Step 1 - Prequalification or Proof of Funds
The very first thing you need to do when looking for a home to purchase is to apply for financing. A seller will want to see a prequalification letter to go along with your offer to purchase a property so he knows you are able to buy the home. Here is a link to a local lender that provides a free prequalification for home buyers Click Here to Apply for a Mortgage and also has the lowest rates in town. We highly suggest obtaining a preapproval letter before starting your home search. If you are going to purchase your home with cash you will be required, in most cases, to provide a proof of funds (POF) which is simply a print out of a bank account showing you have sufficient funds available to purchase the property. With todays low interest rates, even if you have the cash, it might make more financial sense to finance the purchase of your new home. We suggest talking with a qualified tax professional.
Step 2 - The Home Search
Now that you have been prequalified / pre approved for a mortgage loan, the next step is to locate the home of your dreams. You can do this one of 3 ways on our website. First, look the left hand menu of the site & you will notice a menu link called "Search Listings" - this is a detailed property search that will help you narrow down exactly what you are looking for in your next home. The second way would be to look to the right and use our Quick "Search" which would be more of a broad based property search. The third was is to Fill Out This Short Form which will go directly to one of our buyers agent specialists to assist you in the purchase of your home. The choice is yours...please search for properties to your hearts content & when you have found a home for sale that you are interested in simply fill out the form associated with that property for more information. Never has buying a home been so easy.
Step 3 - Submitting the Offer
Okay, so now you have found a property, have a Realtor, and are preapproved for a mortgage. The next step is to have your real estate agent write up a purchase contract or offer on the property. The offer price will be up to you but your Realtor will be happy to pull up some "comps" which are comparable properties similar to the one you are buying. They can do this easily on the MLS and this should give you an idea of market value of the home and should help you determine a fair offer price. Your agent will submit the offer along with your prequalification or proof of funds to the agent working with the seller. This is usually done through email or fax so your real estate agent will be able to get written confirmation your offer has been submitted to the seller.
Step 4 - Negotiations and Acceptance
I can tell you for sure that every real estate transaction is different. Every buyer and seller have different wants and needs. There is no "set" amount a buyer should offer on the property. I have seen properties sell for half of the asking price as well as twice the asking price. The perfect price for the property you are buying is the one you are willing to pay & the one the seller is willing to accept. In real estate this is called the negotiation process. Once your offer has been presented to the home seller the seller will then review your offer along with their Realtor. They will look at the price, the closing date, whether the offer is cash or financing, the terms, any special clauses or requests, any inspection contingencies, whether or not the offer is AS IS or if the buyer is asking the seller to make repairs, etc. The list goes on and on. The seller has 3 choices at this point. The seller can either accept the offer, reject the offer, or make a counter offer. If the seller wants to change terms of the offer he would "counter" the offer & send it back to the buyer to review. The offer would then to back and forth until both parties either agree or move on. If both parties agree there is an accepted offer and you are now "under contract" and ready to take the next step.
Step 5 - Inspections
Once you have an accepted offer and are under contract to purchase your home we would highly recommend home inspections. Please review the left hand menu under "service providers" to see a list of my recommended Hernando County Fl inspectors and vendors. There is a time limit in the sales contract to get your home inspections completed. Please refer to your real estate purchase and sale contract to determine what the time frame is for your inspections as they vary based upon negotiations. The first inspection would be a home inspection. Once the home inspection is complete the home inspector will let you know if there are any issues with the house or if he would recommend additional inspections from qualified contractors. Some of these additional inspections include septic, plumbing, electrical, and roof. If you are satisfied with the condition of the home you can then accept the home in its current condition and move on to closing. If you are not satisfied with the condition of the home after inspections please consult with your Realtor. Depending on whether or not the home is being purchased in AS IS condition would determine the steps your real estate agent will need to take. This could very well open up a second round of negotiations or could also terminate the purchase and sale contract.
Step 6 - The Closing
Well, congratulations! You have made it to the closing table. In Florida, we use a Title Company to close most home purchases.