Steps to Buying Your Home
Step 1: Let’s meet to discuss your why, when, and what
When, in the buying process, should you contact a Realtor? It should be your first step, as soon as you’re seriously considering buying. Buying (wisely, and with clarity) is a process with many steps. It starts with a Q&A session to discover -- and help YOU discover -- your why, when and what you’re trying to buy. We prefer to do this face to face whenever possible. The goal is clarity in our understanding of your situation, your must-have’s, would-prefer’s, and no-way’s. But also to properly set your expectations, to address where the market is now and where it’s going, to define our roles, how we’re paid, what’s urgent and what can be done more casually. At the end of this meeting, our clients are visibly more relaxed and measurably more confident that we’re in this together, and that we will succeed!
Step 2: Now you should meet with a lender
After the first meeting you’ll have a better sense of the market and where you future house likely fits into it. Now it’s time to sit down meet with or schedule a phone call with a mortgage lender and learn about all your options for financing. We will refer you to our “go-to” local lenders who we’ve worked with for many years and with many successful transactions. Of course, you’re welcome to use the lender of your choice -- but if you already have a relationship. We will be candid with you if we feel a given specific lender will could hurt your chances of having an offer accepted, or could hinder a smooth, timely transaction and close. The first lender meeting should be highly educational and, like your initial meeting with us, should ease a lot of your concerns. Our goal, ultimately, is to get you that you get formally pre-approved so we’re armed with that written proof when we’re ready to make an offer.
Step 3: The search and our unique roles
We use what we call “The Funnel Process.” Every possible home for sale goes into the top of the funnel, including the MLS, For Sale By Owners, upcoming listings we hear about from other agents, even off-market properties that *might* be willing to sell. Then, using your criteria, we eliminate those that don’t match and we don’t waste your time with those. That said, we don’t want to miss anything, so we don’t squeeze the funnel so tight that it closes. We’d rather put a “maybe” option in front of you and have you dismiss it rather than never see it. Meanwhile, you’re actively searching as well in your daily travels, in your conversations, on social media… the right house could pop up in a number of ways. We’re stay communicating as frequently as necessary in close communication, and when something requires a closer look, we’re ready.
Step 4: Get in some houses and get calibrated
Searches begin and continue online, but we feel it’s critical to get you physically inside some houses early in the process. How does it feel? How is the space used? How’s the natural light, the ambient noise, the access, the sound-ness and quality and craftsmanship? And how do these and 100 other factors compare from one house to the next? The only way to get calibrated to what YOU are uniquely attracted to is to get inside some homes. And this builds confidence, too, so that when ‘The One’ comes for sale, you’re ready to pounce.
Step 5: Criteria audit
People are complex creatures, we know this. In our many hundreds of transactions and various clients we’ve found a very useful question in the middle of the buying process is simply, “Have your criteria changed at all?” You’ve got a few miles and a few houses under your belt at this point. You’ve read more and learned more. Maybe the rates have changed. Maybe YOU have changed. So it’s natural that your criteria may have changed, and we will just come out and ask this. On a similar note, if you fall in love with a house that is a total departure from the criteria you’ve initially shared with us, we may ask you to “Sell us on why this house will work for you.” We want to help you avoid buyer’s remorse if we see an impulsive, radical change. It’s all part of our ultimate goal, to provide the information and the framework for making for you to make informed decisions, and to get to your goal, but of course those decisions are ultimately yours.
Step 6: The offer and negotiation
When you’ve decided on a house you’d like to buy, the next step is to discuss an offer. This is where we get to flex our muscles a bit, because an offer is much, much more than simply filling out a contract template. Are there other offers? What is the seller’s reason and motivation for selling? Are there terms more important to them than price? How is their price? What is the listing agent’s profile and experience? We probe to get answers to these questions and more. We also discuss your comfort level with the contingencies. How much time do we need? Can we shorten some timelines if we pre-book certain professionals? What should we offer? Do we already have some specific information we can use to our advantage? How willing are you to lose the house? Again, as we put pen to paper, clarity is again the goal, and it shapes our offer strategy and negotiation.
Step 7: Transaction management
Once we reach mutual acceptance, all other buyers are now blocked out so you can take a deep breath, relax, and get in the right mindset for due diligence. The typical transaction is a time-compressed series of events and decisions, and we see it as our job to slow down time, bring together and send in the right team members to truly “look under the hood” and achieve transparency of what it is you’re buying. This relates to the property itself and all its various components and systems, but also the title, the financials including your financing and appraisal, contractors and subs, your upcoming move and the transfer of ownership. Rest assured that we’re at the hub with you, translating the findings and information so you can, again, make good, informed decisions. We’ve done this hundreds of times, and we very much know the in’s and out’s.
Step 8: Closing & Transfer of Ownership
Few things are as monumental and exciting as becoming the new owner of a piece of real estate -- whether you’re a first home buyer or a seasoned investor. As the clock counts down to to closing, we’re there to guide you through final walk-through, transfer of utilities, signing at title and escrow, cleaning and/or repair arrangements, right down to making sure you get the keys and openers without a hitch. And if you’re making a local move, the moving truck is on us!
Bottom line: Buying real estate is a process, and the ‘BNP Buyer Process’ works extremely well. All our clients who are committed to buying, ultimately make a successful purchase. Take a few minutes and read some of our reviews, browse a few homes. Then write down your questions and reach out to us by phone or email. We’re excited to talk to you.