Steps to Buying a Home


The Money:  BEFORE you begin looking for a home, visit with a mortgage banker or consultant who can walk you through the process (usually with a twenty minute interview) to determine your “realistic price range”.

You may decide to go to the top of your range or to stay within a budget. We work to meet your goals.

Many listings in higher price ranges request proof that you are qualified before allowing a showing. We like to have our clients “ready to pull the trigger” when they find the right house so that the Seller takes it seriously and also knows we are ready to move. The contract usually gives a 3-5 day period to get proof of financing.

If you are a cash buyer, be ready to show proof of funds in case they require that. It is good to also have talked to your banker so you know where to send wiring instructions for a smooth transaction.

The Contract:  Many company contracts vary. We use the West Alabama MLS Purchase Agreement.

We will go with you line by line to be sure you understand each part. Alabama is a “Buyer Beware” state, putting most of the burden on the buyer to determine defects.

In a financed deal there are standard steps including but not limited to:

Inspection period (inspection paid for by the Buyer) with options of “as is”,  right to inspect with period for satisfactory repair agreement at either the buyer or seller’s expense. EVERYTHING is negotiated in writing so it is good to have an idea of what your goals are.

Negotiations: Notice what you want that might be in the home and note it in the contract. JUST because it is noted in MLS does NOT mean it is clearly staying. It is best to be thorough and write it in.

The price, the time frame of possession, the items in the home, repairs, contents and the terms are all negotiable.

Closing:  The costs vary at different closing agencies. Your agent will provide you with a Buyer’s Estimated Net Sheet to help you understand (usually within a few dollars) what your expenses will be and how much you will need to bring to the table.

There are opportunities to as the Seller to pay some, all or a portion of closings. This too is a negotiable item in your contract.

On a deal of $2000. A good gauge of closing costs as of May 2016 is around $5000. (It could go up with a higher priced home)

Realtors are required to talk about the options before you sign the contract so be expecting the net sheet. We also have to keep a copy in our files as required by the Real Estate Commission but your best calculation for a purchase will come from your financial advisor. We work with them to make sure it is a smooth transaction.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly.