The Buyer’s Checklist

 

1. Figure out how much house you can afford.

  • Calculate your monthly income and debt.
  • Check your credit report and FICO score.
  • Use The Premier Group’s mortgage calculator.
  • Figure out your down payment
  • You can do this yourself or call a loan officer who will do it for free!
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2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

  • Choose a type of mortgage.
  • Speak to at least five lenders and mortgage brokers, we will be happy to loan officers that we have used before and had great experiences with.
  • Shop for the best interest rates and programs.
  • Go with the mortgage company you trust.
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3. Determine what you want and need in a home.

  • Choose a location (downtown, urban, suburban, or rural).
  • Choose a type (single family, townhouse, condo, or loft).
  • Choose a price range. (Based on the monthly payment you can afford)
  • Choose a size.
  • Choose an architectural style.
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4. Research your target neighborhoods.

  • Look online for information on schools, crime rate, traffic and zoning.
  • Determine your work commute.
  • Scout local amenities, such as parks, shops and restaurants.
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5. Work with a buyer’s agent who knows the neighborhood.

  • Get referrals.
  • Consider working with an exclusive buyer’s agent.
  • Interview at least three agents.
  • Look for experience and good chemistry.
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6. Ask your agent to set you up on a drip campaign and receive homes with your criteria, daily, monthly or weekly.

  • Browse listings online, including, Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com and FrontDoor.com.
  • Ask your agent to set you up on an e-mailing list through MLS of homes that fit you criteria.
  • Ask your agent to set up showings of homes that you have chosen.
  • Ask your agent about attending open houses in the area.
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7. Research each home you want to buy.

  • Ask your agent for comps to estimate the property’s fair market value.
  • Review the Seller’s Disclosure.
  • Ask about HOA dues.
  • Ask your agent to find out about liens, easements or other restrictions on the property.
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8. Make an offer and negotiate.

  • Determine the purchase price.
  • Negotiate terms, such as closing costs, special provisions, and sale price.
  • Include contingencies, such as financial, inspection or purchase.
  • Spell out any special requests and repairs you want included in the sale.
  • Determine an earnest money amount.
  • Set terms for option period.
  • Define a closing date.
  • Once both parties agree to the terms, sign the Single 1-4 Family Residential Contract.
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9. Finalize the deal.

  • Get the house appraised.
  • Get a professional home inspection.
  • Consider getting specific inspections for structural engineering, roof and termites.
  • Use the appraisal and inspection reports to re-negotiate if necessary.
  • Ask your agent about choosing a home insurance company.
  • Complete the loan process with the lender.
  • Do a walk-through inspection prior to closing.
  • Set aside cash for the closing costs and down payment.
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10. Close the purchase.

  • Review the HUD-1 document at least 2 days before closing to see how funds will be collected and distributed.
  • Get a cashier’s check for the amount you need to bring to closing, including the down payment and closing costs.
  • Go to Title Company and close on your new home!