Know your credit score
. Click the link to obtain a free credit report. Now is the time to dispute any inaccuracies and work on
repairing your credit
and improving your score.
Request a mortgage Pre-Approval
to get an idea of what you can comfortably afford.
Do your research on communities of interest
. Please feel free to
request a Neighborhood Kit
for local information.
Do your research on various school districts
if schools are important. I have included website links to obtain reports comparing school statistics but feel free to go directly to a school district office for specific information and concerns or special needs that you might have.
Know your time frame to move. If you're not planning to move for 3 months or longer, you can view current listings online to get an idea of prices for various home sizes in different areas. To start going out looking at homes now, you will be tired by the time you actually need to look and will make the process more stressful. If you are ready to move within the next 90 days, now is the time to start working with a Buyers Representative (new in NY State as of 1993) who will be Your advocate and work only for you the buyer. Quite often they may know of homes about to come on the market or that are temporarily off the market but are available to be shown. These homes are ones that you wouldn't otherwise see doing research on your own.
Now you've found the perfect home and it's time to make an offer
. If you contact the agent for the seller directly to make an offer---remember they are the Sellers Agent--NOT your advocate. By law they can not give you guidance as to pricing and terms as Sellers Agents DON'T represent your interests and their fiduciary duty is to obtain the highest price possible for the seller. If you are working with your own Buyers Representative, that person will negotiate for you the best possible price and terms in YOUR best interest.
With your offer you will most times be required to submit a current written mortgage Pre-Approval letter
. This can be obtained from any lending institution without making a mortgage application and committing yourself to obtain a mortgage from that institution.
Your Offer has been Accepted.
If haven't already done so, chose a local Real Estate attorney who is familiar with the local laws and the way transactions are handled in the area that the home is being purchased. Your agent can provide several reputable attorney names for you to interview.
Arrange an inspection of the property
usually within 24-48 hours unless you have waived inspections as part of your offer. If you don't know of any, your realtor can provide you with several licensed NYS Home inspectors for you to contact. **** Remember that in NY since there is no Binder at the time of an Accepted Offer, the home will continue to be shown until contracts are signed. Therefore to do things expeditiously is in your best interest.
Research various lenders and chose a mortgage lending institution
. Between the time of Accepted Offer to contract signing, you will need to make a final decision about which lending institution you will use to obtain your mortgage.
Time to sign the contract
Inspections are completed, discussions about any repairs have been resolved, now it is time to sign the contract and place your deposit with the sellers attorney who then puts it in Escrow until the closing. *** Discuss with your attorney****
File your mortgage application.
Once you receive the fully executed contracts, send a copy to the mortgage lender you have chosen and you are on your way. The mortgage lender will then advise you what other documents they require. Check with your attorney if there are time frames built into the contract to obtain your mortgage committment letter.
is ordered by your attorney to ensure that the property title is clear of liens and easements to the property and free to be sold by the sellers.
Property Appraisal (Bank Appraisal)
is requested by the mortgage company. This is to verify that the propertiy's value can justify the amount of the moprtgae requested. Be aware that if the property DOESN'T appraise at a value as high as the Accepted Offer and the bank won't provide the mortgage amount originally discussed, you could negotiate the difference with the seller or if the seller doesn't want to lower the Accepted Offer you may be required to pay additional cash at the closing to make up the difference. This at times has become a deal breaker and most sellers are willing to be flexible rather than lose the sale and start all over again.
Final Walk through
. Once you receive your mortgage committment letter and a closing date has been set the last thing to be done before the closing is the final walk through with your agent either the day of the closing or just before--but after the seller has moved out. You will want to check all appliances, look for any thing that may have been damaged when the seller moved out and ensure that everything that was to have been left, has in fact been left. Conversely, make sure that everything that was to have been cleaned out & removed actually was or else it could be your expense. Items that come up at the final walk through will be discussed at the closing table and credits can be given at that time. Speak up or forever hold your peace!
Congratulations....here are the keys to your new home!
All of the information about buying a home can be overwhelming.
When you're ready to to start looking for YOUR dream home,
To Request more information
Margot Friedlander - ABR, SRES, e-PRO