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How to Start the Buying Process

How to Start the Buying Process

Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases one can make, and the process can feel a bit daunting. Realtor Lynn Kim’s step-by-step list clearly defines the home buying process. Following these steps will help you navigate the buying process with ease.

  1. Budget: The first thing families or individuals will need to do is set a budget. This usually requires speaking with a lender. The lender will help you learn how to get on
    track to qualify for the loan you’ll need as well as educate you on the many different lender programs available.

  2. Find a great realtor: Asking for a referral is the best way to find a realtor, but if you’re new to the area in which you are shopping, then visiting open houses is a great way to meet potential realtors.

    1. LynnK Tip: The buyer does not pay the commissions for purchase to their agent, the seller does.

    2. LynnK Tip: Loyalty Counts-finding a good agent and sticking with them is the most beneficial for the buyer. The realtor really gets to know the buyer which is helpful for proper negotiations and representation during the buying process instead of representing oneself or going directly to the listing agent. Additionally, staying with the same agent is an added benefit because they are constantly prospecting for you, looking at off-market listings, pocket-listing, and representing you during collective office meetings and through their agent network.

  3. Ask the right question to the potential realtor:

    1. How many homes do you sell in the area?

    2. How would you package my offer to be more attractive to a seller?

    3. How long have you been an agent in the area?

    4. Ask for a few buyer references.

  4. Representation Found: Once you find a realtor, the agent will be able to hear and clearly understand your must-haves to show you the best home in the best area for your budget.

  5. Making the Offer: After viewing the homes and narrowing it down to the home you want, packaging your offer properly is critical. You will need the pre-qualify letter from he lender, bank statements/401K/or savings account statement for proof showing that your money can be liquid, and the Offer Contract written with the strongest terms, escrow timeline, and how quickly you can remove your contingencies.

    1. LynnK Tip: Lynn suggests a personal letter and a family photo to submit with your offer.

    2. LynnK Tip: In a competitive situation, a good agent will continue to follow up with the listing agent to see what else they could provide to show their commitment.

  6. Acceptance: Once accepted, a deposit equalling 3% of the purchase must be made within 3 days to escrow, and home inspection must be scheduled. Within 7 days the seller must provide disclosures; this document is a good idea to have in-hand for inspection. After inspection, if there are items to address a good agent will renegotiate any necessary terms for the buyer.

    1. LynnK Tip: Buyer and lender are working together during this time to gather all paperwork necessary to meet the contingency timeline that was first established.
      Keep in mind you will have 17 days for physical inspection and appraisal, and 21 days to remove loan contingencies.

    2. LynnK Tip: At this point, once you have removed all of your contingencies, backing out would cause the buyer to lose the 3% deposit.

  7. Set Up Move In: The work with the lender is now finished. Upon the finalized closing date through your realtor, the buyer sets up utilities and a move-in date.

  8. Congratulations, you have purchased your home. It’s now time to celebrate!

    For help buying a home or finding the best realtor for you, please interview Lynn Kim at 310-741-2642.