A Buyer's Guide
So, you’re ready to purchase a home. Before you start calling sellers to look at homes, you first want to get some things in order. If you want to be considered as a serious and ready buyer, you need to find a lender and get pre-qualified. Being pre-qualified will help you find out what you can afford and equip you with a pre-approval letter. Often, sellers will not allow a showing if you do not have this taken care of. Need to find a lender? You can sign up with Vidulist and choose from our hand-picked lenders. Plus, Vidulist is free for buyers.
After you’re pre-qualified, you’ll want to search for a home that will fall within the price you’ve been pre-qualified for. The Internet has made it so easy for a buyer to find any house on the market, not just real estate agents. Find the best sites in your area for homes that are listed for sale. Sites like Zillow and Redfin are always great but there are also local sites that can be great tools.
One of the greatest misconceptions about buying a home is that you need a real estate agent to see a home. You can contact the listing agent or the seller of any property on your own to set up a showing. Be ready to provide your pre-approval letter because there’s a good chance they’ll ask to see it. When using online tools, be sure contact the seller or their broker directly, not a broker that is advertising on the website. Look for contact information for the listing agent or homeowner. And remember, you don’t need a broker when you use Vidulist.
Once you’ve seen and decided on your new home, it is time to get the offer together. Prior to submitting the offer find out from the seller what they are planning on including in the sale. This is called inclusions. Sellers often includes the kitchen appliances and sometimes the washer and dryer, or even the theater equipment. Find this out so you can include these details in the offer. If the seller is on Vidulist, there’s no need for this since we’ll ask the seller the right questions. Then you’ll need to ask the seller which title company they have selected and how much earnest money they are asking for. Once you have this information, Vidulist will walk you through the offer step by step.
Now it’s time to make the offer. You will want to make sure your approval letter from your lender is included with the offer so the seller knows you are a solid buyer. With Vidulist, you’ll upload your letter and we’ll take it from there.
Once the buyer receives your offer they can accept—which is ideal, counter your offer or even decline it. If you receive a counteroffer you can either accept the counteroffer or you can counter in return. You can counter back and forth with the seller as much as you would like. Just make sure you keep track of what was countered and what was accepted as any signed counteroffer becomes part of the contract. Worried about keeping track? Vidulist makes this process easy and smooth.
Coming to an agreement is and exciting moment. It is the end of looking for a home and the start of making it yours. When under contract there are a few crucial components to manage.
First is getting the earnest money delivered. Earnest money is an amount that you the you commit to put down showing that you are a serious buyer. This money is held by the title company to make sure the deal goes smooth. Make sure to meet the contract deadlines so you do not lose your earnest money.
Second is the inspection. Hire a professional inspector to go through the home and point out any major problems with it. You’ll take any issues back to the seller and ask them to make some of the repairs pointed out during the inspection. Be sure to keep a level head during the inspection process. This can be a stressful time and it can make you feel like you are buying a money pit. All homes have defects, decide which ones are important to fix and which ones you can live with or fix down the road. On average sellers will give $500-$2,000 in repairs depending on the condition of the home.
After you settle the inspection items, you only have two other items to check off—the appraisal and the loan approval. Your lender handles both of these but you will want to make sure the appraisal is on track to meet the appraisal deadline. You can get updates on this from your lender. The loan approval is also up to the lender but you can keep the process running smooth by getting the lender any information or documentation they ask for within one day. The lending process can be very repetitive and frustrating. The key is to just do what they ask for, no matter how trivial or ridiculous it sounds. You will be much happier that way.
Vidulist gives you the ability to create amendments if you ever need more time for your lender to finalize the loan, or extend dates with the appraiser or inspector. This is a handy tool so you can keep the deal alive but do not abuse it. Use it only when absolutely necessary and always communicate with the seller to keep them in the loop. This will help with a smooth transaction.
Once these items are completed you are ready to close also knows as “clear to close”. You will set up a time with the title company for closing on your new home. The title company is there to answer questions and to finalize all of the closing documents to make sure the process is legal and final.
Taking on the purchase of your home on your own can seem like a daunting task. It will take some time and patience but the money it will save you is well worth it. Take full advantage of the tools that Vidulist offers and your experience will be far less stressful and much more enjoyable. Good luck on your journey to purchasing your next home!