buyer services

Mortgage Pre-Approval
1. Mortgage Pre-Approval

Unless you're paying cash for your home, you'll need to talk to a lender about obtaining a pre-approval letter for financing.  The lender can provide answers to questions about interest rates, closing costs, loan products, down payment requirements, and monthly payment expectations.  We can provide referrals for mortgage lenders if needed.

Make An Offer
4. Make An Offer

Once you have found The One, we will review the comparable sales data to analyze the list price and come up with an offer strategy.  We will review the sales contract and offer terms and present the offer in writing to the listing agent.  You will be guided through the negotiation process and once terms are mutually agreed by buyer and seller, the offer will be revised for the seller to sign.  Once the contract is signed by both parties, you will be officially under contract and earnest money (typically 1% of the sales price) and the termination option fee will be due.

Clear Mortgage Contingencies
7. Clear Mortgage Contingencies

If you are obtaining financing, you will have a mortgage contingency typically 20-30 days to obtain a mortgage commitment.  Once your lender has all of your documents, they will send it to underwriting to review.  Once underwriting has issued a Clear-to-Close, your loan is complete and the file will be sent to the title company for closing.

Buyer Consultation
2. Buyer Consultation

We'll sit down with you at our office (or via phone or virtual) to discuss your search criteria in detail, review available inventory, and answer any questions about the home buying process.  This will maximize efficiency of your time looking at properties that meet your criteria and we can all be on the same page with your timeframe and home ownership goals.

Inspection & Attorney Review
5. Inspection & Attorney Review

You will have an inspection contingency typically for 7-14 days to conduct an inspection after the offer is signed.  We can provide referrals for professional home inspectors if needed.  If any serious issues are uncovered, you can negotiate seller repairs or credits at closing to have the repair done yourself.  You will pay the inspector upon having the inspection.  It is optional to have a real estate attorney review your contract, title commitment and closing documents.  We can provide referrals for local real estate attorneys if needed.

Final Walk-Through
8.  Final Walk-Through

Before we head to the closing table, we'll have a final walk though of your future home.  This is our chance to make sure the sellers made any repairs agreed to, all appliances and fixtures negotiated were left behind and that the sellers didn't accidentally damage the home when moving out.

Home Search
3. Home Search

After the available properties are narrowed down to your list of favorites, we will schedule buyer tours to see homes that not only fit your criteria but also have great resale potential.  Navigating the search process to help you make a smart investment is our priority. 

Loan Application & Appraisal
6. Loan Application & Appraisal

If you are obtaining financing, you will need to make a loan application upon receiving the contract.  Your lender will let you know the list of financial documents necessary to provide to the lender including a couple months of bank statements, tax records, pay stubs, etc.  Once you feel confident your home purchase is moving forward after attorney review/inspection period, your lender will have an appraisal done on the property.  

Closing
9.  Closing

We will attend your closing at the title company with you.  The escrow officer will explain each form you will need to sign and will review the numbers on the settlement statement.  Closings typically take an hour on average.  When closing and funding is complete, you'll receive the keys to your new home!

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APPRAISAL

Assessment of the property's market value, typically done for the purpose of obtaining a Mortgage.

APPRAISER

The lender will hire an appraiser to place a value on the property before approving your loan.

ATTORNEY

You are always welcome to seek outside legal counsel on the contract.

DEBT-TO-INCOME RATIO

The percentage of an individual's monthly gross income relative to the amount of debt owed.

EARNEST MONEY

A deposit made by the buyer in good faith that they’re going to purchase a home.  This is money that the buyer won’t get back if they decide to back out of the deal for a reason not specified in the contract as one potential remedy available to seller in the event of buyer default.

ESCROW

In real estate, escrow refers to an account in which funds related to the transaction are held by a third party.

 

ESCROW AGENT

The third party that is responsible for holding any funds during the real estate transaction, typically an escrow or title company.

HOME WARRANTY

A policy that covers the cost of replacing or repairing many home appliances and systems if they break after the buyer has purchased a home.  Referred to as a Residential Service Contract in the Purchase Contract, home warranties are not required, but are often purchased by a buyer when they close on a home.  The seller is usually responsible for paying the cost of the buyer’s home warranty.

INSPECTION

You are encouraged to have the property you want to buy inspected by a licensed inspector of your choice.  You should have the inspection completed during any option period.  If there are issues, we can determine the best way to move forward.  Any obligation to complete repairs or credit in lieu of should be resolved and in writing before the option period expires.

 

LOAN OFFICER

The loan officer represents a financial institution and provides a loan to the buyer.

key terms

OPTION PERIOD

A specific timeframe in which the buyer is able to terminate the contract for any reason without risking their earnest money deposit.

OPTION FEE

A non-refundable fee paid by the buyer to the seller at the beginning of the option period.  In the case that the buyer terminates the contract during the option period, the seller has the right to keep this money.  Generally, the fee is credited back to the buyer at closing.

PRE-APPROVED

Advanced approval from a bank or other lending institution for a home mortgage.

PRE-QUALIFIED

Potential buyers provide an overall financial picture and mortgage brokers provide an estimate of what level of loan you will likely be pre-approved for.

SELLER'S DISCLOSURE

A form required by sellers of previously occupied single family residences and is to be used in conjunction with a contract for the sale of real property.  It contains information required to be disclosed by Section 5.008 of the Texas Property Code regarding material facts and the physical condition of the property.

SURVEY

A document that identifies the location of boundaries, major improvements, fence lines, drives, encroachments, easements, and other items on the property.  The contract will typically contain a provision that identifies who is responsible for obtaining a survey and the right to object to encumbrances to title disclosed in the survey.  

TITLE COMMITMENT: a document that discloses any liens, defects, or obligations that affect the property and outlines the terms and conditions that must be met before the title policy is issued.

 

TITLE POLICY

This is an insurance policy that protects the buyer if someone comes forward to claim ownership of the home after closing.  This lasts for as long as the buyer owns the property.

WALKTHROUGH

The buyer reviews the house just before closing to make sure everything is in the same condition and that all negotiated repairs are completed.