Home Buying Process
Purchasing a home can be a stressful event,
but with a little planning ahead of time, it's not all that complicated. I’m
frequently asked to outline the overall home buying process, so I thought it might
be good to top-line that here. These are
my nine steps to purchasing a home.
When you're ready to get started, simply
contact me here or send
me an e-mail. I'd be happy to answer
questions or provide more information.
Step 1 – Think and Talk About It
Think long and hard about what’s most important in your new home. Talk these
things over with other family members.
Try to get on the same page together.
Is proximity to work important? Good schools? Capital appreciation? Think
about how you will use your home.
Entertainment? Space for kids to play?
A big backyard? Think about what
features you most need and want in your home? 5 bedrooms? Master bedroom down? A gourmet kitchen? A pool? Do you want a home
nicely updated or would you be willing to save a little money and work with a
fixer-upper? How much are you comfortable investing in your home? A quick
conversation with a lender can help with this. A good rule of thumb to follow
is that your mortgage payment should be around a third or less of your net
Step 2 – Talk to a Real Estate Agent in Austin
Hopefully this will be me! We can book a
time together to talk about why you want to buy a home and to discuss some of
the things included in point #1 above. We'll talk about everything from
neighborhoods, to schools in the Austin area, to the mortgage process, to other
economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future. I also
have a short questionnaire that will help me quickly get on the same page with
Unless you want to pay with cash, I'll also
help you start the loan process. There are some very good mortgage
professionals in Austin, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in
great hands. They can assist you in choosing what kind of loan is best for you
and help you get approved. Visiting with
a lender is a critical early step since we will need a pre-qualification or
pre-approval letter from a lender to attach to any offer we submit to purchase
Step 3 – Start Our Search
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin looking for houses on the market that
are a good match for you. If I haven’t already seen the homes, I’ll preview
many of them, narrow our options and throw out the bad ones. Then we'll set up appointments to view the
remaining homes when it's convenient for you.
When we view homes, we’ll
discuss the pros and cons together. It
is common for buyers to change their wish list as we view homes and some things,
once seen, become far more important than first thought. If that happens with you, we’ll readjust our
search criteria to reflect these new priorities
Step 4 – Understanding the Market
Your understanding of the Austin real estate market is an essential factor in
your home search. Only with this understanding, will you be comfortable in
making an offer. And, I can ensure you
get that understanding. I will alert you to what neighborhoods are
"hot" and require prompt action and others that are "cold"
and allow for more consideration.
When we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you
when a list price is “out of whack” and has room for bargaining and when I know
a home is "priced to sell.” My market knowledge will help keep you a step
above the rest through the entire process.
Step 5 – Bingo! We Found It!
What began as a maze will become clearer and clearer until we find THE one. When
that happens, I’ll analyze past recent sales of comparable properties in the
area and recommend an offering price and negotiating strategy. Once we are in agreement, we’ll write up our offer
and submit it to the seller’s agent.
When we turn in your
purchase offer, most likely you'll want to present "earnest money."
This is a cash deposit held by a title company to secure an offer to buy the
property. It is most often put towards
the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on
the property within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for us to
arrange mortgage financing.
Step 6 – Negotiate The Deal
Most contracts aren’t agreed to with the beginning offer, and it's pretty
common to receive a counter offer. But don't let that discourage you. We'll
figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, propose our own
counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.
Market circumstances will play a role in how
aggressively we negotiate the contract. Once we agree on the contract terms,
we’ll do our due diligence which will include our inspections of the
property. If we find major problems
during our inspections, we’ll work to renegotiate the terms of the contract or
have the option to terminate the contract.
Step 7 – Obtain Financing
Once we sign the final contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender
to close the loan. It won't take much time at all if you're already pre-qualified,
but you’ll want to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender.
Step 8 – Close the Deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of your closing costs from your lender
within three days of receiving your application. RESPA requires that this includes all closing
costs and be within a strict range of accuracy.
I'll review this estimate with you and be there to answer any questions
you may have.
Then we'll close on your new home! Yeah! This is the finish line to our long race. It will likely happen at a title company or
escrow office and should be a smooth and easy going event.
Step 9 –Time to Move In
Success! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any
questions, simply contact me at (512) 480-0848 or send me an e-mail. I can also help with the moving process.