So you finally have a reliable job, saved up some money, and have been thinking about buying a home but have no idea what to do or where to start? No need to stress! Many first time homebuyers are in the same boat. Truth is, buying a home is an exciting and complex process but does not have to be difficult. We are here to make that process simple and as stress free as possible. In an effort to help you get started, we put together a basic guideline that may help first time homebuyers, like you, feel more comfortable about buying a home.
1. Find an Agent
First things first. Hiring a Real Estate Agent for your new home purchase is a 100% free service! You should never pay an agent commission to help you find a home.* If you do not have an agent, we would love the opportunity to help you find exactly what you are looking for! We will answer any questions you may have and will be in constant communication with you throughout the entire process.
2. Get Pre-Approved for A Home Loan
Know your purchasing power! Getting pre-approved with a reputable lender will let you know how much you can afford, how much your down payment will be, and any other financial questions you may have. If you don’t know of a reputable lender, we can recommend a few who we trust. Knowing how much you are approved for and can afford helps us know what your real options are, and knowing the breakdown of your monthly payment assures we stay within a price range that you are comfortable with.
3. Find Your Dream Home
At this time, you will most likely meet with your Realtor to establish your search criteria. This will include preferred location, price range, size, and finding out exactly what you’re looking for. They will also set you up on an automatic search through the Multiple Listing Service. Any new listing that comes onto the market matching your particular requirements will be sent to you immediately via email. We know all listings end up on the internet, however, there is a huge advantage knowing the second a new listing is available instead of falling in love with photos online only to find out it’s already been sold.
4. Submitting An Offer
When you’ve found ‘the one’, your Realtor will submit an offer on your behalf. Note that in the current market, your offer might not be the only one on the table. Your Realtor should evaluate every home on a case-by-case basis. Determining what price to offer is what you feel the home is worth based on recent similar sales in the area. You will be provided as much information possible so you can make an informed decision. For example, if there are multiple offers, or if the listing has been sitting for a while, and how motivated the seller is all make a difference in what type of offer you will want to present.
5. Your Offer Is Accepted
Once your offer is accepted, your Realtor will forward a copy of the completed purchase agreement to the designated escrow officer and open escrow. Escrow is the impartial 3rd party that handles the collection and disbursements of funds based upon the terms of your contact. During this time, your loan is processed, and an inspection and appraisal are done. Did you know you have a Due Diligence period to make sure the home is in the condition you approve of or if change your mind for any reason at all? Typically you have 10 days to complete inspections and to change your mind for any reason. You also have 5 days to review any HOA documents to make sure you approve of the rules!**
In Nevada, you typically do a final walk through of the home within 3 days of closing to ensure the condition is the same as when you started the process. After both you and the seller have signed closing documents, the paperwork is sent to the lender for final approval. Once the lender and Escrow have finalized everything, the lender sends the loan amount to Escrow, and once received, Escrow will send the file to record. Depending on your lender, this entire process can take anywhere from 1-3 days from the time you sign your closing documents. Please keep in mind that signing your paperwork does not mean it is official! Once the recorder’s office has recorded on your closing date, then we celebrate! CONGRATULATIONS, you are a homeowner!
This is a basic guideline to purchasing a home. If you would like a more detailed home buying guide or would like to speak to our expert agents, Blaine and Melissa, please feel free to contact us today! We are excited to be a resource for you throughout this process whether you are in Las Vegas or not. We can help find a reputable agent anywhere in the country so please let us know how we can help! We look forward to making your dreams of home ownership a reality!
*There may be administrative commissions and minimum commissions between a buyer and their Real Estate Agent’s Broker - this should all be disclosed at a buyer’s consultation
**This applies to Nevada and our Residential Purchase Agreement - Other states please consult with your agent to learn the rules about due diligence, inspections, and time periods to review HOA documents.