When purchasing a home accuracy matters. As a realtor at Links Residential, I will ensure that you are protected and your entire transaction is as smooth as possible. Our updated website (linksnj.com) offers the most accurate information about all homes that are on the market as well as extensive information about the towns in which they are located. I have the experience necessary to find the right house for you. Together we make home happen, and here are the ten steps I will walk you through.
1. Determine what you can afford
This is something you should do before you start your actual search. Your Links Realtor can recommend qualified mortgage professionals that can help you with this.
2. Get a mortgage pre-approval
A mortgage pre-approval benefits you even if you’re not sure you’ll find your house right away. This will show all parties involved that you are a qualified buyer.
3. Choose the right realtor
You need to make sure that you are being represented by someone who has your best interests in mind and is going to get you the best deal possible. A Links Realtor will be your advocate and “project manager”. They will guide you step by step from offer to closing.
Once you are ready to make an offer it must be made in writing. There is a form contract to be filled out by your Links Realtor and it includes all the details of your offer: price, mortgage terms, deposit amounts, closing date, inclusions, exclusions, inspection contingency, etc….
5. Contract negotiations and acceptance
Most likely your initial offer will be countered by the seller. At that point, the price and terms are negotiated verbally and communicated through the Realtors from the seller to you and back and forth. Once the terms and price have been agreed to, both buyer and seller then sign and initial the revised contract.
6. Attorney review
After the contract is executed both buyer and seller receive a copy and then it is forwarded to both attorneys for them to review. The review can take three business days, as the contract allows, or three hours or 30 days. The two latter options are unusual. During this period, either party may cancel the contract without penalty or consequence. The seller can also entertain other offers. If you really want the home then you will want to help facilitate a speedy attorney review period. A few things to note when selecting an attorney to represent you: First, don’t go for the lowest price. Second, work with someone who specializes in real estate transactions (would you have a general practitioner do your knee replacement?). Thirdly, select a local attorney who is knowledgeable of the area and any issues that may be local.
7. The contract phase
Once attorney review is completed, you are officially under contract to buy you house. This is when you complete the mortgage processing, including appraisal, and get all your inspections completed. The buyer hires a licensed NJ inspector. This usually costs a few hundred dollars. You have a very small window to schedule (decided during Attorney Review), perform inspections and receive your reports, so it would be smart to schedule inspections on the earlier side, usually while still in attorney review. Generally one inspector will inspect the home structural, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other defects, also arranging for radon testing, inspecting for termites and other pests, and other environmental concerns. If you choose to have an oil tank inspection you will need a separate inspector for that. Your Links Realtor will be able to recommend a few inspectors that they know are reliable and trustworthy and have worked with in the past.
8. The other details
At this point, your mortgage appraisal has been done and your final commitment should be available (there is a date in the contract by which you must comply and provide the mortgage commitment). Your attorney will then order the survey, title search and flood certification – if your new home is in a flood zone you will need to purchase flood insurance. Call your insurance agent and get the homeowner’s policy in place to begin the day of closing. You will need to have a paid receipt for the first year’s insurance at the closing. Give this at least 2-3 weeks.
9. Walk through inspection
Your Links Realtor will accompany you to inspect the house before closing. Generally, this walk through is done just prior to the closing to make sure the house is delivered in “broom swept” condition.
Find out from your attorney how much money you will need at closing. It will have to be in certified funds, bank check or wire. You will be asked to sign many documents so be prepared. The owner will give you title to the house in the form of a deed. The title and mortgage will be recorded in the County Clerk’s Office.
Nina Eizikovitz is a realtor with Links Residential. She prides herself on her patience and listening skills. Nina is a focused individual who always has her client’s best interests at heart and ensures a seamless buying and selling experience. With attention to detail and creativity, she brings a commitment to go above and beyond for all those she works with. Nina can be reached at: 201-280-5025 or [email protected].