The Home Buying Process

There are a lot of details to be handled when purchasing a home in the Morristown area.

This overview is designed to summarize and explain the various steps along the path of qualifying to purchase a home, finding and buying a home. It is my job to streamline the steps for you, ensuring everything is completed according to plan.

1. Consultation with a real estate agent
the first step is to meet with a local Morristown area real estate agent.  The appointment will allow you to interview the agent and also allow him to understand your specific needs when purchasing a home, understand your home wish list, identify  the right neighborhoods for your search and set the foundation for valuable, trusting partnership that will hopefully end in one of the important personal and financial decisions you will ever make.

2. Financial pre-approval
knowing how much home you can afford to buy is critical to the home buying process.  It is important that you speak with a mortgage representative before starting your home search in Morristown and the surrounding area.  If you don’t know how much home you can afford, you will either end up looking at homes that you can’t afford or alternately, you might be fortunate to find that you can comfortably qualify for more home than you can expected and can expand your home search into a higher price category.  Also, it is important to have mortgage pre-approval from a bank to accompany any offer on a home as it shows to a home seller that you are a serious, qualified buyer.

3. Select and view properties
the next step will be to identify homes to see.  Your real estate agent will further define with you the specific neighborhoods, home styles, home size znd home types such as single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily homes, etc.,size, etc.  He will then review properties listed on the Garden State Multiple Listing Service with you and set up appointments to see the best properties that meet you specific needs.  A local Morristown area real estate expert should be educated on the market and local inventory, which will help you quickly identify the best homes available on the market.

4. Write an offer to purchase
once you find a home that you love, that meets all your home buying criteria, you will make an offer on a home.  Your Realtor will meet with you to share the history of the property, local market information, and comparable sold homes to help determine a strong purchase offer.

5. Negotiate the purchase
once you determine the offer price for the home, if you have a experienced real estate agent he will negotiate hard on your behalf.  He will highlight your strength as a buyer and work diligently to negotiate the home for the best price as possible.

6. Attorney Review
once there is an agreement on price, the executed contract will be sent to the buyers’ and sellers’ attorneys and enter into attorney review.  The attorneys must complete their review of the contract within a three-day period. This contract will be legally binding at the end of this three-day period unless an attorney for the Buyer or the Seller reviews and disapproves of the contract, or agree to extend the review period.

7. Inspection
a home buyer will typically have 10 days to schedule a home inspection from the time that the contract is executed.  The home inspection will consist of a thorough evaluation of the home by a licensed home inspector.  The home inspector will furnish the prospective buyer with a report of recommended repairs.  The inspector may also recommend evaluation by additional specialists such as structural engineers, electricians, roofers, contractors, etc.  Once the inspections are complete, the buyer will determine what repairs they want the sellers to repair.  The buyers’ attorney will provide a request for repairs to the sellers’ attorney, and the parties will negotiate on what repairs the sellers are willing to repair prior to close.

8. Final mortgage application
it is important that home buyers focus on the mortgage process to ensure they close on time per the contract.  The bank will check and confirm all of the information provided by the home buyer and further evaluate the borrower’s proposed monthly expenses and debt obligations, income to debt ratios,etc.  The buyer will need to submit a final loan application with supporting financial documents so the bank can move forward with ordering an appraisal of the property and move forward with underwriting.

9. Underwriting/Loan approval

The mortgage underwriter will review your loan package to make sure it conforms to all the guidelines required for loan. The underwriter will review the appraisal and validate employment, financial data, and credit. Underwriting can take anywhere from a week or two to several weeks, depending on how busy the bank is.

10. Title company
The home buyers’ attorney will order a title search that will be conducted by a title company.  The title company will ensure that there are not any open judgements, liens or other matters that could affect the clear title of the property.  Title search and title insurance will ensure clear and true ownership of the property for the new buyer.

11. Closing
The final step to owning the home will be the closing.  The closing will typically take place at the home buyers’ attorney’s office.  The buyer will provide a cashier’s check at closing for the final home purchase costs that will include the final balance for the downpayment and various home closing costs.  After signing what may seems like hundreds of documents, the buyer will be rewarded with keys to their new home.

12. Moving
Lastly and perhaps the most physically taxing step will be the move.  But when moving to Morristown or the surrounding area, know that the hardest work is behind you, now that you own the home.  Now there is nothing else but to make the home your own!