So you are looking for a new home and you are wondering just how long this process is going to take you? The average answer lies somewhere in between longer than a trip to Target and shorter than pregnancy. 🙂 But seriously its around a 2-3 month process that can be shorter or longer depending on several factors.
Whether you are just dreaming or ready to put pen to paper understanding the full process is the best place to start.
Steps to Buying a Home
1. Get Pre-approved
- Most people start with searching for homes. It is pretty easy to jump online and do a simple search and look at homes. This is not bad at all however if you haven’t done the process to get pre-approved you could be spending your time looking at a price point that isn’t actually where you will end up buying. And we don’t just mean that maybe you are looking too high, many people end up thinking they can afford way LESS than they think too. So we recommend getting pre-approved so you can search smarter not harder.
- We have relationships with some highly credible lenders and can recommend them to you to start your process.
2. Choose an agent
- I’m sure you thought now was the time to start the home search didn’t you? Yes, now you know what your price point is and you can safely start the search on-line. However, we highly recommend choosing an agent before you start this process. There are so many intricacies to making a home purchase that are not revealed on-line. Each listing has confidential remarks that only agents can see as well as purchase history and often other details that a professional can help with. This reduces time and energy on your part and any failed expectations that come with the roller coaster of searching for a home.
- So how do you choose? We think our team is pretty amazing and that we are an easy choice, but yes we are biased. Some points we think are important when choosing an agent are:
- Team – teams are greater than a single agent. When you have one agent working for you, you are at the mercy of their schedule and abilities. When you have a team working for you, that means you have all of their schedules and abilities at work for you. We have 5 agents on our team and we are all working with and for each other daily.
- Brokerage – a brokerage offers a great value to their agents. Compass is the brokerage we work with and they are amazing. Not only do they provide the basic legal coverage and support they also act as a super agent to our clients. The provide a greater level of marketing to have exposure to as many properties as possible, a wide network of agents working together to get people into the home of their dreams and amazing products such as our Concierge service that offers interest free home staging, upgrades and other repairs to assist with home sales.
- Location – often we hear stories of how someone’s sister-in-law sells home in Northern California but can write an offer on their home here in Southern California. While it may be nice to bring family or friends into a deal – and we for sure hope ours do! – if they aren’t local and familiar with the area its going to handicap and elongate your process.
- Bedside Manner – last but not least choose someone who is interested in you, listening, learning and excited to work eagerly FOR YOU and your family.
3. Home Search –
- We made it! Now is the time to search for homes and make your list of “have to haves” and “want to haves” and don’t forget “never want to haves.”
- Once you have that list you can jump into the internet and find some homes you are looking. However, we have made it much easier for you. We have a process of starting a collection for you through our compass site. It looks a lot like a Pinterest page of homes that match all of your criteria. Our technology takes into account all of your “have/want/can’t haves” and creates a board for you to interact with. You can like, dislike, delete and comment on all of the homes. Your agent/team can interact with you on each home and help create a plan for viewing the ones that you like most. You can tweak your desires yourself or your agent can add homes they see that might be a great fit. We also have the perks of showing you homes that are “coming soon” and aren’t quite on the market yet so you get a sneak peak!
4. Making an Offer –
- Once you find a home you can see yourself in your agent will make a formal offer on your behalf. The seller will review this and either accept the offer and start the countdown to move in or send you a counter offer. Your agent will help you navigate this entire process and point you in the right direction to make the best decision possible.
5. Contract to Closing –
- This is when the countdown to closing starts. Your offer has been accepted and then the list of todos begins. Here is a list of a few things that will take place during this time which usually lasts anywhere from 21-45 days on average.
- Home inspection done by the buyer (don’t worry we have relationships with awesome inspectors)
- Good faith deposit made (this is a prearranged amount that you and the seller are both comfortable with – it is often put toward the down payment once the closing is done)
- Home appraisal (your mortgage company orders this)
- Mortgage final approval (you and your lender will work on these details)
- Title search and approval (this makes sure you aren’t surprised with anything from the home’s past
- Home Insurance provided (we make sure every new home owner has a year of home warranty setup for them as well – this usually covers any appliances left by the owner and other items that are nice to not have to worry about when moving in)
- Arranging cleaning, movers, packing your own home and imagining any home improvements you will make!
**Contract to closing usually takes around 30–60 days. But it’s good to be conservative and assume it’ll be about 45 days. So, don’t arrange for the movers to come around too soon!
Are you ready? We are too! Contact us to get started: Email us at [email protected] or contact us at the numbers above.