Here’s a generalized idea of how the process works
1. Get Prequalified for a mortgage.
2. Meet with your agent to discuss your needs and qualifications.
3. Research Homes / have your agent send you listings, and have your agent advise you about the particular details of properties that you like.
4. Make a list of properties to view, share them with your realtor and they will set up showings (ideally, all within a few hours).
5. View Properties and take good notes. Properties tend to run together if you view several.
6. Rinse and Repeat, view more properties until you decide on one.
7. Discuss an offer for your agent to write-up. Your agent will discuss the parts of the contract. Your agent can estimate your payment very accurately.
8. Negotiate back and forth with the seller, through your agent.
9. Once all parties agree to the terms, you are officially Under Contract. From this point until closing is about 30-40 days, in a normal situation.
10. Your Lender and Real Estate Attorney are sent the contract immediately. Your lender will contact you within 24 hours, normally.
11. Have your agent schedule inspections.
12. Perform home inspection and termite inspection. We typically have 10-14 days to do so. The cost of this can run from $275-500, and must be paid at time of inspection.
13. Discuss inspection findings with your agent, and have your agent type up a request for repairs to send to seller’s agent, if necessary.
14. At the same time as inspection period, your Lender will be requesting documents. DO NOT DELAY ON GETTING THEM WHAT THEY NEED!!!!!
15. Once we come to agreement with seller on repairs (if needed), your Lender will order an Appraisal. Some lenders require you to pay for the appraisal up front ($400-550). This takes about 7-10 business days to complete.
16. Should the house not appraise for the purchase price, we will have the right (in most cases) to either ask the seller to reduce the price, or to terminate our contract.
17. The last 2 weeks of the waiting period prior to closing is called Underwriting. This is where the bank issuing the loan (and then the 3rd party insuring the loan, ie: USDA, VA) is looking through your credit file, financials, employment record, housing records, etc. to determine a final approval or denial. AGAIN, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU GET THE LENDER ANYTHING SHE NEEDS ASAP DURING THIS TIME. This period can become quite frustrating. Stay patient. Often, the underwriter will ask for additional documents, or new bank statements or pay stubs.
18. Once we have a clear to close, or final approval, you will receive a Closing Disclosure Statement (CD, for short) from your lender for you to look over the final numbers in the transaction and sign off.
19. A day or two before closing, we will do a final walkthrough on the property to check the condition.
20. At the same time, you should go ahead and contact the Power and Water Utility companies to schedule service. Keep in mind, some water companies need your closing documents, so you have to go in person after closing to get service started. Also, some require deposits.
21. Get moving.