Buying a home can often be a cumbersome confusing process with countless things to consider. From locating your dream home to handing you the keys the one thing you can rely on is our team at Graham Realty Inc. will be your partner each and every step of the way. It is not only our duty to facilitate the home buying process, but to acclimate you with the mechanics of the Purchase Contract and all elements it entails. It is our job to listen as well as communicate your needs to all parties involved including lenders, agents, and transaction coordinators. During this exciting time where crucial deadlines and vital signatures must be met and made it is our ultimate goal to provide you with complete ownership satisfaction. Here are a few recommended steps involved with the home buying process:

1. Determine how much you can afford

Measuring the affordability of a prospective purchase is not only smart it will be done by your chosen lender at the time of your loan application. Lenders normally consider such factors as down payment amount, debt-to-income ratios and many other formulas to determine affordability. Get an estimate of how much you can afford on your purchase by using our mortgage calculator.

2. Get pre-approved

Getting pre-approved is a more intricate process than just getting pre-qualified. Banks, mortgage brokers, and most lenders issue pre-qualifications based primarily on consumer-provided information and sometimes a simple social security number. The figure they present you with normally is just a rough estimate of what a prospective buyer based on sparse information may qualify for. Getting pre-approved is a much more detailed process which involves credit score ratings and financial background information. There are many other factors such as down payment amount, employment history, and certain risk factors that also will be considered along with any other elements that will affect affordability that may be considered when applying for a mortgage. Once you have been pre-approved a pre-approval letter will normally be presented as the first stipulation sent after an offer is accepted and in many cases is sent simultaneously with the offer. Some listings require a pre-approval letter before a prospective buyer may set foot in the door to view a prospective property. GRI will be more than happy to refer you to one of our many reputable lenders to get the process started. Contact an agent for pre-approval.

3. Find the right home

The first step in the actual house hunting process is selecting the right agent. An efficient agent is one who knows the local characteristics and aspects of each and every neighborhood with complete market knowledge to help achieve your goal. Your agent of choice should be able to first familiarize you with the appropriate neighborhood and its components such as schools, proximities, values, etc. Once your neighborhood of choice has been determined, the process of finding the right home to fit your lifestyle and your budget begins. Your agent will be able to arrange showings as well as provide you with timely news on any other properties you are considering during your property search as well as any other pertinent information relating to your quest for the right home.

4. Make an offer and negotiate terms

After finding a desired home, it is now time to put together an offer. Your agent will be able to provide you with valuable information for you to base your decisions on throughout the entire negotiating process. It begins with the most current data on recent sales in your desired neighborhood of comparable homes. How do these homes compare to your prospective home? Though they are similar in size does this home have value added features? Has this home been on the market too long for this price? These are a just few questions your agent should be considering when helping you establish an offer. Once an offer is presented the negotiation process often begins. This process not only involves price negotiation, but mutual agreement on such things as terms, dates, and any items contained in the Purchase Contract which have not been mutually agreed upon as well. Through articulate communication skills and intelligent fact-based decisions, your agent will be able to strike a concurrence on all terms and conditions in discussion, which is called a "meeting of the minds."

5. Closing

Once an offer is accepted, your agent will be able to help you finalize the mechanics of the transaction and ultimately aim for a smooth closing. Closing is when all documents and deeds are conveyed to the buyer form the seller done with the services rendered by a mutual third party called "escrow." From scheduling inspections to reviewing and explaining each and every element relating to the Purchase Contract your agent will walk you through this delicate process where crucial deadlines and savvy decisions must be made to ensure your satisfaction guaranteed. Contact us today so we can get started together on finding the right home for you.

Natalie DiPasquale