Home Buying Process
The first step to buying a home is to understand your buying power and establish a price range. A mortgage lender can help evaluate your financial standing and provide a pre-approval. If possible, selecting a locally based Texas lender is preferred (quick, online approval type companies have a reputation of falling through so listing agents often doubt the true financial ability to close when presented with a prequalification letter from these type of lenders). A full preapproval from a local lender as opposed to a prequalification is best. The lenders will review your income and credit history to determine how much they can lend you, which will help you determine the price range for your search. A preapproval letter must be attached to any offer being made.
The Home Search
We will need to get together to discuss your wants and needs in a home. Then I will put together a Home Search Portal for you where you receive automated email alerts when new properties hit the market that fit your criteria. You will be able to mark “favorites” on your search portal which I can see too. As your REALTOR®, I will also search for homes on your behalf. When you find a home that you like, we'll schedule a showing tour for you to preview the property in person. It is best to text me if anything looks good enough to run out and see, so I don’t delay in setting up appointments as needed.
Making An Offer
When you're ready to move forward with a purchase, I will advise you on constructing the strongest offer possible. Then we will draw up the necessary paperwork and send to you via Docusign for signing (or bring to you in person if preferred). There is a lot to consider when making an offer. We'll discuss the purchase price, the closing date, time lines, and any special stipulations for your particular purchase. Once an offer is submitted, the seller may accept, reject or counter the offer.
Going Under Contract
If your offer is accepted, you will be officially under contract. The purchase will not be complete until closing, but the home cannot be sold to anyone else while the contract remains in effect. At this point, you will make an earnest money deposit and option fee payment to the title company. You will work on securing your mortgage loan and locking in your interest rate. You will typically have a 3-7 day option period (depending on the number of days negotiated in contract). During the option period, you can terminate the contract for any reason but you will forego your option fee paid.
Inspecting the physical condition of your next home is a vital part of the home-buying process. You will hire a licensed home inspector who will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the entire property and report any problems with the condition of the home's structure or systems.
Your lender will arrange a professional appraisal of the home. An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the true (or fair market) value of a home and is conducted by an independent third party. The appraiser will confirm the appraisal value of the property for all parties involved. If the home appraises at less than the expected value, you may have the option to terminate the contract.
The Final Walkthrough
Prior to closing, we will conduct a final walkthrough of the home to ensure that the home is in the same (or better) condition as when the original offer was made. We also want to ensure that the seller has removed all personal property and that any non-realty items negotiated to stay are left in the home.
Time to celebrate! Your lender will provide a final closing disclosure that summarizes the loan terms, monthly payments, taxes, and other costs associated with the closing. They will also confirm that you are clear to close, and you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete your purchase and loan agreement at the title company . Once the paperwork is signed by all parties and your loan is funded, the title company will let us know that we are officially closed and funded and then you will receive keys. Now you can move into your new home!