Your home is the largest financial investment you’ll ever make, and the process to get to home ownership can be overwhelming.  With the right agent, it should be a memorable, smooth, enjoyable experience.  This article breaks down into some simple steps for you; you can read more here but I’ve given you a summary:

  1.      Assemble Your Team:  You need top-notch group of professionals guiding you through the whole process.  Picking the right buyers agent is key – you might think you’re “getting a deal” going directly to the listing agent but chances are you’ll end up losing money when all is said and done and the agent, inspector, lender, and attorney are all picked by the seller’s representatives – so, in other words, a team who’s first priority is not you.  The right buyers agent should be someone with a track record and experience in your market, because inventory is low everywhere and these things matter more than ever.  They’ll connect you with a top team of lenders, inspectors and attorneys who have the same level of professionalism and success who can guide you through every step.

  2.      Get pre-approved for a mortgage: This is how you’ll know what your budget is and you can narrow your focus.  If you need a mortgage, a pre-approval letter from a lender will be required for any offer you make to be considered.  The right mortgage professional will walk you through the process to maximize your buying power.

  3.      Narrow down your home search: This is where your agent can help you get very targeted on the areas you’re eyeing and use their connections in the industry to identify on and off-market opportunities.  The right buyers agent with a track record in the industry will have their finger on the pulse of the market so you know when the right place for you is available immediately.

  4.      Make an educated offer: Your agent will put together a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to come up with the right pricing and negotiation strategy.  They have access to more data on the market than the general public and their familiarity with the nuances of each comparable property that has sold will be sure to uncover things that could easily get missed and that will help you in your approach.  Your agent will submit your offer on your behalf, with the details of your offer, your pre-approval letter, and customarily with a $1,000 deposit to bind it – this check is not cashed until the offer is accepted and fully executed by both parties.  Usually, the deadline is 24 hours.

  5.      Home Inspection: Your agent will recommend an experienced home inspector and accompany you to the inspection, where you will get a more complete picture of what’s underneath the surface of the home.  Even if it is new construction, you’ll still learn how all the systems work.

  6.      Purchase & Sale Agreement: This is a more detailed, definitive contract between the buyer and the seller.  Usually it is drafted by the seller’s attorney, but the buyer’s attorney will review it and ensure you are properly represented.  It details the loan commitment and closing dates.  Usually at this point, a balance of 5% of the sale price will be due.  This deposit is held in escrow until the closing.

  7.      Appraisal and Loan Commitment: Your lender will have an appraisal of the home done shortly after the Purchase & Sale agreement is signed to ensure the price reflects fair market value.  Your loan commitment from your lender will turn your pre-approval into an official approval.  Usually this happens a few weeks after signing the Purchase & Sale agreement.

  8.      Closing: Generally this is within 45-60 days of your offer being accepted.  This will officially transfer the property from the seller to the buyer and takes place at the closing attorney’s office.  You’ll sign the closing documents after completing a final walkthrough of the property to make sure everything is in order.

Thinking of buying a home this spring?  I have helped countless buyers through this process, and my team and I have a combined 50+ years of experience in the Greater Boston market with over $1 Billion in Real Estate sold.  You can trust you will be in the right hands with me and my team of top lenders, attorneys, inspectors and more.  Contact me to get started!

Posted by Lisa Ferro on
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