April 3, 2017


5 Steps to Buying Your New Home

April 14, 2017 by Tim Morgan, RE/MAX Insights  Comment

As you hit the streets this spring hunting for your perfect new place, it is important to know the 5 essential steps that make up the home buying process. Once you have this checklist, it will smoothly guide you through your home purchase.

  1. Pre-Approval - Start off strong by getting a Pre-Approval letter from a lender. This letter will tell you how much you can spend on your new pad. The lending institution will look at your income, liabilities and assets to determine the maximum amount they will allow you to borrow. They will also look at your credit score to ensure you have been paying your debts as agreed. Looking at houses that you can’t afford would be a waste of your time so make sure you feel comfortable with what your mortgage payment will be before you start looking. Get started with Triangle's Mortgage team!
  2. Finding your agent - In my opinion, this is the most important step! Your agent will guide you through the entire process. From your first viewing of a home, up until move in day, your agent is the expert and will inform and remind you of all the to-do’s along the way.

    A few common mistakes buyers make is not realizing they have a choice of agents. Do your research, go online and ask around for recommendations of agents in your area because they are not all the same! Look at their reviews and past sales and above all else make sure it is someone that you would like to work with. Keep in mind there are a few different types of representation, so it is important to ask your agent who they work for. By NH state law, all agents need to give you a relationship disclosure and inform you of the types of relationships. As a buyer, you want to have a Buyer Agent. A buyer agency contract will make you the real estate agent’s client. This contract will have a time period that it will be in affect and agents may ask you for a fee, so it is important to ask if they will charge  you a buyer agency fee. Once this contract is signed, you will be their client and they will keep your information confidential and promote your best interests. See (https://www.oplc.nh.gov/real-estate-commission/documents/brokerage-relationship-disclosure-form.pdf) for the types of relationships in NH.
  3. Showings - Yes, this is the fun part! Now that you have your pre-approval and you have picked your agent, you get to look at houses! Make your Must Have list and then your Wish list so you know what items you can’t live without and the items you don’t want to go without. Look online and ask your REALTOR® to look for houses that you may like. Once you find one you like, set up a time with your agent to look at it. When looking at houses, make a Pros & Cons list so you can make the best choice! When viewing a home, ask your agent for the Property Disclosure. This form will give you all the information about the house. Ask lots of questions as you tour homes!
  4. Contracts  -  If you hired a buyer Agent you have already signed the first contract. After you have toured some homes and have found “The One,” you will need to put in an offer to lock it down. Your offer will outline all the terms and conditions you are offering to the seller (Price, Escrow money, Home Inspections, Due Diligence, Closing Date…. ect.). The seller has the right to Accept, Reject or Counter your offer. Your agent will guide you through the negotiation process, and once your offer is accepted it becomes  a Purchase and Sales Agreement. The next step is usually to cut the check for escrow money to the listing office to show the seller you are serious. Then you get to pick your home inspector, he or she will look in every nook and cranny for problems and potential problems with your new home. If you discover issues in your new home, you can go back to the seller and request they fix it or give you money off the price.

Why you should get a Home Inspection

Buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you will make. A home inspection can save you a lot of money in the long run. Don’t confuse an appraisal with a Home Inspection.

  • An appraisal will educate you on the value of the property 
  • An inspection will educate you on the condition of the home

Remember to never judge a book by it’s cover, know what you are buying. Having a home inspection may allow you to negotiate the price if needed. - Ken Hynes, All Views Home Inspection

Then you are on to appraisal where the bank sends an appraiser to the home to make sure it is worth how much you are paying for it. After that you are off to the closing table!

  1. Closing - YES! You made it through all the steps. Closing is where you sign all the documents to transfer ownership from the seller to you. An attorney or representative from the title company will walk you through all the documents including your mortgage. After the last paper is passed, you hand them your check and the deed is recorded with the state; the house is yours! Grab those keys and start moving in! 

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