More than just real estate

Negotiating offers and securing a home loan

 Kathy Fetek and Laurie Tyler are real estate agents in Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Racine office. Each month, they’ll be sharing their real estate expertise with the readers of MetroMilwaukeeLiving to shed some light on various real estate processes. Today, they explain the process of making an offer and securing a loan on your new home.

If you’ve been following our series of articles thus far, you’ll realize that now that you’ve found a home you’d like to buy there will be steps necessary to make that happen. The first step in this process is to negotiate how much you’ll be paying for that home. Your real estate agent will help you determine how much to offer by considering the asking price, analyzing current market trends and evaluating what comparable homes have recently sold for. Once you’ve determined a dollar amount to offer, you and your agent will sit down to write an Offer To Purchase. 

Once the seller has received your offer, they may choose to accept your offer in its entirety, which brings us to the next step toward becoming a homeowner. The seller may also reject your offer either in writing or by not responding within specified period. The seller may also make a counter offer. An agreement may be reached in either one or, in some cases, numerous counter offers. Negotiations are finalized when both buyer and seller agree on the terms of the sale and have fully executed those terms in a written contract.

Once you have an accepted offer, it’s now time to arrange for a loan to pay for the home. Some buyers are able to pay cash for a home, but in most instances they will need to obtain a home loan.  Initially, we suggest you apply for a loan wherever you do your banking because  you already have a relationship with the establishment. There are also mortgage brokers and online services that offer home loans. 

Many people are taking advantage of historically low interest rates by either purchasing a new home or by refinancing an existing home. According to Don Madisen, Sr. Mortgage Advisor for Coldwell Banker Home Loans, there are tougher guidelines and credit requirements for consumers than there were in the past. He has provided us with the top 10 credit DON’TS that can unknowingly wreak havoc on your loan transaction.

1.   DON’T do anything that will cause a red flag in the credit scoring system

2.   DON’T apply for new credit of any kind

3.   DON’T pay off collections or charge offs

4.   DON’T max out or over charge on your credit card accounts

5.   DON’T consolidate your debt onto 1 or 2 credit cards

6.   DON’T close credit card accounts

7.   DON’T pay late

8.   DON’T allow any accounts to run past due – even one day!

9.   DON’T dispute anything on your credit report

10. DON’T lose contact with your mortgage and real estate professionals

Approval time for a home loan varies with each lender, so be patient throughout the process and know that both your real estate agent and mortgage advisor are doing their best to make sure you receive the best rates and terms as quickly as they can. 

While patiently waiting for the OK on the money, we can continue on the road to home becoming a homeowner by obtaining a home inspection, an appraisal and addressing any repairs or concerns before actually closing the deal. To find out more, stay tuned next month – same time, same bat channel, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU!

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