Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you can make in life, so it’s important to go about the process with care. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help homebuyers in Florida have a smooth and successful transaction.
- Ask yourself why you’re buying a home
Will you be using it as your main residence or will it be a vacation home? Are you buying it as an investment and planning to rent it out? Purchasing a secondary property will have different effects on your taxes and financing. It’s important to look into these before going any further.
- Find an experienced Realtor to work with
Whether you’re buying a primary or secondary home, you will need professional guidance to help you find the right home as quickly as possible, negotiate with the seller, and process the needed paperwork. A Realtor has access to listings and off-market properties that you may miss on your own search. Realtors also have the right skills and training to negotiate for the best possible deal on your behalf.
If you’re buying a home in Sebastian, FL or its surrounding communities, get in touch with local expert Francine Kidder and find out what she can do to help you achieve your real estate goals. Call Francine at 772-925-9587, or send her an email at Francine(at)francinekidder(dotted)com.
- Get mortgage pre-approval
This will help you determine how much home you can afford, which you can use in setting a budget. Additionally, most home sellers will only show their property to buyers with pre-approval.
- Look for the right property
Provide your Realtor with a list of what you’re looking for in a home so they can help you narrow down your choices. Your Realtor can set up home showings and inform you about open houses so you’ll get the chance to inspect a property and the neighborhood up close.
- Go through the Seller’s Disclosure
In Florida, sellers are required to provide buyers with a disclosure statement, which breaks down the condition of different parts of the home and includes any known problems and issues.
- Make an offer
Once you’ve determined which home you want to buy, you need to make an offer letter, which includes your offer price, contingencies, and other terms. Your Realtor will help you come up with a competitive bid for the property and draft the offer letter. The seller will likely get back to you with a counter offer, at which point negotiation starts.
- Sign the sales contract
Once the seller accepts your offer, the closing process begins. The signing of the contract typically occurs when earnest money is paid to an escrow agent, the broker, or a lawyer. The contract is sent to a closing attorney or title company to begin the process of transferring the title to your name.
- Arrange for inspections
It’s best to have a thorough inspection, but you may also opt to conduct only specialized ones. Whole home inspections in Florida include wind mitigation, termite, septic and drywall.
- Submit a loan application
The lender will appraise the home and, if everything is in order, will issue a loan commitment letter. If the appraisal comes out lower than the agreed-upon price, you may negotiate with the seller for a new price or get out of the deal.
- Close the sale
When all contingencies have been signed off and the needed paperwork has been prepared, you need to sign all the documents and attend a closing meeting. Your Realtor may represent you at the meeting instead. Any agreed- upon closing costs will have to be paid at the meeting. Once everything is in place, the funds will be transferred to the seller and you will receive the keys to your new home.
If you’re thinking of moving to Sebastian, FL or any of its surrounding communities, get in touch with local expert Francine Kidder and find out what she can do to help you find a home that suits your needs. Call Francine at 772-925-9587, or send her an email at Francine(at)francinekidder(dotted)com.