The following information is intended to provide
an introduction to the unique purchasing
process. At The Holyfield Company, we can assist
you with every step of the process from getting
pre-approved to the final steps of making the
purchase. It is recommended that you choose a
professional real estate agent you feel
comfortable working with and rely on their
experience and knowledge in making the final
decision to purchase your home.
Preparation and Groundwork:
Work with your agent to complete the following:
- Speak with a Mortgage Lender/Broker and obtain
written pre-approval for a loan. This helps you
determine your purchasing power and enables you
to act expeditiously and with confidence when
you identify the property you would like to
purchase. Additionally, a pre-approval assures
the seller that you are qualified, providing you
with an advantage when making an offer and
negotiating on a home.
- The customary deposit or earnest money upon
making an offer and executing a real estate
sales contract is $1,000.00. Ideally, be
prepared to have those funds when you begin your
search. The balance of the down payment will be
due upon closing.
- A good rule of thumb is that your total annual
housing costs should not exceed 25-30% of your
gross reported income, and your total debt
should not exceed 35-40% (except in the case of
substantial liquid assets). Housing costs
include: mortgage interest, secondary residences
and any other mortgage in which your name
- Review your credit report. Remove all disputed
claims and clear up any debt if possible,
especially outstanding credit card balances.
Strategies for finding your home:
- Define your search parameters. This typically
includes price range, location, size, type of
ownership and building amenities (if
appropriate). Ultimately, flexibility will only
work to your advantage.
- Choose an agent to work with. Since agencies
have almost all the same listings, working with
one agent allows you to efficiently schedule
appointments to see only those properties that
meet your needs.
- Talk to your agent. Be specific about your
needs, price point, locations of interest and
any other amenities you require in your new
- When scheduling appointments, try to be
available during the week. Evenings, early
morning and late afternoon are also good times
to schedule appointments. In addition, by
avoiding weekend and open house showings you
allow yourself to view properties without
fighting crowds of people (competition), which
gives you more opportunities to ask questions
and get a "feel" for the property.
Choosing an Agent:
The job of your agent is to support you in
finding the right home with the best possible
terms, and to aid you through the entire
process. Your agent will explain the process of
buying a home, and familiarize you with the
various activities, documents and procedures
that you will experience throughout the
Your Real Estate Professional should be:
- Knowledgeable about the communities of
interest to you.
- Aware of the local and state requirements
affecting your transaction.
- Effective in multi-party, face-to-face
- Highly-trained, with access to programs for
continued learning and additional
- Technology driven.
- Supported by professional staff.
Most real estate professionals and mortgage
lenders recommend pre-qualifying for a loan
before selecting a home to purchase. This
process will help you:
- Determine the price range you can afford.
- Understand the types of loans you qualify for.
- Determine what your monthly payment will be.
- Estimate the down payment and closing costs.
- Maintain an advantage in the negotiating
Your agent will help you to select a mortgage
lender. Once you have made your decision, these
are the steps of the process:
- Application - All pertinent documentation is
obtained. Fees and down payments are discussed,
and the borrower will receive a Good Faith
Estimate (GFE) and a Truth-in-lending statement
(TIL), itemizing the rates and associated costs
for the loan. You will be asked to provide
certain documents to your lender in order that
your loan can be processed in a timely manner.
- Loan Submission - Once all the necessary
documentation is in, your completed file is
submitted to a lender for approval.
- Loan Approval (Underwriting) - Loan approval,
or underwriting, generally takes 24 to 72 hours.
Parties are notified of the approval and any
loan conditions that must be received before the
loan can close.
- Closing - Once all parties have signed the
loan documents, they are returned to the lender.
If all the forms have been properly executed,
the lender sends the loan funds by wire
transfer. At this point, the borrower finishes
the loan process and actually buys the house.
Finding and Choosing the Right Home
Based on criteria that you and your agent
establish together, your agent will help you
find the perfect home. There are many factors to
consider in selecting a property:
- Room count
- Shopping and entertainment
Your agent will apply their extensive community
knowledge and professional resources to research
available properties, and show you the homes
that best meet your needs. If you find a
property that interests you through the Internet
or your own research, let your agent know so
that a showing can be arranged.
As you view different properties, your criteria
may change. Open and direct communication with
your agent is a key element of a successful
Making an Offer
Once you have found the home that’s right for
you, your agent will use their real estate
expertise to conduct research necessary to help
you structure an effective offer. This is when
your agent’s negotiation skills and superior
market knowledge come into play. When an offer
is made, the seller will have the option of
accepting, rejecting or counter-offering. With
your input, your agent will negotiate the best
possible terms for you.
Your agent will draft the real estate sales
contract and advise you about contingencies,
customary practices, and state and local codes
and regulations. Home warranty, title and escrow
arrangements will also be detailed in the offer.
Although your agent will give you advice and
information, it is your decision as to the exact
price and terms that you wish to offer.
Managing the Escrow
When the real estate sales contract agreement is
accepted and signed by all parties, your agent
will open escrow for you and your earnest money
will be deposited in escrow. Your earnest money
will be held in escrow and distributed upon
closing or as otherwise required by the real
estate sales contract and by law.
Prior to closing, all of the contingencies of
the real estate sales contract and underwriting
requirements must be met. Your agent will
coordinate this process. Typical contingencies
- Approval of the Seller’s Property Disclosure
- Approval of the preliminary title report.
- Loan approval, including an appraisal of the
- Physical inspections of the property.
- Pest inspection and certification.
- Acquisition of homeowner's insurance.
- Other terms may be negotiated as contingencies
for the protection of the parties.
Closing and Moving In!
When all of the conditions or contingencies have
been met, you will sign your loan documents and
closing papers. You will tender the balance of
your down payment and other closing costs and
your lender will tender the balance of the
purchase price. The closing attorney or
non-lawyer closing agent will conduct the
closing and assume responsibility for documents,
disbursements, and recording at the County
Probate office. Upon closing you will take
ownership and possession of your home. Your real
estate agent will remain a point of contact
after closing and is a valuable resource for
planning and coordinating your move and final
details. Do not hesitate to contact them for
assistance after closing.