After deciding whether to have a real estate professional assist you in your purchase, the next step would be speak with a lender to obtain a preapproval letter. You will need a preapproval letter to attach to your offer when presenting it to the seller. On cash purchases, this is not necessary. Next step is to sit down with your agent, review your CMA, and begin drawing up your purchase agreement. Your negotiations could be as simple as an acceptance of your first offer (rare, although has happened) but more than likely will consist of multiple counter offers between buyer/seller. Let's assume after several counter offers, you now have an accepted offer. You'll now have 48 hrs (2 business days) to provide the listing firm with your earnest money check. An earnest money check normally consists of 1% of the purchase price. This check will be deposited into the listing firms escrow account. You'll later see this credited back to you at closing, on your settlement statement.
As soon as all parties have accepted the terms of the purchase, any timelines stated within the contract will now begin. You'll want to first provide your lender with a full copy of the purchase agreement, ensure you've fulfilled all requirements of your loan application, and you may need to lock your interest rate. For most, financing is needed in buying a home, and it's important to get all financing items addressed at the onset of the purchasing your new home. The lender may need 30-45 days to complete your loan process before granting you a "clear to close" so time is of the essence when it comes to addressing this step.
You'll now review your contingencies within your purchase agreement. The most common are home inspection, appraisal, financing, review of covenants and restrictions (if neighborhood has HOA), and homeowners Insurance. It's important to pay attention to the agreed upon time frames. For example, if the agreement allows 10 days after acceptance to respond in writing to the home inspection, and the buyer responds within 14 days without an agreed upon extension of time to respond (as an example), seller doesn't have to entertain said buyers inspection response, as the inspection response window was exceeded by 4 days. Let's say you make it through all conditions of your purchase agreement and the lender has now given you a clear to close. This means you've completed all their requirements and they are prepared to provide the title company with your closing package. After all parties accepted the settlement statement, you are ready to head to the closing table. Beware, your hand may be sore after signing your name excessively on all the closing docs but it will be well worth it. You would have just purchased yourself a home!
I hope my answer assists you in your next steps into purchasing a home. If you are still looking for a realtor to represent you, please feel free to contact me at 317-590-3434. I would love the opportunity to be considered when interviewing agents.
Century 21 Diversified
F.C. Tucker Company
The Marie Souza Team - Top Selling on Cape Cod
Cape Cod Real Estate Services
You can register here http://www.marchantteam.com/102/271 or read about buying homes under the Buyer Category at http://www.myfishersblog.com
I hope to hear from you soon.