Contemplating purchasing your home in Seattle?
Buying a home is stressful for a lot of people, but it isn't that difficult with a bit of planning ahead of time. I like to provide buyers with an overview of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home.
Step 1 – Make your wishlist. As your realtor - I will get to know you. It might happen right away, or take a bit of time with some ongoing dialogue but ultimately, I want you to know that I am aiming at exactly what you are aiming (sometimes before you even do). With my expertise, we can whittle down that wishlist into what you absolutely can't live without and what you can compromise on. I can plan a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Seattle area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future.
Go for it! Write down everything about that piece of property that would make you deliriously happy. Don't self-edit. Simultaneously, I strongly recommend that you obtain a Pre-Approval to determine the purchase price you can qualify for. A good rule of thumb to follow is that your mortgage payment should be a third of your monthly income. With the Pre-Approval letter, we can start your search and incorporate items in your wishlist. Here's why you should hire us as your Loan Originator and not someone from National Banks.
Step 2 – Get with a real estate agent in Seattle
Step 3 – Start looking for a house
Let's create a clear vision together. The more conversations you share with me, the clearer your dream becomes to me. And sometimes it's not just what you need, but what you want. Those intangibles are just as important as making the monthly payment. After our first meeting, I'll begin looking for available homes on the market that best suit you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the houses and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes whenever it's most convenient for you. As we view houses, I'll identify good features, as well as bad ones. I'll also ask you to tell me about things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to revise their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some things become far more substantial than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through all the listings again and narrow it down to the home you've been dreaming about.
Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My awareness of the Seattle market is an essential asset in your house search. I am acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I can let you know which areas are "hot" and demand prompt action and the rest that are "cold" and allow for careful consideration.
When we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Be careful and be sure to ask your agent plenty of questions, as any REALTOR® in Seattle will tell you they comprehend the market. If it appears they don't know everything, call me at 206-393-0684 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My market expertise will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.
Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
I'm confident we'll find the home of your dreams in the Seattle area. When we do, I'll meticulously develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs, including some contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, a clear title, and ensure that the property is not in a flood zone.
When submitting your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.
Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the first offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll consider whether or not to consent to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on. I will provide you with information about Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) or "comps" of prices of similar, nearby homes that have been sold recently along with high and low ranges for a similar property, how long homes are staying on the market and percentage of the asking price sellers are getting as an indication of how hot the market is where you are looking.
The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the contract. I will ascertain how firm the seller is on price and how flexible are they on the price. Simultaneously, if seller is willing to help with the closing costs. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a contract that is best for you.
Step 7 – Secure a loan
Once we sign the final sales contract, I will assist with your home financing to close the loan. This process usually takes less than 30 days.
Step 8 – Close the deal
As your mortgage lender, I will give you a Loan Estimate detailing your closing costs within three days of getting your application. The estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.
Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and calm affair.
Step 9 – Move in
You made it! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, just call me at 206-393-0684 or send me an e-mail.