Step-by-Step Buying Guide Purchasing a home can be one of the biggest investments you'll make. We're here to help give you a clear sense of what to expect in the home-buying process. Choosing the Right Agent This is the first crucial step of the home-buying process. It's crucial because the agent that you choose to represent you in finding your ideal home will determine your success or failure, in this area, to a large degree. The best agent will be honest, hardworking, intelligent, and knowledgeable. Real estate is a field of complex knowledge and ever-changing laws. Some questions you should ask yourself before deciding on your agent: Does the agent have a great reputation? You can find this out by reading reviews or asking around the local community. Do you feel "connected" to the agent when you communicate with them (on the phone, in-person, or via email)? Does the agent know the local housing market and can they give you expert advice to help guide you on your journey toward home-buying? If you answer "YES" to these three questions, then you've likely found your match! Know the Location Do you know where you want to move? Why do you want to move there? Getting very clear on your criteria for an ideal home and location is imperative to you remaining happy and content after the home purchase is complete. That's where we come in. We'll personally guide you around and go over all of the features available to you in the areas you are considering moving to. Parks, businesses, schools, property appreciation potential and more can all be discussed. It's important to recognize an excellent match. We'll help you get there. Loan Pre-Qualification Even if you're paying straight cash for a property, it's a good idea to get a pre-qualification letter from a credible lending institution. By doing this, sellers will take your offer to purchase a LOT more seriously and you'll increase your chances of landing the property. Once you know how much your lending institution says they will give you, you can get very specific about what neighborhoods and houses to regard. Typically, you'll want to begin the process of obtaining your pre-qualification letter after you initially meet with your agent. You don't have to obtain your loan from the same institution that issues your pre-qualification letter. In fact, we can certainly give you a list of several mortgage brokers and lenders whom serve the local area. Discover Your Ideal Home When you and your agent find a home to take a serious look at, the next step is to look at the finer details to be sure this is actually a home worth pursuing to the end. You'll want to look at a detailed list of all of the features such as type of heating/cooling, construction materials, taxes, zoning, and full seller disclosures which will indicate any important changes or conditions of the property. Offer to Purchase At this point, we'll work together to craft an offer to present to the seller's agent. At Curtis Knight Real Estate, we'll be sure that your agent communicates with the seller's agent to determine what the seller might be looking for. In this way, we can tailor an offer that is hitting on the key notes of what the seller is looking for, while at the same time including all of your key desires in the offer. We'll determine our offer price based on the selling price of other similar properties. And if there are multiple offers from many other prospective buyers being submitted, we'll consider the best way to frame our offer so that it stands head-and-shoulders above the rest. Accepted, Rejected, or Countered There are three scenarios that will play out after we submit your offer to the seller. Accepted: The offer is accepted and we move onto completing a timeline that leads to closing day, when you claim the home as your own. Rejected: The offer is rejected outright and we move on to finding an even better home for you to enjoy! Countered: The seller is interested in your offer, but has made a few changes to your original contract. We analyze what the seller is asking for and decide, together, what concessions we're willing to make, or not make, moving forward. Home-Inspection Once an offer is accepted, a Purchase and Sale Agreement will be drafted, but signed only after a few contingencies are met. The home inspection will be one of the main steps to take before signing the Purchase and Sale. You may find that the home inspector finds everything in working order and that there is nothing to be concerned about. Other times, the home inspector will find issue with the roofing, water drainage, electrical safety etc. If that is the case, the buyer can request "concessions" to be made (usually in the form of cash-back at closing) or they can pull out of the deal altogether with no repercussions. Mortgage Loan Unless you are paying cash outright for a home, you will need to find the right mortgage lender and decide upon the best loan that suits your needs. Purchase and Sale Agreement This is essentially the point of no return. By signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement you are making a legal commitment to purchase the property. Closing The "passing of papers" will occur for the closing of the property. At this point all final paperwork will be dutifully signed and the title will transfer to you (or the lender). The deed will be recorded at the Registry of Deeds. Congratulations!!!