The Pre-Offer Stage includes steps that require buyers to have an understanding of: the type of desired home, wants vs needs, time frames, affordability and expected financial commitment.
Buyers should contact a lender (i.e. banks or private lenders) to determine their level of affordability. During this process, lenders may require copies of your: W2's, recent pay stubs, bank statements and social security number. Lenders will pull your credit to determine which interest rate best fits you. Pre-Qualification/Approval Letters are good for 120 days.
Submit Pre-Approval Letter to Agent
Once you've retrieved a Pre-Qualification/Approval Letter, submit it to your agent of choice. Your agent will review the letter and use it to submit an offer on your property of choice.
Find Properties to View
Create a list of your wants vs needs. Ask your self "What amenities do I need in my home? What amenities do I want in my home?" Research the area and neighborhood statistics extensively online. Find a real estate agent that is knowledgeable and determined to find your dream home. Once you've found your top five homes online, send your list to your agent to review and schedule an in-person walk-through.
Select a Property and Review Closing Cost Estimate
Once you've selected your dream home, a Closing Cost Estimate is prepared. The Closing Cost Estimate will break down the associated cost of purchasing your home.
Earnest Money is a deposit (typically 1% of the sale price) that is submitted along with the offer. The earnest deposit is typically held by the Sellers Agent and further deducted from closing cost.