Kathy Murray's Blog
Buying a new home can be an exciting experience. Unfortunately, the closing can seem a little daunting if you are unsure about what to expect during the closing process. Below is a simple guide as to what you can expect during the closing of your first home.
Knowing How Long the Process May Take
The process of closing a house is a complicated one and can take some time to perform properly. Don't expect to be able to move in shortly after your offer is accepted. If the seller does not request a longer escrow period, it can still take up to 41 days for the closing process to be completed. This length of time is typically the result of delays in the process, with the most common types of delays including transactional and financing issues.
Knowing Who Will Be Present During the Closing
While you may obviously expect both the seller and your's and their real estate agents to be present, there are also other officials who will need to be included in the process. There will be a representative from the title company, the lender who is providing the financing and a closing agent who will be brought by either the title company or the lender. Depending on the level of complication of the transaction, an attorney for you or the seller may be present as well.
Understanding Which Documents You Will Be Expected to Look At
You will be presented with a number of key documents during the actual closing and will be required to sign a number as well. The amount of paperwork can seem overwhelming, but your agent, the finance company and a representative from the title company will be there to answer any questions that you may have about each of the documents. You can better prepare yourself by understanding the purpose of each document before they are presented to you. Documents you are likely to see during the closing process include:
- Loan Estimate: The loan estimate will include the terms of the loan, the interest rate and detailed closing costs. You will be expected to verify that all the information in the document is correct.
- Closing Disclosure: This will outline the details of your mortgage, and you will be able to see the document before the closing, so any changes can be made if necessary.
- Escrow Statement: The statement will detail the payments that will be made from the escrow account during the first year of the mortgage from your lender. It will include taxes and insurance.
- Mortgage Note: This is your promise to repair the mortgage and what steps the lender can take if you fail to make payment.
- Deed: The deed to the property will provide the lender's claim against your home if you fail to pay.
If you are unsure about any of the closing process, talk to your real estate agent, so there are no surprises, and your closing can proceed as smoothly as possible.
Buying a home should be a quick, simple process. However, the homebuying cycle sometimes proves to be a hassle, particularly for those who are shopping for a house for the first time.
Lucky for you, there are many quick, easy ways to become a smart homebuyer – here are three tips to ensure you can make informed decisions throughout the homebuying journey.
1. Check Out a Broad Array of Houses
Purchasing a home can be a fun, exciting journey, especially if you explore a wide range of residences.
Remember, the more residences you check out, the more likely it becomes that you'll find one that matches or exceeds your expectations.
When you review houses, be sure to analyze each property's interior and exterior closely. That way, you can identify any problem areas and determine whether these issues are potential deal-breakers.
Also, don't hesitate to check out the same house multiple times. It never hurts to take a second look at a house. And if you find that you enjoy a home after a second walk-through, you may be ready to submit an offer on this residence.
2. Set a Homebuying Budget
Before you make an offer on a house, it is important to consider exactly what you can afford. By doing so, you can avoid the temptation to overspend in the hopes of acquiring your dream house.
Many homebuyers get pre-approved for a mortgage – something that may prove to be exceedingly valuable.
With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will know exactly how much money he or she can spend on a home. This will enable a homebuyer to enter the housing market with a budget in hand and map out his or her home search accordingly.
Furthermore, consider your monthly expenses prior to submitting a home offer. Electricity and assorted utility expenses can add up quickly, so you'll want to account for these costs. And if you want cable and internet services at your new home, you'll want to evaluate these potential expenses as well.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a housing market professional, and as such, will help you simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you to understand your homebuying needs. He or she then will help you develop a homebuying strategy, one that ensures you can purchase your ideal house at a budget-friendly price.
With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble acquiring a wonderful residence. This housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new property listings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. As a result, a real estate agent will guarantee you can get the best results possible throughout the home selling journey.
Don't leave anything to chance as you kick off your home search. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become a smart home shopper in no time at all.
9 Masconemet Ave, Norfolk, MA 02056
10 BROOKFIELD ROAD, Dover, MA 02030
Real estate agents sell homes -- but the agent you choose should offer you a comprehensive lineup of services and assistance. If your agent is just a "set it and forget it" seller, you're missing out on the level of service you deserve. Ask any prospective agent about what they have to offer, and compare it to the list below to ensure you are in good hands.
Present the Home Accurately & Well
From the language used to describe your home in listings to the photographs and level of detail attached to the listing, your agent needs to be able to create a compelling listing package that appeals to the right buyers. Simply grabbing a few pictures and picking a price is not enough; they should be able to fully relay how amazing your property is. If they do not have the right approach to listing and presentation, all the marketing in the world won't help. Your agent should also properly qualify buyers -- so you don't end up with a steady stream of visitors, but no actual offers.
Have a Robust Marketing Plan
Marketing means more than just listing the home and putting up a sign; your home should actively appear in listings online and in print. You should see your home on the agent's website and in their social media feeds. Open houses, agent viewings and other events should be part of the plan. If your prospective agent can't tell you how they'll market your home, they may not have a plan at all.
Deliver Bad News
If you're a buyer, your buyer's agent should let the sellers know what issues are preventing you from making an offer, or why you've chosen the figure you have. If you're selling, your agent needs to be able to let you know the things you should change before you list -- or fill you in on agent and buyer reactions to your home. If they can't communicate these details, then you might miss out.
Negotiate on Your Behalf
Your agent needs to be able to negotiate with other professional agents to arrive at a fair price for your home, whether you are the buyer or the seller. Unless your agent is a skilled negotiator, you could come out with less money for your home -- or overpay for a new property. Two skilled agents working together can come up with a solution that works for everyone and ensure you have a seamless transaction.
Listen to Your Concerns
Your agent should fully understand the factors that matter to you most, whether you are buying or selling. From the bottom line amount you have to get from your home to the safeguarding of your pets when the home is shown your agent should listen to you and answer your questions fully. If you don't feel like you are being heard or the agent isn't responding to your needs, you likely need a better match.
Understanding the roles your agent can play and what they should offer you can help you evaluate a REALTOR® and ensure you find your perfect match. You'll be working together for a while, so taking the time to find an agent who cares and delivers will have a huge impact on your home selling or buying experience.