10 Steps to Getting “Under Contract” To Buy A Home

by Steven Dean, REALTOR

Start by SELECTING US as your Buyer’s Agents! We will guide you through the home buying process:

1) Select Buyer’s Agent: Sign a Buyer Broker Agreement with a short time period to ensure that your working style and your agent’s style are compatible. You can always extend it.

2) Obtain Lender Letter: Shop and compare rates, products, and services before submitting an offer.

3) Define search criteria and choose homes to view: Make a list of what you have presently in your home and what you’d like to have in your new home. Then mark the items that you MUST have. If a couple is buying a home, do this independently and then compare.

4) Write offer and prepare earnest deposit: Your earnest deposit is applied to your down payment and closing costs at settlement. If you don’t honor the contract, the Seller may keep this as damages. When you write your offer, move funds if needed. You’ll need to deliver the earnest deposit shortly after your offer is accepted.

5) Offer accepted!!! Once your contract is ratified, your agent will work with you to schedule settlement and any inspections and provide access to the property. Buyers must deliver their earnest money deposit by check or wire to the Settlement Agent as specified in the contract.

6) Complete loan application & receive Loan Estimate: With the standard Regional Sales Contract, you have 7 days from the date you get under contract to complete a final loan application. You’ll want to do this quickly, so the lender can send you a Loan Estimate. The lender is required to provide this within 3 business days of receiving your application. This is also the time to work on your homeowners insurance policy.

7) Appraisal ordered: Once the required loan disclosures are made, the lender will send an appraiser to determine the “appraised” value of the property. Your agent will coordinate access for the appraiser.

8) Conduct inspections and negotiate as needed: Bring a camera and/or tape measure when you inspect if you want to plan your move. You may not get into the home again until final walk-through. Every inspection will find something. Talk to your agent to discuss the findings.

9) Once the appraisal is in and title work is in, loan moves into closing: If there are appraisal or title concerns, talk to your agent to navigate the settlement process. The settlement attorney can also provide advice.

10) Receive Closing Disclosure bring photo ID and certified funds to settlement and conduct final walk-through prior to settlement: At least 3 business days before settlement, your lender must send you a Closing Disclosure. The 3 days cannot be waived. At settlement, you’ll sign paperwork both for transfer of the property and for your mortgage. If you’ll want to read all of the documents before you sign, let your agent know so a time can be arranged for you to read them before everyone meets at the settlement table.