Steps for a Smooth and Seamless Buying Process
Review your current credit score
By law, you can request a free credit report annually thru the AnnualCreditReport.com! You results are pulled from 3 credit agencies – Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Credit scores can range between 350-850. The higher the score, the better interest rate – typically 720 or higher is preferred by mortgage lenders. If your credit score is lower, don’t worry – FHA loans typically require a score of 580 or better. A mortgage lender can guide you to the right mortgage program.
How much can you afford?
How can you afford and what do you wish to pay? You may qualify for more but that doesn’t mean you need to spend more. See the mortgage calculator tab for a general affordability analysis.
Consult with a Real Estate Representative
Research and interview a few agents to find the one who will best represent you thruough the entire buying process. Check reviews, ask for referrals. Most buyers start their search for homes online – research agents in the areas you are considering, ask friends/relatives for referrals and seek testimonials from agents.
Today’s market is very competitive and the last thing you want is to fall in love with a home and loose out on the property due to not having a pre-approval letter when ready to write an offer. Contact a few lenders – your bank, referrals from friends and family or your agent will most likely has a few to recommend. Most lenders need general information and about 5 minutes to get you started in the right direction!
Collaborate with your agent on your must haves/can live withouts to create your preferred criteria. The criteria is a “working document” that can and will change as you begin to physically visit properties.
It’s a Process!
Purchasing a home is most likely the biggest purchase of your life. Take your time, take notes on the homes you visit and understand that it is a process. Your agent is there to represent you to make the process go as smooth as possible.
Make An Offer!
Once you find the home that gives you butterflies inside – it’s time to write an offer. You agent will pull comparable properties in the neighborhood to help in the decision of what to offer. Competitive markets may have multiple offers. What then? Your offer is not solely based on price! Terms are a very key factor in your written offer. Close date, occupancy post close, what type of mortgage, how much EMD (earnest money dollars) are you putting down, is there an over/above addendum? Talk with your agent to find the best offer that works for you.
Once the Offer is accepted
You’re on a time table where specific actions need to take place in order to close within the agreed upon date. Inspection at the buyers expense will be scheduled typically within 7days of the accepted offer.
Your mortgage lender will order an appraisal at the buyers expense to verify if the fully executed purchase agreement sales price is within the market’s value. Ask your agent or mortgage lender if you have questions.
Warm up your fingers and hands for signing your closing documents if possession is immediate!