estimated time: 3 minutes
Your first step is fairly, very straightforward. Take a few minutes to answer the questions below- it’ll give us a chance to get to know you, and it’ll give you a chance to articulate what you are looking for.
estimated time: 20 minutes
Your second step is to be approved by a mortgage lender. Your mortgage lender will evaluate your debt to income ratio, how much cash you have on hand and whether or not your credit cards are paid off.
We highly recommend Jodie Eckert from Caliber Home Loans. She has been phenomenal for so many of our clients. With about a 15-20 minute phone call she can help you determine the best loan packages to help you pursue your goals. Having a really good loan agent on board is key for making the whole home buying process go smoothly.
If you have another lending agent you would prefer to use, we are fine with working with them as well. However we would recommend staying away from some of the online lending programs you may see advertised like Quicken loans and Rocket Mortgage. Having a local person who knows our market and can really go to bat for you when a deal is on the line, has been so key for our clients in so many situations.
Once you have your financing in place, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter. This will tell you how much money you can spend on a home. You certainly are not required to spend the full amount you are allowed, but you cannot go over this amount.
estimated time: 20 minutes
Fun fact- we don’t charge any brokerage fees.
Second fun fact- we don’t charge brokerage fees because our commission comes from the seller.
First, you’ll need to submit your consumer notice. The consumer notice is a requirement for all our clients. Click the button below to fill it out.
Then, you’ll need to submit the Agency Contract. Before signing this you’ll need to terminate any agreement with an existing agent if you have signed anything with them. Signing this contract will not cost you anything, but we need it to be able to prove to the seller’s agent that we represent you.
Once you’ve filled out the consumer notice and agency contract (either manually or online,) you can email them to Chris@thechrisandclaudeco.com
estimated time: 5 minutes
First, watch the following video to learn how to set up your own Property Organizer on our company site. With your property organizer you can search for properties, search for specific addresses, save properties and set up showings efficiently.
estimated time: 15 minutes to schedule
estimated number of showings: as many as you need
Ever wondered what a showing might look like? Waste a few minutes on the following video to watch a mock showing Chris and I did at one of our reno properties.
Congratulations, you’ve reached the most difficult and sometimes the most fun part of the home buying process.
We’re pretty excited to get you inside some of these houses you’ve been pouring over. Watch the video below- or figure it out for yourself. Either way, now is the time to set up a handful of showings with Chris and I.
estimated time: 3-4 weeks
One of the first things you will need to do now is to give a security deposit to the seller’s agent to show that you are serious about fulfilling the terms of the contract. This security deposit is usually anywhere from 1-10% of the offer price – the amount is based on whatever you and the sellers agreed to in the contract. If you back out of the contract because of one of the contingencies in the contract you get your security deposit refunded to you. However, if you break the contract or simply walk away from the deal, the sellers get to keep the security deposit as liquidated damages. This security deposit will get applied to your downpayment at the settlement table in the end.
The second step after going under contract is to perform your home inspections. You can choose from a variety of inspections but the general home and termite inspections are the two most common options. General home inspections cost about $300-$450 depending on the size of the home. Termite inspections are usually around $50-75. The money for the inspections is payable at the time of the inspection and is non-refundable. After the inspections are completed the inspector will send you a report detailing everything he found in the home and noting recommended repairs. Based on this report we will help you draft up a list of things that we would like the seller to address. We will also say how we want each issue addressed – item repaired, the price dropped, or cash at the settlement table.
Once the seller receives our Reply to Inspection report they have the choice to either accept our request, reject it, or request something different. Like the initial negotiations, this conversation can go back and forth until the buyer and seller agree on how to handle the repairs or one of the parties backs out of the deal. Once both parties agree on how to handle the inspection repairs, both parties will sign an addendum making the repairs an official part of the agreement.
Once the inspections are done and sometimes simultaneous with the inspection process is the property appraisal process. A professional home appraisal will value the home you are wanting to purchase to make sure that the price you are paying is within the range of values the appraiser determines the home should be worth. Because we are in a bit of a seller’s market, homes are tending to sell ahead of historical values so at times we need to renegotiate the price with the sellers if the appraisal does not come in at the agreed upon price. If the home does not appraise at the offer price the seller has the option to re-list the home. They will give your security deposit back but you will not be able to complete the sale. Most times things can be worked out between the buyer and seller and the deal moves forward (but not always.) Most often the home will appraise at or above value and everything moves forward smoothly.
Once the inspection negotiations have taken place and the mortgage appraisal has been approved you are pretty much on the fast track to settlement. There is usually about another two weeks required for all the paperwork to be processed, but once we get the message that we are cleared to close we schedule a date and time that works for both parties and the settlement company. At settlement the papers are signed transferring the deed, money is exchanged, and you get your set of keys.
Ok, take a breath. Cause that was a lot of words at one time.
Each step of this process is really just sealing the deal on the home of your dreams. Chris and I will walk with you through each step- sending you necessary paperwork via email and scheduling settlement, etc. We literally love what we do, and we hope you will love the journey to find your home as well.
Remember that home matters- but the people in that home matter more.
Don’t ever forget that. When the dishes pile up and the laundry is stained and the walls get colored on and the floor gets scratched and the windows don’t look quite so crystal clear…remember that a home isn’t a home without the people that live in it.
Remember the little moments that matter. Remember that home matters.
You know that first renovation we did in our own itty, bitty attic? Urban Outfitters came and did a photoshoot there, (which just about knocked our socks off.) Chris and I quit our jobs and became fulltime business owners. Fall of that year, we started a farmhouse renovation with exposed walls, hardwood floors and old wooden beams. Those first months were crazy. We knew we didn’t want to be another average real estate company, or create more cookie-cutter homes. But we learned that to be original, it takes work.
-Chris, like a true entrepreneur