The Buying Process
The Buying Process
You always come first! Whether you're buying your first starter home or a luxury estate, you will receive the same white glove service from us, which includes access to our top tier attorneys, lenders, inspectors, accountants, service professional and contractor professionals!
At The Dick Barr Group @ Village Realty, we take pride in the way we work with our buyers. We understand that buying a home can be an overwhelming process, and that’s why we make it our mission to put your needs first. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best possible service, whether you’re purchasing a starter home or a luxury estate. We are always available to you for any questions you have, but better than that we are proactive in our communication with you every step of the way. Dick has developed a comprehensive communication plan that delivers timely information to you from your agent every step of the way. Dick feels if you have to ask, we haven't done our job.
In addition to our white glove service, we provide access to top tier attorneys and home inspectors, lenders, contractors and other service professionals who we have vetted and work closely with on a regular basis. Our service professionals that we refer know the importance of our relationship and how much care and attention we expect them to provide. Better still, these are all professionals who we can get a hold of on their personal cell phones in case of emergencies that may arise so we can handle any issue promptly and to your satisfaction.
Our goal is also to educate you on the entire buying process, so you can make informed decisions about your short and long term financial goals. We strive to get you not only the perfect home but also the best possible price. We go above and beyond for our clients, from finding you movers and home insurance to dropping off pizza on moving day. When you choose to work with us, you’re choosing a team that truly cares about your well-being and success.
The Buying Process
- Select a REALTOR to work with: We strongly recommend you not go this alone. There are so many things to consider when buying a home, that having a reliable, knowledgable, trustworthy agent is the best tool you have to help you get what you want and need.
- Get Preapproved for a mortgage: Getting preapproved for a mortgage is an essential step in the home-buying process. It is important because it not only helps you understand your budget and the maximum amount of money you can borrow, but it also shows sellers that you are serious about buying their property. Preapproval provides you with a written confirmation from a lender that you meet their specific requirements for a loan, such as income, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. This puts you in a better negotiating position with sellers and lets you act quickly when you find a property you want to purchase. Additionally, preapproval can help you avoid disappointment and heartache by ensuring that you don't fall in love with a home that you cannot afford. Overall, preapproval gives you peace of mind, empowers you to make informed decisions, and sets you up for a smooth and successful home-buying experience.
- Find Time for Viewing Properties: Making time to view properties in a fast-paced and competitive market is essential if you want to find your dream home. With so many buyers competing for limited inventory, it’s important to be flexible and available for viewings as soon as possible. This may mean adjusting your work schedule or setting aside time on weekends to attend open houses or schedule private showings. It’s also important to work with a real estate agent who understands the local market and can provide you with access to properties as soon as they become available. In a competitive market, properties can sell quickly, so it’s important to act fast and make an offer if you find a property you love. Remember, finding your dream home requires dedication, persistence, and a willingness to make time for viewings, but with the right mindset and support, you can successfully navigate a fast-paced and competitive real estate market.
- Find Your Dream Home: Finding the home of your dreams is a journey that requires patience, dedication, and a clear understanding of what you want. It’s important to start by identifying your needs and wants, such as the location, number of bedrooms, outdoor space, and other important features. From there, it’s important to work with a real estate agent who can help you navigate the market and find properties that meet your criteria. You may also want to attend open houses and do your own research online to get a better sense of what’s available in your price range. Remember, the home of your dreams may not be perfect, so it’s important to prioritize what matters most and be willing to compromise on some features. Finally, don’t rush the process. Finding the perfect home takes time, but with the right attitude and support, you can turn your dream home into a reality.
- Select a Real Estate Attorney: Selecting a good attorney is crucial for a smooth and successful real estate transaction. An attorney can help you navigate complex legal issues, review contracts and ensure that your interests are protected throughout the process. While there are many attorneys to choose from, it’s best to use your agent’s referral. Your real estate agent works with many attorneys and can recommend one that specializes in real estate transactions and has a proven track record of success. By using your agent’s referral, you can save time and ensure that you are working with an attorney who understands the nuances of the local market and can provide you with personalized service. In addition, using an attorney recommended by your agent can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal, which can lead to a smoother and more successful transaction overall. Ultimately, selecting a good attorney is an essential step in any real estate transaction, and working with an attorney recommended by your agent can help ensure that you have a positive and stress-free experience.
- Make an Offer: Writing an offer on a home is an exciting step in the home-buying process. It means that you have found a property that you love and are ready to take the next step towards making it your own. Writing an offer requires careful consideration of the property, the market conditions, and your own financial situation. It’s important to work with a real estate agent who can guide you through the process and help you put together an offer that is both competitive and meets your needs. Once the offer is submitted, the waiting game begins, which can be both nerve-wracking and exciting. There is a sense of anticipation and hope that the seller will accept your offer and that you can move forward with the next steps of the home-buying process. Overall, writing an offer on a home is an exciting experience that can be both challenging and rewarding, and with the right support, can lead to the purchase of your dream home.
- Offer Accepted: Getting your offer accepted on a home is a thrilling moment in the home-buying process. It means that the seller has agreed to your terms and that you are one step closer to making the home your own. The feeling of excitement and relief that comes with having your offer accepted is unparalleled, and it’s often the culmination of weeks or even months of searching for the perfect property. Once your offer is accepted, the next steps of the home-buying process can begin, including inspections, appraisals, and closing. It’s important to work with a real estate agent who can guide you through these steps and ensure that everything goes smoothly. Overall, getting your offer accepted on a home is a moment of excitement and joy, and it’s the beginning of a new chapter in your life as a homeowner.
- Schedule Home Inspection: Scheduling a home inspection is an essential step in the home-buying process. A home inspection provides you with valuable information about the condition of the property, including any potential issues or repairs that may be needed. It can also help you identify any safety concerns that may need to be addressed before you move in. By scheduling a home inspection, you can make an informed decision about whether to move forward with the purchase of the property, negotiate repairs with the seller, or back out of the deal altogether. It’s important to work with a reputable home inspector who can provide you with a thorough and unbiased assessment of the property. In addition, it’s recommended that you attend the inspection in person, so you can ask questions and get a better understanding of any issues that are identified. Ultimately, scheduling a home inspection is a crucial step in the home-buying process, and it can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you are making an informed decision about one of the biggest investments of your life.
- Attend Home Inspection: We always recommend buyers attend the home inspection because it gives you the opportunity to ask questions and get a firsthand look at any potential issues that are identified during the inspection. By attending the inspection, you can get a better understanding of the condition of the property and what repairs or maintenance may be needed. It also allows you to build a relationship with the inspector, who can provide you with valuable advice and insights about the property. In addition, attending the inspection can help you prioritize any repairs or improvements that may be needed after closing. Overall, attending the home inspection is a critical step in the home-buying process, and it can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have a comprehensive understanding of the condition of the property you are considering.
- File Loan Application with Lender: Filing a mortgage application after getting under contract means that you are formally applying for a loan to purchase the property you have agreed to buy. This is typically one of the final steps in the home-buying process, and it involves providing detailed information about your income, credit history, and other financial information to the lender. The lender will then review your application and determine whether you are qualified for a loan, and if so, how much you are eligible to borrow. Once your application is approved, you will receive a commitment letter outlining the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, monthly payment, and other important details. It’s important to work with a reputable lender and provide all of the necessary documentation in a timely manner to ensure a smooth and successful closing. Overall, filing a mortgage application is a critical step in the home-buying process, and it can help you secure the financing you need to purchase the home of your dreams.
- Deliver Earnest Money: Earnest money is a deposit made by a buyer when submitting an offer to purchase a property. This deposit shows the seller that the buyer is serious about purchasing the property and is willing to put money down to demonstrate their commitment. Typically, earnest money is held in an escrow account until the transaction is closed, at which point it is applied towards the down payment or closing costs. If the sale falls through due to issues with the property or financing, the earnest money may be returned to the buyer. However, if the buyer backs out of the deal for reasons not covered in the contract, the seller may be entitled to keep the earnest money as compensation for taking the property off the market. Overall, earnest money serves as a way for buyers to demonstrate their seriousness and commitment to the transaction, while also protecting the seller in the event of a failed sale.
- Give Notice to your Landlord if necessary: If you are a renter and looking to purchase a home, it's important to give notice to your landlord as soon as possible. This is because you may need to provide a notice period before vacating the rental property, and failing to do so could result in losing your security deposit or even facing legal consequences. Additionally, providing notice to your landlord in a timely manner can help you maintain a positive relationship with them, which can be beneficial if you need a reference or if you need to rent again in the future. Lastly, giving notice to your landlord can help you plan your move and ensure a smooth transition from renting to homeownership. Overall, providing notice to your landlord is an important step in the home-buying process and can help you avoid any potential legal or financial issues down the line.
- Don't Spend Extra Money until after closing: When you're in the process of buying a home, it's important to be mindful of your spending habits and avoid any unnecessary expenses. This is because taking on additional debt or making large purchases can negatively impact your credit score and your ability to qualify for a mortgage. It's also important to keep in mind that buying a home involves more than just the down payment and mortgage payments. There are also closing costs, moving expenses, and potential repairs and renovations that may be necessary. By avoiding additional expenses during the home-buying process, you can help ensure that you are able to comfortably afford your monthly mortgage payments and the additional costs associated with homeownership. Overall, being financially responsible and avoiding extra expenses can help you secure a successful and stress-free home-buying experience.
- Do not apply for new credit: When you're in the process of buying a home, it's important to avoid applying for new credit or taking on any additional debt. This is because new credit applications and increased debt can negatively impact your credit score and your ability to qualify for a mortgage. Lenders evaluate your credit score and debt-to-income ratio to determine your creditworthiness and the terms of your mortgage. Applying for new credit can signal to lenders that you are taking on additional debt, which can increase your risk of defaulting on your mortgage. Additionally, new credit applications can temporarily lower your credit score, which can impact your ability to qualify for a mortgage with favorable terms. Overall, avoiding new credit applications and additional debt is an important step in the home-buying process and can help you secure a successful and stress-free home purchase.
- Do not make large cash transactions with your bank: When you're in the process of buying a home, it's important to avoid making large cash transactions with your bank. This is because large cash transactions can raise red flags and potentially delay the closing process of your home purchase. Banks and lenders are required to follow strict regulations to prevent money laundering and fraud, and large cash transactions may be subject to additional scrutiny. Furthermore, banks may require documentation and explanations for large cash deposits or withdrawals, which can slow down the home-buying process. Instead, it's best to use a check or wire transfer for any large transactions associated with your home purchase. This can help ensure a smooth and timely closing process and minimize any potential delays or complications. Overall, avoiding large cash transactions is an important step in the home-buying process and can help you secure a successful and stress-free home purchase.
- Do not buy anything new on credit: When you're in the process of buying a home, it's important to avoid buying anything on credit. This is because new credit purchases can negatively impact your credit score and your ability to qualify for a mortgage. Lenders evaluate your credit score and debt-to-income ratio to determine your creditworthiness and the terms of your mortgage. Any new purchases on credit can increase your debt-to-income ratio and make it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage. Additionally, new credit purchases can temporarily lower your credit score, which can impact your ability to qualify for a mortgage with favorable terms. It's best to avoid making any new credit purchases until after your home purchase has closed and your mortgage has been secured. Overall, being financially responsible and avoiding new credit purchases is an important step in the home-buying process and can help you secure a successful and stress-free home purchase.
- Review Inspection Report: When you're buying a home, it's important to review your inspection report to ensure that you're making an informed decision about the property. The inspection report provides a detailed overview of the home's condition, including any defects or issues that need to be addressed. Reviewing the inspection report can help you understand the true condition of the home and identify any potential red flags before finalizing the purchase. This information could be used to negotiate repairs or a lower purchase price with the seller, but not always as this is very market dependent. Additionally, reviewing the inspection report can provide valuable insight into the future maintenance and upkeep of the property. Overall, taking the time to review and understand the inspection report is an important step in the home-buying process and can help you make a confident and informed decision about the property.
- Speak with Attorney and Agent about your inspection report: After receiving your inspection report, it's important to seek the opinions of your attorney and realtor. They can provide valuable insight into the condition of the home and help you understand the implications of any issues or defects identified in the report. Your attorney can review the report from a legal perspective, ensuring that there are no issues that could impact the transaction or result in future liability. Your realtor can provide advice on negotiating repairs or a lower purchase price with the seller based on their experience and knowledge of the local real estate market. By seeking the opinions of your attorney and realtor, you can make an informed decision about the property and ensure that your interests are protected throughout the home-buying process.
- Review HOA Documentation if applicable: When buying a home that is part of a homeowners association (HOA), it's important to thoroughly review the HOA documentation. This includes the bylaws, rules and regulations, financial statements, meeting minutes, and any other relevant documents. By doing so, you can gain a clear understanding of the HOA's responsibilities, fees and assessments, restrictions on property use, and other important factors that may impact your ownership and enjoyment of the property. It's also a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney or HOA consultant to ensure that you fully understand the implications of the HOA documentation before making a purchase.
- Put your closing date on your calendar: Putting your home closing date on your calendar is a good way to stay organized and ensure that you're prepared for the big day. However, it's important to understand that the closing date can change, often due to unexpected issues that arise during the home buying process. These can include issues with financing, title searches, or home inspections. To account for this, it's a good idea to build in some flexibility to your plans and be prepared to adjust your schedule if necessary. Additionally, it's important to stay in communication with your real estate agent, attorney, and lender throughout the process to stay informed about any potential delays or changes to the closing date.
- Order Appraisal: When buying a home, a buyer orders an appraisal through the lender to ensure that the home's value is accurately assessed. The lender requires an appraisal to determine the fair market value of the property, which is used to calculate the maximum amount of financing that can be offered to the buyer. The appraisal is performed by a licensed appraiser, who evaluates the property based on its size, condition, location, and comparable sales in the area. This information is used to determine an accurate and unbiased estimate of the home's value.
- Start Packing and Calling moving companies: When buying a home, it's common for buyers to start preparing for their move by packing up their belongings and calling moving companies for quotes. This allows them to get a better idea of the costs involved in the moving process and to start planning their budget accordingly. It's important to keep in mind that the actual cost of moving can vary depending on several factors, including the distance of the move, the amount of belongings being moved, and the services required from the moving company. It's a good idea to get quotes from multiple moving companies and to compare their services and pricing before making a decision. By starting to pack early and getting quotes from moving companies, buyers can stay organized and prepared for a smooth and stress-free move into their new home.
- Get Insurance Quotes: When buying a home, it's important for the buyer to protect their investment by obtaining homeowner's insurance. One of the first steps in this process is to call insurance companies for quotes. Homeowner's insurance can cover a wide range of risks, including damage to the home and personal property, liability for accidents on the property, and natural disasters such as floods and fires. By calling insurance companies for quotes, the buyer can compare policies and pricing to find the best coverage for their needs and budget. It's important to consider factors such as the level of coverage, deductibles, and any additional endorsements or riders that may be needed. Obtaining homeowner's insurance is an important step in the home buying process, as it provides peace of mind and financial protection in the event of unexpected events or accidents. When obtaining a mortgage, it is also a bank requirement that the property is insured.
- Get Your Down Payment Ready: The down payment is the initial payment made by the buyer, typically expressed as a percentage of the purchase price, and is required by the lender as a condition for approving the mortgage. Depending on the loan program and the buyer's creditworthiness, the typical down payment can range from 3% to 20% of the purchase price. It's important for buyers to start gathering the money for the down payment as the lender will require proof of available funds as one of their conditions of approving the loan. Sources of funding include personal savings, gifts from family members, or down payment assistance programs.
- Start Planning for Address Changes with Institutions you do business with: When buying a home, it's important to start planning for an address change with the institutions you do business with. This includes notifying your bank, credit card companies, employer, insurance providers, and any other institutions that send you important mail. By updating your address with these institutions in advance, you can ensure that you receive important information and documents at your new address, and avoid any delays or missed deadlines. It's also a good idea to make a checklist of all the institutions you need to notify, and to start updating your address as soon as possible to avoid any last-minute rush. By proactively planning for an address change, you can ensure a smooth transition to your new home and avoid any potential disruptions to your finances or other important aspects of your life.
- Work with lender clearing mortgage conditions: When obtaining a mortgage to buy a home, the lender may require certain conditions to be met before finalizing the loan. This can include providing additional documentation, clearing up discrepancies in credit reports, or resolving outstanding debts. It's important to work closely with your lender to understand what conditions need to be met and to ensure that they are cleared as soon as possible. Clearing conditions is a critical step in the loan process, as it can impact the timeline for closing on the home. By staying in communication with your lender and providing any required documentation promptly, you can help ensure a smooth and timely closing. It's important to ask questions if you don't understand a particular condition or if you need additional information, and to be proactive in addressing any issues that arise. Working with your lender to clear conditions is a key part of the home buying process, and can help ensure that the loan is finalized on time and with as few surprises as possible.
- Contact utility companies to setup new service: When buying a home, it's important to contact utility companies to establish new service at your new address. This includes setting up accounts for electricity, gas, water, internet, and any other necessary utilities. It's a good idea to contact these companies as soon as possible, ideally a few weeks before the move-in date, to ensure that service is established by the time you move in. In some cases, utility companies may require a deposit or credit check, so it's important to be prepared for these requirements. It's also a good idea to take note of any utility providers in the area that offer discounts or special promotions for new customers, as this can help save money on monthly bills. By contacting utility companies to establish new service at your new address, you can ensure that your new home is fully operational and ready for your move-in.
- Notify Your job of new address: When buying a new home and moving to a new address, it's important to notify your employer of the change. This ensures that your employer has up-to-date contact information for you, which is important for sending important mail, tax forms, and other work-related correspondence. Additionally, your employer may need your new address for payroll purposes or to update their employee records. It's important to notify your employer as soon as possible, ideally a few weeks before the move, to give them adequate time to update their records. This can help avoid any potential delays or complications related to payroll or other work-related matters. By notifying your employer of your new address, you can ensure that they have accurate contact information for you and that your work-related affairs are in order.
- Request Change of Address form from the Post Office: When buying a home and moving to a new address, it's important to request a change of address form from the post office. This form allows you to redirect your mail to your new address, ensuring that you continue to receive important correspondence and documents from government agencies, financial institutions, and other sources. The change of address form can be requested online or in person at your local post office branch. It's important to submit the form as soon as possible, ideally a few weeks before the move-in date, to ensure that mail is redirected in a timely manner. Additionally, it's a good idea to notify any regular correspondents, such as friends and family members, of your new address, to ensure that they have the correct information for future correspondence. By requesting a change of address form from the post office, you can help ensure a smooth and uninterrupted transition to your new home.
- Notify Doctor's offices of address change: When buying a new home and moving to a new address, it's important to notify your doctor's offices of the change. This ensures that your medical records are up-to-date and that your doctors have accurate contact information for you. It's important to notify your doctors as soon as possible, ideally a few weeks before the move, to give them adequate time to update their records. This can help avoid any potential delays or complications related to scheduling appointments or receiving important medical information. Additionally, it's important to ensure that any prescription medications or medical equipment you require are available at your new address, and to make arrangements for any necessary medical care in your new location. By notifying your doctor's offices of your new address, you can help ensure that your medical care continues uninterrupted and that your doctors have accurate contact information for you.
- Arrange for a wire or cashier's check for your down payment for closing: When buying a home, it's important to arrange a wire transfer or a cashier's check for the funds you need to close. This typically includes your down payment, closing costs, and any other fees associated with the purchase of the property. It's important to ensure that the funds are transferred in a timely manner, at least 1 day before closing, to ensure that the transaction is completed on schedule. However, it's important to be aware of wire fraud, which can occur when hackers intercept wire instructions and redirect funds to a fraudulent account. To prevent wire fraud, it's important to always verbally confirm wire instructions with the title company before ever sending a wire. This can help ensure that the wire instructions are legitimate and that the funds are transferred to the correct account. Additionally, it's important to be cautious of any email or phone requests for wire instructions, as these may be fraudulent. By taking precautions to prevent wire fraud and verifying wire instructions with the title company, you can help ensure a smooth and secure transaction when buying a home.
- Attend the final walkthrough with your agent: Attending a final walkthrough before closing is an important step when buying a home. This allows you to inspect the property one last time before closing and ensure that any repairs or issues have been addressed. During the final walkthrough, you should check that all appliances are in working order, that there is no damage to the property, and that any agreed-upon repairs have been completed. It's important to take your time during the walkthrough and to be thorough in your inspection. If you notice any issues, you should bring them to the attention of your real estate agent or the seller's agent as soon as possible. This can help avoid any potential delays or complications during the closing process. By attending a final walkthrough before closing, you can help ensure that the property meets your expectations and that you are ready to move forward with the purchase.
- Close: Closing day is an exciting and important day. On closing day, the buyer will meet with their attorney at the title company to finalize the purchase of the property. Since COVID, it is common that sellers and their attorney do not attend the closing. The buyer will need to bring a cashier's check or proof of a wire transfer for the funds required to complete the purchase, as well as any necessary documentation, such as a photo ID. The buyer will review and sign a variety of legal documents, including the loan documents and the deed to the property. Once all documents have been signed and all funds have been paid, the buyer will receive the keys to their new home. It's important for the buyer to review all documents carefully and ask any questions they may have before signing. By taking these steps, the buyer can help ensure a smooth and successful closing day and begin enjoying their new home
- Move: Self Explanatory
- Relax: Self Explanatory
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