Any major purchase requires research, careful analysis, consideration, and thought. Home buying isn't any different! Determining the right location, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms needed, and outdoor space are the easier things. However, there are many other factors to think about in your home search. From your initial search to the moment you get the keys to your new home, we will be there, guiding you through the process. We can even help connect you with mortgage professionals to get the best rates.
As your buying agent, we can help streamline the process of buying a home and make it easier for you. We’ve aligned ourselves with the top professionals in the industry, and once an offer has been accepted, we will personally help facilitate the process to close on the home. By working closely with mortgage brokers, title and escrow companies, home inspectors, and home warranty companies we will provide you with the best service possible!
Helpful Steps to Buying a Home
1. Find an agent to help you
In most transactions, sellers are represented by a listing agent who manages the sale of the home and looks out for the seller's best interests. As a buyer, you want someone to provide complete and honest representation in your real estate transaction. Real estate buyer's agents are responsible for protecting the best interests of their clients and can guide you through every step in the process. The first step is finding a qualified buyer's agent. Don't be afraid to ask a buyer's agent about their experience, credentials, education. Oftentimes, your home purchase is one of the most expensive items you will ever buy. Do your research! Using a buyer's agent seldom adds any expense to your transaction.
2. Secure your financing
Most people purchasing a home will need to get a loan. Your buyer's agent can help you pick out a lender that will work well with your needs. Your goal is to obtain a mortgage loan with terms that are most favorable to your situation. Why should you secure financing before you start searching for a home? Your lender will discuss upfront how much house you can afford. Do not trust online calculators. Some do not take into consideration property taxes and home insurance premiums. Also, getting preapproved for a mortgage puts you in a better negotiating position when it's time to make an offer to a seller.
3. Assess your wants and needs in a home.
Make a list of your needs and wants in a home.
Some things to consider:
4. Search for Your Home
Share your list of needs and wants with your buyer's agent. They can sign you up for emails that keep you up to date on the current market through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is the most reliable tool for staying on top of listing statuses.
5. Negotiate your terms
Once you find the home that is right for you, it's time to make an offer. When deciding what to offer for a property, current market prices are the most important factor. Your buyer's agent can counsel you on market conditions and send you sold comps of what has sold recently in the area.
There are other terms besides the price of the home that will need to be considered. Who will pay for the title policy? Who will pay for a survey? Are you going to ask the seller to give you money to go toward the purchase of a home warranty? How much earnest money are you willing to offer? Will you have any contingencies?
The seller probably already has an idea of what they want from the sale of their property, and they have probably already planned a negotiating strategy. The seller may accept, reject, counter your offer, or not respond. No response is a response. In Texas, there is no time limit for the seller to respond.
6. Wrapping things up with lender and buyer's agent
Once under contract, on the lending side, you will need to complete the loan application. The lender will ask for additional documentation. The lender will also set up an appraisal. Hang in there! You can get through this! Buying a home is not for the faint of heart!
Your buyer's agent will guide you through a home inspection which may lead to renegotiating the contract if you obtained an option period. They will also set up a final walk-through to make sure the home is in the same condition it was during the inspection, make sure all contracted items are in the home, and ensure any agreed upon repairs have been completed.
7. Closing Day!
It is important to understand that closing dates can change. The Texas Real Estate Commission contract states that closing can happen "on or before" a certain date. However, oftentimes, the closing date ends up being after the closing date written on the contract. The process of buying a home often requires many people to be involved: buyer, seller, buyer's agent, seller's agent, an inspector, multiple people at the mortgage company, multiple people at the title company, and a surveyor. If one person cannot perform their job in a timely manner, it can require the closing date to be extended. It is important to be flexible.
Once you finally make it to closing day, there are some key things to be aware of. You will probably not be sitting at the table with the sellers. In Texas, buyers and sellers typically close separately. It does not matter who signs the documents first. You will need to bring your ID and payment of closing costs. Be prepared, you will sign many documents. Most contracts allow for the buyer to obtain the home when the deal closes and funds. This means that if you close on one day, and the mortgage company approves funding on the next day, you might not get the keys on the same day that you close! Keeping this in mind, do not come to closing with a packed truck ready to move in. Your buyer's agent might be able to give you guidance on when they think the transaction will fund.
Curious about what’s happening in your neighborhood? You can create a custom market report to see what’s active, under contract, and sold in your neighborhood!
Contact us today to find out how we can be of assistance to you!