Purchasing a home is one of the largest transactions a person will make in their lifetime and many find it nerve-racking and stressful. However, with the help of The Garrison Breck Group, the process can be seamless and even fun. Understanding these basic steps is the best way to prepare yourself for the transition into your dream home. Our Garrison Breck Group Realtors can answer any of your questions you may have as they are all experts in the home buying process.
The home buying process is a intimate one, so finding the right Realtor is key as you'll be in constant contact with them. When searching for a Realtor, interviewing is 100% acceptable - make sure you get along with him/her and that they are reliable and personable! Look for one with a extensive market knowledge and proven results.
If this transaction is going to require financing, it's important to have a reliable lender. We have several recommended partners that will help you understand your budget and get a pre-approval letter which you will need to write an offer.
Now that you have your budget, you can convey exactly what you're looking for to your Realtor. He or she will set you up on automatic search from MRIS to keep you updated on what's coming on the market. Once you've flagged listings, your Garrison Breck Group Realtor can arrange showings for you. As part of Compass, we have the luxury of being exposed to many off market opportunities as well!
In the DC market especially, time is of the essence. Once you've found your dream home, it's time to write an offer. An offer consists of a large contract, your pre-approval letter, and an earnest money deposit (typically 3-4%). This deposit will be delivered to the title company of your choice to hold in an escrow account until closing. One of our agents will walk you through writing a competitive offer that is tailored to your specific needs.
Congrats! Your offer was accepted, ratified, and you're now officially under contract. From this point, settlement typically occurs between 30-45 days later. During this time and depending on the terms of the contract, you'll have several contingencies to remove. The most common contracts contain a home inspection, appraisal, and financing contingency.
Removing these contingencies requires action on your part! Removing a home inspection contingency means you've brought your inspector through and are satisfied with the condition of the property. An appraisal contingency means the bank has brought an appraiser and values the home at the purchase price. The financing contingency means you have provided your lender with all necessary financial documents and have locked in an interest rate.
After all the contingencies have been removed, it's smooth sailing towards settlement. At least three days before settlement, you will be delivered closing disclosures. These disclosures will provide an overview of the purchase that includes sales price, loan amount, credits, taxes, and closing costs. Typically on the day of settlement is the final walk-through to make sure your new property is being delivered in the agreed-upon condition. If everything meets your standards, the settlement will typically take 1 hour where a settlement agent will walk you through your closing documents and have you sign off on them. You'll want to keep copies of these forms for tax purposes!
Finally, celebrate! You're now a proud homeowner - and it's time to pop a bottle of champagne!!