Are you thinking of buying a home and are curious about how the process works? In this episode of Home Grown, I’m going to break down the home buying process for you so you know exactly what to expect. I’ll also explain how being armed with as much information as possible will help you get the best deals before they’re gone.
Picking The Right Agent
Understanding the home buying process ahead of time is important. That way, when a great buying opportunity pops up, you're able to jump on it. The good deals go fast, and you might not be able to do the research later on. Part of being ready to make the right decision, then, is knowing exactly what to expect.
The very first thing you need to do is pick a really great real estate agent. Check them out on Zillow, look at their social media profiles, review their past client testimonials, and look at anything you can find online. This will let you see who they truly are.
Over 87% of home buyers are represented by a real estate agent. That's because, in most situations, it's the seller who provides a commission for the transaction. This means that there's absolutely no cost to you. The buyer's agent also only looks out for your best interest. Are you making a good move? Have you considered all aspects of this investment? And how does the entire process work? It's your realtor’s job to answer these questions for you and make sure you understand the information.
So before you go out and look around at all of these different properties, you must understand the local market. While I, as a realtor, understand the market, it is very important to me that you learn it as well. This will ensure that you make an informed decision.
Securing Your Financing
The second thing you want to do is to secure financing and get with a lender you can trust. How you finance the deal is very, very important. You want to make sure you get all of your ducks in a row before looking at properties. You should also have an idea of your down payment and exactly what it's going to cost you to own real estate—before you start looking at homes.
A local realtor should have good, strong relationships with years of experience working with great local mortgage lenders who know the area, live in the area, and are more accustomed to the local customs, laws, regulations, and different market conditions.
Communication and the speed of the process can be much smoother with a local lender as well. Because you have their cell phone number, you can call them, text them, or meet with them in their local office to check in and see if you qualify for financing, what type of loan you can get for what price range, and what the next step is. This also allows your realtor to know exactly what properties to show you and qualifies you to make an offer.
If for whatever reason you're not able to be qualified at the moment, the lender can then inform you of steps to get you where you need to be.
The Home Search
Buying a new property comes with new surroundings. It’s your agent's job to teach you more about the area and answer any questions you may have. You might have understandable questions about schools, shopping, and even commute times between different places. Make sure to use your agent as a resource, and always feel free to ask questions that matter to you.
Your home buying experience is what really matters to us as realtors. This is because you're going to be living there and you're going to be neighbors and hopefully friends as well. When you're buying your next house, you're also buying into that community. Knowing that community and having your needs fulfilled by that community is most important to you.
As you're looking for properties, sometimes the property search itself is the longest part of the process. That's why it's important to be ready to act quickly. After checking out the top available properties, you need to eliminate any that aren't the right fit for any reason. Eventually, you're going to find a property and you're going to place an offer. It's your agent's job to handle all the negotiations and everything else involved to make sure you get the best overall deal for the best price.
Under Contract And Closing
If your offer is accepted, congratulations! You're now under contract. There’s still a whole lot more left to do at this stage. This is the part of the process where you do your due diligence with your realtor to help you each step of the way.
When you’re under contract, you’ll do your home inspections. This allows you to make an informed decision on the property and check it out before going any further in the process. Remember that, first and foremost, realtors aren’t home inspectors. When we went and checked out the property, we didn't get up on the roof, did we? Or check out the plumbing? We definitely didn't check out the foundation. The most important thing to us is to make sure you get this home checked out so you can make an informed decision to move forward.
You also want to make sure at this step that your lender receives every single thing they need from you to progress through the loan process. These items may include your W-2s from the past year to paycheck stubs, employment verification, and a DD 214 Form if you’re in the military. So don't be surprised if your lender reaches out to you and asks for your social security number, jobs, and other information. These are very important things that they need to know.
The great thing is that it’s your realtor’s job to make sure they're handling everything for you and helping guide you through this process step by step. You don't want to work with the person who gets you under contract and then you can't reach them anymore. You want the person who guides you to the closing table. O average, the transaction should close anywhere between 30 to 60 days from the time your offer is accepted.
Getting You Into Your New Home
Of course, there are a lot of details involved that we weren’t able to cover here. Overall, this is a very basic idea of what you can expect in your home buying transaction. I hope this helped you better understand each stage.
I know this may sound crazy coming from a realtor, but I don't want you to buy a house just for the sake of buying a house. I want you to make a smart purchase. I also want you to make a decision that will set you up for building wealth into the future. I help people just like you buy and sell real estate every day, and I would love to help you as well.
So if you want more information or have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to connect. Don't forget to also subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Home Grown. Stay tuned to see what I feature next!