One of the biggest attractions in Northwest Indiana is the Indiana Dunes National Park. In 2022, it was named one of the top 15 National Parks visited in the United States and continues
The Home Buying Process
Dated: January 17 2023
Like most, you may watch the home-buying shows on cable or streaming, and dream of finding your perfect home. Or perhaps you need to move for a job, commute, or to be closer to friends and family. RE/MAX Lifestyles, as a continuing brokerage, has been guiding people in buying and selling homes in Northwest Indiana for over 30 years and counting. With deep local connections and decades of experience, we serve our clients with professionalism, expert advice, and proven consultation. Our agents have helped countless clients, businesses, and investors with their real estate needs.
Buying a home has many steps, and before you can get started, here is a sample.
1. PRE-APPROVAL: The very first step is getting approved for a mortgage. This means a lender will gather your info, look at your credit history and financial situation to assess your qualifications and lending limits to see how much you can borrow. This step is important because it shows sellers that you are serious about buying a home, and that you have the financial stability to follow through on the purchase. Pre-approval (versus pre-qualification) means that you as a borrower have been underwritten by the lender after submitting your financial docs, and are a strong buyer.
2. HOME SEARCH: Once you are pre-approved and know your price range, it’s time to start searching for your dream home! Identify and interview your agent at RE/MAX Lifestyles who can send you new and updated listings that match your criteria. Find a few homes you like, and then schedule to go see them in person with your agent. Working with a dedicated buyer agent is a great way to go, since they are advocating for you and your best interests in representation and negotiation.
3. OFFER & NEGOTIATION: Once you find the perfect home, it’s time to make an offer! This involves your buyer agent analyzing the market comparable sales, discussing strategy of the best offer price, working with you on constructing the terms of your offer, then submitting it to the listing agent for review with the Seller. The Seller may accept, reject, or counter a Buyer’s offer. From there, the parties sometimes go back and forth a couple times to work to come to agreeable price and terms. Keep in mind that other buyers can engage in the process, so bring a competitive offer from the start! Your buyer agent at RE/MAX can advise you all along the way.
4. LOAN PROCESSING. Along the way, right up until Closing, you will continue to feed your lender with documents and information, and underwrite you as buyer, the property (see appraisal), and finalize documents in preparation for an eventual closing.
5. INSPECTIONS & DUE DILIGENCE. The property inspection is a very critical step in the process. This is where a 3rd party expert comes in to assess the property condition, point out any unexpected safety concerns or maintenance issues that have created defects. Following the inspection, depending upon the type of Purchase Agreement, the buyer may ask the seller to make repairs, or perhaps credit the buyer for certain repairs, as part of this stage of inspection negotiation. Along the way, title work is being received and reviewed, surveys are studied, HOA docs are reviewed, and other relative due diligence items are considered.
6. APPRAISAL. Yes indeed, the bank needs to have some assurance there is equity in the house to cover the loan. So they order an appraisal from a third-party appraisal management firm, which then hires a local appraiser to analyze the property based on other comparable sales in the last 6 months. A property might appraise at purchase price value, above purchase price, or below, in which case a new negotiation between buyer and seller would take place to determine a course of action.
7. CLOSING: Once both parties have completed all this due diligence and Closing prep, it’s time for closing! This is where all of the final paperwork is signed as monies are wired in and disbursed. And, it’s when you finally own your new home. Possession may vary from Closing date, so sometimes you’ll get keys and possession, or sometimes there is a waiting period.
Working with a RE/MAX Lifestyles agent can make the whole home-buying process much easier, more confident, and less stressful. They will help guide you through every step of the way aiming to make it smooth from beginning to closing with expert advice and industry know-how.
Looking to make a move or relocate? Give us a call and get connected with your RE/MAX Lifestyles agent today! 219-462-2121.