Congratulations! Together with your agent, you have found the right home for you. Now, the purchase process will begin with making an offer.
Realtors® have standard forms (including Residential Purchase Agreements) kept up to date with the changing laws. Florida, like many other states, requires sellers of homes and other residential properties to provide disclosures to buyers about the property’s condition and history. Be sure to ask your Realtor about compliance with disclosure rules, and any other questions you may have along the way.
After the offer is prepared by your Realtor and signed by you, your agent will deliver it to the seller’s agent, who will present it to their customer. Your purchase offer, if accepted by the seller, will become a binding sales contract—also known as a Purchase Agreement. It’s important, therefore, the offer contain every element needed to serve as a blueprint for the final sale. Your offer will include the following:
When an offer is provided, a seller can accept it exactly as it stands, refuse it, or make a counteroffer with the changes they desire. Your agent will then work with you and negotiate to reach satisfactory terms.
You found the house you love, put in an offer, and it was accepted! If you have applied for a mortgage, your future home must undergo a comprehensive appraisal. Appraisals are not a requirement for cash transactions but may be requested by the buyer. Appraisals can be a somewhat nerve-wracking process, but remember that your Realtor® is here to help—and the appraisal is for your protection as a buyer.
An appraiser will use many factors to determine the value of the property, including the condition, square footage, location, and any additions or renovations. The value will be based upon recent comparable home sales within the area, market conditions, and other factors. After the appraiser’s final assessment, they will give their report to the lender. The mortgage company is then required by law to give a copy of the appraisal to you.
Should the appraisal come in low and your contract with the seller was contingent on an appraisal, your Realtor will assist you in the additional paths you can pursue to make the transaction happen.
Your Realtor®️ will discuss this process with you and be helpful in recommending several licensed home inspectors and coordinating the process. Buyers should also be present for the inspection, as this is a vital step toward closing.
Should issues be found during the inspection, the vast majority may be repairable, and even a major problem doesn’t necessarily mean you will not close on the home.
Your Realtor®️ will review the inspection and assist you in choosing the best course of action. If your offer was contingent on a successful inspection, you have a good basis to request that the current owners make repairs before closing. You’ll want to get this in writing, along with provisions if the sellers fail to fix the problems.
Keep in mind, there may be no obligation for sellers to address the inspector’s discoveries. If they aren’t willing to shoulder the burden, you need to assess whether the cost is worth the reward. Your Realtor will be there for you to discuss your options.
If financing is needed, another necessary task during the contract-to-closing period is to transform your mortgage pre-approval into a final loan commitment. Pre-approval is a good indicator of your ability to afford a mortgage, but does not guarantee the loan. It simply states that you are generally qualified to purchase a home up to a certain amount based upon a preliminary examination of your personal financial qualifications.
A loan commitment, on the other hand, comes only after you’ve supplied thorough documentation to verify such items as your income, assets, employment history, credit status, the valuation and condition of the subject property; and clear title for the seller to transfer ownership to you. A timeframe of 60 days can be expected for this process to take place. Even after you’ve been pre-approved for a home, there is a chance the loan could be denied. Denials most frequently occur when some aspect of your financial picture shifts between the time you are pre-approved and the time you apply for the actual mortgage (e.g., you lose your job or use a large portion of your savings).
Speak with your Realtor®️ and mortgage specialist to ensure you are taking the right steps to secure financing.
Knowing that your most valuable asset is protected in the event of a natural disaster, loss caused by theft, or an accident occurring on your property, is well worth the investment in home insurance. Many mortgage lenders, including banks, will not grant a home loan unless the property owner has homeowners insurance.
Reputable insurance companies work with homeowners to underwrite comprehensive home insurance policies that will mitigate the risks of loss. To ensure optimal coverage for your home, be sure to work with a team of experienced insurance agents and a company able to provide you with the comprehensive coverage you need. Michael Saunders & Company offers buyers the option to work with Baldwin Krystyn Sherman (BKS) Insurance — a joint venture partnership in personal insurance. It is easy to obtain a quote and receive a custom-designed policy according to your lifestyle and property needs.
Get assistance in determining the current property value, crafting a competitive offer, writing and negotiating a contract, and much more. Contact Melissa today.