From Start to Finish
When you decide to buy a home, take these steps before you do your first online search for listings.
- Check your own credit. Make sure there are no errors on your report and know your FICO score. This knowledge will help you shop and negotiate for the best rates and terms available. If you find an error, take steps to correct it right away!
- Review your current lease or prepare your current home for sale. Knowing that you will be able to move when you find the home you're looking for will make your search much easier.
- Contact a mortgage lender. In the beginning, it is good to get a preapproval letter and to know exactly what you can afford. You can shop for the best mortgage later.
- Make sure you have enough cash available to cover your binder check/earnest money deposit. This money will be due at the time you come to an agreement or within a day or two.
- Meet with a couple of Realtors®. Find one you like and stick with that person. Remember, a Realtor® only gets paid at a closing. Try not to juggle multiple agents when you plan to buy only one home. Your agent will spend a great deal of time with you and provide you with a wealth of information, resources, and assistance. Often, Realtors® will know about homes that are not yet listed that you will not be able to find online.
Once you've done some preliminary homework, it's time to begin the hunt. Be sure to communicate with your Realtor® about what you like and don't love about each house you see. If your goals or must-haves change, let him or her know right away! When it is time to make an offer, your Realtor® will help you structure an offer that is good for you and attractive to the seller. Your Realtor® will help you negotiate and come to an agreement with which you are comfortable. Once the final agreement is signed by all parties, the real work begins.
There are more than 50 due dates and tasks on the average transaction checklist, but a few are:
- Delivery of documents to the title company and ordering of a title binder or commitment.
- Deposit of earnest money and delivery of receipt to the buyer.
- Recommending inspectors, scheduling inspections, and providing access to assure they’re completed on time.
- Coordinating timely delivery of any documents relating to disclosures, inspection results, or title issues.
- Coordinating appraisal and appraiser access.
- Working with mortgage company and coordinating delivery of required documents.
- Assisting our buyers with any negotiations related to contingencies, inspections or documents.
- Constant monitoring of status of all processes at the title company.
There are a number of people involved in a real estate transaction: attorneys, surveyors, appraisers, a title company, a mortgage broker, a loan underwriter, both agents, and others! Each has specific duties and requirements, and each is concentrating on doing a good job for you. But yet, their focus is narrow, targeted on their specific niche in the deal. As your buyer agent, we’re your “go-to” resource to bring it all together. We’re here to coordinate the activities of all these people for you.
We are constantly monitoring the details of your transaction. Every day, we check the progress against contractual deadlines and act on all requirements. A lot of this activity goes on behind the scenes and you’re not even bothered. Some of it requires that we contact you and request documents or actions. Please understand that our primary goal is a smooth transaction. Making sure you meet all deadlines is one of our jobs.
There is a lot more, but those are the highlights, and many sub–tasks are related to each of them. Fred Miller Group's Realtors® are committed to detailed coordination of every step of the closing process. It is critical that we meet every deadline and keep the transaction on track to avoid defaulting on any terms of the contract. We’ll keep your real estate transaction on track, and you’ll have the time and advice you need to be sure that you’ve covered all of the bases before closing.