What to expect when buying a home



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Greenville NC Realtor Frank Fields

There has never been a better time to buy a house in U.S. history!  Based on record low interest rates, depressed home prices in many markets and a *Housing Affordability Index at a record high in the first quarter of 2012 according to the National Association of Realtors®, if you are thinking about buying a house, what else are you waiting for?  Many buyers are anxious about future economic uncertainty and may be waiting to purchase a home until prices and interest rates go even lower.  As a result, many will miss out on this incredible “Buyer’s Market” which can rapidly shift to a “Sellers Market” due to scarcity of quality inventory.  Many buyers are unsure where to start or what to expect when buying a home.  That’s why we provide all our clients with a checklist to help them know what to expect through each phase of the home buying process.
Pre-Purchase
* Discuss with your REALTOR® what you are looking for in a Home such as; Price Range, # Bedrooms & Baths, Size,  Location, etc.
* Buyer will Talk with Lender and complete Pre-Qualification Process
* Sign “Working With Real Estate Agents” & “Buyer Agency Agreement” with your REALTOR®
* Begin to receive Listings to consider by email & online searching, open houses etc.
* Discuss Listings with your REALTOR®  to refine search and identify prospective properties
* Schedule to view possible properties of interest
Once you’ve identified a home you would like to purchase
* Your REALTOR® will complete a Market Analysis to determine the appropriate selling price range
* Review & sign Offer To Purchase & Contract and other required documents, to be submitted by your REALTOR® to the Seller’s Agent complete with checks for Earnest Money &/or Due Diligence Fee.
Once your Offer To Purchase has been negotiated & accepted you will be “Under Contract”
* Professional Services Disclosure authorizes your REALTOR® to order all necessary inspections & services such as; Home Inspection, Pest / Termite Inspection, Septic Inspection, Schedule Closing with Attorney, Well Water Inspection, Home Warranty, Survey, Insurance, etc.
* Buyer will process formal Loan Application with Lender
* Buyer’s REALTOR® will review all inspection reports with Buyer.  If appropriate Buyer’s REALTOR® will present a “Due Diligence Repair Request” to be agreed upon by Seller prior to the end of the Due Diligence Period
* Buyer will contact appropriate Utility Companies to arrange for new service on Closing Date
* Lender will order property Appraisal
* Buyer’s REALTOR® will receive a “Preliminary HUD-1 Closing Statement” from Closing Attorney before the day of Closing and will review fees & charges with Buyer
On Closing Date*
* Buyer and all parties on the Contract will meet at Attorney’s office to sign appropriate documents such as; Loan Documents, Deed, Deed of Trust etc. (documents may be signed & overnighted by out of town clients)
* Buyer will bring a CERTIFIED CHECK payable to Closing Attorney for all itemized Closing Costs due at closing such as Loan Fees, Down Payment, Title Search & Attorney Fees, and Inspection Invoices etc.
* Attorney will Record Transaction at County Courthouse which officially transfers property ownership to Buyers.
* Buyers will receive keys and can begin the process of moving into their new home!
As a REALTOR® in this market for over a decade, I can attest to the fact that EVERY transaction is different.  While this checklist helps our clients be prepared for “what to expect”, having an experienced Real Estate Professional working for you each step of the way reduces stress, costs and helps ensure a smooth & successful home buying experience.     
*The National Association of REALTORS®’ Housing Affordability Index is based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate.

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