RE/MAX River Cities Buyers' Guide: Steps to Buying a Home

The RE/MAX River Cities guide to a successful purchase of a home

  • Nobody in the World Sells more Real Estate than RE/MAX
  • Our service goes beyond just Real Estate… We are professionals, consultants, educators, and partners to the client.
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  • RE/MAX is the most recognized brand in real estate and most recommended by consumers.

Buyer Checklist

  • Evaluate your budget – know what you want to spend for a down payment & closing costs as well as monthly expenditures (i.e.; maintenance, insurance, real estate taxes, monthly mortgage payment, utilities, parking, etc). Down payments can range from $500.00 to 20% or more of purchase price and closing costs can range from 2.5% to 5% of your final loan amount.
  • Obtain mortgage pre-approval by clicking on link above “apply for a loan” or from your lender and/or bank.
  • Identify your timeline for moving & explore different neighborhoods to identify your preferred needs such as location, space, schools, amenities, features, restrictions etc…

Purchasing Process

  1. If you are financing you must 1st seek pre-approval for a mortgage: Typical time frame1 to 2 days. You must know how much you can spend before you spend it. A pre-approval will require your credit to be pulled and for you to verbally supply details about your income and assets so that a Mortgage Loan Originator can determine how much you can qualify for and provide you with a pre-approval letter with preliminary terms of specific loan programs (FHA, Conventional, Portfolio, Jumbo, etc…)
  2. If you are buying CASH you can easily bypass step #1 but must be prepared to provide Proof of Funds to show you have enough liquid assets to purchase w/o obtaining a mortgage.
  3. Find a property: Typical time frame 1 week to 2 months. Depending on what you are looking for, the length of your search will vary. The average person sees 10-15 properties before deciding on one. Internet-savvy buyers save time by doing their ‘homework’ before their search. The average number of properties viewed before buying by our internet buyers is 4-5.
  4. Make an offer on a Property and Negotiate Terms: Typical time frame 1 day to 1 week. This is where we will determine price, terms, and certain contingencies such as inspections, financing, appraisal, HOA etc… Everything is negotiable so inquire about assessments, fixtures, window replacements, air conditioners, rugs, floors, curtains, appliances, working fireplaces, washer dryers, etc...
  5. Execute a Contract and Open Escrow with Deposit: Typical time frame 1 day to 1 week. Once the contract has been executed buyer makes a deposit to open escrow depending on the agreed upon term in the contract. The deposit amount can range from $500 to 20% down for deposit. All Escrow Deposit Funds are held by the Real Estate Company, Title Company, Escrow Company, or an Attorney and those funds are applied towards the closing on the designated closing date.
  6. Apply for a Mortgage and Receive Commitment Letter from Lender: Typical time frame 1 to 3 weeks. Mortgage Loan Applications cannot be processed without a fully executed purchase contract and the following:
    • Wager Earner – 2 years most recent 1040 tax returns & W2’s, 2 most recent paystubs, 2 most recent bank statements.
    • Self-Employed – 2 years most recent 1040 tax returns & 1099 statements if applicable, 2 most recent corporate tax returns 1120’s or 1065’s if applicable, 2 most recent bank statements.
  7. Satisfy Conditions on Mortgage Commitment Letter from Lender: The lender will have specific conditions that must be met before they will finance your purchase. These conditions can be appraisal, certain financial info, personal info etc… Once you and your mortgage loan officer have satisfied these conditions you are then issued a CLEAR-TO-CLOSE.

Schedule a Closing: Typically the closing date will already be agreed upon on the purchase contract but there are instances that allow for a buyer to close prior to the agreed upon closing date or extend the closing date if need be.