It’s time to talk about one of the things we love the most in this business – helping hopeful homebuyers match with the right house. For the Birthright Title team, it’s all about helping our customers achieve that “home, sweet home” feeling, but the adventure can be long, and plenty of preparation is needed.
After all, purchasing a home is not just a financial transaction; it’s a thrilling journey filled with excitement, dreams and, sometimes, a bit of trepidation. Let’s explore some key steps in the homebuying process to help ensure this experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Get financially ready. This first step covers a lot – checking your credit score, saving for a down payment and getting pre-approved for a mortgage, but it’s that important to know your finances at the start of this trip. Remember, the myth of needing 20% down is just that. It’s certainly not a requirement these days, but regardless of how much you initially pay, you must be ready for it. The credit score isn’t the only factor in determining your mortgage rate, but it is one you can control. So, if your credit needs some work, take time to improve it if you can.
Find the right buyer’s agent. Now, it’s time to pick the right partner to help guide your search. Work with this professional to determine what you’re looking for, where you want to live, what desires are wants and which ones are needs. A trustworthy real estate agent, particularly one specializing in assisting homebuyers, can expertly navigate you through each phase of purchasing a home, from identifying the ideal property to securing the most advantageous agreement. It’s also important to know the seller covers the buyer’s agent fee once a home is sold as part of the commission – at least for the time being (but that’s another topic).
Start searching for your dream home. Start exploring real estate listings online and begin visiting properties in person. Work with your agent to determine what you’re looking for, where you want to live, what desires are wants and which ones are needs. Knowing what is needed and what you’re flexible on will help narrow your search – and it’s OK if that checklist changes as you go along.
Make an offer and start negotiating: After finding a home that exceeds all your hopes and dreams – or at least that you love a lot – it’s time to make an offer and see how it all plays out. Your Realtor will handle a lot of the bargaining for you, but it’s important to know that with competition expected to be more balanced between buyers and sellers this year, initial offers are once again being viewed as starting points because motivation will be strong on both sides to get the right agreement done. This process also includes having earnest money available to show your commitment.
Pick the title and closing company you want. If you’re in Middle Tennessee, we hope you choose Birthright Title for this step. As a trusted transaction partner, a title company is responsible for making sure the property you’re buying can be sold and that everything is in order so property ownership can be transferred from one party to another. All of us work hard as your problem solvers so that you’re cleared to close. That’s not all a title company does. We also do all that we can to make sure the money involved in the transaction stays secure. Hopefully, your Realtor and loan officer recommend using us, but if they don’t, you can always tell them you want us in your corner. We know the role of a title company is one of the least understood responsibilities out there in real estate, but the BT team is here to answer any questions you may have.
Get a home inspection and final mortgage approval: Hire a home inspector to perform an exhaustive inspection of your home to reveal any concealed problems. Some of the findings can be used to bargain further on price or ask for additional concessions, but all the information is also nice for general peace of mind. Simultaneously, work with your lender to get final approval for your mortgage. One last piece of financial advice: Avoid making major purchases during this period, as they can impact your mortgage qualification.
Be ready to celebrate your Closing Day: The final step involves signing a lot of paperwork to officially transfer property ownership. If you’ve picked Birthright Title as your trusted title and closing company, we promise to do everything we can to make this occasion comfortable and celebratory. We look forward to welcoming you to our closing table soon! When it comes to your journey to your home sweet home, our team loves being part of your story. The trip there may seem long, but we assure you plenty of people want to help guide you along the way. Reach out to us anytime!