Can some one explain to me how the home buying process works from a buyer's angle?

Asked by Ad, Ellicott City, MD Wed Aug 26, 2009

Can some one explain to me how the home buying process works? Once I put an offer on a house, can i change my mind later? How many days do I have to do that?

What can I do so that I am not trapped once I make an offer. I have no intension of making an offer and then walking way from it. But I guess I am just nervous about the unknowns.

Can someone explain to me what are the steps and their timeframes and when do I get locked in ?

Thanks.

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16
Tammy Durbin, Agent, Mount Airy, MD
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad,

The first step in the process is to get qualified by a mortgage consultant. They will talk with you and ask you what you want your monthly payment to be. The mortgage consultant will go over your monthly income before taxes and divide it by your total monthly debt to come up with your ratios. Once you are qualified an agent would pull up listings in your area for you to take a look at. Take your time and get to know the market and see what homes are out there. When you look at several homes in your area you will know what you like and don't like. Once you decide on a home your agent would pull up comps (homes that have sold in the area) to see what price you should put your offer in at. Once you put a contract in you should have it contingent on a home inspection. If your contract is accepted you would usually have 7 days to perform an inspection to make sure everything is in working order. You would pay for this but it is in your best interest to have one. The inspector checks roofs, electrical, heating, plumbing etc. If something is found you can go back to the seller and ask to have it fixed. If they don't want to fix it you go move on with the contract or remove your offer. Just take your time and really look at all homes in your market place. Now is really a great time to buy since interest rates are really low and if you are a first time homebuyer you get an additional $8,000 back on your taxes. This is real money you can use on anything you want. What could be better. Good luck and if you need any help feel free to call or email me anytime. tammyd@longandfoster.com or 240-405-3118.
Web Reference:  http://tammydurbin.com
2 votes
John Hurly, Agent, Columbia, MD
Thu Aug 27, 2009
It appears that other agents have already answered your concerns. to simplify:

As with anything you sign, you are responsible once you put an offer in writing. Of course there are ways to get out of a contract, for example, loan not approved. Therefore, fist and foremost, get approved by a reputable loan officer. Next, shop around until you find the place that meets your needs. Possibly have two desired properties in case your first choice doesnt work out.

First, loan approval, next find property that meets your requirements, have your representative negotiate best price and terms, meet at the settlement table happy with your purchase. Let me know if I can be of assistance.

regards,
john
1 vote
Darlene Deca…, , Severna Park, MD
Wed Aug 26, 2009
1. Find an agent.
2. Get qualified
3. Find a home you wish to purchase. & qualify to purchase.
4. Put an offer in, contingent on
Getting a mortgage (you can lock your rate 60 days out)
A home inspection
There can be other terms written into the contract
5. If the seller accepts your offer you can still withdraw if you find something wrong with the house during the home inspection provided you put that into the contract.
6. Provided everthing goes right you will settle in 60 days
Call me I will go over everything with you on a one to one basis. It is very scary for a first time home buyer and you need to trust the person who will be representing you.
Darlene DeCapite
410 5070963
Web Reference:  http://darlenedecapite.com
1 vote
Tina Beasley, Agent, Saint Augustine, FL
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad,

First of all you need to find an agent that you are comfortable working with that will have your best interest at heart. Once you find a property that you like and put in a contract, you have a lot of rights as a buyer. You have the right to have a home inspection and negotiate any repairs. Of course, the depends on your contract. You also have other rights such as getting any Homeowner's Association documentation and looking it over before you are completely locked in. You have 5 days to review that information and have a right to be released from your contract if there is something in those rules and regulations that you cannot live by.

I am holding a first time buyer seminar soon in conjunction with a local lender. If you are interested in attending, just give me a call at 443-243-1832. I believe that you will get a lot of great information at this seminar and should help you feel more at ease about buying your first home.

Tina Beasley
Associate Broker
Real Estate Professionals, Inc.
Web Reference:  http://www.tinabeasley.com
1 vote
Brian Pakulla, Agent, Ellicott City, MD
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Once the seller signs the contract and all signatures line up, then you have what is considered a "ratified" contract. From that point it depends what stipulations/contingencies you put into your contract. If you bought a home within a homeowner's association (HOA) and you have not received the HOA docs (or info provided by the MHAA), upon receiving the docs you will have 5 days to cancel the contract for any reason (7 days for a condo). If you put a home inspection contingency in, it can allow for you to cancel the contract for any reason after receiving results of inspection. The Howard County Addendum allows 2 business days for canceling due to zoning issues.

If you are nervous, it is just another reason to hire a great buyer's agent to work on your side. Let me know if I can help you further.
Web Reference:  http://123move.net
1 vote
Cher Varnum-…, , Ellicott City, MD
Mon Aug 31, 2009
Hello again Ad. I am a buyer's agent and live and work in Ellicott City. I am familiar with the entire metro area. Check out th einfo on my website and see if you can't use some additional help. All my best, Cher
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Locate a buyers agent who is willing work with you

You need qualified for a loan and lender statement instructs Realtor how assist you in your home search .

Buyers agent will take you thru each step without overwhelming you.

GREAT QUESTIONl
National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lynn911
Lynn911
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Marney Kirk, Agent, Towson, MD
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad,
The process is a detailed and sure, a scary one. Your best bet is to first find a REALTOR who will do a full buyer counseling session. This takes about an hour - 2 hours and you can learn the entire process from beginning to end. It can be very reassuring to understand the process before you really get into it.
Then, you will want to get preapproved for a loan so you know what you will be able to afford, and what may be your best bet in terms of buying a home.
But most importantly, if you are wanting to take advantage of the first time homebuyer tax credit, you need to do all of this very quickly so you don't miss it, as loans can take 45-60 days to close, bringing you very close to that Nov. 30 deadline.
Please let me know if I can be of further service.
Sincerely,
Marney Kirk
Keller Williams Excellence Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.realtormarney.com
0 votes
Nellie Arrin…, Agent, Columbia, MD
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad, the quick answer is that once you have a ratified contract on a property -- you have signed everything and the seller has signed everything -- you are (to use your word!) "trapped." That's the nature of any contract.

Bigger answer -- as those before me have said -- you need an agent who will spend time with you in a personal pre-purchase counseling session that maps out the entire process and gives you a personal timeline that achieves your goal of buying a home.

I've just been working with a buyer who tried to work with 2 other agents before a friend of hers referred her to me. It was immediately obvious the other agents had shown her houses only by opening the front doors and letting her wander through. She was really paralyzed by the unknowns, and both agents had actually yelled at her for asking questions. Now, she and I have worked hard together so she knows how to look at a house, and what to expect of the process. She'll probably make an offer on something tonight, and I'll explain every piece of the contract forms so she'll know what's coming, and be comfortable with her decision.

This is a big purchase, you have every right to be nervous, and you also have every right to find a great buyer's agent who will explain the process to you in detail so there are few, if any, unknowns. Feel free to use my website at http://www.MarylandHouse.com for more answers, and to contact me directly if you have more questions.
0 votes
Barbara Novi…, , Howard County, MD
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad,

Every buyer's experience is unique. I find that tailoring consultation to the unique needs of every client serves them best. I have done Buyer Representation for many years.

While Forums are a great place to get high level knowledge, when it comes to buying a home, you need to "Come into the Office". THAT's where you will get the best source of information for your specific homebuying needs. Give me a call and set up an appointment. I'll be happy to share my many years of professional experience with you.

Barbara
0 votes
Frank Dolski, Agent, Lahaska, PA
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad,
It looks like Tammy has given you some very good advice! As previously mentioned, a Maryland Agent would know best!

Good Luck! It is a great time to buy!

Frank
0 votes
George Belle…, Agent, Ellicott City, MD
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Hi Ad,

All of these answers basically say the same thing.... working with a professional will help you navigate this process, and there are several excellent agents in the area who have already answered. My first meeting with a buyer takes an hour,and that is just to talk about what you are looking for and what the process entails.

Each step in the process requires much discussion and explanation. You ned to work with someone experienced, whom you trust to help you. And please remember that the first-tome buyer credit will likely end on November 30th, so if you want to take advantage of that, time is of the essence.
Web Reference:  http://www.headforhome.net
0 votes
Greg Kinnear, Agent, Ellicott City, MD
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad

It sounds like you have lots of questions about the home buying process. An experienced, local agent will be able to guide you through your concerns and layout a very clear and understandable timeframe under which the real estate transaction will flow. My Team and I hold monthly home buying seminars that detail the home buying process. This seminar would be a great place for you to learn more about the process.

http://www.teamkinnear.com/custom4.shtml

Click on or cut and paste the link above in your browser for more details. We would be more than happy to help!

Greg Kinnear
Re/Max Advantage Realty
Columbia, MD
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad,

People that work directly with a real estate professional enjoy a much higher level of security when it comes to purchasing and selling homes.

Our recommendation is to be in touch with a local realtor. They will be able to answer your questions and provide you with information that will help you through the process. Purchase offers can be presented in a manner that will provide you with the flexibility you are seeking. Contact an agent to assist you.

Good luck,
The Eckler Team
0 votes
Ania Miller, Agent, Millersville, MD
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad,
It sounds like you need to have Buyer representation, an Agent that will look out for YOUR best interest.
If you are thinking about buying, please give me a call, we can interview each other and see if we would make a great team together. I have a lot of information that can help you weather you choose to work with me or not, and if you are a frist time home buyer, the clock is ticking, you only have til Nov. 30 to close the deal if you want to take advantage of the tax credit.
Ania
443-336-8206
AniaMiller@kw.com
Web Reference:  http://www.aniamiller.com
0 votes
Frank Dolski, Agent, Lahaska, PA
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Ad,
You should talk to an agent in Maryland since the rules are different in most states. It all comes down to the contract! I'd be glad to refer and agent to you in MD if you need one.

Good Luck!
Frank
0 votes
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