Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will make. Guiding the buyer through the process sets expectations so they know what to expect along the way and starts a friendship that may last a lifetime. The best advice in successfully navigating this process is to select people you respect, feel comfortable with, and like working with. Buying a home is a process that involves many factors, it takes time and energy, you will be talking on a regular basis, it will also yield a reward that is priceless. There’s no place like home!
1. Application and Pre-Approval Letter
Start the home buying process with a pre-approval letter from the lender. Pre-approval information provides a clear picture of what the buyer can afford. The pre-approval letter indicates to the seller that the buyer’s financing is secure, and the offer can be taken seriously. Getting pre-approved is as simple as filling out an application including name, current status of income, assets, debt, and employment to determine the amount the buyer can reasonably afford. The Social Security Number is requested to run a credit check. Using the Guaranteed Rate Digital Mortgage tool, this can be completed in 10-15 minutes on a phone or computer and gives the buyer the opportunity to upload and verify income/assets. Once the completed application is approved, the loan officer can provide a pre-approval letter to the agent. Obtaining pre-approval allows buyers to shop for a home with confidence, knowing an accurate estimate of what they can afford.
2. Find your home
Real estate agents provide the value in finding the perfect home for the buyer. The agent not only helps the buyer find the home, they also create the Offer to Purchase, negotiate the price, and handle the paperwork and details to bring the home “under contract”.
3. Inspection and appraisal
Having a trained professional inspect the property allows the buyer to understand the quality, safety, and overall condition of the new home. Guaranteed rate will order an appraisal to confirm the value and condition of the home. We will work with the agent, seller’s agent, and the appraiser to schedule the appraisal. The appraisal is an essential step in the process.
4. Underwriting and final approval
Underwriting is the process of verifying all the information that has been gathered: income, employment, assets, debt, and property details. While the goal is to be as complete as possible, the underwriter may have questions or additional documentation may be required at any time during the fact-finding process. Setting the expectation that explaining or documenting may be necessary can alleviate anxious buyers.
5. Closing and your new home
A fully approved loan means the buyer now gets the keys to the new home! Some lenders are moving the closing process online, making it faster and more convenient. With our simple and innovative FlashClose process, closing appointments could only take about 30 minutes.
Want to help your buyers close quicker? Try out the Guaranteed Rate Red Arrow Approval Express! This is a complete underwrite prior to submitting an offer which can help the buyer understand all the expenditures that go into purchasing a home as well as being able to offer a Loan Commitment at time of offer, subject to appraisal (if needed) and title! Have 15-20 minutes? Let’s discuss, as always here to help.