Residential Real Estate Closings

Buying a home?

Buying a home can seem a bit scary, but it can be broken down into several general steps. Of course, your experience will be unique in its own ways, but you will benefit by knowing more about buying a home.

Choosing a Real Estate Professional

A real estate professional and/or broker can help navigate the home buying process. They can obtain information on properties listed for sale in the area, set appointments for you to view homes that are of interest, help narrow choices to homes that meet your needs, explain the local market and help negotiate with the seller. Be sure you understand whom the broker represents during the process - are they representing the homeseller or you? Laws vary from state to state so clarify the level of service you can expect to receive.

Finding a Home That's Right for You

When finding the right home there are many considerations. Do you want a condominium? A detached home? Do you prefer one story or more? Making a list of features you require, prefer and find unacceptable can be very helpful. In addition to the home itself, the location of the home should be carefully considered. Think about work commuting times, how close schools are for your children, and if conveniences such as grocery stores and dry cleaners are nearby. Also consider crime statistics, whether there is heavy traffic in the area and if the area is susceptible to flooding or landslides. Consider the entire neighborhood - the value of the home you're considering should be close to the value of an average home in the neighborhood.

Making an Offer

You may choose to set the offering price based on comparable homes on the market, or you can have a professional appraisal done. At this point, a real estate professional's assistance is especially valuable. Once settled on a price, you will have to put the offer in writing using what is called a purchase contract or purchase agreement, which will be presented to the seller. Earnest money - or money indicating the seriousness of your offer to purchase - may have to be put down with the contract. If the seller rejects the initial offer, you may receive a counteroffer, which marks the beginning of the negotiation phase of the purchase process. Once you reach an agreement, you will likely require a lender.

Selecting a Mortgage Lender

Chances are you will need to borrow funds from a mortgage lender. In exchange for loaning you those funds, the lender will place a lien against the home. This allows them to foreclose if payments are stopped. The required down payment to purchase a home is usually 3 to 5 percent but can be as much as 10 or 20 percent, depending upon your specific mortgage loan. There are many types of loans including fixed rate, adjustable rate and convertible mortgages, as well as various time periods- although 30 year and 15 year mortgages are the most common. Shop around for the loan that is best for your situation on focus factors such as interest rate, points and processing costs. Potok Law can be a great resource when selecting mortgage broker. We have relationships with many banks and we can recommend a lender that suits your specific needs.

The Closing

After signing the purchase agreement, several steps occur before you obtain ownership, including inspections, tittle search and examination. When all parties are satisfied that the terms of the contract are met, The closing date is set.

It is at the closing that the ownership of the house is transferred to you. The loan will also be closed at this meeting. Everyone who is involved with the sale of the house is usually present at closing, including the seller and buyer, their attorneys, the real-estate professional or brokers involved, and the closing or escrow agents. The closing usually takes place at the buyer’s attorney’s office. You may have to pay 3-10 percent of the purchase price of the house in closing costs unless otherwise negotiated. After closing, we will file the mortgage and deed at the local county clerk’s office. After recording information is received, we will issue the title insurance policies and forward them to you.

And then all that is left is to enjoy your new home!