Ocean City Real Estate: Navigating The Home Buying Process
Contact A Mortgage Lender
The first step in purchasing property, even before starting your search, you should contact a mortgage lender. Your real estate agent will provide a list of local lenders if you are not currently working with someone. The lender will give you a pre-qualification letter. That letter will state what you are qualified to spend on your new home. That letter will not only serve as a guideline for you during your search, but will give sellers a level of comfort that you are capable of purchasing, once you locate your ideal location.
You are now ready to write an offer, after the countless days you have spent locating the perfect place.
Before the Offer…
However, there are many things to consider before you take pen to paper:
- Do you have a property to sell before you can purchase?
- Are you doing a 1031 exchange? (deferring taxes by buying a “like kind” property that you are selling)
- Do you have immediate access to good faith and settlement funds?
- Do you require a financing contingency?
- Do you want Inspections, such as termite, water infiltration, septic/well or simply a home inspection (highly recommended)? Inspections are at the buyer’s expense
- Do you have a specific time frame for occupancy?
- And of course you must decide on the price you would like to offer and how much of a good faith deposit you wish to pay.
If your agent is aware of the details listed above, they will make any/all of the items a condition of the sales offer. In this manner they can protect your interests to the best of their ability.
- Once your offer is accepted, you need to immediately start on arranging financing. Contact your lender and supply to them a copy of the sales contract.
- Initiate any inspections you requested in your offer. Again, your agent will supply a list if inspectors for your review. Please remember: These inspections, and all contingencies, are extremely time sensitive.
- With the lenders and inspectors in motion, you can turn your attention to locating a settlement company. IT IS THE BUYERS PREROGATIVE which company will perform settlement.
Approximately 7-10 days prior to settlement, the utility companies should be notified to make the ownership transition occur smoothly and without lapse.
The settlement company will notify towns, condo association (if applicable) and county for taxes and transfer of ownership.
Final walk through generally occurs an hour or two prior to the closing. By performing the walk through just before you arrive at the settlement table, ensures you see the property just as it will be handed over to you.
Your local REALTOR will work with you through these steps to ensure a smooth and satisfying experience.