Home Buying Process


The Buying Process

Each and every buyer that comes to our team looking for help in purchasing a home is a unique client, one with specific needs, goals and ideas.  We take great pride in the work we do to make sure that our plan or strategy is tailored to that specific set of goals.  Our strategy begins with sitting down with a client at the beginning of the buying process to be sure that their goals are clearly communicated along with our plan for meeting them.  The process will consist of several key steps from “getting started” to “closing the deal.”

Securing Financing
Meet with a lender to see:
Do you qualify for financing?
Is there any additional steps you need to take to qualify/secure financing?
Have you shopped around to see which lender has the best terms for you?
Have you been issued a pre-approval letter by a lender and when does it expire?
You are not locked into an Interest Rate until you have made application with the bank.

Clearly define the Buyer’s Needs  
This will consist of the following questions:
Are you a first time home buyer?
Are you relocating or do you already live locally?
Timeline – When do you want and/or need to be in a new home?  When do you want to get started looking?What are the terms of you financing?
Price Range – Based on your pre-approval combined with your comfort zone to spend?
Criteria – What are your “must have” & “wants” for you next home
(location, school district, size, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc)?

Understanding the Search Process
Which search engines are the most user-friendly and which have the most accurate/updated status and information?
How do you go about seeing homes you are interested in?  How much notice do you need to give and how many can you look
at in one showing outing?
What are you be looking for when viewing a home?
What are the major things to look for when viewing a home?

Considering Writing an Offer
Narrow down your “like/love” list to 3-5 or less and then weigh the positives and negatives of each property.
Know the comps for each property so that you can make a competitive offer.  Your Realtor should provide those for you.

Writing an Offer
Pre-Approval Letter & Checkbook – You will need to have a pre-approval letter to submit with offer as well as a check for the
earnest money.
*Earnest Money is held in a non-interest baring account until closing at which point it will be applied to your loan balance.*
Sales Contract & Associated Documents – You will be signing a lot of paperwork and it is important that you understand each
document. It is the role of your Realtor to be sure that you understand each document you are signing.
Contingencies – Such as financing, inspections, etc.
Submit Offer with deadline for response and await seller’s response.

Negotiate Terms
Everything is negotiable, it is just a matter of the sellers and buyers being able to agree on a set of terms.

Contract or Continued Search
If terms can be agreed upon, revisions are made to the Sales Contract. Both sides must then sign and earnest money is exchanged
constituting a contract.
If terms can not be agreed upon then the sellers “reject” the offer and the buyers go back to their search.

Contract Entered Into – Inspections
Know your inspection deadlines (dates) even though it is your agent’s job to be aware of them and keep things in compliance.
Choose inspectors for contractual inspections and have your agent schedule/coordinate appointments asap.
Gather all inspection reports and meet with your agent to discuss findings and communicate with inspectors if any clarification is needed.
Submit Inspection Repair Amendment (if necessary).  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND that submitting an
Inspection Repair Amendment opens up contract negotiations again and the sellers DO NOT HAVE to make any repairs.
It is also very important to understand what issues with the home would be a contractual basis for dissolving a Sales Contract.
Buyer & Seller agree upon repairs (if necessary).
Revised Inspection Repair Amendment must be signed by both parties.

Once you enter into a Sales Contract for Purchase your lender will need many additional documents and information. Everything is very time sensitive.  You may put your closing date in jeopardy by not getting your lender the things they need in a timely fashion.
Your agent should send your loan originator copies of Sales Contract, Associated Docs & a copy of your earnest money check immediately.
Check in with them bi-weekly or at least weekly if you do not hear from them just to be sure that things are moving smoothly with your loan.
Be sure that you have an idea of the amount of funds you will need to bring to closing and how those funds must be presented at closing.
You may be able to provide a cashier’s check for funds you owe BUT you may need to set up a wire transfer, each transaction is different.
Wire transfers can be simple or can potentially create delays.  Every bank is different but some require so many days notice and/or require you to come into the bank in person to set up the transfer.
ASK THESE QUESTIONS 5-7 days prior to closing.
Homeowner’s Insurance – You will need to provide your lender with proof of homeowner’s insurance prior to closing as part of the loan process.
**Your Realtor is NOT a lender so they may advise, they are not the expert on the lending process**

Closing Details, Repairs & Final Walk Through
Your agent will coordinate with you as well as the listing agent (sellers) to schedule a closing time and location, buyers and sellers need to agree.
It is the seller’s job to get a licensed/qualified person to make all agreed upon Inspection Repair Amendment items at least 5 days prior to closing.
The buyer is allow a “pre-closing” or more commonly known as a “final walk through” no sooner than 5 days before closing.
It is the buyer’s and buyers agent’s job to verify that all repairs were done as agreed upon.  Sellers should provide receipts/invoices prior to closing.
Your agent should provide you a list of utility providers so that you may set up utilities to be in your name as of the day of closing.


Items to bring to closing – Funds (if cashier’s check), your personal checkbook (just in case), proof of homeowner’s insurance (just in case) and driver’s license.
Closings can take anywhere from 20 minutes to hours depending on type of financing, amount of additional paperwork, funds transferring etc.
Once all paperwork is signed, the closing coordinator has to confirmed funds, print everyone copies of documents signed and cut checks…….   

For most, buying and selling a home is one of the biggest financial events in your lifetime making it important to be well-informed and properly represented.   Let The J.R. KOCH Team go to work for you during these important moments in your life….