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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!