Timeline of a home buyer

Typically it will take 30-60 days from when you make an offer on a property until you close. Currently the average is about 2-3 months of home searching before entering into a contract to buy.

  •     Sign Buyer Brokerage Representation Agreement, no upfront cost.
    Binds the broker with the duties of loyalty, obedience, disclosure, confidentiality, reasonable care, diligence and accounting to you.
  •     Review listings from your broker, meet with broker at properties to see them
  •     Meet with a loan officer for pre-qualification
  •     Broker will review property disclosures with you and prepare offer to submit to seller
  •     Broker will negotiate counter-offers with you and selling agent if the offer isn’t accepted as-is
  •     Write Earnest Money check for the offer, this money is held as a deposit and applied towards closing costs
  •     Once accepted, the offer becomes a contract.
  •     Meet with loan officer, apply for the loan. At this point you will receive and estimate of your closing costs.
    Sometimes the loan officer will collect an application fee
  •     Broker or loan officer will help you find a home owner’s insurance agent
  •     Broker will help you schedule a building inspection. Typically $350 upfront for inspection.
  •     Meet broker and building inspector at the property, go through home with them
  •     Review report from building inspector and any other information collected from town, code enforcement, etc.
  •     Broker will negotiate modifications to the contract or leave contract as-is and move past inspection contingencies
  •     Lender will order an appraisal, appraiser will contact listing broker to schedule walk-through
  •     Lender or Mortgage broker will set up the closing transaction with a title company or attorney
  •     Broker will meet you at property for a final walk through the day before or day of the closing.
  •     Loan officer will give you an updated closing cost estimate and give you the amount to bring to closing in certified funds.
  •     Broker will collect account numbers and contact info for utilities that need to be transferred into your name
  •     Home owners insurance policy will be provided to the closing attorney, paid at closing
  •     Both buyer and seller brokers, loan officer, buyer(s) and seller(s) will all meet for the closing. (Don’t forget your checkbook and license)
  •     Lots of signatures, the closing attorney will explain the paper work.
  •     If there are any heating-fuel prorations broker will calculate how much you owe the seller and have you write a personal check
  •     Seller will give you keys and any other relevant info you might need for your new home!
  •     Title attorney will have the signed deed and mortgage note recorded at the registry of deeds.

If building inspections are unsatisfactory, financing cannot be obtained, or seller can’t close on time for another reason the contract can be terminated and your deposit will be returned.

I used the term “loan officer”, but either a loan officer or a mortgage broker would be typical. Either have their advantages and dis-advantages.

My brother Jack and I co-own The Real Estate Store. I grew up and live in Scarborough, ME. I became a real estate broker in 2005, but Real Estate is a family business for us. We are second generation Real Estate Brokers. My experience working with apartments and with residential construction has given me insight into cost-aware construction and green construction and design.

Posted in For Buyers