Buyer’s Checklist

Below is a checklist, provided to give you an overview of the “average” transaction. Often, a real estate file will fall outside of normal and require additional steps or documentation. The best way to ensure a smooth transaction is to enlist the help of a professional realtor and maintain contact with him/her throughout your process.

1. Contact a Mortgage Professional

  • Obtain a Pre-Approval Letter
  • Identify Best Mortgage Program for You
  • Determine Max Loan Amount
  • Contribution Need from Seller
  • Ask if Pest Inspection will be required

2. Hire a Professional Real Estate Team

  • Access to MLS
  • Years of Experience
  • Schedule a Meeting to Discuss Your Needs and Begin Your Search

3. Start Your Home Search

  • Get a Feel for the Market – Spend a day seeing multiple (6-8) houses
  • Make a Home Wishlist – things you MUST have, things you would like…
  • Sign up for FREE Listing Alerts

4. Make an Offer

  • Prepare to make an Earnest Money Deposit – $1000 minimum (usually around 1% of price)
  • The Date all Parties Agree is the Date of Purchase Agreement
  • Once all parties have agreed – take or wire deposit to title company identified by your realtor

5. Make Formal Application with Your Lender within 1-3 Days of Purchase Agreement

  • Provide Purchase Agreement to Your Lender
  • Pay Application Fee to Your Lender – usually About $500
  • Sign Mortgage Documents – Many are now electronic signatures
  • Obtain a List of Items Still Needed by Your Lender
  • Ask if Well/Septic Inspection will be required

6. Shop for Homeowner’s Insurance – within 1-3 Days of Purchase Agreement

  • Provide Purchase Details to Your Agent
  • Ask if a Wind Mitigation Inspection will save you money
  • Ask if a 4-Point Inspection will be required
  • It is a good idea to obtain a quote from several companies
  • Provide the “winning” quote and agent contact information to your lender

7. Get a Home Inspection within 7 Days of Purchase Agreement

  • Get Recommendations for a Qualified Inspector from Your Agent
  • Make sure the Home Inspector knows the completion date required
  • Order wind mitigation, pest inspection and 4-point inspection from Home Inspector if needed
  • Communicate date of inspection and inspector name to your realtor and lender

8. Review Home Inspection with your Realtor

  • Identify any deal killers
  • Obtain estimates
  • Request repairs from seller in writing

9. Follow Up with Lender After You Are Past Home Inspection

  • Order Appraisal
  • Provide All Items Requested Previously

10. Loan Approval

  • Conditions – Additional Items Required by the Underwriter. Get these back to Lender ASAP
  • Get a Copy of Your Appraisal from Your Lender
  • Order Survey (check with realtor and lender so you don’t end up with multiple surveys)
  • Get Clear to Close from Lender

11. Closing

  • Get Amount Needed to Close from Lender – usually the day before closing
  • Wire Funds to Title Company
  • Bring Picture IDs
  • Possession – You will usually get keys at closing or later that day

Congratulations! You are a Home Owner!!