STEPS TO BUYING A HOME
Determine your budget.
Before you begin your home search, you should spend a good amount of time determining a realistic budget so that you don't fall in love with a property and later realize it isn't feasible for your financial situation. If you are unsure where to begin, click here to read tips on how much house you can afford and the costs associated with home ownership.
Select your realtor.
Choose someone who comes highly recommended, has great consumer reviews, testimonials and ratings, works well with you and will prioritize your best interests. With $50 million+ in real estate transactions and over 70 5-star reviews on HAR, the Krantz Linn Group is committed to providing best in class service to our clients.
Identify potential mortgage brokers.
Every individual's situation is unique, so the type of lender needed will vary for different buyers. As your realtors, we will advise you on how to identify and select the proper mortgage company or bank to handle your loan. We can even provide excellent referrals for individuals in need of non-traditional lending sources.
Receive a pre-approval letter from your lender.
This is extremely important, as in today’s market, an offer is not taken seriously or given merit without a pre-approval letter from a reputable source. This letter shows that the lender has already pre-approved you for a specified loan amount and lets the seller know that an offer is serious.
Meet with your realtor to review your needs.
Once you have been pre-approved, we will meet with you to discuss your needs including budget, location, bedrooms, baths, lot size, school zones, etc. Each buyer is different, so it is important to point out and prioritize the aspects of a potential home that matter most to you.
Start identifying and viewing potential homes.
We will get to work right away, setting up searches to discover and narrow down potential homes. The Krantz Linn Group offers our buyers interactive collections and searches that allow for instant feedback on new listings so that we can get you in to see desired properties quickly. We also offer exclusive Compass Coming Soon listings that are not yet available on HAR and are only available to Compass agents.
Find the “perfect” home for you!
While it is rare that a single property checks all potential boxes, we will work diligently to find you the best possible property that fits your needs in your budget. Once we find the home you would like to purchase, it is time to make an offer!
Determine the offer you would like to make.
There are several components to the offer that are important, price being only one of them. Some important components are price, down payment, option money and time period, earnest money, type of financing, and proposed closing date, just to name a few! There are many ways to make a contract more attractive to a seller, especially if you are in a competitive situation. As your agents, we give you important insight into what makes offers more attractive to different sellers to give you a competitive edge.
Make an offer to the seller’s agent.
As your realtors, we will present the offer to the seller’s agent in the most positive light possible. The offer may be accepted, rejected or countered. We will act as your liaison to the seller's agent for any counteroffers to give you the best possible shot at a final, accepted offer.
We will be your advocates in regard to the terms for your contract, making sure you get the best deal possible. We work for you, and only you, so you can be sure that we will use our expertise to negotiate favorable terms and ensure you are well protected.
Finalize terms of sale and execute contract.
Once all parties have agreed to all of the terms on the contract, the contract becomes executed and is delivered to the title company selected for the transaction.
Contract timeline begins.
Day 1 of the contract timeline begins the day after the contract is executed. All deadline dates will count from this date and be presented to the buyer to ensure deadlines are met. We will stay in constant contact with all parties to the transaction to keep everything on schedule and make sure the closing goes smoothly.
Deliver earnest money and option fee.
Earnest money is a deposit held by the title company until closing as a sign of good faith intensions to fully execute the contract. It is generally 1% of the purchase price of the home and will be credited towards the purchase at closing. An option fee is money paid for an option period, a specified number of days which allows the buyer to terminate the contract for any reason. It is during this option period you will have inspections performed on the property. The option fee and number of days in the option period is negotiable, and as your agents, we will guide you in determining a fair amount for both.
Perform home inspections.
Once you have entered into a contract to purchase a home, you will want to hire professionals to inspect the mechanical and structural systems of the property. If you are unfamiliar with which inspections to order or what companies to use, we will walk you through the process and provide referrals. These inspections are generally performed within the option period and any resulting repairs or credits must be negotiated within this time period as well.
Prepare any necessary amendments.
The contract may need to be amended at any point before closing. Repairs, credits, changes to the sales price, and/or changes to the closing date may all arise from discoveries during inspections and receipt of additional documents such as seller disclosures, surveys, homeowner association rules, etc. As your realtors, we will prepare and review the appropriate amendments with you to address any changes in the contract.
The title company will have a survey done of the property. The survey is a comprehensive investigation and evaluation of significant factors affecting and influencing boundary locations, ownership lines, rights of way and easements within or immediately surrounding a certain lot, parcel or quantity of real estate. Results of the survey must be reviewed and accepted or objected to within the time period specified in the contract.
Order an appraisal of the property.
Any time there is financing involved, the bank or mortgage company will order an appraisal validating the value of the home. The value must meet the lender’s requirements (generally that it covers the value of the loan) in order for the loan to be funded.
Finalize financing approval.
If there is a lender involved, as part of the contract, you will have a hard date for final loan approval. Assuming you have final approval by that date, the lender will proceed with the loan. As the closing date approaches, your file will go to an underwriter who will review the file and approve funding of the loan, called “Clear to Close”. This means we are ready to close the deal! You will receive a Closing Disclosure prior to closing that details both sides of the transaction and lists all cash funds required on closing day.
Close the deal.
This is the most exciting day for everyone! All parties will meet at the title company and sign documents transferring the ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. Once the paperwork is complete and the loan is closed and funded, you are the owner of a new home! Congrats!