- Find and Hire a great REALTOR who you know, like, and trust – Best source is a referral from a friend, family, or work associate who has worked directly with the REALTOR.
- Sign an “Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement with Designated Agency” with your REALTOR
- Find and Hire a great Mortgage Loan Originator (LO) – Best source is a referral from the REALTOR you identified in step 1 who has worked directly with the LO.
- You may want to talk to a few different LOs to find the one who fits just right.
- Ask the LO to “Pre-qualify” you for a loan
- Require each LO to provide a “Good Faith Estimate” (GFE) which will delineate loan costs and provide bottom line Cash required to close and monthly payment
- Require the LO to offer a variety of loan products (FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional – With and without Mortgage Interest requirements)
- Review these GFEs with your REALTOR for complete understanding of comparison
- Select your lender – No need to commit to a particular loan product yet
- Please note that we haven’t looked at any houses yet . . . NOW that you understand the Money side of the equation is the right time to start looking for your house because you now know what price range within which you are comfortable buying.
- Start your search BROAD and spiral inward based on your wants and needs – Region – State – City – Neighborhood – Street – House . . . taking into account desired Lifestyle, distance to place of worship, schools, parks, commute to work, etc
- AHA! You’ve found the right house . . . With you REALTOR, Write an Offer to present to the Seller.
- Negotiate acceptable terms . . . When all parties agree, you are in a Binding Agreement.
- Immediately provide all contractual documents and any required personal financial information to your LO
- Ensure that the LO orders the Appraisal and pay for it
- Schedule any relevant inspections – House, Septic, Air Quality
- Negotiate any deficiencies discovered (Your REALTOR will shepherd you through this Inspection and Resolution process)
- Receive the Appraisal (Usually within 2-3 weeks of ordering) to verify the selling price matches the indicated value
- Schedule your closing and do the Final Walk though of the house
A few RULES!
NO shortcuts – Do EVERY step!
Be diligent and responsive – Honor all deadlines
Be Hyper responsive to any requests from the LO – delays in the loan process can squirrel the deal
Do NOT buy any “big ticket items” (Cars, Furniture, etc) on credit at any time between the day you have Binding Agreement and the Closing.
Bring your Drivers License to the closing
Wire your cash for closing to the Closing Company