Most people only purchase a home a handful of times in a lifetime, and it's often the largest financial transaction they'll ever make. If you understand how the process works, choose an experienced agent and implement a Buyer Agency Agreement, you'll be off to an excellent start.
We at Powers Realty Group believe that every successful home purchasing journey starts with an initial meeting to discuss your goals and needs and share how the buying process works, from viewing homes online to tours to the negotiating process. The buying process has changed over time, so whether you are new to purchasing a home or a seasoned real estate veteran, this discussion is key.
Then, we'll begin the exciting journey of viewing homes that may meet your needs and are available (those on the market publicly and private listings), and get you on your way to finding the home of your dreams.
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Steps to Buying a Home
1. Buyer Consultation
It is important that you fully understand the complex process of buying a home. This initial visit with your Powers Realty Group agent will help you understand agency and your options in being represented in the process of buying a home. This meeting is important in establish trust and transparency in what will be the biggest purchase of your lifetime.
2. Pre-approval Process
Need to search for a qualified lender? We can help offer you options and get you with a great local lender who can be responsive to your lending needs. There is a difference between pre-qualification, pre-approval, and conditional approval. What buyers may not realize is that there is more flexibility today in shopping rates, closing cost and lender fees Negotiate the terms with your lender like you would shopping for a insurance.
3. Develop Search Criteria and Viewing Homes
Your Powers Agent will set you up on the MLS Feed so you can begin previewing homes on-line. You will have access to coming soon listings, tax records, prior sales prices, and all the interior photos of homes that meet your search criteria.
4. Make an Offer
The new offer to purchase mandatory use date is January 1, 2020. Each Powers Realty Group agent has been personally trained by Suzanne Powers on the new criteria and nuances of this expanded form. You can feel confident you are in expert hands when you are making an offer with a Powers Agent.
5. Home Inspection and Testing
Home Inspections have become more complex in recent years. Your Powers Realty Group agent will fully explain your options under your agency agreement.
6. Loan Commitment
The lending process is very complex. There are several layers to this contingency. Written authorization is required from the buyer to satisfy this contingency and it has a deadline on the offer to purchase. Miss this date and you are out of contract. 20% of the time we are requesting missed documents from competitors who do not thoroughly understand this deadline. In a competitive market this could be a devastating contingency to miss.
7. Final Walk Through
This day must not be skipped! So many Realtors do not understand the value to the buyer with the 3 day walk through. This part of the process is critical. Why? To determined if all the items of the inspection were performed correctly and to make sure the condition of the home is the same as when they made an offer. I can honestly say, there have been few 3 day walk throughs where we have not made requests on our buyers’ behalf on items left behind, junk still in the home, floors scratched from the movers…the list is long.
8. Closing Day!
Bring your photo ID! Hopefully one of the happiest days of your life! To new beginnings filled with hopes and dreams.
Common Misconceptions about Home Buying
Buying your house for the first time can be complex, be sure to avoid the most common misconceptions.
You Need a 20% Down Payment to Get a Mortgage
The FHA will back a loan where the borrower have a 500-579 credit score or higher and a 10% down payment. If you have at least a 580 credit score you just need a 3.5% down payment to qualify for an FHA mortgage. On a $200,000 home that comes to just a $7,000 down payment needed, making buying a home much more attainable for consumers.
You Can Save Money by Not Using a Real Estate Agent
Realtors are so important to the home buying process you can’t afford to not have an agent on your side. Real estate agents do get a 3% commission, but the home buyer does not pay their fee. It is paid by the seller and is built into the selling price.
You Don’t Need a Home Inspection on Newer Homes
Home builders make mistakes, some even cut corners or rush jobs overlooking poor work. You should always get a home inspection even if the house you are buying is brand new. A home inspection will help you uncover any items that may cause issues in the future.
Buying a Home That Needs a Lot of Renovating Will be Cheaper
Everyone has seen the HGTV shows where people buy an ugly home for really cheap and invest some money into and make it into their dream home. While this is great, in principal, it rarely ever happens in reality. Tearing down walls and completely redoing kitchens are much more difficult and expensive than they appear on TV.
Source: The Lenders Network
Frequently Asked Buyer Questions
How Much do I need for a down payment?
You can actually buy your primary residence with as little as 3% down. The most frequent percentage is about 20% but lenders have relaxed their rates over recent years. For a two-unit residence, you'll need to put down 15% of the purchase price. For a residence of three to four units, the minimum down payment is 20%. On the other hand, if it's a multiunit investment property, meaning you don't live in any of the units, the minimum down payment is always 25%. Be sure to contact a local lender to find all of your options as they can vary greatly depending on credit scores.
What’s the best time to buy a house?
The best time to start your search is when you are ready! Prices are the best in the fall when inventory rates are higher and there is more to choose from. Typically, a good rule of thumb is to begin your process six months in advance of when you need to vacate.
What are some of the typical inspection and testing items buyers should know about?
In addition to the standard home inspection, buyers might be surprised to learn that they may very well need additional expert inspections during this process including foundations, roofs, chimneys, and radon.
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