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Making Sense of Home Buying
Steps to Buying your Home
The search is on!
At TheMLSonline.com, home search is our specialty. Explore the tools available in the search section and configure a search criteria that meets your needs. Search by area, price, beds, baths and more. Creating a home search account allows you to save your favorites, rate homes and receive email notifications when homes that match your criteria hit the market.
Once you've found a home you like, just click the Request a Showing link! We have the ability to show most homes on our site, often in as little as two hours.
Work with an experienced agent
Having an experienced Realtor on your team can make the difference when it comes to finding the right home, getting the best price, and getting the contract terms that meet your home buying objectives. An experienced Realtor will draft the terms of your offer at your directive and explain your rights as a buyer. Taking the time to explain each page of the purchase agreement as well as disclosures and addendums are all part of your Realtor's responsibilities.
Getting pre-approved is key
Talking with a mortgage professional about how much home you can afford should be one of the first things on your home buying list of to-do's. Having a lender's pre-approval letter in hand means you'll be ready to act when you find the home that's right for you.
Your Realtor can recommend a mortgage lender to help you determine a monthly mortgage payment that fits your budget. That way, you can narrow your home search to homes that meet your financial parameters and eliminate any surprises as to how much home you can comfortably afford. Visit our mortgage section and watch our "On Real Estate" video segments to learn more about the pre-approval process, and other finance-related topics.
Here's the deal
Once you've found the home that's right for you, your Realtor will work with you to draft a purchase agreement. Your Realtor will explain your rights and obligations as a buyer. This is your chance to ask questions about things like earnest money and the home inspection process. Once your offer is accepted and all contingencies are removed, your Realtor will work with you, your title company and your lender to coordinate your closing.
We're on your side
At TheMLSonline.com, helping buyers is what we do! Every month, more than a quarter million active home buyers visit TheMLSonline.com to search for local MLS listings. But we're more than just an online real estate resource... we're a local, full service real estate company with more than one hundred Realtors serving the Twin Cities area! When you're ready to take your search from the website to the home site, we're here to help you every step of the way.
Understanding the Inspection Process
Home inspections are an integral part of the home buying process. Hiring an experienced professional home inspector is highly recommended and the best way to ensure that you're making an informed decision about the home you're purchasing. As the buyer, you have the right to inspect the property before you purchase. A professional home inspector will examine the roof, electrical, heating/cooling systems, plumbing, appliances and more. Once you've found a home you like, your Realtor will help you draft an offer and explain your right to conduct a home inspection.
Scheduling Your Inspection
Once your offer is accepted by the seller, a pre-determined amount of time is allowed to complete your home inspection (typically three to five days). The inspection process often takes two to three hours to complete. Some buyers may wish to be present during the entire inspection, while others choose to simply attend the last portion of the inspection, where the home inspector's findings can be discussed on site. Attending your inspection is the best way to know the true condition of the property you're purchasing. Once your home inspection is complete there are several common ways to proceed: accept the home in its current condition, ask the seller to make repairs, ask the seller to provide compensation in lieu of repairs or renegotiate your initial offer price. If the seller is not willing to make requested repairs or agree to a satisfactory resolution as proposed by the buyer, the buyer can then determine whether or not to proceed with the purchase. If not, the buyer should be entitled to receive a full refund of their earnest money.
It is important to note that several cities require home sellers to provide a pre-sale inspection, often called a Truth in Housing Inspection. If you're buying in a city that requires this type of inspection and you're an FHA borrower, your ability to get a loan may be affected. Ask your agent to explain how this can affect you as a buyer or seller. A home with a pre-sale inspection does not mean a buyer gives up their right to conduct their own independent inspection.', 'Watch the On Real Estate video segments on this page to learn more about home inspections.
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Disclosure: TheMLSonline.com website contains advertisements and endorsements of affiliated industry service providers including: mortgage lenders, staging services, home inspectors, title companies and moving services. TheMLSonline.com, Inc. may receive compensation as a result of these advertising and marketing agreements. As a client of TheMLSonline.com, Inc. you have the right to select a service provider of your choosing and are not required to seek the assistance from any advertiser or affiliate of TheMLSonline.com, Inc.