Pre-Approval-Your Realtor® probably has (or will) ask you about your “pre-approval.” That’s just shorthand for a pre-approval letter for a loan from a bank. In today’s market – and norms – as a buyer you will want to have gone through preliminary screening by a bank of your choosing so that they will issue you the so-called pre-approval letter. With that, you’ll have worked out the maximum loan amount, loan type, down-payment amount, and whether you will need the seller to help with closing costs (see above about that).
Home Alerts-These are great. Your Realtor® can set you up on “listing alerts,” or an automatic search for homes that meet your criteria that runs daily, sending any new homes right to your inbox with the most accurate information possible. No more, “I wonder if this is available?” If it’s in your inbox, it is! Every SRG buyer gets set up on these and you should too.
Earnest Money- A show of good faith on the part of the buyer. The sum gets applied to the buyer's closing costs/down payment and is refunded to buyer should the inspection go poorly.
Closing & Recording- Once the stars have aligned, lender has sent your loan documents and you’ve signed papers at the escrow company, we’ll all be waiting for RECORDING. The close date, usually(10-45 days from offer date Depending on the loan type), is generally ALSO the day the purchase records, but there is a slight difference.
We cannot release keys to your new home UNTIL it records. Most of the time, all parties sign by AM of close date, and then the transaction RECORDS late afternoon on the same day at the county. Usually 2-4PM.
Inspection Contingency- Initial period after offer acceptance where the buyer has the right to conduct a home inspection (or have a licensed inspector conduct on their behalf.) Buyer can accept the home as-is after reading the findings, request a price reduction/repairs, or rescind their offer and get earnest money refunded.
Closing Costs- One of the coolest parts about buying a home – in terms of cashflow and how much cash you need on-hand as a buyer – is the ability to ask for the seller to cover your closing costs. Aside from the down-payment, you will need between 3-6% of the sale price to cover your closing costs. That includes things like appraisal, lender, and escrow fees. Also insurance, taxes, and other prepaids (paid up front, like 3 months of home-owner’s insurance). Your lender will be able to tell you how much your closing costs will be and that largely depends on the type of loan you’re getting. A good rule of thumb is 3%.
Highest & Best- Uh, oh. You’re in a multiple-offer situation. The listing agent will tell your Realtor® to have you submit HIGHEST AND BEST. You will work with your Realtor® - and here’s where their experience and advice are invaluable – to craft the very best offer you can within your parameters. That might mean upping the offer amount, increasing earnest money deposit (see above), and many other options.
Financing Contingency- Offer is contingent on getting financing and successful appraisal.