Helping your clients understand the home buying journey, and their partners along the way, could mean the difference between a positive experience and a negative one.
Buying a home is an exciting and rewarding life event. But without the right guidance, the process can become more difficult than it needs to be. Understanding and following these guidelines will help make your path to homeownership as smooth as possible.
Preparing to Buy
Even before you have a specific home in mind, it’s important to prepare.
Assemble Your Team: A good lender and a good realtor make up your core team. Your lender should agree to help you throughout the entire process, and your realtor should be responsive and ready to partner with you on your homeownership goals.
Check Your Qualifications: Once you have your team assembled, you can check to make sure you will qualify for the loan you have in mind. This step is important whether you have your eye on a specific home, or are just beginning to explore your options.
Move on to the “Pre” Steps:
- Pre-qualification is the initial step in the mortgage process. After giving your lender with your overall financial picture (including debt, income, and assets), you will receive an idea of the mortgage amount for which you qualify.
- A lender’s pre-approval is a comprehensive, underwritten review of the creditworthiness of your application. It is a written commitment to lend you what you need for your home purchase, and an offer may not be accepted without it.
When the “pre” steps are complete, you can move on to the search.
Finding Your Home
Collaborate with Your Team on a Plan: The home search is a collaborative process between you (the client), your realtor, and your lender.
- Your team should over-prepare to make sure there are no surprises.
- Talk with your team about a “stretch” amount. The 2022 market continues to be competitive for home buyers. Agreeing on how much flexibility you have to “stretch” your budget will prevent you from buying a house you can’t afford, but will also allow you to be nimble in case a seller has multiple competing offers.
- A good team will hold weekly discussions with you to go over the impact of rates, any changes to your goals, and the state of the market in your area.
Make an Offer: When you’ve found a home you love, make an offer! Your team can help with draft offers and contingencies, until you have a signed offer in hand.
- After the seller accepts and signs, submit the signed offer to your mortgage advisor right away, as the steps between offer and closing are time-sensitive – including home inspection, appraisal, and the issue of loan commitment.
Completing Your Purchase
Your lender and realtor will help you navigate the final steps and deadlines:
- Coordinating with multiple parties, including a mortgage advisor, loan processor, underwriter, closer, and appraiser
- Navigating home inspection, homeowners insurance, and title insurance
- Finalizing approval, selecting loan terms, and locking in your rate
- Closing! For the closing date, you’ll need the down payment as a wire transfer or cashier’s check. You’ll also need to be present to meet with the seller, realtor, and lender. The closing meeting is exciting for all parties.
What to Do Next
Even if you’re not ready to buy right away, it’s never too early to start the process. We can help you build a plan – including ideas to lower debt, improve credit, save, and more.
If you are ready to buy now, you can apply at apply.parkbank.com, or come in to speak with us about getting pre-qualified. Our experienced lending team will be happy to help you get started.
Wherever you are in the home buying process, we can help you navigate all the details. From the day you first decide you’re interested in buying a home, to the day you are handed the keys, we are here to partner with you throughout the journey to homeownership.
Megan Davis | Senior Mortgage Advisor | NMLS#: 633108
Hilldale Branch | 4050 University Avenue | Madison WI