So you're ready to buy a house. Now what do you do?
There is so much involved in the home buying process. It's very important to work with an agent that understands the process and is willing and able to guide you through it. Your agent should be able to answer any questions that you may have and be able to help you get prepared for what could happen during a purchase. What could happen? Well, there are often many complications in a home purchase. These could be involving home inspection issues, contract terms, financing, legal issues, etc. Many times, these issues can be corrected. It is important for your agent to be able to help you navigate anything during a home purchase.
Now let's get started. You know what areas you want to live, you have an idea of what type of house you would like, and you know what monthly payment you would be comfortable with. Reach out to your agent and give them as many details as possible regarding what your ideal home would be. Then your agent can advise you on what homes are available matching your needs and help you with your expectations. The agent can set up a search for you directly in the MLS. This is often the most accurate search, since other real estate websites pull their data from the MLS (multiple listing service).
You might be curious about what type of mortgage you would qualify for. What price can you go up to? What type of mortgage would best fit your needs (conventional, FHA, VA, etc)? What's the interest rate? What are my costs for the mortgage? These are all questions that an exceptional mortgage professional can answer. Call a mortgage pro and start the pre approval process (the majority of it can usually be done quickly over the phone).
Great! Now you're pre approved through your mortgage professional! Now that you and your agent know what type of house you want & your pre approved, it's time to go visit some available homes for sale. While you are visiting properties, take notes and ask questions. When you find the home that you love, you will prepare an offer with your agent.
Congrats! After negotiations between your agent and the seller's agent, your offer has been accepted by the seller. Now it's time to schedule a home inspection & forward the contract to the real estate attorney that you have selected to represent you. You will also send the agreed earnest money to the listing office or attorney. In Illinois, there are usually 5 business day to schedule an inspection and for your attorney to review the contract and request any modification. Then there is an additional 5 business days to resolve any Inspection/Attorney review issues, if any.
Once the mortgage process is completed, title work is done, inspection items are corrected, any village inspections are done, transfer stamps paid, etc. Your mortgage professional will issue a "Clear to Close" and the attorneys will schedule the closing. Then you will do a final walk through with your agent right before the closing. At the closing table, you will sign about a million documents (Just Kidding). Now that everything is signed, funds have transferred to the seller, and title company approves...
You get the keys!!! ....And maybe pop champagne with your agent. :)