Ready to Buy?
Buying a home represents your single biggest investment – and debt for most people. As such, the home buying process can be one of the most exciting, but also stressful, experiences you ever go through. This may be true whether you are an experienced home buyer or you’re looking to buy your first, whether you’re in the market for a new primary residence, an investment property or that perfect vacation getaway.
There are many factors to consider and many decisions to make when buying real estate. That’s why it’s crucial for you to have all the available resources necessary to make well-informed decisions. That’s also why you should enlist the help of a trusted and experienced Licensed REALTOR® who’ll be able to provide you with expert consultation at each step of the buying process. You don’t have to know everything… Robert and Jen are ready to help you make your dream of purchasing a home in beautiful Central Oregon a reality. Contact Us today!
Steps to Purchasing a Home
Generally, finding and purchasing a home includes the following steps:
1. Define Your Goals, Research Your Purchase Options, Make Your Plans
Given the large financial investment that comes with purchasing a home, it’s extremely important for you to educate and prepare yourself as much as possible in advance. Clearly determine why you’re buying and what kind of home you’re looking for. And because buying and financing a home are so closely related, it also means examining your current financial situation and projecting how much you can afford. You may want to do this yourself, but you can also consult with an experienced REALTOR® right from the start.
2. Enlist The Services Of A REALTOR®
Buying real estate is a complex matter at the best of times, given that there are so many factors to consider and no two homes or transactions are alike. However, with all the unique opportunities and potential pitfalls of the current market, it’s even more important for you to be represented by a REALTOR® once you’ve definitely decided to buy. In choosing a REALTOR® to guide you through the property search, financing, negotiation and transaction processes, you should consider their local market knowledge, experience and track record.
3. Get Pre-Approved For A Loan
In todays competitive real estate market, it is highly recommended that you get pre-qualified for a loan before you start viewing homes with the serious intention of buying. The preapproval process is actually easier than you may think and involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and credit history. Once your financial information has been reviewed, your lender will provide you with a document that details how much you can borrow to buy a home. If you do not already have relationship with a lender your Realtor will be able to suggest local lenders with a history of offering excellent mortgage products and services.
The benefits of pre-qualification include:
You’ll have information about what you can afford and be able to plan accordingly
As a qualified, motivated buyer you’ll be taken more seriously when you make an offer on a home.
In a competitive multiple offer situation where other buyers are also submitting offers to purchase the same property, you need to put your best offer on the table. By including a pre-approval letter from your lender with your offer, you are viewed as a more qualified and serious buyer in comparison to other offers without pre-approval letters. That could be the deciding factor when a seller decides between similar offers.
Lenders can tell you whether you qualify for any special programs that will enable you to afford a better home (first time home buyers, VA loan programs, rehab loan offerings with credit lines)
4. View Homes And Select THE ONE
Your pre-approved now and ready to start looking through homes! A great way to start narrowing your home search is to determine exactly what you are looking for. Determine your needs and wants in regards to neighborhood, home size, garage size, number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, floorplan, and budget. Create a few lists which distinguish between “must-haves” and “like-to-haves”. To help you to target your search once you have defined your home preference priorities, contact your REALTOR® to have them create a custom search portal in your local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) which will automatically send you email alerts when a home that matches your search criteria hits the market or has a change in price or status.
Once you have honed in your search and identified several homes that appeal to you it’s time for your REALTOR® to make appointments for both of you to tour these properties. The best way to decide if a home feels like it could be your home is to spend some time there. While property details on many homes may seem similar online, homes can actually be very different in terms of layout, design, workmanship and other aspects. You should ideally view homes with the help of an experienced and eagle-eyed REALTOR® who’ll notice things you might miss, provide expert analysis, and act as an impartial sounding board.
5. Make An Offer And Negotiate With The Seller
You and your REALTOR® have looked through homes and you’ve found the home you’d like to buy! It’s time to make an offer. Your local real estate association, working with legal counsel, has developed the contracts that are used for transactions in your area. These contracts enable you to specify a sale price and also include many clauses for specifying various terms of purchase, such as the closing and possession dates, your deposit amount, and other conditions. You should carefully review these clauses with your REALTOR® to ensure that they express your desired offer.
What should your initial offer look like? Most sellers will be assisted by their REALTOR® to determine a good list price based on homes that have recently sold in their neighborhood that are comparable in size, features, and condition. Your REALTOR® will create a CMA Comparative Market Analysis for you to best determine the homes current value based on the homes current condition, recent sales of comparative homes in that neighborhood, and market conditions. Once you’ve signed the offer, your REALTOR® will present it to the seller and/or the seller’s representative. At that point, the process – given that a home’s eventual sale price is subject to supply and demand – will depend on the kind of market you’re in. Generally though, the seller can accept your offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process. Successive counter-offers, with deadlines for responding and meeting conditions, will be exchanged between you and the seller =until a mutually-satisfactory pending agreement is reached or the negotiations breakdown. Negotiations can involve many factors relating to different market conditions, homes and sellers.
6. Escrow, Due Diligence, and Financing
Congratulations! Your offer or possibly counter-offer has been accepted by the seller. What are the next steps to take before you are handed over the keys to your new home?
This period of time between an accepted offer and your closing is typically referred to as escrow and generally lasts between 30-60 days although this can vary depending on the type of financing you are using and if you need to sell another home first.
Many things have to happen during this escrow period. An escrow account will need to be opened, timelines must be met, deposits will need to be made, home inspections ordered, title and inspection reports need reviewing, and financing must be secured. On your own this process can be extremely overwhelming, especially considering this could be the largest financial decision you have ever made. Luckily your REALTOR® is there to guide you through the entire process until closing!
7. Close The Deal
Your closing date and most likely the date you take possession of your new home is approaching. The escrow officer working in conjunction with your REALTOR® will schedule a day for you to head into the escrow office to sign your closing documents. These documents will include deed of ownership forms, your closing statement which is a detailed summary of your purchase including fees and credits, and your loan paperwork. Transfer of ownership cannot happen until all of these documents have been signed and recorded by the County Clerk and the exchange of money has been completed. Your REALTOR® will collect a set of keys to your new home and present them to you on the date the contract states the buyer can take possession of the property.
The content relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the MLS of Central Oregon. Real Estate listings held by Brokerages other than Bend Premier Real Estate are marked with the Reciprocity/IDX logo, and detailed information about these properties includes the name of the listing Brokerage. © MLS of Central Oregon (MLSCO).
This content last updated on December 11th, 2019 at 5:59am PST. Some properties which appear for sale on this website may subsequently have sold or may no longer be available.
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