Buying and selling a home is a very important moment in anyone’s life. However, the process of buying a home can be long and complicated. Therefore, anyone thinking of buying a home should ask for all the help they have available to ensure success.
Without steps and organisation, the sales process can be time-consuming, frustrating and full of arguments between seller and buyer. But if you are able to optimise the whole selling process you will save time and close the deal faster. Let’s look at the process of selling a property.
Step 1: Check if you can obtain a mortgage
Before you start the home-buying process, make sure that you are in a position to take on this expense. Therefore, the first step is to check your credit situation and review your finances.
Getting a mortgage is not always easy, the bank will look at your entire financial history before agreeing to grant it, so staying one step ahead of them can be very helpful.
Step 2: Save for the initial entry
Although with the mortgage you acquire the total cost of the purchase of the house, you will have to advance an amount of money for a down payment. Keep in mind that the larger the down payment, the more capital you will have available, the lower the monthly mortgage costs will be and the less interest you will pay.
It is generally recommended that you put at least 20% down. In addition, along with the down payment, you will need to have some money available for the fees associated with the processing and sale and purchase. Although this amount can vary, these costs will be between 3% and 6% of the purchase price.
Step 3: Determine the price of housing you can afford
Before you go to the bank to apply for a mortgage, work out how much house you can afford. The bank will tell you how much money you qualify for, but you need to make sure that you are within your budget and that you can actually afford the payments each month.
Be sure to include in these monthly payments the extra monthly expenses that owning a home will take, such as taxes, insurance, community fees, etc. Once you have determined how much you can afford to spend, also take into account the lifestyle you want to have and always leave yourself a cushion in case of emergencies.
Step 4: Choose a bank
Many buyers do not realise that they should check with several banks before choosing one. There may be variations in the interest rates, terms and closing costs offered by each bank. By comparing different options, you will be able to choose one that makes the mortgage process as simple and convenient as possible.
To get a loan approved, the bank will conduct a thorough investigation of your finances. They will check your income and assets and tell you how much money they are willing to lend you and how much the loan will cost.
Step 5: Find the right lawyer
There are some buyers who do not want the help of a real estate lawyer, but that is always a big mistake. A lawyer will represent you throughout the home buying and selling process to make sure that everything is done correctly.
Real estate lawyers take the stress out of this experience by providing buyers with their market knowledge and negotiation skills at all times.
Step 6: Choose a house
Once you have determined how much you can afford to spend and have found the right lawyer to help you through the home buying and selling process, it’s time to choose a home. When you start looking at options, you will most likely realise that your perfect home is not on the market or doesn’t fit your budget.
Therefore, it is vitally important to determine your priorities and decide what you are willing to sacrifice. Start asking yourself which aspects of a house you absolutely need and which you could do without.
Location: In which neighbourhoods do you prefer to live?
Typeof house: Do you want a flat, a detached house, a semi-detached house…?
Size: What is your ideal surface area?
Bedrooms and bathrooms: How many bedrooms do you need? How many bathrooms?
Condition: Are you looking for a new building or are you willing to build a house?
For example, if you have children, is it necessary for each to have their own room or is it preferable for them to be close to schools? Finding the ideal home is a matter of give and take. So make sure you know what you are willing to give up.
Step 7: Make your offer
When you find the right home, ask your lawyer to conduct a comparative analysis of the market price of the area to determine what would be a fair price based on sales of similar homes in the same area before you make your offer.
In addition to the price you plan to offer, talk to your lawyer about making a stipulation in the offer that if a certain condition is not met, the buyer is free to break the contract without any repercussions. For example, if for any reason you do not get the financing, you can withdraw it.
After making any offer, ask to inspect the house to make sure you know what the condition of the house is like. The seller should be willing to do any necessary work or deduct the cost of repairs from the purchase price. You can negotiate the offer based on the repairs needed or even break the deal if the house needs more work than you thought it would.
Step 8: Submit a deposit
Along with your offer, you will be asked to provide an earnest money deposit, which is your way of showing the seller that you are serious about removing the house from the market. The amount of the deposit will be negotiated by your real estate lawyer, but is usually between 1% to 3% of the purchase price. If you change your mind and decide not to buy the house, the seller will keep your deposit. It is therefore essential that your lawyer specifies all these clauses and avoid legal problems.
Step 9: Check that the property is valued.
If you have taken out a mortgage to buy your home, your lawyer will require it to be appraised before agreeing to make payment. The appraisal estimates the actual value based on sales in the area, market trends, public records and a thorough inspection of the home.
This ensures that the purchase price of the house is in line with its real value. If one day you stop paying the mortgage because you cannot keep up with the monthly payments, a foreclosure will be carried out and if the bank has to sell the house it will be done taking into account the appraisal.
Step 10: Handing over the keys
During the closing of the sale, the title to the property will pass from the seller into your name. Your real estate lawyer will oversee this entire process. He or she will act as a mediator between the two parties and oversee that all the necessary documents have been signed and that payments and disbursements are made correctly.
Although the home buying process can be confusing, these steps will help you get through it smoothly. If you are still unsure about a step or would like to ask a real estate lawyer to help you through the process, you can contact our expert lawyers.