How to Buy a Home
8 Steps to Buying a Home in Greater Philadelphia
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Choosing the right REALTOR® partner is the first and most critical step in the process. We work as your advocate and trusted advisors to help guide your search and get you through the home buying process as easily as possible. We will set up a custom home search Collection for you so we can collaborate about the market together.
We will guide and inform you during showings and open houses spanning a range of areas and property types. Now is the time to consider your home’s amenities and accessibility needs. Google Satellite is a great way for you to view homes right in your Collection in the map function. We will provide an analysis of the area of the home when you find one you like to help you make a decision to place an offer. We will also share the Seller’s Property Disclosure and any other available documents.
It is very important to know exactly how much you can afford right up front in the process. There is more to financing than just the down payment including other closing costs to be prepared for. If you will be getting a loan, we can connect you with proven, local mortgage lenders who offer competitive interest rates and desirable financing packages and options. Based on your income and credit history, the lender will determine how much they can lend you, which will help determine the price range for your search. They will also provide you with an estimate of all closing costs based on your loan amount.
Once you have seen a home you like, you submit a written “offer”—the Agreement of Sale—a legally binding contract which outlines the price, terms, contingencies and timing of the purchase. As your agents, we will recommend an offer strategy, prepare all offer paperwork, guide you through the competitive landscape and negotiate the best offer for you.
After all negotiations are finished, you and the Seller will sign off on the Agreement of Sale which executes your contract. You will submit a Good Faith Deposit (or escrow) to secure the home that is held in a non-interest bearing account usually at the Seller’s brokerage. It is protected by the contingencies in the Agreement. We will provide you with a schedule of all mandatory due dates and will work with all parties to ensure dates are met.
You are entitled to hire any licensed inspector you choose. We will provide recommendations for inspectors we have excellent experiences with and will coordinate the inspections for you and ensure all contractual timelines are adhered to. We will attend the inspections with you and will negotiate your reply to the seller. You will either accept the property as is, request credits or repairs or cancel the transaction and get your Good Faith Deposit returned.
If you are buying a home in an HOA or Condo development, you will have the opportunity to review the rules, regulations and financials and be sure there are no issues or concerns. If you object to the items in these documents within the contractual timeline, you are generally able to get out of the Agreement and get your Good Faith Deposit back.
Title costs are set by the Commonwealth of PA and are part of your closing costs. The estimate for these costs is included by the lender in your pre-approval. Title insurance protects property buyers and mortgage lenders against defects or problems with a title when there is a transfer of property ownership. The title company used will conduct a title search to ensure you will purchase the home with clear title. Settlement will also be conducted and hosted by the title company. Your title search must be ordered in 7 days unless negotiated otherwise. We will coordinate this process for you.
You are required to obtain homeowner insurance as part of your loan to protect your investment. We can provide you with recommendations for insurance companies so you can shop for insurance that meets your needs.
You are contractually entitled to two pre-settlement walk throughs at the property in Pennsylvania. We will go through together to make sure the property is in the same physical condition as when you signed the Agreement of Sale.
You’re getting close! Based on your desired time of day and coordinating with the Seller, we will schedule your settlement with the title company. The closing date was determined in the Agreement of Sale.
On the day of closing, you and the Seller will sign off on all deed, title and mortgage documents and the ownership of the property will transfer to you.
Here Are the Keys! Congratulations! You are now a Homeowner!