Real Estate in Portland & SW Washington!
Nicole D. Brewer

1st Time Home Buyers

Buying a home can seem like an overwhelming process. I work hard to make the process clear and as easy as possible!

General steps to buying a home

1) Get pre-approved for a loan so you know what price range to look in and what you can comfortably afford. You can get pre-approved by contacting your local bank or by contacting a mortgage broker. Once you are pre-approved get a copy of your pre-approval letter to give to your real estate agent. If you need the names of a few good lenders I would be happy to recommend lenders I have worked with in the past!

2) Find a good real estate agent and stick with them. The seller pays buyer’s agents their commission, so using multiple real estate agents doesn’t workout. Check with your agent to make sure they’re a full time agent and that they can work with your schedule to show you homes. Buyer’s agents work hard for you so pick one and stick with them!

3) Sit down with your real estate agent and go over what you’re looking for. Somethings to keep in mind are: area you want to live in, size of home, size of yard, do you need a garage, proximity to schools, etc.. Some of your criteria may change throughout the process, which is completely okay just communicate any changes with your agent so you’re on the same page.

4) Once your agent knows what you want they will send you new listings as they come on the market. When picking an agent you may want to check to see if they do this or if you need to search too. I check for new listings throughout the day for all of my clients. I call or email my clients as soon as a new home that meets what they’re looking for goes on the market. In today’s market it’s important to go look at new listings ASAP because if they’re priced right they will sell fast.

5) Go look at homes with your agent. You may look at 1 home or you may look at many homes before you find the one that’s right for you. If you’re going to look at several homes I recommend writing notes of pros and cons of every home. *If you have time drive by homes that interest you online to make sure you like the neighborhood prior to scheduling a showing, this will help save your time and your agent’s time.

6) Once you find a home that you want to put an offer in on you will sit down with your agent to go through the offer paper work. This should take about 30 minutes to an hour depending on the details of your offer. Your agent will have all the necessary paperwork and will walk you through the offer step by step.

Some things to keep in mind prior to writing your offer: How soon do you want to close and take possession of the home? 30-45 days is typical. How much earnest money can you do? 1% of the purchase price is typical. Do you want to ask the seller to pay closing costs, will you bundle these in the loan or will you pay for closing costs out of pocket on top of your down payment? It’s a good idea to talk this over with your lender. Do you want to ask the seller to leave all appliances? Generally the washer, dryer and refrigerator are not included in the sale.

Steps of the offer process:

1) Have your agent write up the offer, sign it and have your agent submit it with a copy of your earnest money check and pre-approval letter from your lender.

2) Wait for the seller’s response. The seller can accept your offer, counter your offer or choose to reject your offer.

3) If your agent receives a counteroffer respond to the counteroffer. The seller can then accept or counter your counteroffer.

4) Once your offer is accepted you will have a few days, typically 3 days to deposit earnest money with the title company selected in your offer.

5) Schedule a home inspection, typically you will have 10 days to have this completed and let the seller know how you want to proceed. Once the home inspection is done the inspector will provide you with a full inspection report on the home the day of the inspection or the following day. You will then have several choices on how you want to proceed. 1) Waive the inspection contingency and proceed with the purchase as is. 2) Ask the seller to repair specific items at their expense or ask for money off of the home for these repairs to be done at a later date. 3) Terminate the contract due to issues found during the home inspection. If you chose to terminate the contract within your 10 day inspection contingency time frame due to something found during the home inspection your earnest money will be refunded back to you in full.

6) Sit back and wait for the lender to prepare your loan. Please be patient with your lender during the process because they will ask for and require a lot of information and documentation from you throughout the whole process.

7) The title company will call you and/or your real estate agent to schedule a time to sign all closing documents. Typically your closing date is the day after you sign at the title company, double check this with your lender and agent. After you sign all closing documents you will want to call and have all utilities transferred into you name, effective on the close date.

8) Once your loan has funded and recorded the house is officially yours! You will meet your real estate agent to get the keys.

I look forward to making your real estate dreams come true!