Finding the right Realtor is paramount. Websites, local businesses and personal referrals are great ways of finding the right agent to represent you. Most importantly, make certain your Realtor is someone you communicate and work well with throughout the transaction. It is imperative that you feel supported and have peace of mind that he or she will look out for your best interests during the purchase of your home.
Once you have met with a Realtor and discussed agency and representation, you will discuss your home buying goals. This will include a number of determining factors such as area, price range, rural or city, size and type of the home, school districts and more. Your Realtor will ask you to rate importance on a scale of 1-10 on all of these decisions. There are many fantastic homes and understanding what is most important to your family before you start the search, will help you make crucial choices later on.
Your Realtor will advise you to meet with and choose a lender before you search for homes. This will accomplish two very important things. First, it will provide the capital you need to buy your home. Secondly it will help determine the correct price range and for how much you will be approved. If you are looking in a certain price range and are approved for a different amount, it could cause challenges in the transaction later on. It is imperative that you are approved up front so the home of your dreams is becomes a reality.
After meeting and choosing your lender you can start looking at homes. This is often the most fun part of the transaction, aside from the actual closing. You can search the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), your Realtor’s website or other home specialty sites to find and sort through homes that meet or do not meet your criteria. Your agent will partner with you and will also send you home possibilities. The search for the right home is always a team effort.
The duration of the viewing process is autobiographical. It will vary based on your daily schedule, the availability and location of the home and your Realtor. Once you find “the one” it will be time to make an offer.
Your Realtor will conduct market research, advise you on the details and discuss the entire offer process. Many factors are considered in determining a fair price to offer on the property. Contract option fees and Earnest money fees are customarily discussed at this time. Advise you on the Details fair offer.
Contract negotiations begin at this time as the seller and buyer determine what they are willing or are not willing to do to finalize the transaction. Your Realtor will represent your wishes and help you communicate to the seller using promulgated forms that adhere to Texas law. Your Realtor should have expert negotiation skills and a clear understanding of the contract terms.
Once negotiations are finalized, it’s time to determine the physical state of the home. Homes of all ages may or may not have defects or historical repairs. It is critical that the buyer review all disclosures on property that is being considered. A professional inspection should be ordered to determine the extent of repairs needed, if any on the property. Structural, Mechanical and Termite are all examples of typical inspections.
If you are using a lender, they typically require an appraisal of the property. The lender’s appraiser will use comparative property market research and property condition to determine the value of the property. This ensures that the lender is loaning money for a solid asset.
Once approved, the title company becomes involved. The title company is a neutral third party that, for a fee, holds all the documents and funds in escrow, and ensures that all parties get what they say they want, or points out where differences lay so the parties can resolve them. The closing is scheduled.
Once signed, the title company sends the documents back to the lender for funding approval. In this process, the lender confirms that all instructions to the title company were followed, and approves disbursement of the funds to the seller.
The title company, once funds are received, reviews the file to verify that all instructions are clear and consistent, and that all parties are in agreement.
The title company then disburses funds strictly per written instructions. The next day, they record all the legal documents that have been executed, and record a conveyance on all old liens. Once the new loans (and the grant deed in the case of a purchase) have been recorded, the loan and the escrow are considered closed.