How To Buy Real Estate | NaborsNorris Real Estate
When taken one step at a time, the buying process is actually quite simple. However, you can waste much of your valuable time (and often times that of others) if you do not take the steps necessary in the correct order. Let’s review the basics.
Step 1 – Obtain a loan pre-approval from a legitimate mortgage professional BEFORE you do anything else. In so doing, you learn two valuable pieces of information. First, you learn your credit score which is by far the most critical piece of information used to evaluate your creditworthiness. In the vast majority of cases, you can IMPROVE YOUR SCORE significantly within a short period of time with little effort. Allow our mortgage partner, Anchor Funding, to run their Credit Analyzer Tool for you and provide you with specific “to dos” that will lead to a better interest rate on your loan!! Second, you understand how much house you are able to qualify for so you don’t waste your time looking at property you can’t afford. We can’t stress these two prerequisites enough!
Step 2 – Identify WHERE you want to live based on what is most important to you. Whether you want to be close to work, in a certain school district, in one of a few specific subdivisions, within walking distance to shopping or nightlife, in close proximity to friends or family, WHATEVER is important to YOU!! Many resources exist on the internet that allows you to research school and neighborhood information and such. Chances are good that you can find something that meets your needs within that geography. Remember the most important rule of real estate….location, location, location!
Step 3 – After steps 1 and 2 are complete, then and only then can you move to Step 3. Now it is time to define what you MUST HAVE in your new house. Examples are the type of architecture, the construction materials used (brick, stucco, concrete siding), style (ranch, multi story, basement), minimum number of bedrooms and baths and their locations, date of construction, size of property, type of yard, etc. Your real estate consultant can assist you in this process. You must complete this before moving to Step 4.
Step 4 – Define your WANTS which are much different than your needs!! Remember, very seldom are you successful in getting everything you need, much less want.
Step 5 – Set up an automatic search within the multiple listing services that automatically alerts you to available properties that meet your needs in the geography you have selected. Through your personal client gateway you can keep your consultant apprised of what you like and dislike and together you can begin to filter the potential houses to a manageable list.
Step 6 – Once you have found a property that meets your criteria, look at it on Google maps to determine its approximate location relative to major streets or within the neighborhood. You can even take a satellite view to determine if it is on a corner or a cul-de-sac! If all meets your criteria, drive by the house, tour the neighborhood, look at the swim/tennis club if appropriate, notice the adjacent houses, and assess the overall condition of the neighboring houses. Are there any that are FSBO…write down their phone number. Can you see yourself living there? If so, proceed to step 7.
Step 7 – Call your Nabors Norris consultant to schedule a showing. of that house and any others that meet your needs within the given geography. Do not tour more than 4 or 5 houses per day (the fewer the better) as they will all begin to look the same. Take notes on what you like and dislike about each house. Take a picture of the front to help you remember. Note those things that you think you would need to change immediately which will cost you money!!
Step 8 – Once you have either found your dream house, exhausted the possibilities, or simply run out of time, whichever comes first, decide on which one you want to present an offer. This is where your Nabors Norris consultant will begin to become invaluable. Allow them to determine what the house is worth and develop a strategy for pursuing its’ purchase. As there may be many factors at play depending on how long the house has been for sale, the seller’s motivation, the time of year, the prevailing interest rates, etc. that strategy could be quite in depth. Seldom does it benefit anyone to attempt to “steal” a seller’s house so a reasonable approach to offer and counter offer is warranted. Rely on your consultant to guide you through this process as they do it every day and know how the process works. They will know what “extras” to request that the seller do and pay for that are oftentimes customary in transactions in our area. They will be able to secure you the best price AND terms possible for your particular transaction.
Step 9 – At this juncture is where you may most need a Nabors Norris consultant as there are pitfalls that can kill any deal in the contract to closing phase. You need to be sure you do not violate any of the timing requirements or terms within the contract lest you put your earnest money in jeopardy. The sales agreement is a legal document and should be treated as such. You must pay particular attention to the dates within the contract which, if missed, can lead to a breach of the contract. When you engage Nabors Norris, your consultant will have a contract to closing plan specific to your transaction with important date milestones included that will not allow you to miss critical deadlines that could invalidate the contract if missed. Also, the Inspection Amendment will need to be addressed in order to negotiate a workable solution between both you and the seller. This is often a very traumatic time in the process and must be given appropriate consideration. In our opinion, the Contract to Closing phase is when a competent real estate consultant is invaluable to as you prepare to purchase a very valuable asset.
Step 10 – You have now arrived to closing day, the day that should be celebratory. However, without the proper preparation, it can be stressful. You will be required to confirm the terms and conditions of your loan, execute many documents regarding your loan, make decisions as to whether owner’s title insurance is something you want to secure, learn about the foreclosure process in your state, decide on how you want to take title to your property, deal with any discrepancies in the HUD settlement statement, sometimes wonder what in the world you are doing, and finally deliver some of your hard earned money to the closing attorney so he can affect the closing of your loan. As a side bar, the closing attorney represents the bank, not you or the seller and therefore cannot dispense legal advice.
It is our intent at Nabors Norris to be your support throughout this process, particularly in those areas where and times when you need us most. Coupled with our strategic partners, Anchor Funding and Harlan and Associates Attorney’s at Law, and sufficient expectation management, we feel confident that your experience will be pleasant and stress free.