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"The Ultimate Guide: Navigating the Home Buyer Process"

So you are ready to buy a home but don't quite know where to start, well we are here to help you step by step understand how this works. Also congratulations on taking this major step in your life and how we sincerely hope this information helps you.

Step 1: Qualification

The first step in the journey is determining how much money you can actually borrow. This involves you connecting with a banker who will look at your financial information and determine based on your income and expenses how much money they will be willing to lend you.

As we work with many home buyers we connect you directly with the most efficient bankers in our network so if you are ready to be prequalified click the link below to get started.

It is also important at this stage to confirm that you have the closing costs in place to complete a purchase at your qualified amount. For example; a purchase of 250,000 may require approximately $25,000.00 in personal savings.

For more info on costs Read article "How much money do I need to buy a Home"

Step 2: Home Search

One of the best kept secrets in real estate is that you should have your own agent. You need someone who will negotiate for you, secure your interests, and help you save as much as possible. The best part about having your own agent is that it costs you nothing.

We have a crew of awesome realtors you can reach out to by clicking the link below.

Ask your 1 OAK agent to put you on our Perfect Property Program where you will get all the listings that Meet your search now but also every time something new comes on the market. With the market we are in its important to have immediate access to new listings.

If you want to see our current listings now please visit

Step 3: Making an Offer

In this step you make a formal offer to the owner stating the terms of purchase, this is a document usually generated by a real estate professional and requires your approval or signature for submission.

This is when having your own agent is very important as you have a real estate professional who is not conflicted in interest, let me explain.

When an agent lists a property for a seller they commit themselves to getting the seller the best price and terms, when you come along and say, "I really love this property and do not want to lose it" you just gave that agent info that hurts your negotiation ability.

The offer process takes into consideration a number of factors, how many people are interested in this property, where is the list price in comparison to the market value, are the comparable properties on the market to name a few.

In some cases you may offer less than asking, full asking price, and in a number of cases even more than is asked for based on the above factors all with the advice of your agent.

Step 4: Making your Deposit

After your offer is accepted you will be required to place a deposit with a bank approved attorney. If you are being proactive you may want to decide on your attorney at the time you are getting prequalified as banks have lists of approved attorneys. This could also save time as law firms often have a mandatory compliance process before they can receive your funds.

The offer letter mentioned in the previous step would detail the amount of the deposit. you should be making to the attorney. The industry standard from the acceptance of the offer is 3-5 days to make the deposit to your attorney, this step officially takes the property off the market from other buyers.

Step 5: Sales Agreement

This step is when both attorney have been connected and are now working to produce a document acceptable for both parties that speak to the terms of purchase and generally reflects the terms of the the offer letter.

When this is complete you will likely be called in for signature, at this point you are officially "under contract".

Note that this also officially starts the first countdown in a transaction; the financing period, this represents an allotted period of time you have both agreed for you to obtain a financing approval from the bank, this period is customarily 30 days.

You are to make a note of this as ignoring this timeline could cause you to lose your deposit, so be sure to confirm with attorney when the agreement is signed by both parties.

Step 6: Banking

Now and only now can the bank start their process in an official qualification as this requires the following;

Employment information

Insurance Policy Details

Credit Bureau Report

Current Appraisal Report (Step 7-ish)

Signed Sales Agreement

Contractor Quotes (3)(If renovating or building)

Construction Appraisal Report (if renovating or building)

Proof of closing costs

Note that 7/10 transactions require an extension for financing often times because the buyer haven't aligned their ducks before signing sales agreement. 9/10 times this approval is granted.

Step 7-ish: Appraisal

We questioned where to place this step for a few reasons, if you do it before you have a signed sales agreement you risk the owner changing their mind for whatever reason and you losing the cost of an appraisal (approximately $500 or more) or doing it after you have signed you lose days in the prescribed financing period we spoke of in step 5.

As with attorneys banks have a list of approved appraisers therfore you'll need to choose from their list. This process can take anywhere from 5-10 business days so my thought is to consider doing this much earlier.

Step 8: Babysitting Stage

In this step you entire job is making sure every team member is performing.

It is the reality of the business world that we have to stay on professionals to ensure that they are doing what they say they will, when they say they will especially because you have thousands of dollars at stake. I humbly acknowledge that real estate agents are not the exception here and we too at times drop the ball.

To have the best success here though you need to ensure the team is tight; the banker has everything they need and is processing your mortgage application, the attorney is doing what they need to do to move the transaction forward.

It is imperative that you understand what needs to happen next and whose job it is to complete it as being out of the loop again can, cost you thousands.

Closing: The Closing

After a number of banking and legal processes namely; financing approval, commitment, title search, mortgage document and conveyance you will be called in to sign once more representing final stage before the bank pays out funds to complete the transaction.

Hope you found this information helpful. We look forward to helping you along your home ownership journey.

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