The process of buying a home can be complex and laden with challenging information. From start to finish, it can take several weeks if not months. However, you can get through the process of buying a house faster by learning more about it and by working with one of our experienced West USA Realty agents in Scottsdale.
The Importance of Working with an Experienced Real Estate Agent
Our experienced West USA Realty agents are well-versed in the home buying process. Before it begins, your real estate agent will ask for certain information from you so that you are guided well during the buying experience. Among other details, our agents will ask buyers how much they are willing to pay for a new home, what (if it is known) is the amount of the mortgage for which they have been pre-qualified or approved, and their ideal closing and occupancy dates.
This information will help our qualified real estate agents begin the search for a home that should suit your buying needs. Once you find a home that you want to buy, you can then move onto the next part of the process, which involves making an offer to the seller.
Making an Offer
Your initial offer opens negotiations for buying and closing on the house. Your offer should be reasonable so that the seller knows you are serious about buying the house.
The opening offer establishes a contract that protects both you as the buyer as well as the seller of the home. Because it is an actual contract, your offer should be made through one of our experienced West USA Realty agents in Scottsdale.
Our agents will make sure that all city and state laws regarding home purchases are covered in the contract. They also will ensure that factors like the amount of your earnest money and down payment are stipulated in the contract.
Earnest money is the money that you pay down to show the buyer that you are serious about purchasing the home. It typically is a few thousand dollars and not counted as part of the actual down payment for the house. However, it still binds you and the seller in a formal contract that allows the home buying process to continue.
Before you pay your earnest money, it is important to ensure that the contract includes a clause that allows you to back out of the process and recoup the money if negotiations break down or issues that the seller will not fix arises during or after the home inspection. At the same time, the contract should include a clause that allows the seller to retain the earnest money if you as the buyer fails to uphold your part of the bargain. Our West USA Realty agents know what details to include in the contract to protect the earnest money as well as both the buyer and seller.
As part of the buying process, our agents will also make sure the contract allows for contingencies. Contingencies are issues that arise during the home inspection that warrant either renegotiation or walking away from the contract altogether.
Your West USA Realty agent will also ask about what conveyances you want as the buyer of the home. Conveyances can include retaining certain appliances in the home like the refrigerator or hot water heater.
Your contract will also require the expiration date for the seller's response to your offer. If the seller does not respond by this date, your offer on the house will expire. Finally, it will highlight your concessions for buying the house, such as the seller assisting with closing costs.
After you make an initial offer on the house, you and your real estate agent can expect the seller to make a counter offer. The counter offer continues the negotiation process and can actually disclose important information about the seller.
For example, if the seller refuses to come down on the home's price, you and your real estate agent could interpret that refusal as a lack of motivation for him or her to sell the house and move. Alternatively, if the counter offer is not much higher than your initial offer, you can interpret this as the seller's eagerness to close the sale. You can use this information to your advantage and make another offer that both parties can agree on and move toward closing on the house.
During this part of the negotiation process, it is important for you and your West USA Realty agent to establish a tight deadline for reaching an agreement on the price. A firm deadline could prevent another buyer from making an offer and buying the house from under you.
Once the seller has agreed on your offer, it is time to move into the discovery period of the home buying process. During this phase, you and your agent will gather all of the needed information about the home and its title. You can have the home inspected for damages and the title to the house researched to make sure there are no issues like owed taxes, unreleased liens, or undisclosed heirs.
If necessary, this part of the process could lead to a renegotiation on the offer based on what kind of information is discovered about the house and its title. The buyer also cannot entertain any other offers to buy the house during this part of the home buying process.
It is critical that you and your real estate agent conduct a thorough home inspection prior to closing on the house. You should check any work that the seller agreed to have done in response to the initial home inspection.
You should closely scrutinize important fixtures like the ceilings, walls, and basement. You should likewise bring up any issues that you and your agent find so that they can be corrected before you close the transaction.
In fact, our experienced West USA Realty agents will ensure all critical tasks have been handled prior to closing including:
- all inspections being completed
- all required repairs being done
- a final walk-through being conducted
- the buyer's attorney being satisfied that the title is clear
- the date, time, and place of closing being confirmed
- identifying people conducting the closing
- paying the insurance policy and making sure it is ready to go into effect on the date of closing
- identifying the form of check used to pay closing costs
- disclosing the closing cost amount
Closing the Transaction
The actual closing on the house is a formal process in which all parties involved will sign the required paperwork and pay the costs associated with closing the sale. The money that you pay to the seller will allow the title of the house to be transferred to you. The seller will then have any money like the remaining mortgage amount and other fees deducted from those funds.
He or she will also hand over the keys to the house. Once you receive the keys, it is important that you have the locks on the house changed.
Paperwork like the deed and loan papers will also be signed and filed with the county records office. This office will always have a copy of these papers on hand in case you misplace them. You can prevent misplacing them, however, by keeping them in a safe deposit box or some other place where they will be kept secure but always accessible to you.
The home buying process may entail much more than you previously imagined. As complex as it might sound, you can learn more about it and get the experienced guidance you need to become a successful home buyer by allowing us at West USA Realty to help you find and buy a home today.