Debra Lester Realtor for Huntsville, Madison  County, Alabama - Selling Homes in Madison, Huntsville and North Alabama Debra Lester Realtor for Huntsville, Madison  County, Alabama - Selling Homes in Madison, Huntsville and North Alabama



  1. One of the first steps in the home buying process should be meeting with a lender to get a letter of pre approval. The lender will discuss the best type of financing for your needs and will give you a Good Faith Estimate. This will show the breakdown of the total cost (including down payment, closing costs and prepaid items) you will need to invest in a home. This estimate will also show you the interest rate and total monthly investment including taxes and insurance. You will get a letter from the lender stating you have been pre-approved for a certain amount. You can then decide if this meets your level of comfort.
  2. We will discuss the type of home that fits your needs and the preferred location. I will create a search for you that meets your criteria and set up an account on Valley MLS for you to view and save any properties you would like to consider. E-mails will be sent to you on a regular basis showing homes that fall into our category.
  3. We will set a time to view properties that you have selected. This is a great opportunity to compare properties and ask questions about the home, the sales in the neighborhood and anything that might be of importance should that be the home you choose.
  4. Keep in mind that if you see a home that is a "For Sale By Owner" we can contact them to set up a showing, as most cooperate with agents. (It is in the buyer's best interest to have a representative throughout the buying process). Also, if you attend an "Open House" just let the agent on duty know that you are working with me and if you desire a second look, I will set that up for you.
  5. When we find a home that you are interested in, I will provide a market analysis of that neighborhood to compare what other similar homes have sold for. I will also pull a copy of the tax record showing the assessed value of the home, what the present owner paid for it, and the date of their purchase.
  6. We draw up a contract to purchase. We make an offer which you will decide after we have discussed our options. We ask for a certain settlement date that will give us time to get your loan processed and closed. This date is also negotiable. We ask for any appliances offered, window treatments that convey and any cosmetic items we would like fixed. We will put a deposit down with the offer. The amount of the earnest money is negotiable and usually depends on the price of the home. Remember, the seller has the option to accept, reject, counter or accept a competing offer. All parts of our offer are important especially in multiple offer situations.
  7. There will be contingencies in the contract. They would include: Subject to the purchasers obtaining financing, getting a home inspection or anything that might be a condition of the sale.
  8. If your present home has not sold, and you will be using the funds from the sale of that home to purchase, we would write a contract subject to the sale of your current home. This contract will have a separate addendum called a "First Right of Refusal." This addendum will state that the seller's home will remain on the market while we are trying to sell yours. It will be very specific as to the terms. It will state that if the sellers receive another contract on their home during the time yours is on the market, but not sold, you will have (usually 24 hours) to remove the contingency on selling your home. If yours has not sold, we would have to let the listing agent know, and the other party would move forward. Your earnest money deposit would be refunded and the contract would become void. If your home sells before they receive another offer on their home, we would remove the contingency on the sale of your home (by addendum) and the contract would then be contingent on the successful closing of your home.
  9. We have a legally binding contract if ours is selected and signed by the seller. The deposit check will be cashed and held in an escrow account until settlement. This will be given to you as a credit at closing.
  10. Our next step is to make formal application for the loan. We will provide your lender with a copy of the contract and you will pay for the appraisal and credit report. This money is part of the estimated closing costs - or good faith estimate. This is usually within 5 days of an accepted contract.
  11. We will contact a licensed home inspector chosen by you, to do the home inspection. This is usually done within 10-12 business days of a fully ratified contract.
  12. We meet with the inspector and he discusses the process of the home inspection. The cost is usually between $350-$600 depending on the size of the home and the minimum cost of the inspection company. This inspection of the property is to detect any major defects and/or hazardous conditions.
  13. Within 3 working days of completion of the inspection, we will provide the seller a "Request for Repairs" form stating those major defects and/or hazardous conditions (if any) that need to be corrected, along with a complete copy of all inspection reports. The seller will then have 3 working days to notify us, in writing, of those corrections the seller is willing to make.
  14. Once the lender has fully approved the loan, we will set a time to close with an attorney. This will be the date agreed on in the contract. You will need to contact your insurance company to get a home owner's policy.
  15. The attorney's office will call you with the total amount you will need to bring to closing. This amount will need to be a certified check for the amount specified on the HUD1. The attorney will disperse funds to the seller, etc. All persons to be included on the title, deed, or mortgage need to present their driver's license at closing. Prior to closing, you will need to contact the utility company to have your utilities transferred into your name starting with the day of closing.
  16. The attorney will give you keys to your home at closing. The deed will be recorded and mailed to you within a week or two. The title insurance policy will be mailed within 60-90 days of closing. You will receive a title binder at closing for proof of the title policy.
  17. The seller has to provide proof of a clear termite inspection to us at closing.
  18. A survey is optional for you to purchase.
  19. Now it is time to enjoy your beautiful new home!!
  20. Don't forget to file your HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION!

Thank you so much for giving me the
opportunity to be of service to you.

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