RE/MAX Home Experts
THE HOME BUYING PROCESS
The home buying process can be summarized in the following steps:
Selecting your Real Estate Agent
|Choosing your real estate professional is, perhaps, the most important decision you will make when buying property. RE/MAX Home Experts agents have the experience and training to take you through this process in the easy way, without stress and inconvenients. Be sure to select an agent that will meet all your expectations. We believe the more you look around, the more you will see the value of working with our agents.
Defining What You Want
Start by creating a prioritized list of features you want in your next home and the reasons why. Use it as your search guide, but remember that depending on your funding, you will probably need to make some compromises. In addition, talk to your RE/MAX Home Experts agent about your dream home characteristics, including where you want to live.
Location is a huge part of any move. RE/MAX Home Experts agents are trained to help our clients narrow down their choices by sharing market trends and local information like neighborhood statistics, schools and community links.
What You Can Afford
Now that you know what you want, it's time to see how much you can afford. You can start by crunching the numbers yourself using our selection of mortgage calculators to find out monthly payments, payment schedules and other simulations of interest.
Buyer Closing Costs
Closing costs vary with several factors. Some typical buyer closing costs include:Mortgage Approval
Loan fees (points, application fee, credit report)
Mortgage insurance (typically 1 year premium plus an escrow of 2 months)
Hazard insurance (typically 1 year premium plus an escrow of 2 months)
Documentary stamps on the note
Negotiated closing costs
The pre-approval process can be often performed in under an hour and it accomplishes two important goals: First, it will tell you how much house you can afford and what your monthly payments would be. Second, it tells the seller that you can afford to buy their home. Your RE/MAX Home Experts agent can help you locate mortgage companies including the in-house service of Mortgage Company and Title Company for a one-step process that usually is more convenient and satisfactory for the buyer.
When you're ready to move to the next step, you can get pre–approved for a mortgage. Be sure to have in order all your credit information and to know what your credit reports say about your financial history. Your credit report can have a big influence in mortagage approval, interest rates and loan terms.
By definition, a pre–approved buyer has an approved mortgage subject to an appraisal of the property. Many times a buyer can use this pre–approved status as leverage during the negotiation process.
Shopping For Homes
Once you know what community you'd like to live in and have an idea of how much house you can afford, its time to start checking out actual properties. Beginning with on-line property search can help save you time since it can help you target homes that meet your search criteria. Our home finder can even email you when properties come on the market that meets your search criteria. Sign-in to register with us and establish your profile in this link.
Your RE/MAX Home Experts agent will provide you with a professional comparative market analysis (CMA), tax record and neighborhood research on any homes selected for possible purchase, providing you with factual data on recent comparable sales that will assist you in the offer and negotiation process.
Next, begin visiting homes in person. Your RE/MAX Home Experts agent will arrange visits and attend open houses that are in your target area and price range. When comparing homes, make sure to look at all aspects of the property. Is the property tax approximately the same? Are both the houses renovated? Do they both have the same amount of bedrooms and bathrooms? Are both houses located on the same or similar streets? Does either house have any encumbrances? Remember to keep an open mind when you are looking at homes.
Making An Offer
Once you find the home you want, you need to make an offer for the house. Typically this is a tiresome and difficult stage since both parties have totally different goals.
Your RE/MAX Home Experts agent will assist you in analyzing all gathered information prior to making a purchase offer and also, will assist you in preparing the purchase offer. In the same way, the agent will provide professional representation for you in negotiations with the sellers and their agent.
In most cases it is better to have a third party, such as your RE/MAX Home Experts agent, negotiate the offer. If you have any personal interaction with the homeowner, don't give out any information about your move, your current housing status, financial status or your feelings about their property, positive or negative. This could hurt you in future negotiations.
This might also be a good time to consider purchasing a home warranty protection plan. These insurance policies can be purchased by the buyer or seller and help protect against unexpected costs or home repairs during the listing period or in the initial years after a home has been purchased. Ask your RE/MAX Home Experts agent for more information.
Inspection and Insurance
Your RE/MAX Home Experts agent will provide assistance in selecting qualified inspection companies and professionals that may be required for appropriate and desired property inspections, and will schedule the necessary appointments to provide access to the property for inspectors and appraisers to do their job. Your agent can also help you to arrange for homeowners insurance and finalize the mortgage process.
After your offer is accepted it is usually necessary to set up, coordinate and interpret various inspections, including insect, radon, building quality, oil tank, title, etc.
This is a major step in the buying process and there are many potential problems that can be discovered during this period. These include a leaky roof, radon gas, termite damage, a foundation problem, and wall cracks, to name a few. These problems happen all the time and an agreement can be reached with the seller to fix them or use them as a negotiating point. The difference between closing on your dream home and starting the process all over again is what occurs during the negotiations between you and the seller.
Your RE/MAX Home Experts agent can help make these discussions go more smoothly. In most cases, you will also have the option of a "walk through" before the closing. This is your last chance to make sure that all of the items that you have agreed upon were completed to your satisfaction.
The Final Closing
Before you arrive at the closing, make sure all the necessary paper work and deposits have been completed. If the mortgage, title work, homeowners insurance and other items necessary under local and state laws are not completed and brought to the closing table, the closing may not happen on time.
And, depending on what the contract says, this could result in further action including financial penalties and even the loss of your rights to the home. For this reason, it is of prime importance for you to select appropriate Mortgage Company and Title Company that will result in a sucessful and smooth closing at your satisfaction. Your RE/MAX Home Experts agent will monitor the process to assure that all necessary documention is completed and available for closing. Your agent will accompany you to closing and review figures and documents for accuracy and assist you with any unforeseen problems.
Once you close, it is official, you own the house! But there might be a few things you want to do before you lay out the welcome mat. These include arranging for an alarm system, changing locks, turning on the electricity, subscribing to the local paper, changing your postal address, cleaning or replacing the carpet, arranging for lawn services, etc. You can consult some of our useful links and home services in our web page. This could also be a good time to make some needed renovations.
Be sure to turn to your RE/MAX Home Experts agent for quality service, guidance and information throughout and after this process.