Buying a Home, How to get Started?
The Buying Process
Step 1: Financing – It is generally a good idea to first get pre-qualified by a lender of your choice (unless your funds are coming from another place) to know what the ballpark figures are that you will be working with and to figure out what you can afford and what is most comfortable for you. Once you narrow down your search and feel that you are getting pretty serious (and close) to locating a property, it is ideal to have a pre-approval letter ready to go when you are ready to purchase.
A pre-approval letter lets sellers know that the bank has reviewed your personal information and feels that, unless something goes wrong, you should be able to pay the loan back without any financial concerns. This also lets the sellers know that you are serious about purchasing their home and that a bank is willing to give you the funds needed to purchase it (a pre-approval letter is not a guarantee of a loan).
Step 2: Locating a property – many searches can be done these days solely with the internet. My website here has a direct idx feed to Northern Colorado’s’ Multiple Listing Service (MLS). In locating a property it is really important to first sit down, and make a list of your needs and wants when it comes to purchasing a property.
What are the local taxes for this specific area? What are the HOA dues (if any) and how strict are their rules? How is the education system? How safe is the area? What activities does the area offer and how close or far from places do you want to be? These, along with specifics about the home, should be some of the questions you should know before beginning your search.
If you have any questions that need to be answered please feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email, my information can be found in the contact tab. I will be happy to provide a no obligation consultation, share my knowledge of the market with you, and assist you in finding a home.
Step 3: Submitting an offer- Once the property is located and it meets all (or most) of your requirements, it is time to submit an offer. At this point your realtor will sit down with you and go over the entire contract before submitting it to the listing agent. At this time, you will write a check for an earnest money deposit on the home you have located, to show the sellers your intent to purchase.
From here the contract may either be accepted, not accepted, or countered. When your offer is accepted, this is where the fun begins! It will be very important to work closely with your lender and your realtor so you can meet all of the deadlines. If you follow your Realtors instructions this process should be relatively stress free!
Step 4: Under Contract – After your offer has been accepted and you are under contract, there are a number of deadlines that must be met to achieve closing by the date specified within your contract to purchase. Important items to note include the appraisal deadline (generally required with bank financing), the home inspection deadline (which may include a test for Radon), the HOA Documents objection deadline (allows for review of HOA and CC&R’s and provides time to withdraw your offer if they do not meet your subjective requirements).
This is where the bulk of the work as a Real Estate Agent comes into play. It is the Agent’s job to make sure that your needs are being met in a timely manner as well as managing the entire transaction from contract to close.
This is also when all of your financing is completed (if necessary) by your lender so that you may bring good funds to closing. Generally within a few days of closing, you will be allowed a final walkthrough of the property to make sure it is to your satisfaction.
Step 5: Closing – If all the deadlines and contingencies are met within the time limits set forth by the contract and there are no objections and/or all resolutions have been met, then closing is the final step in the process. There will be a whirlwind of papers to sign and you will be accompanied by your realtor, your lender, and the closing agent; along with the seller and their realtor as well.
In the state of Colorado, the buyer is the owner on the day of closing, unless otherwise stated in the contract. After all of the signing, congratulations! You are the new owner of your own property.
Follow up – I like to maintain a relationship with my clients for any additional real estate needs they may have in the years to come. There will always be things to take care of after closing and I would like to be your ‘go to’ for any questions, concerns, or services you may still need after acquiring your property.
Are you interested in knowing more about what homes are for sale in Northern Colorado? Would you like to work with an expert that tracks all of the market information, reviews inventory daily, and studies the trends in Northern Colorado? I would be happy to help you find the home of your dreams or show you more about what I can do to get your home SOLD! I would love the opportunity to earn your real estate trust and assist with all of your Fort Collins CO real estate needs.