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First time home buyers

It is very important to have the following items in place before seriously looking for a home..

1- A pre-approval letter from your bank or mortgage broker (this should only take a couple of days).  In order to obtain a pre-approval letter you will need W-2 forms and tax returns from the past two years, three recent pay stubs and financial asset statements.

2- A real estate lawyer who can advise and help you with the transaction. Making an Offer

Once you have found your dream house and have your mortgage pre-approval and lawyer in place, you are ready to make an offer.  

Making an offer, What does it means?

Offer Price - The amount you plan to offer (which is supported by your pre-approval letter.) 

Mortgage Contingency - Is the offer contingent on obtaining mortgage financing?  It is important to discuss the implications of this contingency with your lawyer.

Engineering Contingency – This contingency gives you the right to perform due diligence on the property, including a home inspection, radon test, termites, oil tank due diligence,

Closing Timeframe- How long will it take you to get financing and close on the property?  Generally, 60 days is a reasonable closing timeframe.

Clarification that you have nothing to sell - Do you need to sell another property before you are able to purchase this next one?                       

Inclusions and exclusions - Are all light fixtures, air conditioners, etc. included in the price of the sale, or are certain items excluded because the seller plans to take them when they move?

Once you submit your offer, three things may happen:

1- Your offer could be accepted by the seller, then you have an accepted offer. You will want to move quickly to contract because nothing is binding until contracts are signed.   

2- A counter offer is made by the seller.  You will need to agree on the terms, or present another counter offer.

3- Your offer is rejected.

What happens next?

In case you select to do an engineering inspection, it should be schedule within 24-72 hours of the accepted offer. I recommended!

How much does an inspection cost and who pays for it?

Buyer request the inspection and you should expect to spend $500-$1,000 for the it, depending on the size of the property.  It takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. I recommend you be there at the time of the inspection along with your realtor.

Who prepares the contract?

The contract is prepared by the seller’s attorney and sent to your attorney. 

Your real estate lawyer goes over the specific details of the engineering inspection, results of the various tests, inclusions and exclusions list and other issues in the contract. This is something you do it together with your attorney. After you and your lawyer have reviewed the contract, it can be signed and returned to the seller’s attorney with a check for 10% of the purchase amount (the “escrow check”).   

Your escrow check has been cashed by the seller’s lawyer and only then the signed contract becomes valid.  This deposit will sit in an escrow account held by the seller’s lawyer until the time of closing.  This escrow money will then be credited toward the full amount of the purchase price at the closing.

Once contracts are signed, it could take 30, 60, or 90 days to close on a property.   

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