What does the home buying process look like? I’ve brought in one of our Realtor partners to explain it from start to finish.

If you’re a buyer, what can you expect from the home buying process? Here’s what the process looks like from start to finish, according to Jenna Meyerstein of the Haney Garcia Realty Group.

Whenever Jenna starts working with a new client, she typically finds out their interests, discusses what their home buying plans are, and determines what kind of mortgage payment they’re comfortable with.

Then, she sends them to a lender such as us to get pre-approved. This helps you get a better idea of your budget and narrows down your shopping price.

Next, she’ll email the buyer a list of homes on the MLS to further narrow their search criteria. She’ll also ask other Realtors and brokers if they have any pocket listings outside the MLS that the buyer might be interested in. Anytime a new home pops up on the market that fits their criteria, they’re the first to be notified. This further helps her understand what you’re looking for before you actually go out and start visiting these homes.

Once you find a home you like, it’s time to submit an offer for it. Jenna and her clients decide what price to offer based on other comparable homes in the area. Other factors go into this decision as well, including how long the home has been on the market, what kind of area it’s in, the inspection time frame, etc.

You’ll also need a loan approval and an earnest money deposit when submitting an offer. An earnest money deposit is typically between 1% and 2% of the offered purchase price. This deposit is put into an escrow account. The earnest money deposit is an act of good faith from the buyer that shows they’re committed to moving forward with the purchase.

“It’s important to get a good idea of your budget and your shopping price when buying a home.”

Jenna and her buyers typically look to shorten the contingencies when making an offer. There are three contingencies in a home purchase: the inspection contingency, the loan contingency, and the appraisal contingency. These are in place so that if you find out something’s wrong with the property, you can back out of the contract and get your deposit back. If you decide to move forward with the purchase, your earnest money deposit is then used toward your total funds for closing.

After all the contingencies have been released and all the conditions have been cleared, the loan documents are ordered and then signed at a title and escrow company. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you’ll have to review all of these documents, but it usually doesn’t take more than an hour. This usually takes place two or three days after the closing.

On the day of closing, you’ll receive notification from the title company that you’re “released to record,” which means they have all the documents from the lender and they’re waiting for the green light from the bank. Once Jenna gets the notification that you’re “on record,” you receive the keys to your new house.

If you have any additional home buying questions for Jenna, you can call her at (916) 532-7867.

As always, if you have any financing questions or there’s anything we can help you with, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you.