The Buying Process

Initial Meeting Pre Qualify View Properties The Offer Offer Response Inspections Appraisal Closing

Step one: Initial Meeting

Today, with services like this web site to help you to find properties listed for sale – you may ask, “Do I need a Realtor to represent me”?  You do!

There are eight steps to buying a home. Step one - finding the home you want to buy, may be the easiest!  The next seven steps require a very specific set of skills, talents and experience. A qualified Realtor at The Partner Network (TPN) has these skills and will guide you through the entire process.

When you hire a TPN realtor to assist you in your purchase, they represent your interests in the transaction - and 99.9% of the time, the seller pays your agents fee.

At the initial meeting with your TPN Realtor, the discussion will center on working together, the availability of your time to view property, your comfort level for the monthly mortgage payment, how you prefer to communicate with your agent and the steps you must take before and after you find that perfect property.

Step Two: Pre Qualify

Immediately after your initial meeting, your TPN Realtor will begin to work with lenders to get you Pre Qualified for a loan. You may work with one or more banks or mortgage brokers, depending on the type of loan you will require and based on your financial and credit status.

There are several goals here – to obtain a mortgage at the lowest possible interest rate (and points), with the lowest possible closing costs. You will choose the lender and mortgage terms that fit your needs. You must be certain the monthly loan payment, taxes and insurance are within your budget.

After you have successfully negotiated for a property and you are ready to file your loan application with your lender – then you will need to gather the necessary financial documents. At this time you will receive a “Truth in Lending” statement that projects the cost and terms of your loan.

Step three: View Properties

Your TPN Realtor will set up a customized “property search profile” for you that will identify properties that have the principal characteristics that you want. If you have internet access, properties that are a match will be sent to you each day, as they come on the market.  If not, your Realtor will call you.

As you receive these new listings, review them immediately and “drive by” the ones in which you have an interest. Call your TPN Realtor when you find one that you want to view – and a showing will be set up at a time of your convenience.

Your Realtor will be monitoring the properties that you receive. If they learn of a property that is a particularly good value – they are likely to call you immediately and urge you to view the property. Occasionally a property gets on the market that is under priced – that property is likely to have offers on it within a day or two (sometimes hours). You need to see these properties as soon as they are called to your attention.

Step four: The Offer

When you have found the perfect property – we will assist you with writing the offer. We prefer to do this at one of our offices to avoid distractions. You will need a check for the deposit and a copy of your pre-qualification letter from your lender.

We will review the property details and the disclosures made by the seller that reveal any possible “negatives” that the owner may be aware of. We will discuss the asking price of the property; determine how long it has been on the market and what the asking price has been on previous listings. We will also present you with “comparables” – like properties that have recently sold in the area, to help you determine what the value of the property may be.
Your offer will be presented to the seller’s Realtor for presentation to the seller.

Step five: Offer Response

Response to your offer by the seller may be in any one of three forms: (a) the seller accepts your offer as presented (b) the seller may reject your offer outright – this usually occurs when an offer is substantially below the true market value of the property OR conditions were asked for that the seller cannot, or will not meet (c) the seller counter-offers your offer by changing the price, or other condition in the offer to one that is acceptable to the seller

Depending on which response the seller chooses, you are now in a position to discuss the options you have with your TPN Realtor. You have a limited time to respond to the seller’s counter-offer.

At this point you will again review the current market value of this property (as established by comparable sales) and formulate your next move. Your TPN Realtor is experienced at crafting and presenting second offers for a property – an invaluable service.

Step six: Inspections

Upon acceptance of your offer by the seller, you will immediately order your property inspections - most of which you will be conducted at your expense. These inspections may include any of the following: structural, pest, radon, water quality and quantity, septic, lead, heating-plumbing & electrical.

It is absolutely essential that you have these inspections done by professional contractors. Items needing serious repair or “code violations” can be reported to the seller and in many instances the seller will be willing to make these repairs - at the seller’s expense - prior to closing.

There are very tight timelines in the process of asking the seller to make repairs or correct code violations. Your TPN Realtor is fully aware of how these negotiations are conducted and the procedures to follow to protect your interests. If the inspections demonstrate that the property is not worth the price you offered (because of the repairs) – you may withdraw from the transaction without penalty.

Step seven: Appraisal

Upon the satisfactory completion and resolution of your inspections, your lender will hire an appraiser to establish the current market value of the property. The appraisal must equal or exceed the price that you and the seller agreed upon or, the lender will not approve your loan.

If the appraised value of the property is less than the agreed upon selling price, your TPN Realtor will take you back into negotiation with the seller to attempt to gain price concessions, bringing the “selling price” for the property down to it’s appraised value.

If the appraisal is satisfactory, your Realtor will then transmit all documents to your attorney and the attorney for the seller. The attorneys will coordinate a closing date and your attorney will begin a “title search” on the property. Your attorney will determine if there are any liens or encumbrances that would in any manner restrict your use or enjoyment of the property.

Upon obtaining a “clear title” your attorney will coordinate the closing date with the seller’s attorney and advise you and your Realtor of that date.

Step eight: Closing

Closing day is great fun, and a lot of work. Usually, on the morning of closing day, you and your TPN Realtor will do a “walk through” of the property. We are checking to see that all repairs have been done, that the property is “broom clean” and that nothing has been removed from the property that should have conveyed with the purchase.

When you reach your attorney’s office, you will spend one to two hours reviewing and signing documents. Your attorney will explain every document to you. You will be required to purchase “title insurance” – this is insurance that protects the lender’s equity in the property in the event a faulty deed surfaces in the future. Your attorney will offer you the opportunity to purchase title insurance for your equity in the property. We strongly recommend that you make this purchase.

While your TPN Realtor plays no role in the closing, having transferred all of the necessary documents to the attorneys earlier – they will be at your side, ready to answer any questions that may be asked. THEN WE CELEBRATE!