1. FIND A LENDER

A good lender communicates clearly to all parties and will be able to get you to a speedy close on the loan. Pre-approval on a loan signals to sellers that you’re a serious shopper. Your Mintz Homes agent can recommend trusted lenders to get you started.

2. ESTABLISH WANTS VS. NEEDS

What characteristics of your property can you compromise on and what’s non-negotiable? Things to consider: the location, the cost, schools, safety, proximity to work, economic outlook, and the features of the property itself. Your search will be more efficient, and you’re more likely to be happy with the outcome. if you get clear about these details before you go looking at houses.

3. START SHOPPING!

This is the part most people enjoy. With your “needs and wants” list in hand go ahead, and have fun!

4. PREPARE AN OFFER

When you’ve found a place you like: you’ll need a full contract, proof of funds, and proof of your loan qualification (pre-approval). Your Mintz Homes agent makes sure the contract is accurate and complete, with all possible contingencies addressed.

1. AT THE OFFER STAGE
you’ll be expected to make an “earnest money deposit” (EMD). Accuracy is essential, and good agents make sure that you carry out all the offer’s contractual obligations (so you don’t risk losing your EMD!).

5. SIGN A CONTRACT

When an offer has been submitted, negotiated, and signed by all parties, you are officially under contract. But wait! There are many legal obligations still to be carried out.

6. ESTABLISH CLEAR TITLE

The agent will deposit your EMD with a title company. Once a ratified contract is provided, the title research process begins. A title search is a legal investigation that ensures the seller is the rightful owner of the property and is by all qualifications entitled to sell it. “Clear title” must be established before a property can change hands.

7. APPLY FOR THE LOAN

The formal application for the mortgage loan is the most time-consuming part of the process. Make sure you have all the documents a lender could possibly need to verify your financial standing and assess the suitability of the loan. Waiting for a loan to be approved is the number one reason for delays in closing – and often that’s due to missing information. Using a lender your real estate agent knows and has worked with before can help your loan close smoothly.

8. HOME INSPECTION

Don’t get stuck with a lemon. To make sure that won’t happen, don’t cheap out on the home inspection process. Pay an inspector that will work for YOU. Make sure every inch of the property has been inspected fully before you complete the purchase. Be prepared to negotiate repairs! These are points for negotiation that the seller should expect. In Maryland, you will likely want to request a general inspection, as well as inspections for pests (like termites!) and radon.

9. APPRAISAL

The appraisal tends to be the final step before loan approval. It is important to the lender that the property be appraised at the purchase value (or higher). They will require the appraisal to reflect the current value of the home.

10. LOAN APPROVAL

This is the golden ticket. Pop the champagne!

11. FINAL WALK THROUGH

You get a final inspection, usually with your agent in tow. Make sure the home is in the same condition as when you made the offer. Confirm that all negotiated repairs have been completed. This is the last opportunity to verify that everything is as agreed to.

12. CLOSING

Be prepared to sign mountains of documents prepared by the title company, which has verified that the title is free and clear of any defects that could affect your ownership.

13. MOVE IN!

It’s official. The home is yours. Change the utilities into your name. Submit a change-of-address form to the U.S. Postal Service. Say hello to the neighbors.

14. ENJOY!