the buying process.
Speak with A REALTOR®
Nobody knows the real estate business like a REALTOR®, so let them help you to find your new home/property. Based on your specific requirements, a REALTOR® can locate a property/home that will suit you at a price that's within your budget. When he/she finds one or more possible candidates, you will be invited to tour. Your REALTOR® can guide you through every step of the process going forward.
Make your Offer
Once you find the perfect home, make an offer. It's important to familiarize yourself with the art of negotiation so that you understand getting the best deal without insulting the seller. If you have not yet been pre-approved, make sure that your offer is contingent upon your being able to obtain the necessary financing.
Obtain your Loan – Complete Inspections
Once you and the seller agree on a purchase price, you will be required to provide an earnest money deposit that will secure the home as you complete your inspections and obtain a loan (if applicable). A lender will require appraisal of the property in connection with your loan application. In most cases, you will know within 48 -72 hours whether or not your application is approved, but the actual closing will not occur until the appraisal and your loan process is complete.
Enjoy the Process ~
Associate Broker, ABR, e-PRO, GRI
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