The Buying Process

 * Chart created by Keller Williams International

Provided By Steve Meyers

Keller Williams Greater Seattle

 The Buying Process:

As a Buyer, understanding the Process of purchasing a home will save you a lot of time, money, and anxiety.   In my opinion, it’s important for you to work with a qualified real estate agent who can guide you through the process at every step of the way to ensure a smooth transaction.

Pre-Qualify/Pre-Approval for a Loan – It’s more difficult to finance the purchase of a home today than at any time in the recent past.  Qualifying for a loan is the very first thing a Buyer should do in this market.  Why look at homes on-line, or in-person, if you’re not Pre-Qualified for a loan to purchase a property at a particular price point.  You’ll be required to supply your lender with information for them to provide a loan amount you’ll be able to borrow, based upon many factors.

Needs Analysis – One of the most overlooked aspects of purchasing a home is also one that will save you many hours and a lot of anxiety.  All decision makers should sit-down with their real estate agent to complete a Needs Analysis for their new home.  Your agent will then have a pretty good idea of what to show you without wasting your time.

 Neighborhood Analysis and Area Tour – Following your Pre-Qualification for a loan and Needs Analysis, you should be able to identify several ­neighborhoods where you’ll be able to purchase a home that fits most of your needs within your purchasing power.  Your agent will be able to provide you with several recommendations.  Tour the neighborhoods during the day and then at night.  Locate the things that are important to you; schools, retail, access points to expressways, places of worship, parks and recreation, etc.

Home Search – With 95 percent of the properties available to a Buyer, on-line, within 15 minutes of them being listed on the MLS, what’s available is no longer a secret to anyone.  Knowing what’s available and being able to purchase it at the lowest possible price with the greatest likelihood of success is why you should engage a quality real estate agent to assist you.

Pricing & Terms – Now that you’ve found a property to purchase, what price will you offer for the home and, what terms and conditions will you include in your offer?  What have similar homes sold for in the neighborhood in the last 90 days?  How does the List Price compare with those that have Sold, are Pending, or are Active?  If you’ve been working with a qualified, full service, real estate agent throughout this process, that person will be able to recommend the proper price, terms and conditions.

Submitting an Offer to Purchase – Your Offer to Purchase is ready to submit to the Listing Agent and the Owner.  Have you included a personal letter to the Seller letting them know who you are and how much you’d like to own the home?

Evaluation & Counter Offers – Have you received a Counter-Offer from the Seller?  What negotiating points have you held back to be able to offer to the Seller that you can use to negotiate with?  Are you willing to walk-away because the Seller has a higher opinion of value of their property than you do?  What price are you willing to pay for the home?

Negotiation – Is your Agent skillful at negotiating on your behalf?  Purchasing a home is the biggest decision most people make in their life?  Most Buyers become too emotionally involved when negotiating and lose the deal because of minor issues.

Home Inspection – The inspection of your future home is very important.  The Seller will supply you with a, “Form 17, Seller Disclosure Statement” but, they’re not an expert on the condition of the systems and potential faults with the home.  Engage a quality Inspector to assist you in evaluating the home for faults, and if necessary, bring in contractors to provide you with the costs of corrections.

Loan Application – It’s really up to you.  Having a reputable mortgage lender, working on your behalf, can save you more money over the course of your home ownership than any other thing you can do during the purchasing process.  It’s important for you to find a really good lender.

Title Issue Resolution – The conveyance of marketable title is the responsibility of the Seller.  The Seller selects, and pays for, the Title Insurance Company to provide the Buyer with marketable title.  If the Title Report identifies a problem, does the Listing Agent know how to resolve the issue?  Do you know how to resolve the issue, probably not? Does your agent know how to resolve the issue?

Coordinate the Closing Process – As the Buyer, you dictate who the Closing Agent (Escrow Company in most cases) will be for your transaction.  Although the State has requirements for each Escrow Company, working with a very good Escrow Company can be the difference between closing on the sale of your transaction and failing to close.

With your new understanding of the Buying Process, have you formalized your relationship with your Agent by signing Form 41A “Buyers Brokerage Agreement”?

Good Luck with your purchase.  Let me know if I can be of assistance in any way.

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