- Come up with a financial plan – examine your finances to find an affordable price range for a property. Figure out how much down payment you can make and what monthly payments you can afford. You may want to seek assistance from your accountant or financial advisor.
- Get a mortgage pre approval – contact a mortgage professional and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Unless you are planning to purchase a property without a mortgage, having a mortgage pre-approval will make you a more attractive purchaser.
- Find a good realtor – it is important to work with a realtor who is not only experienced and professional but also someone you trust. Your realtor should have intimate knowledge of the area in which you are seeking to purchase your home in.
- Order an inspection report – find a local licensed home inspection company. Remember purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments a person will make so don’t purchase a “cat in the bag”.
- Find an attorney – a good attorney will allow the closing process to run smoothly and protect your rights should any issues come up. An experienced attorney can mean the difference between a successful purchase or a costly purchase.
- Review the contract – even if you have an attorney, it is important to review the contract. In the beginning of the transactional process you may know more information than your attorney. Is the backyard shed included in the purchase price? Will the seller have post-closing possession of the property? All of that information along with anything else you might have negotiated should be included in the contact prior to its execution.
- Mortgage contingency – if you are purchasing the property with a mortgage, you must pay extra attention to the mortgage contingency clause in the contract. The mortgage contingency clause allows the buyer to cancel the contract should they be denied for a mortgage and usually receive a full refund of their down payment.
- Work with your mortgage broker – your broker will be requesting lots of documents to qualify you for a loan. Even after a loan commitment is received, documents may be necessary to receive a clear to close on the loan. So work closely with your mortgage broker and provide all documents in an expedited manner.
- Do the walk through – usually 24-48 hours before the closing you are allowed to walk through the property to check for damage or debris and to confirm that all items negotiated in the contract remain on the property.
1. Close – bring a copy of a valid identification to the closing. Your attorney will let you know what checks and other items such as proof of homeowner’s insurance are needed to close on the property.