Carlos & Olga Arce
The steps in the buying process listed below may vary with different localities, but they provide a good guide for the things to look for, when you decide to purchase a property in the real estate market. This is followed by a section on the steps to follow after the purchase is completed in a contract closing, which are also important.
We provide this information free of charge to clients, other realtors and the public at large as a voluntary public service.
Steps in the Buying Process
- Make a final family decision to buy.
- Select a realtor to work for you.
- Secure financing from a mortgage lender (avoid other significant transactions until closing).
- Select the area in the map.
- Look for and find the property.
- Make the written offer to the seller, with the initial escrow deposit.
- Negotiate the purchase of the property.
- Sign the final purchase contract.
- In condominium transactions, obtain copy of the condo documents.
- Make the second deposit to complete the escrow amount.
- Complete the mortgage loan application with all required documentation and payments.
- Select the title company or other closing agent.
- Order and pay for the professional inspection of the property.
- Possible negotiation over the result of the inspection.
- Possible negotiation over the result of the property appraisal.
- Complete home owners association application and make payment of application fee.
- Attend home owners association interview, if required.
- Purchase a home owners insurance policy (usually not required for condominiums).
- Make final arrangements with a moving company, or other resources.
- Make final arrangements to have all funds available for closing.
- Make final arrangements for any possible use of "power of attorney" documentation.
- Make final arrangements for any possible use of "mail away" closing.
- Notify utilities and services of closing date: electric, water, cable, telephone, subscriptions…
- Complete all packing, if moving the day of closing.
- Make certified check or wire transfer in the name of the title company.
- Make baby-sitting arrangements to avoid bringing children to the closing.
- Conduct a walk-through inspection of the property.
- Bring driver's license or other picture identification to the closing.
- Have workable contingency plans ready, for any last minute delay in the closing date.
- Get the keys to your new home.
Things to Do After Buying
- Change locks and copy keys.
- Change postal address.
- Homestead application.
- Change address on subscriptions, banks, credit accounts, etc.
- Notify friends and relatives of new address.
- Register with Home Owners Association
- Contract with local service companies: landscaping, extermination, pool maintenance, etc.
- Explore the neighborhood with the family: restaurants, beauty salon, post office, theatre, etc.
- Identify location of emergency services: Police, FBI, Fire/Emergency, Hospital/Emergency Room
- Meet the neighbors.
- Thank God for your new home.