General Buyer Checklist For Purchasing a Home

This is the typical purchase process:

1. Buyer gets pre-qualified for a home loan, to see if they’re eligible. This does not guarantee you a loan. Buyer gets pre-approval letter from Lender. In this step your debt, income and credit are all verified and you are approved for a loan.

2. The search: Buyer now searches for their dream home!

3. Now that you’ve had Lender run credit and check documents, please do NOT do anything that will affect your credit negatively! The lenders have approved you for your budget and the night before closing they will run a new credit inquiry on you – if you’ve bought a new car or purchased anything using financing or credit cards, it could knock you out of being able to purchase your home!

4. You have found your future home, and worked with your me to submit an offer. Purchase & Sale agreement: the terms of the sale are negotiated, including price, move in date, earnest money, etc. Once offer and terms are accepted by both parties and contract is bound, proof of funds or pre-approval letter will be submitted to Seller by Buyer Agent, as well as Buyer’s Earnest Money Check submitted to Real Estate Brokerage and placed in escrow acct, to be credited to Buyer at closing. Attaching your preapproval letter to the offer sheds a more favorable light on you because it lets the Sellers know you’re a ready, willing, serious, and able buyer.

5. Buyer orders and pays for all desired inspections of the home/property. E.g. Home Inspection, Termite inspection / letter, survey, roof inspectors, septic tank inspectors, etc. After inspections, Buyer may submit repair proposal to Seller for review/negotiation (if applicable), or will fill out a form stating they accept house as is. Buyer to direct all questions to professional inspectors for clarification and further details in order to fully understand what requests you may have for Seller.

6. Within 3 days after the Binding Agreement Date (BAD), Buyer shall make application for the loan and shall pay for the credit report. Buyer will immediately notify Seller or Seller’s rep of having applied for the loan and provide Lender’s name and contact information, and that Buyer has instructed Lender to order credit report (via Notification form). Within 5 days of the BAD, Buyer must make application for the loan and submit proof to Seller that Buyer has instructed their lender to order appraisal.

7. Title search will be conducted on the home (the Title company searches for any liens against the property)

8. The lender for Buyer will send all information to the underwriter for review and approval. The underwriter will make the final decision about loan approval. Once financing passes underwriting, the title company completes the closing documents. In the meantime, Buyer to plan and make arrangements for having utilities transferred to their name, any locks on the home scheduled for replacement, etc.

9. Final Walk Thru will be scheduled, typically on day before Closing. Buyer to show Purchase and Sale contract to utility companies (that require it) for transfer on day of closing.

10. Sit down to close the deal and take ownership of your new home!

Kenya Stafford, Broker, GRI, RENE, Knoxville Association of Realtors® Multi-Million Dollar Producer

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Cell 865.621.2040 / Office 444-2400 / Email: