Step 1: Find a Realtor
Enlisting the services of a Lancashire Group professional buyers’ agent is similar to using
an accountant to help you with your taxes, a doctor to help you with your health care, or a
mechanic to help you with your car. A Lancashire Group Realtor will take care of all the
hassles of every day real estate transactions for you. Our group will guide you through
the home buying process and exclusively represent your interests as we help you find a
home, present and negotiate your offer, and close on your new home!
Step 2: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You will need to get pre-approved for a loan before you find the home you want to buy.
1. Generally, interest rates are locked in for a set period of time. You will know in
advance exactly what your payments will be on offers you choose to make.
2. You won’t waste time considering homes you can’t afford.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU AFFORD? There are three key factors to consider:
1. The down payment.
2. Your ability to qualify for a mortgage.
3. The closing costs associated with your transaction.
DOWN PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS:
Most loans today require a down payment of between 3.5% and 10% depending on the
type and terms of the loan. If you are able to come up with a 20-25% down payment, you
may be eligible to take advantage of special fast-track programs and possibly eliminate
You will be required to pay fees for loan processing and other closing costs. These fees
must be paid in full at the final settlement unless you are able to include them in your
financing. Typically, total closing costs will range between 2-5% of your loan amount.
Step 3: House Hunting
There are many factors to consider when selecting a neighborhood that is right for you.
Below are just a few of the many factors – you may think of others that are important to
you. Neighborhoods have characteristic personalities designed to best suit single people,
growing families, two-career couples, or retirees.
SCOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD!
It is important that you scout the neighborhood in person. After all, you live in more than
• Talk to people who live there.
• Drive through the entire area at different times of day, during the week and on the
• Look carefully at how well other homes in the area are being maintained. Are
they painted, are the yards cared for, are the cars parked in good condition, etc.?
Step 4: Make an Offer and Negotiate
Once you have found the home you wish to purchase, you will need to determine what
offer you are willing to make on the home. It is important to remember that the more
competition there is for the home, the higher the offer should be – sometimes even
exceeding the asking price. Remember, be realistic. Make offers you want the other party
To communicate your interest in purchasing a home, we will present the listing agent
with a written offer. When the seller accepts an offer it becomes a legal contract. When
you write an offer you should be prepared to pay an earnest money deposit. This is to
guarantee that your intention is to purchase the property…also called good faith money.
After we present your offer to the listing agent it will either be accepted, rejected, or the
seller will make a counter-offer. This is when we will negotiate terms of the contract if
The step-by- step contract procedure for most single-family home purchases is standard.
The purchase agreement used is a standard document approved by our local real estate
The purchase agreement or contract constitutes your offer to buy, and once accepted by
the seller, becomes a valid, legal contract. For this reason, it is important to understand
what is written on the contract offer. For your convenience, we have included a copy of
an offer in this packet.
Step 5: Inspection and Repairs
If you are purchasing a resale property, you will have a professional home inspector
conduct a thorough inspection that includes the following:
• Air Conditioning and Heating
• Roof and Attic
• General Structure
The inspection will report on major damage or serious problems that require repair.
Should serious problems be indicated, the inspector will recommend that a structural
engineer or other specific inspectors inspect it as well.
Your home cannot “pass or fail” an inspection, and your inspector will not tell you
whether he/she thinks the home is worth the money you are offering. The inspector’s job
is to make you aware of any repairs that are recommended or necessary.
The seller may be willing to negotiate completion of repairs or a credit for completion of
repairs, or you may decide that the home will take too much work and money. A
professional inspection will help you make a clear-headed decision. In addition to the
overall inspection, you may wish to have a separate test conducted for termites, which is
You may elect to be present for the inspection. We recommend that if at all possible, you
are there for at least the last 30-60 minutes of the inspection so you can get answers to
any questions you may have. Also, you may be able to get tips for maintenance and a lot
of other general information that will help you once you move into your new home.
Step 6: Go To Closing
WHAT IS A REAL ESTATE CLOSING?
A “closing” will take place at the Title Company. It will last approximately 45 minutes to
1 hour and it is painless. You will sign a lot of papers during the closing and will receive
copies of everything that you sign either in hard copy form, or emailed to you, it will be
You will get the keys to your new home once your loan funds. It usually takes 2-3 hours
after signing the documents for funding to go through. The title company will have the
keys and call you after funding so you may swing by to pick them up.
At closing, you will be required to pay all fees and closing costs in the form of
“guaranteed funds” such as a cashier’s check or wire transfer. Your agent or escrow
officer will notify you of the exact amount due at closing.