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Home Buying

The Process

1. Get pre-approved

What does it mean to be "pre-approved" by a lender or bank?

What's the difference between "pre-approval" and "pre-qualified"? 

What is a recommended lender? 

This means a bank or lender has reviewed your credit history and deemed you suitable for a mortgage. They will then inform you of the amount they are willing to lend you.  

Pre-qualified is more of an estimate. In this case, you describe your credit, debt, income and assets to a lender and they will estimate how much you are "qualified" to barrow.

Pre-approval is more of the final word or "approval". In this phase, you will be asked to provide proof of things such as proof of taxes, W-2's, a current pay stub, a summary of your assets and your total monthly expenses.  

A lender is a public or private financial entity that allows you to barrow available funds with the expectation that the funds will be repaid in the form of interest and fees. Repayment of the borrowed funds is paid in a lump sum or in a monthly mortgage payment.   

2. Find an agent

What are the benefits of having a real estate agent? 

How to find the perfect location for your new home? 

As a buyer, why not use a skilled profession to help you in a world that’s new to you, for free? (Typically, the seller pays both sides of the agent's commission.) 

For sellers, this will be a negotiation down to the dollar. There are multiple bargaining chips to be played and an experienced professional can help you navigate this journey. You will most lose money in the long run due to an error , lack of market insight and incorrect pricing by not using a market specialist or Agent. 

"It proves that you're smarter than they are when you hire people who are smarter than you. The trick is to recognize when you need help and to find the right person."  - Henry Ford 

Working with an agent that has the local knowledge and is well-connected within the community is the key to making the house hunting process quick and seamless. 

Gain a feel for the lifestyle in different neighborhoods within Austin, while we tour properties that fit your needs. 

3. Submit an offer

What to include when making an offer? 

What are some tips for negotiating the price? 

If you are not working with a Realtor, keep in mind that your purchase offer or contract must conform to state and local laws. State laws vary, and certain provisions may be required in your area. (If you do not use an agent, please contact a lawyer.) 

The offer should include, but not be limited to: 

  • Legal description of the property 

  • Sale price 

  • Terms

  • Seller's promise to provide clear title

  • Target date for closing

  • Amount of earnest money deposit accompanying the offer—whether it's a check, cash or a promissory note—and how the earnest money will be returned to you if the offer is rejected

  • Method by which real estate taxes, rents, fuel, water bills and utilities are to be adjusted between buyer and seller 

  • Provisions about who will pay for title insurance, survey, termite inspections and the like 

  • Type of deed that will be granted 

  • A time limit which expire 

It's very helpful to find out why the house is being sold and whether the seller is under pressure. Keep these considerations in mind: 

  • Every month a vacant house remains unsold represents considerable expense for the seller. 

  • If the sellers are divorcing, they may just want out quickly. 

  • Estate sales often yield a bargain in return for a prompt deal. 

4. Close on your home

What does "in escrow" mean?

What does closing mean?

It is the option period in which items are held until the process involving a financial transaction has been completed. 

 

In most cases, the contract provides you with a timeline to obtain financing, inspect the physical condition of the home, get an appraisal of the home, etc.

 

Your agent will inform you of all your rights and responsibilities related to the contract. 

This is the finally step in the home-buying process. This is when funds and ownership are transferred, usually facilitated by a title company or an attorney. 

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Peyton Thompson © 2020 All rights reserved

The information being provided is for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS® (alternatively, from ACTRIS). Neither the Board nor ACTRIS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. The Austin Board of REALTORS®, ACTRIS and their affiliates provide the MLS and all content therein "AS IS" and without any warranty, express or implied. Data maintained by the Board or ACTRIS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.