I’m ready to begin looking at homes. Where do I start?
Buying a home is perhaps one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do. But often times with that excitement also comes anxious, uneasy and overwhelming emotions. You want to ensure that you’re making a sound investment, and with so much information at your fingertips, it can get confusing. Between mortgage estimate tools, advice from friends and family, and “Zestimates,” all that data can pile up. Our buyer concierge service will help you target optimal financing options, create clarity between your wants and needs and simplify this process into small parts, so much that it becomes enjoyable! We’ll start by connecting you with trusted lenders, exploring your areas of interest that fit your lifestyle needs, and building a wish list of important features you’d like to see in your new home.
Do I need to become pre-approved before we start looking?
Yes! Establishing a relationship with a lender early on in the home-buying process is critical for many reasons. Your approval will be based on your income, any debt obligations you currently owe, and employment history. During this process lenders can discover items that may adversely affect your credit and help you resolve them before you buy. In addition, getting a loan pre-approval helps us to narrow our search to homes in your price range, so we’re not spinning wheels looking at homes that are unattainable.
It’s important to maintain your credit after the pre-approval. For example, buying a car, switching employers, making a large purchase on your credit card or making any other impulsive credit decisions can hinder your loan in the underwriting stage. Inform your loan officer or mortgage broker before assuming additional credit obligations.
Your lender will provide you with a pre-approval letter that will be valuable throughout the process. When it’s time to place an offer, including this pre-approval letter shows the sellers that you’re a serious buyer and that you can afford the home.
I’m pre-approved. What’s next?
Now for the fun part! You may already have an idea of where you’d like to plant your roots, or you may need to visit several areas first before committing. Either way, we’ll help you narrow your search and provide avenues of information for Nashville and surrounding cities that will help make your search easier.
Once you’ve decided on locations of choice, we’ll begin researching homes that fit your criteria and price range. We’ll discuss in depth what exactly you’re looking for in terms of size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms and other key features including waterfront or lifestyle needs. We’ll present listings that most closely fit your desires. The next step is to arrange private tours so you can see the homes in person. In the case that you’re relocating, we’ll even preview homes for you prior to your visit to Nashville so that we can maximize your time.
You’ve narrowed your search, taken personal tours, discussed pros and cons of each and now you’ve found your DREAM HOME. It’s time to make an offer but you have no idea where to start! We’ll help you construct a winning offer! Many times, in order to know whether the asking price is reasonable, neighborhood and surrounding area comparables must be evaluated. Some homes have more upgrades than others, some may be newer in a pre-existing neighborhood. All of these variables, along with many others, are taken into consideration to determine a suggested offer range that can be substantiated. There are also many other components to your offer you’ll want to think about outside of price. Negotiations of home warranties, closing dates, closing costs, title insurance, etc. are extremely important in your home purchase. We’ll present the offer to the sellers on your behalf and work through any negotiations for you to ensure that you not only feel comfortable with the terms of the counter offers, but that you understand the process and forms that you’re signing.
The HOME INSPECTION
Home inspections don’t have to be so grueling when you have an agent that is knowledgeable and will accompany you throughout this process. It is important for buyers and their agents to attend the home inspection. It gives you an opportunity to discuss findings with the inspector and ask any questions you may have. In addition, knowing when to order further inspections from roof, HVAC, plumbing or any other specialized area of the home is important and often overlooked. Don’t let that happen to you. Navigating findings from a home inspection and deciding on which repairs to request from the seller comes next. It is critical to present these repairs correctly to the seller and we’ll help you with the correct and specific language to protect your interests.
The appraisal is usually ordered by your lender to ensure that the home isn’t valued below the sales price of the home. You’ll get a copy of your appraisal report and feedback as to whether it was approved by your lender before the loan is complete.
The FINISH LINE
By this point you’re probably asking “are we done yet?” The answer being, very close. Tying up loose ends with your lender is important, as well as conducting a final walk through to ensure all repairs were completed to your satisfaction. We’ll also coordinate and finalize closing details with the title company, lender and everyone in between, right down to handing you the keys to your new home!