BUYING YOUR HOME

HOW CAN I MAKE THE MOST OF MY TIME WHEN VISITING HOMES?

  • Get an accurate idea of your price range, an estimate of your monthly payments, and a pre-approval letter, so sellers will take you seriously when you make an offer.

  • Work with your ELM Group agent to hone your “wants” and “needs” list. Think about what’s most important to you: the location, or the house itself.

  • Preview homes through the KW App to eliminate those you won’t need to visit in person.

  • Plan an itinerary with your ELM Group agent.

WHAT SHOULD I INCLUDE WITH MY OFFER?

Your ELM Group agent will have the most recent standard purchase offer forms that comply with state and local laws. You should include:

  • The price.

  • Terms – such as a request for closing cost help or that the offer is subject to your obtaining financing and a home inspection.

  • The target date for closing.

  • Earnest money deposit – your ELM Group agent can advise you about how big your deposit should be, based on local customs and current conditions.

  • Request for a final walkthrough.

  • Time limit for the offer.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT TO SEE IN THE CONTRACT?

Ask your ELM Group agent to explain the key points in your multi-page contract, such as:

  • Accuracy of information, including the correct spelling of your name and the property address.

  • The effective date of the contract – important because your contingencies have time limits.

  • A list of contingencies, such as that the sale depends on financing, an appraisal, a satisfactory home inspection, and, perhaps, the sale of your current home.

  • Property disclosure information from the seller, depending on your state laws.

  • A complete list of what conveys with the property.

  • A list of required inspections, such as a home inspection and a pest inspection.

  • Information about when you can move in.

  • In some cases, such as if your offer is contingent on the sale of your home, the seller may add a “kick-out” clause, which means that the seller could accept another offer if one is made before your home is sold.

WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?

Your home inspector will check a massive list (more than 1,000 items) of systems, appliances, and structures in your home to evaluate its condition. You’ll get a written report that identifies potential problems and future maintenance issues with your potential home. It’s up to you to decide whether the report means you want to walk away from a house or ask the sellers to make repairs. You can also have an “information only” inspection, which means you’re buying the house as-is, but want to know its condition.

WHAT IS A HOME WARRANTY?

A home warranty policy, which typically lasts for one year and is renewable, provides coverage for some of your home’s systems and appliances. In return for the annual fee, the company will cover repair costs and arrange for contractors. You’ll pay a deductible fee and possibly service fees if you need to use the warranty.

WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE CLOSING?

As your closing nears, you should:

  • Stay in close touch with your ELM Group agent, lender, and title company.

  • Avoid lowering your credit score with a new credit application or late payments.

  • Confirm that your contract contingencies are resolved, including the home inspection, an appraisal, and your financing.

  • Finalize your homeowner’s insurance policy.

  • Gather your down payment and closing cost funds in an accessible account.

  • Review your Closing Disclosure form, which you’ll receive three days before your settlement, and ask questions if you don’t understand something.

  • Arrange a wire transfer or get a cashier’s check for the funds you need for the settlement.

  • Schedule a walkthrough of your new home within 24 hours before your closing to check its condition.