The Home Buying Process

Getting Started With Your Home Search:

Congratulations on your decision to purchase a home! Reward Realty is committed to helping make the process as seamless as possible from beginning to end. Here is a brief overview of what the home buying process looks like.

1. Choosing a Realtor who you trust!

Purchasing a home is a major decision and it is important that you work with an expert that you can trust to help you make the best investment for you and/or your family.

2. Getting Pre-Approved for financing

When comparing options for financing your home purchase, it is important to consider not only rates, but customer service as well. Is this lender available around the clock to help answer questions, or do they stick to a strict M-F 9-5 type schedule? How quickly can we close? Do they offer programs that work for our financial situation? The purchasing process takes teamwork, so we want to make sure everyone is ready to go the extra mile for you as the customer!

3. Looking at must-have criteria for your home

Inevitably your criteria and/or area that you are looking in may change throughout your search, but it is helpful if you have an idea from the beginning of any essentials that are important for you and your family. Some examples are schools, distance from work, proximity to public transit, etc.

4. Viewing homes

This can be done either through open houses or scheduled showings with your agent. While open houses allow you the convenience of popping in for a quick look, touring with your agent can give you the opportunity to review comparable sales, review inspections and/or disclosures, learn about local market conditions and competition and ask questions regarding the next steps.

5. Reviewing Comparable Sales Data and Disclosures

In a competitive market, it is not uncommon to see homes receive multiple offers. Once strategy agents will use to encourage this is pricing the home low to attract attention. Looking at comparable sales data will give us a good idea of the true value of the home and what price range the home is likely to sell at.

6. Making an Offer

Prior to making an offer, we will sit down together and go over the purchase contract and all disclosure pages together. It is important to use that you never sign anything that you don't understand. Purchasing a home is an important decision, and we want to make sure you are comfortable every step of the way.

7. Offer Accepted!

Congratulations on having your offer accepted! Now is the time to finalize your financing and locking in your interest rate. It is important to get this started quickly so that we may honor the timeframes in our purchase contract. The Ernest Money Deposit (EMD) is due into escrow within 72 hours of acceptance, unless otherwise specified. Typically this amount is equal to 3% of the purchase price. The EMD may be turned in via personal check, cashier's check, or wire and is made out to the title company directly.

8. Order Inspections

It is your right, but not your obligation to order a home inspection or any other inspection that may be pertinent to the property. It is not uncommon for sellers to have some inspections performed prior to listing the home, however it is never a bad idea to have another inspector take a second look. The Buyer's Inspection Advisory outlines some of the inspections you may consider before moving forward with the purchase.

9. Remove Contingencies

Contingencies are buyer protections in the purchase agreement which give a specific time period for appraisal, loan approval and inspection. If contingencies are included in your offer, it is expected to try and work within the specified timeframes listed. In the event that more time is needed, a buyer may request an extension of time to remove the contingency. It will be up to the sellers whether or not to grant the extension. Up to two days prior to the contingency deadline, the sellers may issue a Notice to Perform or Quit which gives buyers 48 hours to either remove the contingency or pull out of the contract. Once all contingencies are removed, the EMD is no longer refundable and may be retained by the sellers for liquidated damages.

10. Loan Approval

Loan approval is one of the final steps in the purchasing process. Once the underwriters have approved your loan, loan documents will be ordered and sent to the title company for signing.

11. Sign Loan Documents

Loan documents are signed with a licensed notary either in the title office or in some other convenient location of your choosing. Please make sure to bring a valid form of ID with you to the signing and a cashier's check for the remaining balance of your down payment and any closing costs. This number will be given to you prior to signing by the lender and/or the escrow company. With all of the online fraud going on, it is important to always call to verify wiring instructions.

12. Funding and Close of Escrow

Once your signed loan documents and remaining funds have been received by the bank, you will be in the final stage and ready for funding. Every bank is slightly different in the way that they handle funding, and this is simply meant to help provide a general timeline for reference. It is possible to sometimes fund and close on the same day, however typically we will see the loan fund and close the following business day.

13. Keys

Keys are typically turned over by 6:00pm on close of escrow unless otherwise agreed upon by both buyer and seller. Congratulations on your new home purchase!