Your purchase of a new home is a very big step! Our goal is to help you find the right home while preserving your valuable time and anxiety. We accomplish this through dedicated and expert agents who are experienced in the local real estate market, knowledgeable in relocation needs, and who utilize the latest technologies. We believe clear and regular communication will keep us both on the same page throughout the entire process.
What are the First Steps?
- Needs Analysis: We discuss the various parameters and specifications you want in your new home. This step is critical to a successful home search. We need to know what type of home you want, the desired location, preferred features and any specific search parameters that will aid us in narrowing the search.
- Timing: You need to decide when you want to move into your new home. This date will control the timing of our research and scheduling of viewings.
- Pre-approval: Most sellers require that you submit a pre-approval letter along with your offer to buy their home. You also need to know how much you can spend on your new home. So an interview with a lender (or lenders if you want to shop for the best loan product) of your choice is a critical component of your home purchase.
Research, Tour Preparation & Viewings
- Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS): We will create a file for you within the MLS system, which allows us to make you aware of all available properties and easily track any new listings as they come in.
- Email: We email listings to you so you can preview pictures and listing information. You then decide if any of the listings are good enough to consider and ultimately visit.
- Viewings: Initially it is necessary that we view properties together so we can get a clearer understanding of your likes and dislikes. If we don’t find what you are looking for after the first two or three visits, we are then in a position to preview listings for you which can save you considerable time.
Purchase & Sale Agreement
- Contract: Once you identify a property you want to buy we will prepare an offer, or contract called a Purchase & Sale Agreement. This document is usually 10-20 pages in length, depending on the number of contingencies that are appropriate for the property you are buying.
- Mutual Acceptance: This is the date that triggers all the deadlines required in the contract. Mutual acceptance occurs when the seller agrees to accept the terms of your offer. Counter-offers are common, so expect the paperwork to pass back-and-forth at least a couple of times. Once everyone has agreed, you have mutual acceptance, or a contract.
- Earnest Money: It is customary when we submit your offer to pay a sum of money as evidence that you intend to buy the home in good faith. Usually, this money is deposited into the closing agent’s (escrow) trust account. This money is ultimately credited towards your purchase. Expect to pay at least 2% of the purchase price as your earnest money payment.
- Contingencies: Most every contract has at least two to three contingencies, the most common being:
a. Finance – Ability to secure loan and appraisal.
b. Title/Insurance – Review of preliminary title and ability to obtain insurance binder.
c. Inspection – Your approval of an in-depth evaluation of the property by an inspector of your choice.
- Close Date: You and the seller agree on this date in the contract. A typical close date is about 30 days after the contract date (date of offer) or mutual acceptance.
Note the Following
- Viewings: During your tour you may want to wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off; most homes require that you take off shoes during viewings.
- Lending: 30 day closings can occur, but due to lending situation probably best to ask for a 35-45 day close.