Buying a Home can be exciting! But the process can sometimes seem complex and a little stressful. Afterall, for many, this may be one of the biggest purchases in a lifetime.
Every journey for every Buyer will be different, but there are some parts of the process that are universal across the board.
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Take a look at what’s out there.
Most Buyers start the Home Buying journey by looking at what homes that they desire are available and at what price. As your Realtor, I can start sending you listings of homes for the area you are looking in.
Step 2: The Pre Approval
The Pre Approval is performed by a Lender. They will gather your information, the applicable documents and pull your credit reports and scores. The Lender will let you know what type of mortgage you qualify for, how much you qualify for and what the estimated payments will be based on the current interest rates.
Once the Pre Approval is complete, the Lender can provide a Pre Approval Letter. This will speak to your Buying Power when you’re ready to make an offer.
If you do not have enough for down payment and/or closing costs, there are Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs out there. These programs can be 1) grants 2) Low-Interest Loans 3) 0% interest, Forgivable Loans or 4) Zero-Interest, Deferred-Payment Loans.
- Home Is Possible (Includes Heros & Teachers)
- Nevada Rural Housing Authority – Home at Last Down Payment Assistance
- CBC Mortgage – Chenoa Fund
- Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH)
- Culinary Workers Union Local 226 – Housing Fund
Step 3: Find a Property
Now that you are familiar with the price range you qualify for and the price range for your desired budget, you can begin a serious search for prospective homes to buy. Decide what you need in a home and what you want in a home. Your Realtor can send you listings that match your criteria & price range as well as arrange for viewing appointments to see inside.
If you have already been set up on an automated search previous to your pre-approval, you will want to adjust the criteria to your desired price range now.
Step 4: Make an Offer & Negotiations
When you find a home you are interested in buying, you will submit an offer to purchase. Factors that should be considered when making an offer to purchase include your budget, the comparative sales for similar properties in the area, current market conditions, any competing offers, how long the property has been on the market and how motivated the Seller is. Your Realtor should be able to guide you through the price and terms you are offering.
Some of the terms you will be negotiating with the Seller include contingency periods, Seller’s contribution to Buyer’s Closing Costs, close of escrow date, necessary repairs, and more.
Your offer is the beginning of negotiating into a contract. The Seller may accept your offer as-is, counter your offer with another offer that changes the price and/or terms or just reject your offer completely.
Step 5: In Contract
If & when you and the Seller have negotiated an agreement on price and terms, you are in contract. This is the time you will open escrow and deposit an Earnest Money Deposit.
Step 6: The Escrow & Title Process
In non-attorney states such as Nevada & California, an Escrow company is a disinterested third party that will hold the funds and conveyance documents received from the buyer and seller until the close of the transaction. Many times, the Escrow Company is also the Title Company that can provide owner and lender Title insurance on the property.
Step 7: Due Diligence
The due diligence period is your opportunity to investigate the condition of the property and review important information about the property. During this time it is highly recommended to get a Home Inspection. A professional Home Inspector can assess the overall condition of the house and it’s most important components. This may include roof, plumbing, electrical, appliances and heating & air conditioning. Other Inspections can help identify the presence of termites, lead, radon gas, defective drywall and other hazards.
In most cases, the buyer and seller will have to come to an agreement on who will repair or pay for any issues that surface during home inspections. While the seller may not be obligated to pay for repairs, the buyer may have the right to cancel the contract if an agreement can’t be reached.
Step 8: Loan Application Process
Once you are in contract, your lender will gather all pertinent documents required. Many of the documents they will already have from the Pre Approval. They will let you know any additional documents that they require. This may include any updated income or asset documents as well as an Appraisal Report.
It is important to respond with the documents in a timely fashion so as not to delay the process.
Usually an Appraisal Report is required by the Lender. This is a report prepared by a neutral third party that contains information about the property, market and, most importantly, their opinion of the value and condition of the property.
Depending on the appraised value and condition, additional negotiations may be needed.
An Underwriter reviews the file and will either Approve, Approve with conditions or deny the application. If Approved with conditions (which is the most common outcome) any documents required to satisfy the conditions will be submitted for approval.
Once there is a final approval on the file, the Lender will provide the Loan Documents to the Escrow Company for you to sign.
The Escrow company (working with your Lender’s closing department) will put together an Estimated Settlement Statement that will list all the costs and credits associated with the purchase of the home.
Step 9: The Closing Appointment
At this time, a closing appointment is scheduled with the Escrow Company. At the closing appointment you will sign all the closing and loan documents.
Step 10: The Final Walk Through
Prior to the closing appointment, you will want to schedule a final walk through. At this time you will walk through the property to ensure it is in the same condition as when you went into contract. If the Seller had agreed to any repairs, you can also verify the repairs were completed.
Congratulations! You Are a Homeowner!
Once the sale of the property has been recorded with the county, you are now the official owner of the home. At this time you will schedule a time to meet with your Realtor to get the keys, codes, garage door openers and whatever else is needed for your new home!
As your Realtor, I will assist you with navigating the real estate market and home buying process from beginning through closing and beyond.
Please reach out to me with any questions or to get started!
Jennifer Harper, REALTOR® | Executive Realty Services | NV License S.0168752
Real Results for your Real Estate Needs!!
Referrals are always greatly appreciated! If you know of anyone interested in buying or selling a home, please send me their information at: Referral Form