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By Judy Cerra | Agent in 18505
  • How do I Start the Process of Buying my own Home?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Scranton  |  November 21, 2010 1:40 PM  |  562 views  |  No comments
    First, always start with an experienced Realtor. One that will be loyal to you and guide you in the home buying experience. Home buying is a process. There are steps you must take in order to have a stress-free home buying experience.

    1. Get Pre-approved. Your Realtor can refer you to a few trustworthy and reliable lenders. A good Realtor will assist you in contacting lenders if you feel intimidated by the process of being pre-approved.

    2. Start Browsing. A licensed Realtor will have unlimited access the MLS (Multi-List-Service). Your Realtor will set up parameters according to your wish list, for example how many bedrooms, baths, school district, price range and more. The homes active on the market will come right to your email, the first day they are on the market, this way you won’t miss out on any property. The more parameters you add, the more limited your automatic feed. Remember, a Buyer’s Agent is no cost to a buyer, agents get paid when they actually find you a home….by the seller.

    3. Once pre-approved, your Realtor will take you house hunting. Nine is the average properties that you will see with your Realtor before you put an offer on a house. It’s a good idea to drive by the properties you pick out prior to contacting your Realtor to see them, this way you can rule out ones that are not appealing to you due to factors such as size of yard or such.

    4. Once you and your Realtor have found your ideal home in your price range and style, it’s time to make an offer. Your Realtor will guide you through this process. You’ll need earnest money, monies for a house inspection, and an array of other costs, including an appraisal fee. You will meet with your Realtor to sign a sales agreement which will start the actual purchase process.

    5. The earnest money (can be as little as $1000) check is written out when you submit an offer. Your Realtor will complete the sales agreement according to what you want to offer and your Realtor will deliver the agreement and the $1000 check to the listing agent. If price is agreed upon between buyer and seller, the earnest money check gets cashed into the listing Brokers escrow account, cashed but not spent. Remember, this does affect your checking balance, but it doesn't get spent…..this $1000 gets deducted from your mortgage when you are at closing (generally 45 days from accepted offer). If buyer and seller do not agree on the price the check gets shredded/or returned to you and never gets cashed into the listing Broker's escrow account.

    6. Inspections are not mandated but highly recommended. Inspections, as stipulated by your sales agreement, need to occur within a specific time period. Otherwise, a buyer will be obligated to purchase the home as is.

    7. Mortgage commitment will specified in the sales agreement and will typically occur within 30 days of an accepted offer. This is when you will closely with your lender to finalize your lender/mortgage agreement.

    8. Down payment at Closing. There are several types of loans. Down payment for FHA is 3.5% or Conventional 5%...this amount is due at closing (45 days after we have an accepted offer). Another name for closing is settlement date.

    To sum up, a buyer will need the $1000 to make an offer, and the down payment 45 days after the offer is accepted, generally either FHA 3.5% or Conventional 5%, plus additional banking costs such as appraisal, and home insurance for their new property.

    9. Stick by your Realtor, keep in contact, be accessible and more importantly, be sure your Realtor is accessible. Time is of the essence in Real Estate.


    10. You don’t need to be pre-approved to go to an open house. You can go to an open house any time you like!


    Let's get together and talk about your home buying and/or selling plans. Call me or text me on my cell (570) 903-5846, or send me an e-mail at

    JudyCerra@verizon.net. We'll set-up a time that is easy and convenient for you to meet. I’m very reachable and will guide you through the home buying and selling process.

    Judy Cerra, Realtor

    Clarks Summit, PA

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