House Buying 101: from making the offer to moving in
When we've found the right home for you, here's the process:
- Determine price & terms of your offer
Many factors go into an offer: price, earnest money, closing date, closing costs, inspection period, and more. I will work with you to determine the terms that best fit your needs for the home you've chosen.
- GET YOUR PREQUALIFICATION LETTER
I put this in all caps because it's critical! You can't submit an offer without showing the seller that you have the means to purchase the property. This means contacting a lender to get a prequalification letter, or for a cash offer, sending proof of funds.
- Prepare and sign the offer
I will prepare the documents and send to you for an electronic signature. We try not to kill trees at Savvy! The documents will arrive via email, and you can review and sign on your computer or mobile device.
- Present the offer to the seller
I will communicate the offer to the seller and/or his/her agent. Typically, a seller considers the terms and within a day or so will either accept the offer, or send a counteroffer.
- Negotiate & execute the contract
Typically we negotiate the terms with the seller and eventually come to an agreement. Once we have that agreement, we make corrections on the offer and everyone (buyers and sellers) sign. Once this is complete, we have an "executed contract" and the clock begins on the inspection period.
- The inspection period.
One of the terms in the contract is the inspection period. A typical inspection period in Florida is 15 days. During this time, a buyer will typically hire a licensed home inspector, a licensed "wood destroying organism" (e.g. termite) inspector, and possibly more, to go over the properth with a fine-tooth comb. Once inspections are complete, the buyer will typically do 1 of 3 things:
Once the inspection period ends, if the buyer does not notify the seller of an intent to request repairs or exit the contract, it is assumed that the purchase moves forward.
- Go forward with the purchase
- Request repairs from the seller
- Exit the contract
- Details, details, details!
At this point we have several moving parts:
Typically the post-inspection/pre-closing period lasts somewhere around 30-45 days or so, but it can vary based on the contract.
- Your mortgage (unless it's a cash sale). By now you're deep into the process with your mortgage company.
- The title company, which is typically chosen by the SELLER in Florida, pulls together all the details for the closing, such as deed preparation, mortgage info, and ordering a survey of the property.
- [drumroll] The Closing
You've reached the big day! Everyone (buyers & sellers) meets in a room to sign the paperwork. This is normally done at the title company's office and takes around an hour if there's a mortgage, or 15-20 minutes for a cash sale. After everything is signed, you get keys to your new home!