Checklist to Buying a Home
Get Ready to the Best Buyer out there!
Today is part 2 in my series, “steps to buying a home”, let’s get started.
Hey everyone! Welcome back. It’s Cori you local Realtor with Monmouth County Dream Homes Powered By RE/MAX CENTRAL located right here in Marlboro Township.
If you missed part 1 of this video series you may want to hit pause on this video and watch that first.
So we left off right as you opened that front door and fell instantly in love with a home. Now what????? Remember there are so many steps to buying a home.
Well, now it’s time to make an offer, but how do you even do that? Thankfully the association of realtors here in NJ has more than their fair share of real estate documents. And the best part, 100% of it is all online. Now is the time your agent will review some important information and ask you many questions so together you can get an offer written up and submitted. Some of those topics of discussion may be:
- What do you feel you can and want to offer on the home
- When are you hoping to close on this property
- Do you have a home to sell before you can actually purchase a home
- How much are you thinking of putting down and how much are you hoping to mortgage
- Review what is included in the home and what is not
Keep in mind negotiations can get super stressful. Especially depending on what type of market we are in. Is it a buyers market? A sellers market? Understand negotiations can take only a few hours, but it can take a few days. So don’t panic. Try and relax. If you are a first time home buyer try not to panic or get overwhelmed. A good agent will give extra help to first time homebuyers, trust me on that one!
So negotiations are done, Congrats you are 1 step closer to owning your dream home.
You are now in Attorney Review. Remember we do things here in New Jersey differently than some other states. We all use an attorney to handle our real estate transactions. That is not negotiable. I’m not going to bore you with the ins and outs of the attorney review period, but you may want to watch this video I did to become familiar with the process. Just like some of the other steps when buying a home, this process can get very stressful, but hopefully you are using a fabulous attorney that can handle the process for you! A good real estate attorney is Key. They understand and know how to provide advice for first time home buyers!
Attorney Review has now concluded and you are Under Contract.
So now what? The next few days will be VERY and I mean Very busy. But that’s a good thing right? So much has to get done and done quickly so let me break it down.
Your second deposit will be due, and you need to get that to the attorney or wherever it was decided during negotiations. You will need to set up your inspections and you want to get them done within a reasonable time frame of about a week. If you need some help finding an inspector reach out to your agent, they should be able to guide you. Inspections are a HUGE deal, and I have videos dedicated just to that subject so you can always check those out later!
You will be in constant contact with your lender because now it’s officially time to get those loan docs filed out and off to underwriting. It’s going to feel like they ask for a million documents but they need them, and they need them in a timely manner.
Next up is the appraisal. The lender that you are using to secure your mortgage will order an appraisal. An appraisal is simply an opinion of value of the home. And what’s crazy is this opinion matters. An appraisal is designed to help the buyer from overpaying. A question that comes up all the time is what happens if the house doesn’t appraise. At that point the buyer has a few options. You are able to simply walk away, you can go back to negotiating table and see if the seller is willing to reduce the price of the home. Something to keep in mind depending on what type of market we are in, may determine how a seller will act. I know that right now in Monmouth County, our sellers market is so hot, many buyers are willing to waive the appraisal, meaning if the house doesn’t appraise they’ll have to come up with more finances for the down payment. Me as a realtor, I strongly urge my buyers NOT to go this route. I did an entire video dedicated to the appraisal process, so you may want to check that out!
The inspection report has come back and there are few things on there that are making you a bit nervous. At this point you want to review the findings of the report with your realtor and then your attorney. You will make a list of repair requests and your attorney will send them over. This too gets a bit tricky and stressful, but hopefully both parties are being reasonable and you can come to a mutual agreement. Please keep in mind may deals do fall apart due to inspection issues, so you want to pay close attention to your report, and you really want to try and have the big issues addressed, the minor ones, you can probably handle on your own! Remember this is just another process in buying a house!
Final Walkthrough is up next. You get to walk through the home once the seller has moved out and the house is vacant. You want to be sure the home is exactly as it was when you saw it the first time. You want to be sure no damage occurred when the sellers were moving out. You want to be sure there are no gaping holes in the walls. You want to check to see that the water is running, the appliances all work. You want to be sure that all inspection issues you requested were handled and taken care of. You are basically just doing a final check to be sure all is a ok before you sign those closing documents. If you notice something is NOT right, or you have concerns, relay the information to the attorney so it can all be handled and hopefully closing will continue as planned.
And finally Step 13
CLOSING DAY! Can you believe this day is finally here. Each state does things a bit differently. Here in NJ closings are handled by the attorney. Don’t forget to bring a few important items. You need 2 forms of Id, you’ll need a cashiers check, or a wire transfer. Now you’ll sit for what seems like forever signing off on your closing docs. Closing takes roughly an hour give or take depending on the type of mortgage you are taking etc.
Once the paperwork is signed, and there is confirmation that the wire transfer is complete you are officially a homeowner. Be proud of what you have accomplished. The buying process is not easy. Celebrate this big moment and get ready to start the next chapter of your lives.
So there you have a rundown of the steps to buying a home. If I wasn’t clear on any certains steps or you have additional questions or you want information on buying or selling here in Monmouth County, just reach out! I”m always here to share information all about Real Estate, Monmouth County and Marlboro Township! I will see you next monday!