HELLO & WELCOME!
You’re out there dreaming of having your own space to call home that you can decorate however you want but there’s a lot more to it than what we see on HGTV! You’re probably making the biggest purchase of your life and I want to make sure you do it with confidence. That’s why I put together a guide for future homeowners to learn the reality of the process instead of the TV version!
I’m so excited for you to begin training for the home buying process and position yourself to become a successful future home buyer! (soon to be making your Pinterest board dreams come to life!)
Buying a home can be an overwhelming process. From financing to negotiating to closing, there are a lot of moving pieces that can leave homebuyers bewildered.
You are making the biggest purchase of your life and you should do that with confidence. Successful buyers are prepared buyers and cheers to you taking the first step in preparing for homeownership by requesting this guide!
MEET YOUR TEAM
As a home buyer, you’ll have a team of professionals working with you throughout the process. It’s important to do your research and hire people that you trust. Look them up online & ask questions before moving forward. Here are the players you can expect to have on your team:
1. YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT:
A buyer’s agent helps you navigate the home buying process step by step. They work in your best interest and will educate you on the market, help you determine how much to offer the sellers, help make your offer stand out and make sure you meet all of your offer deadlines. The best part is: They are FREE to hire!
2. YOUR LENDER:
It’s important to meet with a lender before you start your home search because they’re going to be able to give you a realistic price for how much house you can afford. They’re also going to educate you on what type of loan program is best for you, determine how much your down payment needs to be and help you figure out what amount you are comfortable spending monthly.
3. YOUR HOME INSPECTOR:
You have the option to include a Home Inspection Contingency in your Offer to Purchase. This allows you to hire a licensed Home Inspector to do a general inspection of your new home prior to moving forward. This is a great way to make sure there aren’t any non-negotiable repairs that come up as well as a chance for you to learn about your house and how things work.
4. YOUR INSURANCE AGENT:
In order to close on a new home, you have to have it insured. Your insurance agent is going to be responsible for ensuring you have the proper coverage on your new home. Many homeowners will bundle their auto and home insurance which can make it easy so that everything is in the same place.
START YOUR HOME SEARCH:
MAKE YOUR “WANT IT, NEED IT, GOTTA HAVE IT” LIST
PRIORITIZE THIS LIST BY NUMBERING THE ITEMS IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE FROM 1-10
STICK TO THINGS YOU CAN’T CHANGE SUCH AS LOCATION, SIZE, LOT, AND LAYOUT.
LOOK BEYOND YOUR PINTEREST BOARD If your “must haves” are met, you can easily change things like paint colors, decor, cabinet colors, and flooring down the road.
STAY OFF OF ZILLOW – GET SET UP ON A CUSTOM HOME SEARCH FROM YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT
ZILLOW MYTH BUSTER:
I know that buyers love to look at Zillow because it’s pretty, easy to use and everyone loves the handy map function! However, Zillow isn’t the most reliable source when it comes to getting Real Estate information. Zillow doesn’t know your interest rate, the cost of your homeowner’s insurance, what type of loan program you’re using, or several other factors that can affect your monthly payment. There is also a lot of info that isn’t up to date so there might be homes for sale that in reality have an Accepted Offer but Zillow won’t reflect that. So make sure you stick with the custom MLS search that your Real Estate Agent sets up for you to ensure that you have the most accurate and up to date info!
YOU WANT TO WRITE AN OFFER, NOW WHAT?
It happened! You found THE ONE! You start to see your Pinterest boards come to life and can’t wait to get the keys & let the decorating begin. But wait, not so fast! There is one big step you have to take prior to getting an “Accepted Offer” and moving forward! Your Real Estate Agent is going to play a key role here and there might be some negotiating before the sellers sign on the dotted line and agree to the offer terms!
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
STEP 1: Determine the Offer Price – Your Agent will do market research, pull up nearby comps and help guide you on how much to offer the sellers. You’ll also want to take into consideration how long the home has been on the market and whether or not you are competing with any other offers.
STEP 2: Consider Additional Factors – You might think that the only way to an Accepted Offer is to come in with the highest offer price but there are other factors to consider as well. The Closing Date, Your Offer terms (such as your Financing and any Additional Contingencies) can all play a role in whether or not the seller accepts your offer.
THE CLOSING DATE: In order to be aligned with the sellers, your agent can check in with the selling agent to find out when the sellers want to close. By matching their desired closing date, you can strengthen your offer (and strengthen the chance of them accepting your offer!)
THE OFFER TERMS: This includes any inspections you request, your financing and any additional contingencies. If you’re in a competing offer you’ll definitely want to keep contingencies to a minimum and just stick with what is most important (typically the contingencies crucial to obtaining financing on the home ). If you really want the wine fridge but the sellers aren’t including it, don’t make this a priority if you really want the house. Your Real Estate Agent will walk you through what they recommend!
THE NEGOTIATIONS: Once you’ve had a chance to go through the entire Offer to Purchase Contract with your Agent and determine what your initial offer is going to be, they will submit the offer to the selling agent who will then present your offer to the sellers.
The sellers will decide if they want to accept the terms of your Offer as is or if there are any changes they want to make and send as a counter offer. This is the first round of negotiations you’ll go through and that your agent will handle for you with the selling agent. Don’t let this part freak you out! As long as you’re being realistic while protecting yourself at the same time, this part shouldn’t take too long.
THE ACCEPTED OFFER: If and when you come to a mutual agreement with the sellers, you will officially have an Accepted Offer! But before you get the keys and close on your new home, you’ll have to go through the rest of the process and meet all of your contingencies.
THE NEXT STEPS: Do you want to learn what happens in-between an Accepted Offer and Closing Day? I’d love to schedule a Buyer Meet Up – which is basically free coffee on me at a local coffee shop where you can ask me questions and I’ll go over the rest of the home buying process with you (including everything in this guide!)
Did you know most buyers start the process between 6-12 months before actually closing on their new home? It’s not too early to get a jumpstart on the home buying process!
REMEMBER: A successful buyer is a prepared buyer!