Deciding to Buy
Preparing to Buy
Choose a Real Estate Agent
Choosing a Home & Making an Offer
Escrow Inspections and Appraisals
Closing and Moving In
Turn in your earnest moneyOnce you have a signed agreement between buyer and seller, your earnest money is due within 24-48 hours. The earnest money or earnest deposit is sometimes referred to as “consideration,” meaning that you as the buyer put money on the table to show that you earnestly desire to purchase the property and will take the necessary steps to consummate the transaction. Earnest money is held either at a title company or in a Real Estate company escrow account until closing. At closing it will be credited towards your down payment. If you need to cancel the contract prior to closing, you will often receive your earnest money as a refund if you terminate before the contractual deadline. It is your Realtor’s job to be vigilant and notify you of the contract deadlines to ensure the protection of your earnest money throughout the transaction process.
Secure your financingNow that you placed the home you want under contract, you need to return to your selected lender and complete your loan application. Since your lender already preapproved your loan, completing your application should remain a straight-forward process. At this point you lock in your interest rate, solidify your closing costs, and determine the estimated amount of money need to bring to the closing. As the buyer, you hold the right to shop around for the best interest rates and terms for your mortgage.
- Buyer beware: Some lenders will quote very low interest rates, but then off-set low interest rate costs behind the scenes ultimately costing the buyer more. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When you compare lenders, make sure you obtain more information than a rate quote. Ask for a Loan Estimate, which itemizes all of the terms and loan expenses. When you have Loan Estimates from a few different lenders you can accurately compare apples to apples.