The Buying Process
Below is a step by step process that will lead to a successful home purchase.
Establishing the Criteria for Your New Home
We will begin by discussing what you are looking for in your new home. Where do you want to live, what size house, how many bedrooms, do you want a large yard, are schools important? How about a condo or a townhouse? Before we start the search, the goal is to narrow down the criteria to focus on finding you just what you need.
Being a native St. Louisan and having raised my children in Chesterfield, I have an intimate knowledge of the local markets and look forward to helping you find your dream home.
If you need lending for the purchase of your property, you will need the assistance of a mortgage specialist. The specialist will pre-qualify you for a home purchase by doing a credit check, review employment history and determine how much you have as a down payment.
Through this process you will learn the budget for your purchase, what your monthly mortgage payments will be and what tax credits or rebates that may exist for you. Knowing your budget will help to narrow the search.
Most importantly, being pre-qualified for a mortgage shows sellers that you are a serious buyer and provides credibility when presenting an offer on a house.
This part is where the fun begins. Possibly you have already found some houses that you’d like to preview. By using the criteria that we established earlier, I may be able to find additional properties that may be of interest. We will narrow the list of homes and then head out to view them. I will get your feedback of the homes and we will analyze what is the best fit. If you feel that we need to keep searching that is what we will do.
Making an Offer
Your dream home has been found. Now is the time to act (so that another buyer does not have a chance to make an offer before you do) and make an offer to purchase. We complete paperwork including the Contract of Purchase and Sale. We include in the offer: the price you are willing to pay, the earnest money (deposit) you are putting up, when you want to close, other terms and conditions. Also included are any contingencies such as the need to sell your home, mortgage approval, items in the home that you would like included in the sale, etc.
Typically, when your offer is submitted it goes through the seller’s agent who has listed the property. The seller and their agent will review your offer and provide a response. The seller can either: accept the offer, reject the offer, let us know if there are other offers on the property or as often happens, make a counter offer. A typical counter offer will include different price, an adjustment to move-in dates and/or inclusions/exclusions.
This process can go back and forth a few times. The final goal is the reach an accepted offer.
Congratulations, we have an accepted offer. You and the seller have come to an agreement on the terms and conditions of a contract.
Now the deposit is due, which is usually 1%-5% of the purchase price (the deposit amount is negotiated in the previous step). The deposit is normally held by a neutral third party and escrow company.
Prior to the closing date, about 7-10 days after the offer is accepted, you will want to have a home inspection. Depending on the size of the home and amenities, an inspection costs $400-$800. The inspector will thoroughly go through the property looking for any problem areas that need to be addressed. Any areas that need maintenance can be negotiated towards the final selling price and/or the seller can offer to fix these areas. These maintenance concerns can be addressed in a number of ways.
I absolutely recommend having a home inspection; it is money well spent.
In almost every home purchase, your lender will require an appraisal to determine the value of the property. The appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the fair market value of a home. It is an objective way to assess the home’s market value to ensure that the money being lent to the borrower is appropriate. An appraisal typically includes recent sales of similar properties, the location and current condition of the property. Appraisals costs are usually included in your lender closing costs and run about $350-$550.
Usually on the day of closing, you will sign the documents which transfer the title of the property and also the mortgage documents. This process can take at least an hour to go through all of the forms.
Insurance and Utilities
You will want to make sure that your home is insured by the possession date (the lender will require this step). Additionally, you need to arrange for the utilities (electric, phone, gas, water, internet, cable, etc.) to start on your possession date.
Closing and Possession Date
Under most circumstances the buyer takes possession of the house on the closing date. I’ll be sure that the title has transferred and hand you the keys to your home.
Let’s Stay in Touch
Should you need anything I’ll be here for you, even after the sale. I want to be sure that everything is going well. I’m available to answer questions that you may have as you settle in.
If you want to discuss looking for a home in Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, Ladue, Town and Country, Wildwood, Frontenac, Clayton or anywhere in the St. Louis metro area, feel free to contact me.
Call Marilyn Salzman today! (314) 878-1011