Below is a chronological outline of a home buying process. Please review each event and become familiar with the process. The very first step should always be getting pre-approved for a mortgage. We cannot answer lending or mortgage related questions so please talk to a lender about your eligibility. After that, our real estate buyer’s agent can help you with everything else below until you purchase your dream home.
Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter
– Not a pre-qualification. Your income documents must be reviewed by a lender for a pre-approval. Read more about pre-approval vs. pre-qualification.
– Maximum approved amount
– Figure out your comfortable range
Home Hunting with a Real Estate Agent
– MLS home search alert combined with Zillow or Redfin
– Property taxes, previous sold comparables (comps), school district, sales history, HOA issues (if any), property conditions, built year, any remodeling / updating history, competition from another buyer
– Optional: Write a cover letter with a photo to the seller. Introduce who you are and what you like about the property.
Find out Competition
– In a seller’s market, you will likely face competition from other buyers. Find out how much competition there is and how many offers have been submitted including the offer deadline.
– Determine offer price and other terms of the offer with your agent
– DocuSign offer, addendum and contractual documents via email
Counter Offer / Negotiation / Acceptance
– Fully execute all documents
– Receive a transaction timeline for deadlines and important dates
Schedule Home Inspection ASAP
– Sewer scope testing should be ordered if the house is about 40 years or older
– Radon gas testing should be ordered if the house has an unfinished basement (Highly advisable in NE Portland). This test is considered “intrusive” and your realtor must request for it on the offer.
Receive Property Disclosure
– Study any disclosed issues with the property & safely back out of the transaction if necessary
– Sign disclosure documents if you approve.
Escrow Deposit of Earnest Money
– Personal check dropped at the title/escrow company. Retain receipt.
Receive Title Report
– Review to make sure there are no surprises such as easements or pending legal claims
– Escrow agent is instructed to pay off any liens per Agreement from the seller’s proceeds at closing.
Home Inspection Negotiation
– Realtor / buyer present at the inspection
– Receive inspection report at the end
– Negotiate: Ask the seller for repair credits or have the seller perform repairs with invoices provided
– Safely back out as necessary if inspection reveals irreconcilable issues or the negotiation fails.
– Lender sends out an appraiser to appraise the value of the property
– If appraisal value is under the sale value, negotiate the price or safely back out.
– There is usually a delay with appraisal in Oregon these days so be patient.
Working with Lender for Closing
– Follow up on any matters for closing
– Schedule signing for closing at the title company
– Mortgage loan documents require notarization. Bring two IDs with you showing your name and address.
Get the Key