Every purchase is unique and there will always be steps you need to take as a buyer that are specific to your transaction but here is a list of basic, necessary action items standard for all home buyers. My knowledge and experience will guide you through these basic steps and help you navigate the nuances of your own purchase.
Financial Preparation: The first step is to connect with a mortgage agent to find out what you can afford. This amount will dictate your price parameters for homes that we will view. Your mortgage agent can review your options with the available loan products which vary in things like the amount you will need to put down as well as the length of the term. Your agent should also give you a good faith estimate of what you will have to set aside for closing costs. You will also be issued a pre-approval letter and this letter will accompany your offer and prove your financial stability to the seller.
Viewing Properties: After your price range is identified, you will then need to select which location or locations you want to focus on. Each neighborhood has varying tax rates, services, school systems, accessibility and, most importantly, personality. Only you will know your wants and needs best, but please use me as a resource as I am very familiar with Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville and surrounding neighborhoods.
The Offer Process: Once you have found the perfect property you will want to make an offer. We will discuss comparable market sales and valuation specific to your selected property such that you can make an offer you feel comfortable with. The process of writing up an offer can be done electronically or in person and I will review all of the required forms and the timeline involved so that you are prepared for what comes next.
Home Inspection: Once your offer has been accepted, it is a wise idea to have the home inspected. You will select a professional home inspector and he or she will inspect the home and deliver an in-depth report on its condition and alert you of any necessary repairs. You should plan to be present for this if possible.
Financing: If you are planning to secure your home with the assistance of a mortgage, you will want to make sure that you’ve collected the necessary financial documents your lender will need (discussed with you during the pre-approval stage). The lender will want a copy of your executed offer and can start the loan underwriting and approval right away. It typically takes about 45 days (minimum) from offer acceptance to closing.
Attorney Selection: You will also want to choose an attorney to work with who can represent you on the drafting of the next big contract, the purchase and sale agreement, do the bank work for you if you have a mortgage and close your property for you on your closing day.
Purchase and Sale Contract: Your attorney and the seller’s attorney draft the purchase and sales agreement. The signing of the Purchase and Sale contract will solidify all of the terms and conditions of the particular deal and is signed roughly 10 days post offer acceptance. This contract governs all aspects of the transaction including important dates and financials that pertain to the deal up to the closing.
Walk through and Closing!: Finally! We will set up a walk through for you to attend with me or one of my team members to ensure that nothing has been damaged and all is in the same condition at the property as it was when we made the offer. This is typically the evening before or the day of the closing. Your closing itself will be scheduled by you and your attorney. The average closing takes about an hour – hour and a half.