Got any questions?
Buying a home is making a commitment to a place, a property, and a price. Understanding the process before you “fall in love” with a home will help you know what to expect from your agent, from the seller’s agent, and from the financial institution you will work with.
Our goal at Blackstream® | Christie’s is to provide the guidance and expertise you need to move forward with confidence and excitement. And to know that we are with you every step of the way.
- Do some preliminary online searching. Check
prices of homes in the areas you’re interested in.
- Take care of the budget. Use an online mortgage calculator to determine what your monthly mortgage payment would be if you were to purchase one of these homes you’ve found online. Make some additional estimates for utilities and see if this fits into your budget.
- Get pre-approved. To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll need to get some paperwork ready: pay stubs, W-2s, bank account statements, tax returns for the past two years, credit lines, and names and addresses of your landlords for the past two years. Start with your current bank, but make sure you check out competitor banks as well – you might get a better mortgage loan rate by shopping around. Also, consider the amount your lender approves you for as a maximum – this is by no means what you should spend.
- Find an agent. A Blackstream® | Christie’s real estate agent will help you navigate the process every step of the way.
- Look at homes. Be patient at this stage. Your Blackstream® | Christie’s real estate agent may show you a variety of homes to get your reaction on features they think you’ll like. Give your agent detailed feedback and be honest about the features that are “must haves” in your search. Sometimes, this process can take a long time—so be patient. Also, make sure you let friends and family know you’re looking for a new home--you may even find out about an amazing home before it hits the market.
- Make an offer. Once you’ve found a home that is right for you, you may want to move quickly. Your Blackstream® | Christie’s real estate agent will guide you on a reasonable first offer to start negotiations based on market conditions. Also, make sure you consider closing costs which could account for 2-5% of the home price.
- Negotiate. Prepare to go back and forth with the seller a few times on price and selling conditions. Your Blackstream® | Christie’s real estate agent will be your advocate. Their job is to get you, their client, as much as possible for your money while being fair and respectful to the seller and their real estate agent.
- An accepted offer. Pop the champagne! If you reach an agreement, you’ll make a deposit to an escrow account to show good faith. There is a period of Due Diligence (the seller takes the house off the market with the contractual expectation that you’ll purchase the house allowing time for an inspection per the terms of your contract). Check with your agent for specific details on what Due Diligence involves for this property.
- Do a home inspection. Even if the home appears to be flawless, there’s no substitute for having a professional inspector review the property for the quality, safety, and general condition of your potential home. You don’t want to be surprised with a home that needs a lot of unexpected repairs. If your contract specifies a Due Diligence period, be mindful of the dates in order to complete the inspection or any other requirements during that period. Your Blackstream® | Christie’s real estate agent can guide you through this process.
- Closing. When your negotiations with the seller are successful, you should be ready to close. At your closing, you’ll spend a little over an hour signing lots of paperwork and then will be handed the keys.
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