Home Buying Checklist
A good house-hunting checklist helps you keep track of each home you look at so you can match up the features of the home with your housing needs and wants. However, a great house hunting checklist includes items that could make the difference between getting the home you want or missing out because another buyer was better prepared.
home buying checklist
Communication skills. The homebuying process involves lots of legal and real estate terms, with strict deadlines that must be met along the way. Set expectations for how you want to be contacted (text, phone call, email, etc.), how often you want to be updated from the beginning of the process and hold your agent to those standards.
Drive around and check out how close grocery stores, pharmacies, parks, department stores, restaurants are to the homes you like. Striking up a conversation with a neighbor may reveal details that seal the deal or raise red flags.
If you drive by a for-sale by owner (FSBO) sign in an area you like, it may be worth a call to compare the price the owner is offering to other homes for sale in the area. Owners often give the FSBO option a shot to avoid paying real estate commission fees, which means you may get a better price on the sale of the home.
A home inspection is a written report by a professional home inspector that details the condition of a home. Real estate agents typically have referral relationships with home inspection companies, but you can search for your own home inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors.
You may save money or get better warranty coverage if you compare the seller-offered home warranty to the home warranty companies on your own list. The average cost for a home warranty ranges from $300 to $600, according to Consumer Affairs.
Make sure that your offer touches on everything you want including concessions, financing contingencies, home inspection contingencies, and exactly what is included in the sale such as appliances, furniture, and even curtain rods.
Before buying a home, you should have it inspected. This usually costs between $300 and $500 for the average home and takes approximately two hours. If the inspector finds problems, you will need to go back to the seller to determine how to handle the findings.
Before the closing date, you will make a final inspection of the house. At this time, you will verify that everything is exactly as the contract stated. If certain items were supposed to be left in the home, now is the time to ensure they are still there. This is also the time to check that the home is clean and ready for you to move in.
Whether your dream home is a new construction or existing home, it helps to know what to look for, and have a plan. The list below and your Coldwell Banker-affiliated agent will help you conduct a home search, negotiate, and close on a new home.
Localize makes the home search process easy, allowing users to view every property detail from the schools in the area, down to the amount of sunlight a unit gets. Hunter, our property search concierge, can jumpstart your homebuying journey.
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Agents typically bring a sample home-buying checklist to each open house and offer to email a copy to buyers (a great way to exchange contact information). Some agents also host first-time home-buying seminars at their brokerage and use this handout as an incentive to attend.
Download and customize our printable first-time home buyer checklist and share it with your potential clients. To add your contact info, select a highlighted field and enter your information. You can also add a headshot and company logo by dragging and dropping them into the space provided or by selecting the icon inside the picture box and searching for an image on your computer.
So what is the Home Buying Checklist? How will this help you? For your convenience, we have provided the checklist below of items that may be requested during your loan application process. Having a home buying checklist, will make the process seem less stressful and far more enjoyable. Checking off each item will help you be more organized with the current items you have left on the list.
The DTI formula is simple: The total monthly debt payments you have to make divided by your gross monthly income. Your debts include student loans, car loans, child support payments, and credit card bills, plus your mortgage. Mortgage lenders will generally want to keep your DTI ratio at 45% or less, including the mortgage payment (although some programs allow for up to 50%). Paying off some loans before you start house-hunting can help you to qualify for a bigger home loan.
While buying a house obligates you to years of monthly mortgage payments, it also requires some upfront money. Start saving now to build up a nest egg. The earlier you start saving, the more you can accumulate.
Your agent will consult the multiple listing service, or MLS, looking for homes that meet your criteria in your area. Most agents check at least daily looking for new listings, and they can arrange a private showing, where you can tour the property without fighting open house crowds.
The inspector will make sure the home is structurally sound and that the major systems, like HVAC, work properly. The inspector will also look for issues like water leaks, damaged roof shingles, and signs of pests.
When renting or selling a house, it is important to know the preferences of potential buyers and sellers. How about collecting the necessary information with the Home Buying Checklist App? The Home Buying Checklist App includes forms used by real estate agents to collect information about home buyers' preferences, show their portfolios to potential buyers, and inform them about contact and location information through maps where customers can easily find the home addresses. Use the Home Buying Checklist App to better serve customers and find solutions for their needs!
"In a seller's market, buyers would do well to avoid making offers that aren't aligned with recent comparable sales in the same area," says Stephen Donaldson, founder of New. York City-based The Donaldson Law Firm, which specializes in real estate. "Making an offer in excess of the purchase price, or above all other bids can result in an accepted offer, but if the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, the subsequent appraisal of the home could identify the property's value as lower than what the buyer agreed to pay."
"While it's permissible for a buyer and seller to reach separate agreements apart from the main contract for such things as buying or selling TVs, patio furniture, and more, any demands made by a buyer and accepted by a seller must always be included in the contract of sale," says Donaldson. "Failing to reduce every aspect of the agreement in writing can leave a buyer in an unwanted position."
Depending on current market conditions, the closing date for a home purchase can be used as a negotiating point. In other words, if you're willing to close quickly, this may be helpful to a seller who needs to move on a particularly short timeline. Conversely, if you are flexible with the closing date and do not need to move in right away, this too could be an advantage, depending on the seller's needs.
Every market is different, but in the Los Angeles area, it is standard for buyers to request that the seller provide a home warranty at closing, up to a certain amount," says Jennifer Okhovat, a realtor with Compass. "Home warranties can be very rewarding for buyers, especially in the first year of owning a property, when things seem to pop up that never did for previous owners. A home warranty acts as a sort of insurance to assist with the cost of repairs that may unexpectedly come up in the first year."
"You should hire a home inspector you trust so that they are looking out for your best interests," says Bill Samuel, a Chicago, IIllinois-based real estate investor with Blue Ladder Development. "Sometimes if you use an inspector referred to you by a realtor they may not be as unbiased as someone you find on your own because the inspector might not want to upset the realtor by finding something bad that may terminate the deal."
Another important point about inspections, they are not a time to look for ways to take advantage of the seller or to try and get a better deal on the home, advises Mike Opyd, managing broker with RE/MAX Next in Chicago, Illinois.
"Most homebuyers don't even know that they can shop around for title insurance and choose one with the lowest rate," says Jeff Johnson, a real estate agent, and acquisition manager for Simple Homebuyers. "Before shopping around, homebuyers should search the internet to check the prevailing rates. They could use websites like closing.com, which help buyers with the process. Once you have an idea how much you can afford for rates, then go title insurance shopping."
"Spotting bogus fees is a tricky process," says Bob Scott, founder of Missouri-based Sell Land. "'Origination' and 'broker' fees are the same thing, so don't be fooled by [the] interchangeable terms. This is a common mortgage junk fee that I notice for homebuyers who are not familiar with mortgage wordings. Generally, I would advise avoidingclosing costs altogether, but sometimes paying some of these fees is inevitable."
Getting pre-qualified means that a lender has reviewed your income, expenses, and credit report and has conditionally agreed to loan you a set amount of money for a mortgage. While you're not required to provide verification documents prior to receiving a loan estimate, pre-qualification enables you to look for a home at or below that price level with confidence. 041b061a72