For Home Buyers
Every transaction is different and every market both in time and space is unique. The below outline is meant to provide general guidance, remember you can always call me for more help, I’m only a phone call away at 425-891-0088
A typical transaction in chronological order:
- Buyer starts casually looking for homes via open houses or online searches. Search for your next home here.
- A connection with a real estate broker is made either via open houses, a response from an online ad or a referral from a trusted friend or family member. Read the 10 questions you must ask a REALTOR® before you hire them here
- The real estate broker meets with the buyer and discusses the home search criteria
- One or two mortgage brokers are recommended for the pre-qualification process. Read What to Expect From Your Mortgage Broker Here
- The home search begins, buyers and their agents look at homes together to discuss the merits of each opportunity and refine search as the buyers learn what’s most important to them in the process
- The perfect home is found and an offer is made, the buyer writes a check for the earnest money at this time. Read how to win in a bidding war here.
- The buyer’s lender is made aware of the agreement and will start the process of getting the loan ready for the underwriter to officially approve and fund.
- The offer is sent to the Escrow & Title companies. The title search begins, click here to find out what happens in a title search. The Escrow company opens the file and documents receipt of the Earnest Money Check. Click here to learn what the role of Escrow is in the process.
- Once the offer is accepted and signed off by all parties, the inspection process typically begins and the buyer is required to pay for any and all inspections they request. Click here for tips on how to hire a home inspector. (If there is a septic system, the seller is usually required to pay for inspections to on-site sewer systems. Public sewer line inspections are usually paid for by the buyer. Learn more about the sewer scope here.)
- The inspection is conducted with the buyer, inspector, and the buyer’s real estate broker present.
- Typically the inspection report is made available within a day or two of the physical inspection.
- The inspection response of either accepting or asking for work orders is prepared and delivered to the seller and is then negotiated between the parties
- Once the inspection is resolved and provided there is ample time to prepare the loan the lender will order the appraisal. The buyer may be asked to pay for this service at this time or it may be billed as part of the closing process.
- With a completed appraisal supporting the purchase price of the home and all other paperwork submitted to the mortgage broker, the file is now ready for underwriting. The underwriter will review the paperwork and upon approval will instruct loan paperwork to be sent to the escrow or closing agent. Click here to learn what happens right before closing.
- AS OF OCTOBER 2016 – THE CLOSING PROCESS FOR MORTGAGES HAS CHANGED. If you have purchased a home prior to October 2015, you may want to chat with your lender about these difference. These changes are covered under the TILA-RESPA rule. The lender now must hand deliver or place in the mail your loan estimate and you closing disclosure at least 3 business days before you close on your new home. While this is slowing down the speed of which some closings can occur, it’s a wonderful additional step for a home buyer.
- Once the lender has satisfied the requirement of getting the buyer the closing disclosures, the escrow agent will receive the loan paperwork and at this time will call the buyer to arrange for the signing appointment. They will work with the buyer’s schedule but will want to schedule the appointment as soon as possible, sometimes with just a few hours notice. They will also now call the seller for a separate appointment. Click here for tips to make sure a successful signing appointment. The escrow company will call the Buyer to set an appointment as well as instruct them how much cash is necessary to close and if appropriate provide wire instructions or certified check instructions.
- Once the loan paperwork is signed by the buyer in the presence of an escrow or closing agent, the paperwork is returned to the underwriter for another review. It may take up to two business days after the buyer signs for the lender to release the funds to close the transaction. A final credit report may be pulled or a job might be verified even after you sign all the paperwork.
- A final-walk through is strongly recommended. The purpose of the final walk through is to verify any work orders have been completed, ensure appliances and other included items are still present and to make sure nothing odd has happened like vandalism or other issues that may occur with a vacant home. DO NOT delay signing based on your final walk through as there is rarely a legal provision that allows you to delay the process and by doing so, you could be jeopardizing the sale and your earnest money. I’m here to help, so please call me if you have questions on this procedure.
- Once the underwriter release funds the escrow or closing agent can now prepare the file for recording by the County courthouse.
- The title company will be notified to pick up the closing paperwork for delivery to the courthouse.
- The country recorder’s office will stamp the file with recording numbers and this is the official closing. If you know your parcel number and your purchasing in King County, you can search yourself to see when exactly it becomes official by clicking this link and following the prompts. You’re looking for the deed for your particular sale. If you purchase in is any other County, check that county website for a records search page or call me at 425-891-0088 and I can find the link for you.
- The key exchanged is coordinated with by the real estate agents and proceeds from the sale are made available to the seller.
Click here to learn how the CFPB helps you pick the very best loan option!