Buying A New Home In Charleston
If you are interested in purchasing a new home, we would love the opportunity to meet with you. We will listen to your needs and requests and do our best to meet all of them or as many as we can possibly can. We will discuss the home buying process, help you identify a home, write a contract for good purchase price, and walk you through the entire process until closing. Once you close we’ll follow up with you to make sure that you’ve completed all of the necessary steps to help save you money as a homeowner.
Purchasing a home today can be tricky. From tight lending requirements to low appraisals, hiring a Realtor as your Buyer’s Agent is more important now than ever. Did you know that it costs a Buyer $0 to hire a Buyer’s Agent? Seller’s are typically the one responsible for paying the Buyer’s Agent. So do yourself a favor and hire a Buyer’s Agent before you begin shopping for a home. It will save you time, money and a lot of frustration and it’s FREE!
THE BUYING PROCESS
While your agent will be there to guide you along the way, it is great for a home buyer to be knowledgeable about the process of purchasing a home. Below are the basic steps.
1) Get PreQualified / Preapproved
- Ask your agent (if already determined) for a referral to a mortgage broker, and/or compare rates offered by your own bank and / or credit union.
- Ask the lender to give you a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter, which means it will verify your income and pull a credit report.
- Determine your maximum loan amount. Make sure that it is an amount that you are comfortable with vs. what you are allowed to borrow.
2) Hire a Buyer's Agent
- A buyer's agent will represent you and your best interests.
- Interview agents and once you’ve found someone you’d like to work with to purchase your home, sign a buyer agency agreement.
3) Look at Homes for Sale
- Narrow your search to those homes that fit your exact parameters to find that perfect home.
- Your agent will provide you with MLS info sheets, tax info, estimated mortgage balance for current owners, as well as the # of days the home has been on the market for properties that you may be or are interested in.
- Tell your agent which online home listings you are interested in previewing and ask for additional input.
4) Write an Offer to Purchase
- Your agent will provide you with comparable sales in the area to help determine the estimated value of the home.
- Select a home offer price based on the amount you feel a seller will accept or counter.
- If you are considering submitting an offer for significantly less than asking price, ask your agent to substantiate this price for you.
- Prepare for multiple offers if the home is considered desirable in a hot location.
- If your offer is rejected, ask your agent to explain why and don't repeat that mistake with your next offer.
- The seller’s property disclosure will need signed off on and submitted with your offer. You will have the right during your inspection period to conduct additional tests like lead based paint during your inspection period.
5) Negotiate and Write Counter Offers
- Expect the seller to issue a counter offer.
- If the seller counters again, continue to negotiate until you have reached agreement or chosen to move on and pursue another home.
6) Make an Earnest Money Deposit
- When your offer is accepted, your earnest money check will be deposited.
- Your offer should contain contingencies that will allow you to get your earnest money refunded should you wish to cancel the contract.
7) Conduct Home Inspection
- Hire a reputable home inspector. .
- Attend the end of the home inspection if possible.
8) Issue Request for Repair
- If the home inspection turns up structural, electrical, plumbing, health and safety issues, issue a repair request by asking the seller to address those issues or give you a credit for them.
- Realize no home is perfect, and the inspector will find faults.
- Be reasonable.
- ONCE YOU’VE REACHED TERMS ON THE INSPECTION, THEN….
9) Order Appraisal
- The lender will order the appraisal once they know that you are moving forward on the purchase of the home. If you receive an appraisal for less than the purchase price, discuss options with your agent.
- Ask for a copy of the appraisal.
10) Select a closing attorney
11) Comply With Lender Requirements
- Lenders may ask for additional information.
- Do not make home buying mistakes such as altering your financial situation while in escrow.
- When the file is complete, the lender will submit it for final underwriter approval.
12) Order Homeowner's Insurance Policy
- Order your homeowner’s insurance early.
- Get replacement coverage.
13) Remove Contingencies
- Your agent will prompt you to sign appropriate paperwork once you are able to remove contingencies such as inspection and appraisal contingencies.
- Make sure your loan is firm and the appraisal is acceptable before removing your financing contingency.
14) Do Final Walk-Through
- Do a final walk through to inspect the property prior to close. Make sure it's in the same condition as when you agreed to buy it.
- If you find a serious issue, address it now before you close.
- Bring a valid picture ID.
- Bring a certified check payable to closing attorney.
- Sign paperwork.
17) Enjoy your new home!
18) After closing
- Transfer a termite bond if necessary.
- Apply for your 4% property tax, if home is your primary residence.