The flow of the real estate
transaction is a complex process and many folks don't understand all the
different phases involved in purchasing a home.
First you have the preparation phase and this starts when you meet with
your agent. You sign your buyer brokerage agreement and you get acquainted and
you talk about the process and typically the agent will help you get
pre-qualified by a mortgage lender and tell you all about the current market and
in this phase I cannot stress communication enough.
As a buyer, you need to let your agent know what your expectations are and
then you also need to find out what the agent expects you to do, so communication
is key. Starts at the very beginning in the preparation phase and that's before
you look at the first property.
Then you're going to go into the property review phase and that doesn't necessarily
mean you're going to get in your car and look at every property that you see,
some of the properties you see you will be vetting online. There is so much
great photography and videography that you will be able to eliminate some
properties just by looking at the marketing materials, so you're going to look
at property online. The ones that check
many of your requirements are ones you're going to drive through the neighborhoods
to make sure those are close to your work that they have the amenities that you
want and that you'd like to live there.
Then you're going to book in person showing, so, this is the fun phase.
You're going to look at the properties and decide if they fit your family
lifestyle. Once you find a property that you really love, then your agent is
going to take you into the offer phase where you're going to write an offer. You're
going to learn how to review that offer with your agent before you sign it and then
you're going to be introduced to the electronic signature system that your
agent uses and then that offer is going to be packaged up in a nice neat
package, hopefully with a summary and sent over to the listing agent and then
the listing agent typically will present the offer to the seller.
Now, sometimes the seller will come back to you with changes to your
offer and that's called a counter offer. So, your offer is going to be going
back and forth between the listing broker and your buyer agent and with your
input, your buyer agent will be discussing all of the changes until both sides,
the selling side and the buying side are in agreement on all the terms and
conditions of the contract.
Then once you negotiate your way through that and everyone signs every
page, then your offer becomes a contract so you'll hear your agent say, “Congratulations!
You're under contract.” Once you have a contract, then you enter into the
contract phase, so what that means is you're going to be making official loan
application with your lender.
You're going to start the inspection process to make sure that the home
you're buying is exactly what you expect, then there's going to be an appraisal
that happens as your lender determines that the house truly is worth what
you've agreed to pay for it. After you get through the inspections and the
appraisals, you'll do a final walk through of the house to make sure it is exactly
what you thought it was when you put your contract on it and no significant
changes have occurred in that 30-day period while you're waiting to close.
If you're happy at the walk-through, then you go into the closing phase.
Actually, the closing phase is going to overlap a little bit with the contract phase
in that you do have to set up your insurance. You have to get your utilities all
set up and those things do have to be done a week or 10 days prior to your
closing date. You'll also have to wire your money to the title company so that
you have the cash that you need to close, and of course, I’m assuming you may
be setting up movers.
Something you may want to consider is having the house cleaned because
the standard Maryland contract requires that the house be broom clean. Broom
clean simply means, somebody's going to sweep the house. It doesn't mean
they're going to bring in professional cleaners or have the carpets
professionally cleaned and that house may not be up to your cleanliness
standards, so you'll need to decide are you going to hire somebody to come in
and start cleaning the minute you close? Are you going to go in and clean yourself
before you move? How are you going to manage that?
Now you have gotten to the closing table. You are the owner of the house
and then you enter into something I like to call, the post-closing phase. This
is where you really solidify your relationship with your realtor because there
should be service after the sale. Any question at all that comes up about that
house, you should be calling your agent first, asking the question and letting
the agent guide you through whatever direction that question goes.
You want that realtor to be able to help you for as long as you own the home
and beyond. The agent should be calling you, you should be calling the agent and
really enjoying the house and your future in that house. Congratulations!
We have talked about the phases of the contract. We start with preparation,
we go to property touring, we go to the offer phase, the contract phase, the
closing phase, and then the post-closing phase. We hope you have found this information
helpful. If you need more information, feel free to reach out to me at the
information on this video.
If you have more questions about the home purchasing or selling process
I would love to help answer them for you.