You are here: Home Buy a Home The Home Buying Process

Understanding the Home Buying Process

Purchasing a home is not the most complicated thing you may ever do in your life, but I certainly think that sometimes it may feel like it is. Because I have been active in the real estate business for many years, what I may think is perfectly clear and understandable, may not always be so clear and understandable to a first time home buyer.

The information presented here is intended to provide you with an overview of the process. No transaction is like another, and there will be differences in the processes with every transaction you are involved in.

Certainly, the first thing a home buyer should consider is their choice of a real estate professional. I think it is very important that all parties to the transaction feel comfortable, and I also think it is important that all parties feel that they can communicate easily with one another. Obtaining a personal referral from someone you know and trust is ALWAYS the easiest way to find a good and competent REALTOR®.In my experience, when customers are referred to me by a previous client, it always works out to be a good and rewarding experience for all concerned.

During the interview process, every REALTOR® you speak with should present you with an information document called Information About Brokerage Services. The Texas Real Estate Commission provides this form, and Texas law requires all real estate licensees to provide the information to prospective buyers, tenants, sellers and landlords.

The intent of the form is to give the consumer information about the duties of the broker, depending on whom the broker represents. A broker can represent the buyer/tenant or the seller/landlord. The broker can also act as an intermediary with full disclosure and the written consent of each party to the transaction.

After you have interviewed prospective REALTORS® and you have chosen the REALTOR® to represent you in the transaction, the REALTOR® will likely ask you to sign a Residential Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement. The purpose of this form is, among other things, to make clear the agency relationship of the broker. Once you and the broker have agreed to the terms and conditions of the document, and signed the agreement, the broker is working for your best interests, and you have become the "client" of the broker. Previously, without this signed agreement, you were the "customer" of the broker, and the broker was not working in your best interests.

Okay! Now that all the initial paperwork has been taken care of, it is time to get down to the fun stuff!

Most likely, before you reach this point in the process, you have met with a mortgage broker or a representative of your bank or credit union, to determine the price range of the home you might want to purchase.It is very common in today's real estate market that you be (at the very least) pre-qualified for a mortgage, but better yet that you be pre-approved for your mortgage loan. When the time comes to present a contract offer on a property, the sellers of the property will want to have some assurances that the terms and conditions of the contract can be met by you, the purchaser.

Statistically speaking, a home buyer will walk through about a dozen homes over a period of about six weeks before they find the perfect home, and decide to enter into a purchase contract. The contract will include, depending on the specific property, several addenda. Some of the addenda that will be included with the contract will include, but not be limited to, a Seller's Disclosure of Lead-Based Paint, Information About Property Insurance for a Buyer or Seller, an Intermediary Relationship Notice, and a Seller's Disclosure Notice.

The Texas Real Estate Commission, the Texas Association of REALTORS® and the Austin Board of REALTORS® provide forms for all types of real estate transactions. Some other helpful forms that you may see in the home buying process are Settlement Costs and Helpful Info, For Your Protection:Get a Home Inspection, and Inspector Information.

Once you and the seller have agreed upon the terms and conditions pertaining to the purchase of the property, you will most likely begin the process of obtaining inspections and completing your due diligence during the "option period". I say "most likely" because all contract offers are different. Generally speaking, you will have an option period, for which you have paid the seller a non-refundable, negotiable option fee.

The option fee you have paid to the seller, and the option period you have negotiated with the seller, gives you the right, at any time during the option period, to terminate the contract for any or no reason at all.If you choose to terminate the contract during the option period, you will forfeit the option fee, but any earnest money you provided with the contract should be returned to you.

During the option period, you will have time to step back from the negotiation process, and take a good deep breath. You will most likely contact a qualified Home Inspector (licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission), and with an inspector for wood-destroying insects.

Click here for useful information about what you can expect from the home inspection process.

Rants & Raves

LynnS"I thought I couldn't qualify for a mortgage so I was reluctant to try to buy a home. Bill Evans helped me to find a lender and a wonderful home. Without his patience and understanding I'd still be throwing my money away on rent."

Lynn S.
  • Contact

  • Quote of the Day


Contact Bill Evans

Tel (512) 458-3730
Cell (512) 797-7587
Fax (512) 458-3736

1310 South First
Suite 100
Austin, Texas 78704-3060

Sound character is our greatest asset because it provides the power with which we may ride the emergencies of life instead of going down under them.

Featured Properties

Wonderfully Updated Home.
Wonderfully Updated Home. 4603 Caswell Ave Austin, TX 78751 Read more...

Daily Photo


News Feed