Purchasing a New Home – The Process

Buying a home is an exciting time, and The Lord & Smith team is committed to helping make your real estate transaction as smooth and enjoyable as possible.  See below this overview of the process of buying a new home. Please review the following steps and contact us if you have questions. We are happy to guide you through this process. Simply give us a call to get started!

  1. Get pre-qualified – Your lender will look at your income, credit scores, revolving debts, other obligations such as child support, as well as the type of loan you choose. Another factor that impacts how much home you can buy is the down payment; smaller down payments mean higher monthly payments. Also, the interest rate and terms (30-year, fixed or adjustable rate) will determine what you can afford in monthly payments. If you are not yet pre-qualified, we will give you a list of lenders we personally work with to help you get pre-qualified or pre-approved. This is step one in preparing to buy a home.
  2. Make your wish list – Decide where you want to live and how many bedrooms and baths you’ll need. Will you need a fenced in back yard? Will you want a 1,2, or 3 level home? Discuss your wishes with us!
  3. Consider lifestyle – Condominiums offer shared amenities, with little responsibility. Single-family homes offer more space and privacy, but much more exterior and yard maintenance. Town homes are a good middle ground, having less exterior and yard maintenance than single family homes, but offering more space than condominiums.
  4. Hire The Lord & Smith Team - Your real estate professional should be knowledgeable in the area where you want to live, and familiar with the type of home you want to buy. A good agent should have house-by-house experience in your neighborhood and can offer the best advice on homes in your range. Contact us today to get started!
  5. Select your home – No home is perfect, so don’t let minor flaws influence you. Think long-term. Which home best suits the activities and needs of your household now and in the years ahead? Don’t buy more than you need or can comfortably afford. We will help you narrow down choices and select your home.
  6. Make an offer – Your offer depends on the current market. If a home has been on the market a long time, you can ask the seller for a price reduction, but if it’s new on the market, the seller is unlikely to accept a low offer. Ask us for advice, we will craft the offer and present it to the listing agent or directly to the seller on your behalf.
  7. Get an inspection – A home inspection is a professional third-party opinion of the home’s condition. The inspector will point out the age of systems, and large and small repairs that are needed, so you’ll know what you’re facing as the next owner. We will give you a list of inspectors to choose from.
  8. Get an appraisal – The bank appraisal determines market value. If the home doesn’t appraise for the purchase price, the bank will refuse to make the loan unless you renegotiate with the seller. If it appraises, your lender will move toward closing.
  9. Go to closing – Once final negotiations are complete, the parties to the transaction meet with the settlement agent. This could be at a title company or a real estate attorney’s office. Many settlements can also be done with the buyer side right in the new home!  If you are out of state, mail away settlements are also possible. All paperwork is signed by both parties. The lender pays the seller, minus any liens against the home such as the seller’s mortgage. At closing (also called “the settlement”) you get the keys to your new home, according to your contract. We will be with you at the closing.
  10. After the closing your relationship with us does not end. If you need contractors, contact us for recommendations. If you need a copy of paperwork related to your transaction at tax time, contact us. We will keep in touch with you, and we are never too busy for referrals of your family and friends. We are there to help you through future transactions.
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