10 Steps for Buying a Home in Bend
Whether you are a first time homebuyer, or an experienced homeowner, buying a home is considered one of the most complicated financial decisions a person makes during their lifetime. We have developed this list of 10 Steps to Buying a Home in Bend to help take some of the "unknowns" out of the process. And, with the help of one of our Premier Brokers, it is our goal to make buying a home a smooth and worry free experience for you.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
Unless you are paying for a home with cash, the first step in the real estate buying process would be to get pre-approved for a loan. Most home sellers now require this to show that you are a serious buyer; and, it help you know just how much buying power you have and what price range you can afford. If you are in need, our Premier Agents can give you a list of top lenders who consistently perform for our clients and make the home buying process easier.
2. Find a Real Estate Agent
When selecting a real estate agent, you want somebody who is not only a qualified and experienced realtor, but also an agent and a brokerage that "knows" Bend. As Central Oregon's largest "locally" owned independent agency, we take great pride in hiring the most experienced and knowledgeable agents in the Bend real estate market. And, with offices in Bend and Sunriver, we have specialists in all the geographic areas of Central Oregon, as well as having experienced agents who work with first time homebuyers, investment properties, ranch & farms, condos, townhomes, short sales, foreclosures, luxury homes, and all areas of the residential marketplace. Simply Contact Us to request a buyer's agent to assist you in the home buying process.
3. Define Your Needs
Making a list of housing needs can prove to be very helpful in finding the right home for you with the least amount of frustration. Are you looking for a single family home with a yard? Or a townhome where common grounds are maintained for you? A home with Cascade water or mountain views? Something that is "built green"? Or perhaps you want a certain style of home, such as a Craftsman, Tudor, or Modern? And what amenities are most important in the home? Working with an experienced real estate agent can help you both define your needs and find the best homes to match those needs.
4. Neighborhoods and Home Search
Now that you have established your list of needs and know how much you can afford to spend, your Premier Broker can help you look into the different neighborhoods in the Bend area real estate market. You may find the perfect home that meets your needs, but if it is in an area of town you don't want to live in, do you really want to make an offer on the home? You may want to make a another list that outlines the type of area you want to live in. Consider things like school districts, distance to medical or downtown Bend, access to amenities (e.g., shopping, golf, athletic clubs), and the general feel of the neighborhood.
Taking this neighborhood information, along with your list of needs, and how much money you have to purchase a home, it's now time to start your home search. Your Premier Agent can now put together a list of homes that most accurately meets your housing needs. Additionally, your agent can keep you updated with instant email reports as new homes come on the market that meet your criteria. And, when your agent presents you with a home that interests you, he or she can arrange for you to tour that home at your earliest convenience.
5. Making an Offer & Negotiations
Now that you've found the perfect home, it's time to make an offer. Your Premier Broker can help you determine the best price to offer based on the comparative market analysis (CMA) of other homes that have sold recently in the area. Essentially, this is the price other buyers and sellers have agreed on for similar homes in the area and will help determine the price the sellers of the home you are interested in might reasonably be willing to accept.
Once your offer is reviewed by the seller, you should expect to receive a counter-offer on one or more terms in the contract. Counter-offers can include other items than price, such as closing costs, repairs, improvements, furnishings and appliances, and closing date. Keep in mind that the negotiation phase is seldom a "winner take all" process, but rather works best with some compromise and mutual respect. Your Premier Broker will guide you through this negotiation process and help you settle on a final purchase contract.
6. Acceptance of Offer
Once you offer is finally accepted, it's a lot like you're officially engaged. There are still a few items that need to be taken care of before the marriage, in this case know as the "closing". A few of the significant events after acceptance include: 1) The Appraisal: Typically done by the lender to make sure the home is worth what the lender is giving you in the form of a mortgage to pay for it; 2) Home Inspection: Usually ordered and paid for by the buyer to determine the condition of the property (e.g., roofing, siding, hvac, plumbing, electrical, structural, etc.); 3) Preliminary Title Report: Issued by the escrow company to make sure their are no "clouds" or other recorded documents that go against the property (e.g., tax liens, mortgages, easements, homeowner dues, judgements, etc.).
7. Home Inspection
Most home purchases in the Bend real estate market are contingent upon a home inspection of the property to confirm the condition of the property and identify things that might need fixing. Your Premier Broker can help you arrange for this inspection with a qualified home inspector generally within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency in your contract protects you in the event that damages are found, and gives you the opportunity to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it entirely without penalty if conditions warrant.
8. Before the Closing
As the closing approaches, you and your Premier Broker will be working with the escrow company and your lender to make sure all the necessary documents have been prepared and a date has been set for signing. Typically the buyer and the seller will have separate closing times with the escrow officer. The majority of the time taken up at closing is a step by step review of the buyer's loan documents. Also, before you close you will want to acquire a homeowner's insurance policy on the new home, and your Premier Agent can help you coordinate the transfer of utilities as of the date of closing.
9. The Closing
Closing, also known as escrow, is where ownership of the home is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. The result is that the buyer receives the keys and the seller receives payment for the home. From the amount credited to the seller, the escrow agent subtracts money to pay off the existing mortgage and other transaction costs. The escrow officer finishes with recording of the new deed, loan papers, and other documents prepared with the county.
10. Moving In
That's it! You've found a Premier Broker, obtained financing, defined your home criteria, found a home, made and negotiated an offer, and gone to closing. All that is left is to carefully file your documents in a safe place and move into your new home. We sincerely hope that homeownership, just as your time working with a Premier Broker, will be a wonderful experience.
Buyer's Agent Request Form
If you are in need of a buyer's broker, please let us know and our managing principal broker will contact you to help you find the perfect Premier Broker for your needs.
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This content last updated on January 26th, 2020 at 12:29am PST. Some properties which appear for sale on this website may subsequently have sold or may no longer be available.
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