The Buying Experience
Buying a home is exciting!
We will guide you through the steps so you’ll know what to expect at each stage of the home-buying process. Every situation is a little different, but this outline will help you anticipate what comes next in buying your new home.
At Property Cape Cod Real Estate, our agents are devoted to helping you find the right house to fit your needs, on your timetable. You deserve a REALTOR you can connect with and trust—one who listens to you and always has your best interest at heart. We understand how important this is in making your home-buying experience pleasant.
When starting to look for your new home, it’s a good idea to already have a pre-approval letter from a bank, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender for two reasons. First, it helps you decide your home-buying budget, so your REALTOR knows at what price point to search for houses. Second, it strengthens your offer to purchase. Buyers who complete this step before beginning their home search will have a bargaining advantage in a situation where competing offers are made on the same property.
What happens when you find a home you want to purchase?
1. You make an offer, consisting of:
A. The amount you are willing to pay.
Your Property Cape Cod agent will advise you of the amount you might consider offering, based upon comparable sales, but the decision on the offer amount and possible contingencies is yours! Contingencies are conditions the buyer wants to have in place before agreeing to the sale, such as inspections of and for: the house structure, pests, lead paint, radon, water quality, and the septic system. Anything built-in remains with the property, but items not built-in, such as the washer, dryer, refrigerator, and window treatments, need to be specified in your offer if you would like them included in the purchase. It’s best not to assume something “comes with the house”; and we will get it all outlined for you. Make that clear in your offer
B. A time limit for a response from the seller.
A period of 24 to 48 hours is a typical amount of time for the seller to respond, but remember that there are always exceptions.
C. A good faith deposit from the buyer to bind the offer.
On Cape Cod, typically it is check for $1,000.00, held in escrow until the closing.
2. The seller replies to your offer.
A. Your offer is accepted, so you skip to Step 3.
B. The seller declines your offer and doesn’t make a counter-offer. You can make another offer or choose to consider a different property.
C. The seller counters your offer, with different terms or compromises.
The sale moves ahead once the buyer and seller have agreed, verbally, to the selling price and the contingencies.
The next steps are:
3. The Written, Signed Offer, which is legally binding by including the good faith deposit.
4. The various inspections take place, and are arranged and scheduled by the buyer to take place within 10 days.
There are always exceptions and varying circumstances, but this is the typical time frame.
5. The Purchase and Sales Agreement.
This document is a more elaborate legal document of your offer, where a larger deposit is held in escrow. The goal is to protect both the buyer and seller, and to ensure that all expectations are clear. We recommend that you hire a lawyer to review, make recommendations and revise if needed in your best interest.
6. Obtaining a Mortgage Commitment is the last step before the closing.
7. Buyers apply for Homeowners’ Insurance once the mortgage commitment has been fulfilled.
8. The Closing
About 2 to 4 weeks after the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed, the closing takes place. Congratulations! You now own a new home!