Home Buying Process
The Complete Buying Process – What to Expect, Step by Step
Here is the entire process of buying a home with Masha, from finding your home to making it a dream come true.
Getting Started & Finding Your Home
At the Initial Consultation, we will discuss your objectives, priorities, and time frame. We will also speak about the buyer process, examine the local market conditions, discuss lending options, and lending qualifications. A review of Agency relationships and how we will work together will also be discussed at this time.
The Loan Pre-Approval occurs in this phase. You will need to obtain your pre-approval letter from the lender of your choosing that will process your home purchase loan. The lender will provide you with your budget and price range for your home. This is based on income, assets, debt, and your personal financial plan. You may also want to meet with your tax and financial professional to understand the benefits and consequences of your upcoming real estate purchase prior to submitting your offer. Do you need assistance with finding the right loan for you? We have strong relationships with many professionals in our area. Click here to review.
The Home Shopping Tours of houses that meet your criteria occur in this phase. We will monitor the market inventory and provide you with listing alerts from the MLS service. Off-Market and Private Owner sale properties that meet your criteria will be identified as well as expired properties that potentially meet your needs are also homes we can tour.
Making an offer is part of this phase. We will research and review relevant sales and discuss appropriate and possible strategies. Preparation and review of all purchase documents, disclosures, and reports occur in this phase. We will prepare a detailed and complete offer package that includes a lender letter, a “Get to Know Your Buyers” letter for the homeowner to “meet you” and get connected to you as they review your offer. Masha has found that often times THIS can be the thing that seals the deal for you to win the home over other buyers who may be competing for the same home. Masha will negotiate to get you the best price and terms.
We will then present your offer to the seller’s representing Broker and Negotiate the Best Possible Price for your new home.
What Three Things Can Happen Next?
The seller will review your offer and consider all of the terms, not just the price! They can do one of 3 things:
- Accept your offer as submitted.
- Counter some of the terms
- Reject your offer.
Once our final offer is accepted, the sellers sign all of the documents and then you have an executed and legally binding Offer to Purchase and Contract!*
Due Diligence Period
What is Due Diligence? Due Diligence is the time period you have to confirm that you truly want to purchase this home. It is when you do all of your inspections repair and update review. It is also when Masha’s Closing Manager will schedule your closing with one of the real estate attorneys that Masha refers to you. From there, the attorney will perform all title work and order your survey and confirm there are no title defects, unpaid liens or encroachments to the property.
The Real Estate Closing Attorney will be hired to research the title against defects and liens, prepare the lender’s closing package for settlement and record the purchase.
Executed contracts will be delivered (usually by email) and then your Due Diligence fee and sometimes your Earnest Money is delivered to the seller and closing attorney. Both checks will be processed and applied to your down payment.
At the same time, you and your lender will continue to work together to get your loan confirmed. They will confirm credit, order the appraisal, and verify information on all the documents you submitted. Expect that during this time there will be several emails and calls back and forth from these professionals as they are working towards the same goal under the time constraints set in the Due Diligence deadline of your sale contract.
We will also schedule your home property Inspections so that we can learn about the property condition. Inspection reviews will follow and any due diligence repair requests will be created and presented to the seller’s Broker.
Inspections include but are not limited to:
- Home inspection
- Water and septic
- Any homeowner association documents as applicable
If new or critical repairs are uncovered we can negotiate repairs or obtain a credit against the sale price!
The lender will process and confirm the loan. We will send the lender all purchase documents and addenda. The underwriter will then review all of the documents, along with the financial documents you supplied to them and will then order the appraisal to confirm the value.
We will assist you in obtaining home insurance quotes and provide the documents to the closing attorney for payment at closing. If you are buying an attached property (condominium or townhome), Masha will work with your insurance company and the community HOA manager to gather information needed. If you are buying a single-family property, Masha will assist your provider with providing a quote. If you do not yet have a preferred insurance vendor, Masha will be glad to refer you to a few companies that have provided good service to her clients.
During Due Diligence, we may also prepare and send the seller a Repair Agreement document if there are some important structural items that you would like for them to consider repairing. Keep in mind, in North Carolina, homes are considered to be sold in AS IS condition UNLESS a buyer and seller agree otherwise; and your Due Diligence period is when this would happen. Masha will carefully review all of the home inspections and explain the negotiating process for repairs. She can obtain work estimates for any items of importance and ancillary inspections as a follow-up to the main home inspection. Once repairs or credits are agreed to by all parties and terms are noted in the Repair Agreement, the sellers will arrange for the repairs to be completed prior to our final walk-through. This usually happens the day before or morning of settlement (commonly called ‘The Closing’).
During this time period removal of conditions & contingencies of the sale contract will be concluded and finalized.
At the Final Walk-through, we will confirm the property conditions and completed repairs as applicable. We are confirming that the property is in the condition it was in when the property went under contract.
We will assist you in scheduling moving details like setting up utilities- water, electric, phone, garbage, cable, security, etc. We can also assist in getting moving company quotes.
The settlement will occur. At that time the attorney will review the loan documents and closing paperwork. You will sign the paperwork, give the attorney the bank certified check for your down payment and closing costs if you have not already wired it to the attorney’s trust account. The attorney will then record your closing with the applicable County Registrar’s office and then you will receive the keys to your new home.
What do I need to bring?
Within a day of settlement, we should the final paperwork from the attorney indicating what funds you need to bring to closing/settlement.
Payment should be made to the closing attorney’s firm. Masha’s client care manager will schedule the final walk-through at the house for you and Masha to occur the afternoon before or the morning of closing. From there you will meet Masha at the attorney’s office. Please be sure to bring a photo ID and your bank certified check for your down payment. The settlement should only take an hour and the attorney will review all of the lender and legal forms you will be signing. Often times the lender will accompany us to closing in case there are any last-minute questions. After the paperwork is signed, the attorney will record the closing transaction. Often times this is also done electronically so that within a few hours you will receive your keys to your new home and can meet your home movers at your new home!
** It’s important to note that the transaction must be recorded before it can be considered your home, so be prepared to come back to the attorney’s office to get your house keys.
Your next question may be What to do next? We don’t just leave you hanging. Often times after closing, there are a lot of things that just ‘pop up’. Don’t worry about it, things happen. If something does, or you just need a referral for a new Vet for your family dog or to find a good hair salon, Masha and her team at Boutique Real Estate will still be with you to offer our concierge services beyond the closing! We want to help you grow and maintain solid, happy connections in your new home and community. So keep in touch and let us know how we can continue to provide service Above & Beyond your expectations!
We recommend that you arrange to change all of the door locks in your new home. It’s possible that several copies could have been given to family or neighbors. It would also be a good idea to update the security system and/or codes if the home has one.
If you have agreed to do some home repairs from the inspection after closing it is highly recommended that you take care of them right away so that they don’t get postponed or forgotten. We’re here to help you get to know your neighborhood. We’ll send you invitations to community involvement events & client appreciation parties. They are both great ways to meet other people in your community and get connected.
Most closing attorneys recommend you update your estate plans and Will after you purchase a new property. Consider meeting with your financial and tax advisor after settlement. Masha Halpern, Boutique Real Estate is pleased to provide any post-settlement concierge assistance.