Let’s Go Home Shopping! (A Home Buying Guide)

If you have ever bought a home you may know a little bit about what is involved. But, what about those who have never taken on this part of “adulting”?

Here is what it entails and what you should expect when you are home shopping. While it can be very rewarding in the end it can be a bit stressful if you don’t know what to expect next. It is a big milestone in your life so take a moment to enjoy it as well!

The First Item on Your Checklist

The very FIRST step you should take in any home buying process is to go and get pre-approved. How do you do that you ask? Well that entails going either to your bank or to a mortgage company you feel comfortable with. They can crunch numbers and let you know what you can spend on a home. The loan officer should then explain your loan options, interest rates, and how long would you want to finance this home. After all of that you can walk away with a piece of paper letting you know what your budget is.

Pre-Approval Letter….. CHECK!

What’s next?

Find a realtor! It is a great idea to always find a real estate agent to help you through this process because we are licensed professionals that have been trained to navigate around all of the paperwork and needed inspections for a home. How do you find the right one? Well, we always say to go with someone you feel comfortable with when meeting or talking with them and always checking their websites, reviews, and experience. Personally, I feel  it is better for an agent to be pretty straight forward than try and sugar coat things if it was myself looking to buy a home. If you found your agent then great!

When you find the right agent first off they will give you a few papers explaining what the duties and responsibilities are to you because once you start signing paperwork you as a person are employing us to do our job which is helping you find and essentially purchase that home. With that said.. while you as a buyer do employee us you do not have to pay us! That is a sellers responsibility to make sure we get paid for our services.

Now for the fun part….

We would look in your price range for homes on our listing service made available to us as agents. Once we narrow down the choices we would then go look at them to determine whether or not it would be a good fit for you. Now, a word of warning from an agent to consumer there are so many advertising services out there now for homes because of the internet. While we have our service called an MLS where we can email you homes on the market we all know that you can go to realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia. Let me be real for one minute.. agents have a strong dislike for Zillow/Trulia! While it is an advertising service of homes everywhere it has very inaccurate information. Those “zestimates” are so off! If you use one of those services I personally recommend Realtor.com it seems to have a bit more accurate info.

After narrowing it down to THE house first let the agent know that you want to make an offer and from there you’ll have more paperwork. Y0u’ll then have an offer to purchase and property disclosures. This is when negotiations will begin between you and the sellers to hopefully come to an agreement on price. When you have this paperwork we encourage you to read it and ask questions so that you understand fully what you are getting into. We are here to help explain!

You have an accepted offer! 

First off that is great! You’ll be one step closer. Now, if there was any due diligence or earnest money negotiated you will have to write a check. This is something to be explained before an offer while I will not go into detail today to not write a book it is not a set number for either and something that we make sure you do not lose during the process. But, now that it is under contract it would be time to work more with your mortgage loan officer and getting all inspections done before a set date, due diligence period. That is where the hard work begins for an agent. We coordinate with around 4-8 people on one deal, depending on what inspection you want as a buyer, all before a certain drop dead date at 5pm. In this time it is typical to have an appraisal, home inspection, pest inspection, and sometimes survey.

Once all of that is done and everything looks good it should be smooth sailing to closing date. But, this is also just an example of the process so everything may not always go as easy and simple as we would like. Once due diligence has ended it will time for what is called a CD to come out. This is the Closing Disclosure before closing. What this will have is a bunch of numbers on it to basically tell you how much you have to bring to closing. This is just helping you to prepare for what is to come the day of.

YAY.. Closing Day!

For a quick run down of what happens that day what will go on first is a final walk through of the home with you and the agent to make sure everything looks good and nothing has been switched out or left. Then we would go to closing! From there the closing attorney sort of takes over again explaining the final disclosure and signatures that will be needed.

Now, hand over the keys!

Hold up y’all! You don’t get the keys right after you sign. Why not? Because no one gets keys or gets paid until that deed with your name gets recorded at the court house. Your agent doesn’t get paid for their services until then and you can not get into your new home until then. Don’t worry though it wouldn’t be more than a few hours depending on the county so go grab lunch or supper!

You are officially a homeowner!

While this is a quick rundown of the process please note that it isn’t always a walk in the park but so rewarding in the end. This is an FYI so if you are ready to truly dig into the process and are looking for your lakefront Lake Tillery home – consult a licensed real estate professional like us!

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