The Step-by-Step Buying Process
Step One – Choosing your dream home.
Locating your dream property is a fun and exciting venture. To learn more about this first step, read this article about choosing your property. (Link to Choosing article)
Step Two – Sign the Offer ‘Contract for Sale and Purchase’
Once you have found ‘The One’, you will complete and sign an offer, technically known as a ‘Contract for Sale and Purchase.’ We will deliver this contract to the seller, along with your ‘good faith deposit’, which is typically $3,000-$5,000.
This contract usually has an expiration date, typically 72 hours, after which the offer is null and void and deposit is returned, if not accepted by the seller.
If the seller agrees with the terms and conditions in the contract as written, they can sign and return it and you then have a binding contract.
A contract will often contain more than just a price; there can be any number of terms and conditions you can stipulate that may or may not be accepted by the seller.
If the offer is accepted, we proceed to Step 5, however in some cases the offer is countered.
Step Three – Evaluate the counteroffer
On occasion, the seller will make a counteroffer, sometimes even multiple counteroffers. The seller may counter on the selling price or may change or reject some or all of your terms and conditions. If agreed by both parties, the sales process continues.
Step Four – Order a home inspection
It is very common for purchase contracts to have conditions related to having a home and termite inspector completely evaluate the home from top to bottom. Once complete, the inspectors will provide you with a report so you’ll know exactly what you are buying. We always advise you as the buyer to complete a detailed inspection when purchasing a property.
Any problems the inspectors find can be deemed as conditions that may affect the contract, subject to pre-determined repair amounts written into the original contract.
If any contract conditions cannot be met, then the contract becomes void and the deposit should be returned to you. If the conditions can be met, but you are unwilling to proceed with the purchase, then the deposit will be forfeited to the seller. This is to compensate the existing owner for having taken the property off the market during this time.
We can recommend and coordinate on your behalf an inspection company who can undertake the inspection for you.
Step Five – Prepare for your closing date
Once all conditions have been met, the only thing to do is to wait for the closing date, which is negotiable and set at the time of writing the initial offer contract. If a mortgage is involved, this is usually four to eight weeks after the offer date. Cash purchases can obviously close within a few days.
Closing or completion is the event of actual transfer of title to the property, recording of the deed, and distribution of funds. This is usually performed by a Closing Agent such as a Title Insurance Company, or Licensed Law Firm who are familiar with all the required paperwork and regulated by law.
Step Seven – Start packing!
Your property will be just that once closing is complete: yours! You may need assistance furnishing, hiring contractors, or connecting with rental and management companies. Rest assured, we’ll continue to be a resource for you throughout your property ownership.