The Buying Process
Even into 2021, Nashville remains a seller’s market. This means there is a low inventory of available houses and a high demand of buyers. This formula leads to a home buying process that can be challenging and competitive! Having a smart plan, realistic expectations, and an experienced agent who negotiates outside of the box will help make your home buying process more competitive and successful.
Here is an overview of the steps involved in buying a home.
1 – Advanced Financial Preparation
The first step to buying a home is understanding your budget and buying power to establish a price range. Along with a down-payment, you will need cash to cover additional closing costs, a deposit and
inspection costs. Make sure your credit report is clear from any unknown blemishes. Without a high credit score, you won’t qualify for the best mortgage interest rates available. Run your own full credit check to ensure your report is clean and looking good before anything else! Beginning financial preparation with your REALTOR® six to nine months in advance is a wise step!
2 – Hiring Your REALTOR®
Finding someone you know, like and trust is KEY to putting them to work for you! Consultations often start over a casual coffee chat. Your agent of choice should connect
you with other resources such as lenders, home inspectors, and title attorneys. Hiring your REALTOR® in Tennessee can only be established by a written exclusive agency agreement.
3 – Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
You aren’t ready to preview homes until you have a loan pre-approval letter in-hand. A licensed lender can help evaluate your financial standing and provide a pre-approval. Getting pre-approved doesn’t obligate you to a work with that lender, but it will help guide your options during the home shopping process. Lenders offer a wide range of loan programs. It’s important to work with one you trust to help you determine the best loan for your specific situation. We have fantastic lenders on our team we can refer you to!
4 – The Home Search!
Most of the search is done online. We’ll narrow down searches by neighborhood, price and those special features on your wish-list. With us, you will have access to off-market and coming soon properties. That way, you’ll always get the first look before others know it’s for sale! When you find a home that you like, we’ll schedule a showing tour for you to preview the property in person.
5 – Submitting an Offer
When you’ve found the right house and are ready to move forward with a purchase, we work together on the strongest offer possible to win the contract. There is a lot to consider when making an offer. We’ll discuss the purchase price, the closing date, home warranty, purchase contingencies and any special conditions for your purchase. Once an offer is submitted, the seller may accept, reject or counter the offer. If the seller counters your offer, we will enter a negotiation period until reaching a win-win agreement, or the offer is rejected by either party.
6 – You’re Under Contract!
When your offer is accepted, you are officially under contract! This period averages 30-45 days, and the home cannot be sold to anyone else while the contract remains in effect. Now comes the time to make an earnest money deposit, schedule an inspection and secure your loan with your lender.
7 – Home Inspection & Repair Negotiations
Home inspections are a crucial part of the home buying process. A licensed home inspector conducts a comprehensive analysis of the entire property. You receive an extensive report detailing any problems with the condition of the home’s structure or systems. The inspector also investigate potential issues such as pest infestations, radon or mold. If we included an inspection contingency in the purchase contract (definitely do this!), we may enter another round of negotiations to resolve any major repairs or problems discovered during the inspection. A final walkthrough is completed right before closing to ensure all negotiated repairs were completed successfully.
8 – Appraisals
As part of the loan process, your lender will schedule a professional appraisal of the home. An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the fair market value of the home. If the home appraises at less than the expected value (what you’re paying for it), we may have the option to renegotiate the purchase agreement or terminate the contract. This is called the “appraisal contingency”.
9 – Closing Day!
Congratulations, Home Owner, you are “clear to close”! Stretch your fingers for all the paperwork signing at your title attorney’s office. Your lender provides a final closing disclosure that summarizes the loan terms, monthly payments, taxes, and other costs associated with the closing. Once all the paperwork is completed and your loan is funded, you will receive keys to your new home!