Have reputable bank or mortgage company who you trust pre-approve you for a loan up to a certain amount, so you know how much house you can afford.
Use a real estate broker who is familiar with the area you are interested in to help you find the home of your dreams.
Make an offer to purchase based on the Seller’s asking price, the condition of the home, market conditions in the area and, of course, your budget.
Verify that there are no major issues with the condition of the home by conducting home engineer’s and termite inspections.
Secure your position as the buyer by quickly moving to sign the contract of sale with the oversight and assistance of an attorney who specializes in real estate and provide his/her contact information to the real estate broker or the Seller.
Sign the Contract of Sale
Your attorney will review the contract and set up either an virtual or in-person meeting with you. You will need to provide a check and/or wire for the contract deposit and usually a check for the initial portion of your attorney’s fee as well.
Share any special concerns you may have regarding the transaction with your attorney.
Act quickly because the Seller’s acceptance of your offer is not legally binding until the contract is signed by both parties.
Obtain your Mortgage Loan
Unless you do not require financing for the purchase, the contract stipulates that you quickly apply for a mortgage loan.
When you meet with your mortgage loan officer, at a minimum, bring the following items:
A personal check for credit report, application and/or appraisal fees.
Respond quickly to your lender’s requests. Contracts usually only allow from 30 – 60 days for the Buyer to obtain a commitment. Be mindful that the contract contains an overarching obligation of diligence with respect to the buyer’s dealings with their lender starting from the initial point of contact all the way through the funding of the loan and closing of the home purchase.
Review / Clear Title Issues
Your attorney will obtain a title report which will disclose any potential title issues and at your discretion a survey will be ordered to address any potential boundary line issues with the property.
Your attorney will work with you to ensure that the certificate of occupancy for the premises matches its actual current use and physical configuration.
Searches will also be conducted to determine if the premises is subject to municipal violations and if returns are found, the attorney will negotiate appropriate post-closing escrow arrangements and/or credits for the resolution of those items with the seller.
Prepare for Closing
Prior to closing, obtain a homeowner’s insurance policy and pay the first year’s premium in full. Forward a copy of the policy binder and paid receipt to your mortgage loan officer and attorney.
Within 48 to 72 hours of the closing, contact your real estate agent to conduct the final walkthrough and advise your attorney of any deteriorated conditions in the property or personal belongings and debris which may not have been removed.
Your attorney will provide a closing statement with detailed instructions as to the certified funds you will need to bring to cover the balance of the purchase price and your other settlement related closing costs. Please being your photo ID and your personal check book for any last minute adjustments.