Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Connect with a licensed Compass real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the neighborhoods you’re considering and con help guide your search.
Before beginning your search, your first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan (unless you will be paying the full price of your home in cash). Your Compass agent can connect you to a mortgage broker. Based on your income and credit history, the mortgage broker will determine how much a bank will lend you, which will help you determine the price range for your search.
Now is the time to consider the location and amenities of your ideal home. You can attend viewings and open houses spanning a range of areas and property types. Additionally, your Compass agent will activate notifications for exclusive Coming Soon and Off-Market properties as they hit the market.
Once you identify a home you like. you can put in an offer which is an agreement to pay a certain price for the home. This offer is packaged with a Proof of Funds (POF) and a Pre-Approval Letter.
Note: (If your offer is lower than the list price or with terms not acceptable to the seller. the seller will likely return with a counter-offer price or acceptable terms. which you can accept. reject, or make another counter-offer. Your Compass agent will provide advice throughout).
(Life of on Escrow: 30 & 45 day escrow period)
Day 1: Once the offer is accepted. escrow is officially open and the clock begins on contingencies.*
Day 2: Contact your insurance agent for homeowners coverage.
Day 3: Initial deposit is due per terms of the agreement.
Day 1-17: Seller delivers disclosures to the buyer. Buyer performs inspections (Step 6)
Day 1-21: Loan is in underwriting and appraisal occurs (Step 7)
Day 7-30 or 21-45 : Seller signs grant deed and staging is removed if any (Step 7)
End of Escrow Within the final week of the escrow period, the buyer signs the loan and closing documents and wires in closing funds (Step 10)
Day 30-45 Loan funds and escrow closes (recordation)
*This escrow process is based on a standard 30-45 days transaction
It is the buyer’s duty to schedule all desired home inspections and determine the overall condition of the property within the agreed timeline and contractual contingencies. The buyer will also review the disclosures and preliminary title report. You may approve or negotiate credits/repairs. Prior to closing, remember to schedule a final walk-thru of the property to verify the property is still in acceptable condition and any negotiated repairs were done.
Organize the appraisal with your bank. Your completed mortgage application with all supporting documentation should be submitted to your chosen lender upon receipt of the fully signed Purchase Agreement. The bank then issues loan approval. Consequently, the buyer wires the closing funds with the homeowner’s insurance in place, and then the loan will be funded with clearance to close.
Congratulations! You are now a homeowner.
After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.