Searching for the right home can (and should be!) an exciting experience. It’s only natural to have a multitude of queries along the way. As your local Tacoma, Washington Realtor, I’m here to provide you with expert guidance. Over the span of my career, there continue to be a few reoccurring questions that are asked by home buyers. I’ve compiled these commonly asked questions and elaborate on them here. Giving you the competitive advantage that you need to win and feel great about buying a home in Tacoma. Here we go!
How long does it take to get the keys to my new home?
It depends on your financing. If you are using a traditional Conventional or FHA loan, it takes 25-30 days. Some lenders who have an in-house underwriting team can close in as few as 15 – 18 business days! When using Downpayment Assistance, a Rehab Loan or assuming a VA loan from the seller, processing could take upwards of 45-60 days. If you are using cash, you can close in as few as 5 days.
For a little more context: after the seller accepts your offer and you have satisfied all of your inspection and home review contingencies, the closing timeline is dependent on the processing of your loan. Select a lender who is familiar with the area you are purchasing and reviews your file completely, before you begin house shopping. Some home sellers are interested in closing quickly. If the lender you are working with has the ability to close in as few as 15 – 18 days, your offer could be chosen over others, if all other terms are competitive to the competing offer. Convenience matters. Time matters. Partnering with a lender who can provide you this competitive advantage is important.
What is Earnest Money?
Earnest money is known as a “good faith deposit” from the buyer. As a buyer, you include an earnest money deposit in the terms of your offer. Earnest money is deposited with escrow 1-4 days after your offer is accepted by the seller. A larger deposit is looked at favorably by the sellers; conveying your seriousness with purchasing.
Please Note: Your earnest money deposit goes towards your downpayment at closing and is nothing in addition to the purchase price. Want to learn more about Earnest Money? Click here –> Why Does Earnest Money Matter?
What is a Home Inspection?
Typically, home inspections are performed within the first 10 days (usually sooner) of an accepted offer. The licensed inspector will point out any deficiencies of the property from mechanical systems to cosmetic flaws. After all inspections are complete, we negotiate with the seller any repairs, credits or price reduction, if any. Leave no rock unturned. This is your chance to really get to know the house!
Some sellers elect to get a home inspection of their own and provide to all prospective buyers, in hopes of eliminating negotiations or the inspection period entirely. When sellers provide an inspection report it’s important to review the report in full and dig into any deficiencies that could lead to larger issues. For example, If the inspection report indicates that the bathroom floor around the toilet has elevated moisture readings, hire a contractor to further assess. If you don’t have the time or the deficiency noted would require some type of demolition understand that you are purchasing a home that has work needed, the full scope of which is unknown. Once you (Homebuyer) have the information, it’s your job to fully investigate. When working with me, I’ll work with you to gain complete answers and provide reputable professionals to perform upgrades and home repairs.
Should I Reach out to a REALTOR or Lender first?
Technically, there is no right or wrong answer. You need BOTH a Realtor and a Lender to start the process of home buying. If you reach out to me first, I am happy to provide several trusted lenders to you. However, the choice of who you work with is entirely up to you.
How do I schedule a private tour of the home?
The first step is to reach out to your Realtor. Your Realtor will be able to set up the showing appointment.
While it may seem easy to set up an appointment through Zillow or Redfin, you may be obligated to continue to work with that Realtor who showed you the property. Be intentional with who you hire. It matters who shows you the property!
Be intention with the Realtor you choose to represent you
Before viewing a home, set an appointment to review the process. I get that you are excited to see a home that you love, but trust me when I say, you will regret seeing the home, before understanding the nuances when purchasing a home. Just like any big decision, there is training that comes before in order for all of the pieces to come together and gives you the desired result. So again, sit across the table with a trusted professional and learn about the process.
So here’s my shameless plug -I have the time and WANT to answer all of your questions about how to purchase your next home.