With all of the recent restrictions, you might be asking yourself: How am I going to do a walkthrough of a potential home? How will I meet with my agent? What does the home buying process look like? Amidst the pandemic, the real estate industry has had to adapt even more to the new normal. At Kingfisher Real Estate we understand that things may be different, but we are as committed as ever to helping you find your dream home. Below is a step by step guide on how you can purchase a home virtually. If you have any questions we’d be happy to help, contact us online or by phone.
Start Your Search Online
Most home searches these days start with an online search. This is a good way to understand what properties are available in the area you want to live and how much homes are currently selling for.
Get Mortgage Approval
Once you’ve looked around and are ready to make the commitment to find a new home, it’s time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Try our Mortgage Calculator tool to get an idea of how much you may be able to afford. Many banks have converted to a virtual method or you can find a mortgage website. It’s essential to get pre-approved so that you can be realistic about how much you can spend. Be sure to have at least your last two W2’s, two month’s worth of bank statements, and your most recent pay stubs. Once you’ve been preapproved, you will receive a preapproval letter, which becomes important as you move through the buying process.
Choose Your Real Estate Agent
An agent will become your biggest confidant during this time. They are the experts on the market, the neighborhoods, the available listings, school ratings, taxes, and more in an area. He or she can tour listings for you and send you photos or videos that online listings may have left out. Our team at Kingfisher Real Estate are the local experts for Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Find the right agent for you.
Find Your Perfect Home
Once you find your agent, connect with them to go over what you’re looking for in a home. Bring up some listings that you found in your research. They’re going to want to know details such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, acreage, and proximity to schools. Agents often have information on homes that haven’t yet hit websites and additional footage from virtual tours that may not have made it into the final cut.
Have an agent walk you through the house on FaceTime or another virtual service. Think about all the questions and places you would look in, in person, be sure to do the same thing virtually. Be sure to have them open cabinets, look out windows, and show you the street and other homes in the neighborhood so that you get the full impact of the home. You should be asking as many questions as possible if an in-person home tour isn’t available.
Write an Offer Letter
After you’ve viewed all of the homes that fit your criteria and you’ve found one that you like, it’s time for your agent to write an offer letter. The seller has three options after the letter has been submitted: to accept, reject, or counter offer. Your agent will help you navigate through this process.
Once you and the seller have reached an agreement, it’s time for closing. You will need to get the home appraised, which is where the bank evaluates the home and ensures that they are not loaning you more than they think the home is worth. Once they’ve finished the appraisal, the mortgage company will finish underwriting your loan and verifying your financial information.
Next, you should schedule a home inspection to make sure everything about the home is as you think. This is especially important when buying a home online. An inspector will point out anything that is wrong with the home and needs repair. Anything that comes up in the inspection can either be repaired before closing or taken off the final price of the home. This needs to be negotiated with the seller before the closing.
Once the closing is completed, you can move into your home!