BuyingA successful home purchase largely depends on how well your Realtor understands the current market’s inventory, how well they communicate, and how well they understand contracts. It also depends heavily on understanding the home buying process from start to finish.

At Morris Realtor Partners, we provide each one of our buyers a detailed analysis of the market before looking at any homes, so they know what to expect before opening any doors. It’s unbelievably important to understand the buyer’s wants, needs, deal makers, and deal breakers, so we also take the time to thoroughly get to know our buyers before actively searching. This enables us to preview homes and select strong candidates so our clients can spend more time doing the things they love. Communication throughout the buying process is also extremely important. We set expectations from the beginning so the buyer knows how to prepare for each step in the process. Our world class interpersonal communication skills help navigate obstacles along the way and ensure our buyer’s make it to closing with all their hair intact. We always ensure the contract is as strong as possible thus giving the buyer the best chance of purchasing their dream home. As we’ve moved into 2016, we’ve seen a continued shortage of inventory in the Atlanta area. What does this mean to you as the buyer? This means you will be competing with other buyers on the same properties. In some cases, multiple offer scenarios occur and the purchase price can even exceed the list price. The current buying climate just requires buyers to have a better understanding of the market so you will know when the time is right to act.

A full comprehension of the buying process is essential to finding the right home. Below is a flow chart and detailed explanations to walk you from start to finish.

Buying Process

  1. The buying process begins by determining whether the home will be purchased with cash or by obtaining a loan. If you will financing your home, it is always best to speak with a lender first so you know exactly what your budget is. They may also be able to help you improve you interest rate with a few easy suggestions. In some cases, you might actually be able to afford more than you’d think. Debts, income, and credit score are the main factors in determining how much home you can afford.
  2. The next step is putting pen to paper and evaluating the desired attributes in a home. It is also important to discuss the items that may be deal “breakers”. These include everything from square footage, lot size, view, location, price, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
  3. The third step entails viewing properties and narrowing down the search criteria. As you see more and more homes, you’ll start to get a better on grasp on what’s a good value. This understanding of the market and what’s out there makes it much easier to pull the trigger when the right home comes along.
  4. As we find homes that seem to be a great fit, a market analysis is performed. It’s important to see what has sold nearby and what activity is occurring in the surrounding areas. From here, we can start to hone in on an appropriate offer price.
  5. Now comes to fun part: Make the offer
    • Writing an offer starts by deciding on the terms in the contract. This includes the length of the due diligence period (inspections), closing date, purchase price, closing attorney, and earnest money.  The due diligence period is typically 7-10 days and gives the buyer an opportunity to perform inspections and ultimately back out of the contract for any reason. Earnest Money is the buyer’s good faith to the seller and is typically around 1% of the purchase price.  Part of writing the offer entails drafting the contingencies that will be included. These contingencies are meant to protect the buyer’s earnest money and allow the buyer to obtain a full refund if any of these contingencies are not met in the allotted time period. Typical contingencies include: financing, appraisal, inspection (due diligence), and a contingency for the sale of another property. Every buyer will require different contingencies and should always be discussed before making an offer.
  6. When the offer is accepted, the lender is notified and the mortgage application process begins. Lending laws have become much tighter over the last decade, so the lender will need a handful of documents including tax returns, income verification, identity paperwork, down payment proof, and several others. The home inspection process should coincide with the mortgage approval. The buyer should ensure the absence of major issues and a complete understanding of the items that need to be repaired. As part of the mortgage process, the appraisal will be ordered. This is required as the bank is never going to loan you more than the property is worth.
  7. Once the lender has fully underwritten the loan and given the green light to close, the closing is set and a final walk-through is performed. It’s always best to do this the day of closing or the day before to make sure no changes have been made to the property.


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First-Time Buyers

Buying your first home can be overwhelming, but the advantages of being a first time home buyer make home ownership a great alternative to spending thousands of dollars a year on rent. Instead of lining your landlord’s pockets, you’ll be building equity in likely your biggest asset. You will be able to own a home that suits your needs, lifestyle, and financial situation. Home ownership also helps establish credit and provides excellent tax benefits. We’re always happy to show you how purchasing a home affects your long term financial plans and help you determine if it’s right for you.

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