Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life.
The Krickeberg Group is here to make sure you successfully complete your purchase while being updated and informed throughout the transaction.
We are happy to discuss any and all questions you have about purchasing a home. Whether you’d like to text, call, e-mail, or meet in person we are here to help. To get started on your buying journey please fill out the contact form on the right of this page. If there is a specific agent you’d like to speak with please include their name in your comments. You can contact our agents directly by clicking here.
See below for a quick introduction to buying.
Where to begin?
STEP 1: PRE-APPROVAL
Why? There are multiple reasons to secure a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender, but the most important is because it protects you. Knowledge is power! When setting goals and expectations for yourself it’s important to understand your limits and how buying a home will affect you financially. We have many clients who go into the process thinking they will buy a home in a certain price range and/or in a certain area. Once they go through the pre-approval process their initial plan can quickly change. Some realize they are approved for, or can afford, more than they thought. This may open new doors that were not initially thought to be possible. Unfortunately, some find out they cannot pursue the homes they originally had in mind. Either way, having the information sets you on the right track and protects you and your time. Whether your plans are confirmed or changed, getting pre-approved teaches buyers about the lending process and helps buyers gain a better understanding of what their monthly payment and loan terms will be.
The second major reason is you need the pre-approval letter to submit an offer. Very few, if any, reputable listing agents will present an offer without having a pre-approval letter from the buyers in hand. Even if your offer is presented, it is unlikely an informed seller will accept without a pre-approval letter being included. This means if you want to be taken seriously as a buyer you need to have your pre-approval taken care of BEFORE you write the offer. Due to how fast the market moves you want to have the pre-approval process completed before you even begin looking. Depending on the lender the pre-approval process can take multiple days. If a hot new property comes out on Monday and you do not have a pre-approval letter, there’s a good chance the home will be snatched up before your lender can complete your pre-approval.
Finally, having your pre-approval helps your agent help you. Different loan types come with different requirements related to the property’s condition, down payment, closing costs, offer terms, etc. A knowledgeable agent will understand what your specific loan type requires and help you accordingly.
What lender should I work with? The short answer is whoever you feel most comfortable with. Our recommendation is you strongly consider a small and local bank/credit union or a local mortgage broker. Although every situation is different our experience has taught us that most sellers prefer buyers working with smaller, local companies and most buyers receive better service at these places too. Over the years we’ve developed excellent working relationships with many different local lenders. We are happy to connect you if you are unsure of who to talk to.
STEP 2: FINDING AND VIEWING HOMES
The gold standard to search for homes is MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Years ago the only way consumers had access to MLS was to meet with an agent and go through a literal book of listings. Things have come a long way!
Today there are dozens of consumer home shopping websites. While many have unique features that help buyers they are all largely the same in one respect- they don’t update quick enough and/or don’t display the status of the listing. What this leads to is buyers frequently viewing (and getting excited about) homes that are no longer available for sale or are under contract with a different buyer. The easiest way to avoid this is to have us provide you online access to MLS. After discussing your criteria for the new home we will give you access to your personal “portal” where you can view the available properties that fall within your guidelines. In case you cannot check your portal frequently we will also set up automatic notifications so that you are immediately notified when a new property match comes on the market. From there we can discuss the homes you like and schedule showings.
During viewings we will discuss common questions and, if possible, will review any major concerns visible during the walk through (mechanicals, foundation, roof, exterior, windows, etc).
STEP 3: WRITING AN OFFER AND NAVIGATING THE TRANSACTION
An offer is a legal contract that requires review and explanation before signing. We are happy to meet with you at our office to review the documents in person or we can review verbally and have contract documents signed electronically. There are numerous contingencies available to help protect you during the transaction including inspection, testing, financing, appraisal, home sale, etc. We will review these with you and craft a customized offer best suited to meet your personal goals. Once your offer is accepted we will notify you of next steps (submitting earnest money, scheduling inspection/tests, submitting financing application, etc) and will keep you updated throughout the transaction. During the transaction there may be instances where it is necessary to negotiate with the seller. Most common is after an inspection or in the event a lender appraisal does not come back satisfactory. We will make you aware of your options and possible outcomes. Prior to closing we will schedule a final walk through and will make sure everything related to the transaction is in order so that closing day goes as smooth as possible!
Keep in mind this is a very general overview of the process. The experience is different for each buyer based on numerous factors. We are happy to discuss a custom plan for you and answer any questions you may have.