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THE FOUR STAGES OF BUYING A HOME
Buyer Experience 1
Gathering information and hiring the right person
Before you can begin the process of touring homes and making offers, it’s important to speak with the professional who will help you along the way. Stage one is where you consult with a real estate agent and work with a lender to get preapproved for a mortgage.
MEET WITH ME FOR A BUYER CONSULTATION
When you schedule a buyer consultation with Chris Soukoulis, I quickly get you up to speed on the housing market and the trends we’re seeing within home sales. If you’re new to the area, I will walk you through neighborhood options and discuss schools, parks and other quality of life factors.
For a no pressure, no obligation buyer consultation
CONTACT ME TODAY
GET PREAPPROVED FOR A HOME MORTGAGE LOAN
To submit an offer on a home, you’ll need to be preapproved for a home mortgage loan. Together, we’ll work to ensure you understand the full lending process and that you get the best financing package possible. Whether you have your own lender in mind or need a recommendation, I will be with you every step of the way.
Narrowing your search and touring homes
For many buyers, stage two is the best part of the entire process! This is when we review your criteria and determine any “deal-breakers” plus, you get to start touring homes in person.
IDENTIFY YOUR SEARCH PARAMETERS
In this step, I will go beyond price, bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage to identify what else you and your family need from your new home. Perhaps your kids want to attend a certain junior high, or you hope to live close to your work or a special set of grandparents. By considering these personal but logistical needs up front, you’ll have the best chance of finding a home that matches up. My tried and true buyer’s checklist is a great starting point.
FILTER YOUR SEARCH TO FIND THE RIGHT PROPERTIES
In addition to helping you filter through searches and online listing alerts to find homes that match your needs, professionals like myself will keep you in the know about off market opportunities or properties coming soon. We speak with homeowners and agents every day, so we know what’s coming on the market before the listing alert goes out.
TOUR TOP HOMES
Once you’ve found a home (or homes) that appeal to you, I can begin scheduling in person showings. Seeing homes together will help us better understand your preferences, taste and living style, and in effect help us better locate the right home for you. This stage of the process takes some time and patience. On average, together I see over 20 homes with my clients and it takes buyers about 30 days of seriously looking at homes before they feel comfortable making an offer.
Making an offer and negotiating
Once you’ve settled on a property you like, the time has come to make an offer!
REVIEW THE DISCLOSURE PACKAGE IF THERE IS ONE
Each property sometimes has a lengthy and often daunting disclosure package comprised of inspection reports, title documents, natural hazard surveys and more. I will demystify this packet to advise you on the potential for costs or upgrades you’ll have to make so you can structure your offer accordingly.
CHECK COMPARABLE SALES AND GATHER INTELLIGENCE
Local market trends and recent sales of similar homes are often used to determine an entry bid, but I will go further to create the best bid. To get an edge on the competition, I chat with agents to find out the sales prices of “pending” properties so we know what homes are selling for today. I will also work to find out how many other buyers are interested and bidding on the home, and the terms that may entice this particular seller.
PREPARE AND PRESENT YOUR OFFER
Now, I’ll craft the offer. A purchase contract is a legally binding document, so I take great care to ensure buyers fully understand every term contained therein. Each offer is uniquely structured to meet the needs of the property and its seller.
NEGOTIATING WITH THE SELLER
Once sellers have heard offers, they have the option of accepting one offer, rejecting one or all offers or proposing a “counter offer” to one or all offers. In the instance that you’re asked to enter a counter offer, strategic negotiation and a timely response is critical. I can confidently say that negotiating with sellers is my forte. I relish the opportunity to compete for my clients, and to get their offer accepted.
Getting to the closing table
MANAGING DATES AND DEADLINES
Once your offer is accepted, things move quickly. I’ll create a calendar of important events to help keep you organized and on track for a smooth closing. The two most common hiccups in this stage are related to contingencies and financing. I’ll be sure to order your inspection and get your loan application submitted immediately to avoid unplanned or last-minute issues.
TAKING A FINAL WALKTHROUGH
Prior to closing, I advise my buyers to do a walkthrough of the property. If anything varies from the day the contract was signed, I’ll work with the listing agent to remedy the issues before closing.
SIGNING LOAN AND TITLE DOCUMENTS
After they’re prepared, your loan documents will be sent to the title company. I’ll make sure your lender has fully explained both the loan documents and the grant deed prior to closing.
CLOSING ON THE TITLE AND MOVING IN
On the closing date, the grant deed will be recorded with the county, and the transfer of title is confirmed. You’ll get keys to the home from the listing agent, and you can begin moving in!
My job doesn’t end at escrow. I have a list of trusted vendors, including movers, painters, interior decorators and contractors who can help you ensure your move and transition is as smooth as possible.
Ready to get started on the home buying process?
I’d be delighted to help you as you search for homes in the area. Contact me today to get started with a no obligation buyer consultation.