John Morgan, Realtor

Steps to Buying a Home

Buying a home for the first time can be a scary endeavor. However, it is one of the most important investments you can make, especially with rates at all time lows!

1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Any mortgage lender can do this. It does NOT lock you into using that particular lender. It is just a service they provide with the hopes that you will use them when the time comes. The lender will ask questions about your income, debt, employment, and other matters related to your finances. Almost instantly, if they get all of the financial information that they need, they can give you a ballpark price range for what you can afford. If you need names of lenders, I can give you the names of lenders I have worked with in the past who I know and trust.

2. I can create a customized search for you on the internet. The great thing about technology today is that I can set up a search for you that is as specific as you want it! I have access to databases of homes that are only available to realtors and are extremely detailed in the information they provide. For example, you can specify only houses with 2-4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a garage, a backyard, a particular school district, and many other things if you want. Once I set up the search, you will receive an email with a link to a list of properties that fit your criteria. You will also receive a few emails a week related to that search as soon as new listings hit the market or when there is a price reduction in one that you have already received!

3. Pick out which homes you want to see. From the lists of homes that are emailed to you, choose some that you want to see. It is best to start with 4-5 houses. If you see many more than that in one day, they will usually start to run together. Of course, if there is a limited amount of time, we can look at as many houses as you need to see!

4. Prepare to make an offer. When you find one that you want to buy, we will prepare to make an offer. I will do more research on comparable properties, prior sales prices, etc.This will help us determine an appropriate price to offer for the property, with all the information. Once we have decided how much to offer, I will coordinate with you, the lender, and a closing attorney to draw up an offer that has everything the way you want it.

5. We submit the offer with a “due diligence period” of 7-14 days. This gives you time to get an inspection, get your financing squared away, etc. You can terminate or rescind your offer any time during that due diligence period. The closing date is usually set for 30-45 days out.

6. The seller will usually make a counter-offer.

7. We will usually counter back.

8. They will usually accept the offer, and we put the house “under contract.” Sometimes, they won’t accept and will want to do another round of counter-offers.If we cannot reach an agreement, we go back to step 3 or 4 and try again, or even back to step 2 to adjust your search.

9. Once you have the house “under contract,” you will immediately schedule an inspection. I can give you the names of 3-4 inspectors, if you don’t know any. The cost is usually between $350-550, depending on the size and style of the house. However, this is some of the best money you will spend. It will help you to know if you want to buy the house for sure. It will tell you what kind of repairs need to be made, and it will help us in our negotiation for repairs.

10. At this point, you will get the loan process moving forward with the lender. I will forward the lender the contract as soon as I have a copy signed by all parties! The loan officer will start processing the loan. They will need you to provide W-2s, income verification, and other important financial documents at this point. 

11. After the inspection, if needed, we will ask the seller to make some repairs. The seller may agree to do that or not, and they usually only will address issues that are safety issues or code violations. Typically, they don’t do anything about cosmetic issues. Usually, the seller, working with their agent, has priced the house taking those things into consideration. All inspections turn up some issues, but usually they are minor. If there is anything major, we would ask for concessions to cover the issue or terminate the contract.

12. Once the contract is out of the due diligence phase (the inspection period), your main work will be to help get the lender anything they need in order to keep the loan process moving forward.

13. You check with the attorney / lender to find out exactly how much money you will need to bring to the closing.

14. We close on your new home.

15. You move in and start paying a mortgage instead of throwing away money on rent!

Buying a home is a huge investment, probably one of the best you will ever make, but it can be a scary and confusing endeavor. Because of this, I seek to facilitate this important life transition, and to make it as easy and fun as possible for you.

My job as an agent is: (1) To help you find houses that fit your needs and desires (2) To show you houses you like (3) To help determine the price to offer for the house(s) you eventually choose (4) To prepare the legal contract for the purchase of your home (5) To work as the liaison between you and the seller, along with the seller’s agent (6) To coordinate the details of the process and help you with the paperwork, the lingo, and the logistics of this very important purchase.

I think it helps people to understand that I work very hard throughout the process (this is my full-time job) and my pay does not come until the very end, at the closing. In fact, I am paid nothing until you find a house and close! The good news for you, the buyer, is that 95% of the time, you don’t pay me anything – the seller pays the commission out of their profits from the sale! I promise to work hard for you throughout the process, because in the end, I genuinely want you to find a house that you love, where you will be happy!

John Morgan
Park Realty

Cell: 770-655-9423