Home Buying Process



So you’re ready to buy a house? Congratulations! Now, what should you expect if you mosey into an open house during spring break and find your dream home? Though your carefully selected real estate agent will guide you through the necessary steps, it’s helpful for the buyer to enter the process with a general understanding of what follows. Yes, each transaction is unique, but real estate is not meant to be nebulous. Here’s a breakdown of what it looks like to buy a property in Connecticut in five short steps:

Step One: Make an offer. It’s not a contract – it’s a binder, which is an offer to purchase. There are four basic terms of a contract: offer price, inspection contingency, mortgage contingency, and the closing date. Keep in mind that all of these terms are negotiable. The buyers and the sellers will have a meeting of the minds on all of these terms.

Step Two: Inspection. Usually your building inspection should be completed within seven days, with a contract to follow about ten business days later. The closing will usually occur anywhere between 30-60 days after contracts are signed. The process to have a mortgage contingency commitment letter from a bank takes about four weeks.

Step Three: Contract Signing and 10% Deposit. When you sign the contract, you will meet with your real estate attorney and put down your deposit (traditionally 10%). At this point in the process, you should be extremely certain that you want to buy this house; this deposit this will be non-refundable (unless you are truly unable to get mortgage).

Step Four: Appraisal and Mortgage Approval. In order to get your mortgage, your house has to appraise, so it’s important to get the contracts signed quickly. Most banks will not order the appraisal until the contracts are signed. If the house appraises too low, then the buyer needs to put down more money or renegotiate the price.

Step Five: The Walk-Thru. After you’ve completed the preceding steps, you’ll reach the day of your closing and have your final walk-thru of your new home. At this point, your aim is not to re-inspect, but rather to ensure that the home is in same condition from when you initially saw it (i.e. the sellers’ movers haven’t damaged any walls or broken any major fixtures).

Again, each transaction will generally fall within these five steps though there are several mitigating factors that can complicate things like Hubbard clauses, unpaid taxes, or easements. The key is putting together a team you trust, and believe that yes, you will find the house that’s right for you.


About Cindy Raney

Riverside Realty Group
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