You’ve planed, you’ve dreamed, you’ve saved and you’ve started to look online for that perfect place to call home.
Select an Agent: Buyers are entitled to have someone work for them, in hiring a Buyer’s Agent, you will have representation, someone to look out for your best interest. It is very important to find someone that you feel comfortable with and that has the experience and expertise to get the job done. You’ve found that person in a Maryland Elite Realtor!
Get Pre-Approved: This is not the fun part but it is probably the most important. It is imperative you that you get pre-approved (not pre-qualified, there is a difference) so you will know how much you can comfortable afford and so that when you find the perfect place your offer will be considered by the seller. An educated seller will not even look an offer from a buyer that has not been pre-qualified.
Let the Search Begin: Working with your Maryland Elite Realtor you’ll go over the items that you want and the items you can’t do without. Once this is established the search begins. This is a process and can take a while, the more specific your requirements, the longer it can take. As long as you are patient, you’re sure to find that perfect home! Your Realtor will set you up with an automated search so you won’t miss a thing. We recommend that you do a lot of “drive-bys” and go check out the homes that come up and see if you like the neighborhoods, areas, lot, location ect. This really helps narrow down the field, you may discover you really don’t like a specific area or that a big yard is not so important.
You Found It: Now that you have found the “one”, it’s time to write up the offer. Since you have already been pre-qualified by a local lender it is easy to send over the sales price and taxes for a specific home so you will know exactly what it will cost. With this information the offer is written. The offer will include contingencies (things that must happen before you can buy the house and a way out of buying the house – inspections and financing are the big ones) that have strict timelines that must be adhered to. That’s why you have us, to make sure everything is taken care of!
Contract Acceptance: Once the offer is written it is sent to the Sellers Agent to present to the seller. Typically the seller will respond within 24 hours, most of the time the seller will do some type of counter offer. This could be in the sales price, the amount of money you’ve asked for in closing help, the timelines, etc. if that happens you have the right to counter back or accept. Once all parties have agreed upon all terms the contract is “accepted”.
Mortgage Application: Now that you have a house under contract, you must make formal loan application. This is when a copy of the contract is given to the lender along with a laundry list of financial information. This is the least favorite part of the transaction for most buyers but remember you are asking the bank to loan you a large sum of money. After you make application, the appraisal will be ordered by your lender.
Insurance: All mortgages require you have hazard or home owners insurance. You will need to shop around for insurance ASAP.
Choose a Title Company: In most transactions the buyer has the right to choose what title company they would like to use. If you don’t know a title company, don’t worry we do and are happy to make a recommendation. The Title Company will do a search to make sure you will be able to take ownership without any title issues and they will prepare the documents needed for the transfer from seller to buyer.
Inspections: Usually within 7-10 days of contract acceptance you will have your inspection(s). It’s a good idea to accompany the home inspector if you can. If you are doing, radon, mold, well and septic or lead testing it is done in this same time period. Your buyer’s agent will order a pest inspection for you too, this is not due in the same 7-10 day period.
Waiting Game: Now you wait, wait to hear on the appraisal, wait to get full loan approval, wait for settlement! Hope you’ve been packing…
Utilities: Call the utility companies and get them switched for the day of settlement. Water and Sewer are taken care of for you through the settlement process.
Pre-Settlement Walkthrough: Within 5 days of settlement you should walkthrough and make sure all the repairs the seller agreed to during the inspection period are completed. You will also check to see that the house is substantially the same as the day you wrote your offer.
Settlement: At this point you will know exactly how much money you will need to bring to the settlement table. If the Title Company accepts funds the day of settlement they will need to be in the form of a certified check from your bank. Most of the time you will need to arrange for your funds to be wired ahead of time, the Title Company will let you know about this. Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license, you’ll need photo proof of who you are.
Moving Day: The day you’ve been waiting for! Get your friends and family together and get moving!!
Home buying is a big deal and requires a team of professionals to make it a smooth and rewarding experience. Maryland Elite Realtors will help make this happen!!