Written by Rhonda Jarvis
You have started the process,
found a lender, been pre-qualified, found an agent and begun a wish list with that agent. Now begins the real work.
You can do your own research on-line, find homes that interest you. This gives your agent an even better idea of your wishes. However, your agent and her/his search is the best tool for your search. They have access to the most information; use their knowledge to help you.
It takes a great deal of time to organize and arrange a tour of homes. Ideally five or six homes per day is best. More homes on the tour than this and the details of the homes can run together. Even with five or six homes I recommend bringing the print out your agent will likely provide and taking notes to help you distinguish the listings from one another. Record positive and negative aspects you notice on the tour.
Upon completion of the tour narrow the list down as much as possible keeping this smaller number to compare to the next tour. It is entirely possible you will walk into a house that will feel like home and you will know it is the one for you. This doesn’t happen for everyone, so keep those that interest you in a file ready to compare and make a decision.
This choice is yours and yours alone. The agent can and will give wisdom that should be trusted but they cannot make this decision for you.
Earnest Money and Option Fees
When the choice is made and you find a house that you want to call home sit down with your agent, using their knowledge and expertise decide what you would like to offer. You will need two checks, one for earnest money and one for an option fee, if desired.
The earnest money will go to the title company upon acceptance of the offer and be applied toward your closing cost upon closing. The option fee will go to the seller. This fee, in essence, purchases the option time to get the home inspected. During this time you may opt out of contract without losing the earnest money.
Rarely are first offers accepted as is, there will be some back and forth, don’t stress, trust your agent. When you come to an agreement or go under contract is when the real work begins.
- Call an inspector to schedule an inspection as early in the option period as possible. I recommend attending the inspection, many times they can help you understand what they are required to report, making the report much more reader friendly.
- Since no home is perfect there will always be things on an inspection report, however the purpose of the inspection is to look for major issues. Should you find an area of concern discuss this with your agent. You may want to negotiate repairs.
Making the Property Yours
When you are ready to proceed with this property provide a copy of the contract to your lender and then wait for instructions. They will most likely want to see bank accounts, pay stubs and many financial things. This is where I referred to feeling they want such personal information that you will end up telling them the color of your skivvies. Be prepared but don’t panic, it’s part of the process.
During this time, do not open a new line of credit and make no large unexpected purchases. These could delay the closing process. The process can last 30-45 days, which gives you time to prepare and pack for your new home.
The night before, you will be excited, you will be scared and you most likely will have cold feet. But during these dark hours of wonder don’t forget the reason you started this process in the beginning. You will have a home of your own!
To read our previous blog, click here.