Home Buying Process

  1. Identify the amount of down payment that you have available and make sure to equate for closing costs and pre-pays.
  2. Get pre-approved through a mortgage lender or bank to find out the amount you are qualified to borrow so that you can shop within your price range/ask for closing estimate.
  3. Choose your agent and discuss all the specifications that you would like to have on the property, be careful to list the must haves vs. the wants.
  4. Sign the agency disclosure form, which helps clarify that the agent can provide assistance and representation as your agent.
  5. Get ready for the house tours! Now you’ll be able to tour properties that fit your search criteria with your agent.
  6. Once you find the one, then it’s time to review the seller’s disclosure and lead paint disclosure (if built pre-1978).
  7. Now, it’s time to submit an offer, possibly using the form provided by your agent or drafted by a real estate attorney, if you choose to use one. (Attorneys can cost on average between $500-$1,500).
  8. Meet with your agent to write the offer to purchase the property and make sure to bring a blank check for the first deposit check to bind the offer, the deposit check is typically between $500-$1,500 and will be held in an escrow account.
  9. Once offer has been accepted by the seller, if you have a property inspection contingency then you will set up an inspection to inspect the property for any material defects and other issues, typically within 10 days, which ranges on average between $300-$700 depending on the size of the property and if there are out buildings. Optional tests, if desired, Radon test, which averages between $100-$200. If the property is serviced by a well then having a water quality testing is also recommended, which can be anywhere from free to $100.
  10. Once the offer has been finalized and signed by both parties, it’s recommended for buyers to visit the town hall and look through the property folder at the conservation commission, building inspectors office, and board of health to check in on all permits and information on the property.
  11. If any major issues show up during property inspection possibly renegotiate, or if nothing major then move on to the next steps.
  12. The agent will fill in the details on a purchase and sale agreement (P&S), which will outline the terms of the purchase in further detail. The P&S can also be drafted and reviewed by an attorney, if you’re using one. In addition, the second deposit is also submitted with the P&S, which is typically 2%-5% of the purchase price and will also be held in escrow until closing.
  13. Make sure to fill out formal mortgage application within 1-2 days of signing of the purchase and sale agreement (P&S) with the mortgage provider.
  14. After the formal mortgage application, the mortgage company will send out an appraiser the property, within 15-30 days.
  15. The bank will also conduct a title search to make sure the property is free and clear of all liens and encumbrances and the seller has clear and marketable title, within 15-30 days.
  16. Once everything is processed, the mortgage company will issue you a commitment letter which is the bank’s notification to you that they are fully committed and ready to issue the funding to close the deal.
  17. It’s highly suggested for you to conduct a final walk-through within 24 hours before closing to ensure the property has no issues.
  18. Attend the closing and make sure to bring any required checks and get ready to sign all the required paperwork and the deed will be filed with the registry.
  19. Make sure to get all keys, garage door openers, warranty information, instruction manuals and alarm system passwords.

CONGRATULATIONS! The property is officially yours!
Don’t forget to recommend your agent to your friends and family.

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