Have you heard of the term "dry closing" before?

If yes, but you're not certain what it means or if it's your first time hearing it, then you're in the right place.

Dry closing is when all the papers are signed, and payment is sent, but the ownership transfer doesn't happen immediately because of an unfinished business. In simple terms, it's when a buyer and seller agree to close on a house before any money has been handed in. 

In this post, we'll discuss what dry closing is about, why it occurs, what makes the seller agree to this as well as other frequently asked questions about it.

What Is A Dry Closing?

A dry closing differs from a "normal" wet closing simply because the seller is paid after the buyer fulfills the mortgage criteria and the closing documents are signed. 

Dry closings occur only when the buyer and seller agree on the same thing. When events arise that ordinarily lead to a buyer or seller pulling out of the sale, they are designed to keep the transaction moving forward. Lastly, just a few states allow dry closings. 

real estate agent talking to family home buyers

Why Do Dry Closings Occur? 

When selling a house, people expect closing payments. Most states mandate a 'wet close' for all real estate transactions. 

Every closure should be wet, but the lengthy and challenging process may prevent the buyer from paying on closing day. The parties can wait two or three business days for the earnest cash rather than dissolve and fight over the deal.

The buyer or lender usually causes a dry closing since the buyer's finances to pay for the selling are delayed. This could be due to a payment glitch that takes time for the lender to fix, the buyer needing to meet an outstanding condition to get a mortgage, or the seller having a similar issue with their property that prevents a sale condition from being met. 

What Could Make The Seller Agree To A Dry Closing? 

Dry closings keep deals alive and ensure buyers get houses and sellers get money. Thus, dry closing may be preferable to wet closing, which fails if the seller doesn't obtain their money on closing day. 

Dry closings do not necessarily mean the buyer is untrustworthy. Deals sometimes need to be corrected, and funding arrives late. That means it will come so close first and retrieve your money a few days later.

Why Does A Dry Closing Need The Lender To Be So Important? 

To answer this, you must consider the role of the lender. Overall, they have a huge influence on real estate closing. A buyer seeking a home from a seller rarely has the money to pay. So they borrow money from lenders to be able to purchase the property.

The buyer puts the property as collateral for the loan, so the lender may repossess it and get their money back if things go wrong. Thus, the lender pays the seller, not the buyer. If the lender delays sending the loan to the buyer, a dry closing may be beneficial while the lender resolves its concerns. 

What Does The Seller Do In A Dry Closing Transaction? 

While the buyer and lender are typically the source of a dry closing in real estate, the seller may sometimes be the one to force a post-closure funding delay. 

After a dry closing, sellers should not relinquish their home's title. Keep the title and key until they have money. In the odd event that finance fails, it can be difficult to reclaim the title from the buyer if the transfer is already completed.

Conclusion

Dry closing is when a buyer and seller agree to close on a house before cash is exchanged, with the seller paid once the buyer meets mortgage requirements and signs closing documents. The seller's credibility is rarely involved in this situation, which usually requires buyer financing delays. 

Though it delays seller payment by a few days, a dry closing can keep deals alive and go forward. Providing funds and causing delays are vital to the lender. At a dry closing, sellers should keep ownership until payment is made to avoid financing issues.

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Unmatched Performance: Setting the Standard

The collective journey of the hardworking agents at the Indy Home Pros Team to the summit of Indiana's real estate landscape is defined by our unwavering performance and outstanding achievements statewide. In the 2023 RE/MAX Top Producers rankings, we proudly claimed the #1 position in every crucial category: Team | Commercial Only, Top 50 Teams by TRANSACTIONS, and Team | Residential and Commercial Combined. Our expertise extends beyond mere residential properties, as we excel in both Residential and Commercial Combine Combined Categories. Through our relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation, we as a team, continually set new standards, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to exceeding expectations in every transaction.

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The Indy Home Pros Team's success transcends local boundaries, earning us recognition on a global scale. In the RE/MAX Year-End Top 100 U.S. rankings, The Indy Home Pros Team secured and impressive position, ranking #16 in both Team, Residential & Commercial categories. Furthermore, on the global stage, we stood strong in the RE/MAX Top 100 Worldwide rankings, achieving a remarkable #37 position in both Team Residential and Commercial categories.

Our excellence in commercial real estate is particularly noteworthy. In the RE/MAX Top 25 U.S. rankings for Large Teams, Commercial we soared to the #3 spot, showcasing our proficiency and expertise in this domain. Moreover, on the global scale, our team's prowess was evident as we clinched the #7 position in the RE/MAX TOP 25 Worldwide rankings for Large Teams, Commercial. In residential real estate, our achievements are equally remarkable. We solidified our presence in the RE/MAX Top 50 Worldwide rankings for Large Teams, Residential, achieving and impressive #36 position. Additionally, in the competitive U.S. market, The Indy Home Pros Team secured a commendable #16 spot in the RE/MAX Top 50 U.S. rankings for Large Teams, Residential. These rankings underscore our team's dedication to excellence and our capacity to achieve outstanding results across various segments of the real estate market.

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When buying a home, two of the common terms you might hear a lot are "Annual Percentage Rates (or APR for short)" and "Interest rates." Now, while these two might sound like they mean the same, the truth is, there are a few differences that you should know.

So before you get a mortgage, let's learn how:

How Does Interest Rate And APR Work?

First thing first, let's learn what these two terms are.

Your interest rate is what you pay a lender when you borrow money for a set amount of time. The mortgage interest rate may be fixed throughout the loan or may vary with market rates. It is always expressed in percentages. 

On the other hand, an Annual percentage rate (also known as APR) is the total amount of money you pay for a loan, which includes the interest rate plus any other costs and fees that come with the loan, like private mortgage insurance (PMI), prepaid interest, some closing costs, mortgage points (also known as discount points), and other possible fees.

mortgage lender computing interest rate to homebuyer loan borrower

How To Calculate APR And Interest Rate?

Your APR is less under your control. Broker and origination fees are other variables that your lender controls and affect your annual percentage rate. 

By paying 20% down, you can avoid private mortgage insurance, but comparing lenders is ideal. Loan plans and APR rates should be compared. 

Your lender uses personal data to calculate interest. None of them utilizes the same interest formula although some mortgage lenders provide ten interest rates. 

Meanwhile, banks consider market interest rates and real estate economy conditions while computing your rate. Your mortgage lender can cut your interest rate in ways. Your rate will generally drop if you reduce your lender's risk. 

To get better rates, you have to improve your credit score, a three-digit statistic that shows lenders how you use credit. If you have good credit, it means you pay on time and don't borrow more than you can afford. 

Meanwhile, having low credit makes you riskier to lenders as it usually means you have a history of late payments, defaults, etc. As a result, you might get a higher interest rate from a lender or might not get approved at all. VA, FHA, and USDA loans can cut your interest rate.

A federally insured loan will reimburse your lender if your home is foreclosed. The interest rate on a government-backed loan may be lower than on a traditional loan. Remember that mortgage insurance will affect your payment, so consider all your options.

How Do Interest Rates and Annual Percentage Rates Differ?

Interest rates are the annual cost of borrowing money whereas APR includes additional expenses. Your APR will be larger than your interest rate because it has interest and other loan expenses. 

Your effective interest rate can also be considered your annual percentage rate (APR). Be sure to take into account both the interest rate and the APR while selecting the mortgage loan that is most suitable for your needs. 

The Bottom Line

Your APR comprises your interest rate and any other costs or fees you may be required to pay your lender. Your interest rate is the percentage of interest you pay on a loan. Discount points, private mortgage insurance, and brokerage fees are a few of the most popular extra costs. Your annual percentage rate (APR) represents the real interest rate you will pay on your loan after you get it.

Before a loan closes, the lender must disclose to you both the interest rate and the annual percentage rate. By maintaining your credit score and, potentially, selecting a government-backed loan, you can reduce your interest rate. Nevertheless, since the lender determines a lot of these fees, you need more control over your APR. That being stated, comparing comparable loan programs offered by other lenders is the greatest approach to getting a lower APR.

Learn more about mortgages here.

In exploring "Questions About Buying A Home," the initial considerations include establishing a housing budget within 25% of monthly income, optimizing a 5–10% down payment, and understanding the nuances of closing costs. 

These financial insights, strategic planning for moving costs, and mindful choices in furnishing and decorating lay a solid foundation for informed and responsible home buying.

So, in this part, let us continue discussing the questions to ask about buying a home. 

Questions About Buying A Home [Part 2]

  1. Are Natural Disasters Common In This Area?

If you've never lived in a hurricane-prone area, you've probably never had to defend yourself. Ask if your new home is prone to tornadoes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, or ice storms. Then, make sure your house insurance covers local natural disasters. You may require extra coverage if not.

  1. Does The Home Have Any Problems?

It’s hard to answer this problem independently; you need a house inspection before buying. Your seller must report known issues, although they may leave something out.

A good home inspection will explain the safety and performance of the roof, foundation, HVAC, and plumbing systems safety and performance. If there are red flags, you can pass or negotiate a cheaper price and solve the issues yourself.

  1. How Long Has The Roof Been There?

Asphalt roofs last 20 years, according to most experts. So, ask this critical roof inquiry before buying a house: How old has the roof been there?

Replacement of an aging roof might cost over $12,000. A sudden replacement might ruin your budget.

  1. What Is The Current Condition Of The Appliances?

Imagine getting into your new home and discovering all the appliances are broken. You can avoid such a surprise if you know certain essential appliances are dying before buying the house. The vendor may also offer a good deal. 

Ask about the lifespan of all house items and when the old or worn-out items will be replaced. This includes the HVAC, water heater, washer, dryer, fridge, stove, and dishwasher.

  1. What Does Purchasing Include?

Since different states have varying regulations regarding what must be included in a property purchase, you must find out what is included with the house you purchase. Don't automatically assume you're buying every light fixture, appliance, and window covering when submitting an offer. If so, you can become unhappy when the refrigerator is gone, and there's a large empty area in the kitchen.

real estate agent talking to new homebuyers

  1. What Is The Selling Price Of Similar Homes?

You should know what nearby similar houses are in the market. This will help you know if the home you seek is reasonably priced. You can get the answer from your real estate agent since they will be intimately familiar with the types of homes currently for sale in the neighborhood where you are looking to buy. And just so you know the technical terms, this is a competitive market analysis (CMA).

  1. Why Is The Home Being Sold?

Find out why the seller is selling their home. Knowing their motivation in selling their property might help you negotiate.

For instance, sellers leaving because of a new job may be more likely to negotiate a price to sell it faster. Probing them can also help you learn more about the quality of the house. 

It's a red flag if the seller can't clearly state their reason for moving or selling their home, such as looking for a bigger house or wanting to live close to their families.

  1. How Long Has The Home Been Listed For Sale?

Usually, when a home has been listed on sale for a longer time, it means that there might be an issue.

When a home is listed on the market for a long time, it might mean that there's an issue. Usually, it's because the asking price is too high, its location, or the home's layout. 

 In March 2023, U.S. residences averaged 54 days on the market. now, this number might be different depending on the location and season. Ask your real estate agent about house sales speed in your market—every market is different.

Conclusion

These are just some of the most important questions that you might ask regarding the homebuying process. There might be more as you go along the way. The key is asking as many questions as you can to your real estate agent and/or the seller before closing the deal.

Do you have more questions about selling or buying a home? If yes, feel free to drop them in the comments or call us at 317-316-8224 we can assist you!

Buying a home is all fun and games until you buy a home. It costs a fortune, has too many decisions to be made, and isn't easy to even know what to search for. 

So before you start the home-buying process, it's crucial to do research and ask as many questions as you can.

Not sure what questions to ask? Don't worry! We've made it easier for you.

We've put together a list of questions to ask when buying a house to make you feel more at ease about the process. 

Questions About Buying A Home

  1. How Much Is My Housing Budget?

This is the first question about buying a home since having an appropriate house budget avoids overspending on a home. Being saddled with a hefty monthly payment you can barely afford is disastrous and might lead to a huge debt. You must own your house if that happens. 

Therefore, when determining your budget, it's practical to limit your mortgage payments to 25% of your monthly income. Thus, your budget will have the capacity for additional financial goals like retirement investing each month.

  1. What Is The Recommended Amount Of Savings For A Down Payment?

The 100 %-down plan is excellent for home buying as well as buying a house in cash. Aim for a 5–10% down payment on your first property if you intend to get a mortgage. A higher down payment reduces monthly payments, debt, and risk. After waiting a while and saving 20%, you'll avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), leaving extra monthly money in your budget.

You can consider a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage if you buy a house. Stop taking 30-year loans since they increase debt and interest. Stay clear from adjustable-rate mortgages, FHA loans, and VA loans—they include hidden expenses.

  1. What Is The Amount Of Closing Costs?

Closing costs are typically 2–5% of your home's buying price. Closing costs for a $300,000 home are expected to be $6,000–15,000. Save enough for closing fees in addition to a down payment.

  1. Should I Put Money Aside For Moving Costs?

Local movements are less expensive than long-distance moves, varying significantly depending on the distance traveled. Verify your finances to make sure you have enough saved to cover unforeseen expenses. 

If you're moving for a job, your new employer may offer a relocation package to cover your costs—64% of employees received relocation reimbursement in 2022.

couple moving furniture in their new home

  1. Which Way Should I Decorate And Furnish?

This depends on the money you have for furnishing. If you purchased a fully furnished property, you're lucky; if not, you need to plan for decorating and furnishing your home.

This may be as simple as moving your furniture to your new home or buying new items. 

When purchasing items, only buy new or old furniture you can afford to pay cash for. Adding consumer debt to a mortgage is one of the most costly home buying mistakes. Decorating one area at a time can help you meet your financial goals.

  1. What Kind Of Location Is It?

Asking about location is essential. You should know various things about an area before moving in, including:

Gaining some understanding of these details can assist you in determining whether a particular area or community best suits your needs and objectives.

  1. How Are The Educational Institutions?

Having kids makes asking about the school districts near your future home important. But if you don’t have kids, a property near good schools may be worth more when you sell your home in the future.

These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself before getting a new home. We have more questions in the next part, so be sure to click this link.

The unpredictable housing market in Indiana is complicated, so buying a house here can be difficult. Navigating such a market demands expertise and careful planning, regardless of whether you're purchasing for the first time or planning to make a strategic investment. 

But don't worry! In this post, we'll give you detailed information and tips on buying a house in Indiana and what you need to know about it as a first-time homebuyer. 

Buying A Home In Indiana: What You Need To Know

The Hoosier State is known for being able to combine a great quality of life with a low cost of living, and these are just two reasons why buying a home in this state is a must. Here are seven simple steps on how to get started:

1. Assess Your Financial Health State

Financial readiness is vital when buying real estate. Here are some actions to prepare financially for buying a house in Indiana:

2. Plan For Closing Expenses And Your Down Payment

Make a plan for your down payment after determining your house budget. You can set your down payment; however, 20% is the norm. Homebuyers' down payments vary by mortgage type. If you put down less, your lender may require private mortgage insurance.  

Indiana first-time buyers may be surprised by closing costs. Closers, like down payments, are out-of-pocket charges for home financing, purchase, and ownership. Set aside 2%–5% of the buying price for closing charges.

mortgage preapproval letter

3. Get Your Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter

In Indiana, mortgage pre-approval decides how much you can borrow to buy a property. Pre-approval letters demonstrate your seriousness in financing a home with lenders. 

You must understand house loans and choose the one that suits your needs before applying for pre-approval:

4. Get Started On Your House Search

Traditionally, real estate agents assist homebuyers. Your agent shortlists properties from the MLS and local inventory. However, Indiana For Sale By Owner websites let you find FSBO houses. 

When searching, take these in mind:

5. Put Up An Offer

After choosing a home, make your offer appealing. It should consist of the offer price, pre-approval letter, and down payment proof of funds, including purchasing terms and contingencies.

Appraisals, property inspections, etc., are common house purchase contingencies. You might give cash or waive contingencies to attract home sellers. 

Homeowners usually counteroffer. Counteroffers might be accepted or rejected. When the seller confirms your offer, they'll sign the purchase agreement and set escrow. 1% to 2% of the purchase price must be held in escrow.

6. Get A Home Appraisal And Inspection Scheduled

Indiana house inspections reveal property issues. The property must be inspected and reported by an Indiana home inspector. There may be structural or mechanical flaws in a home inspection report. Reports allow you to demand repairs from home sellers. Consider canceling if the property is severely damaged.

Your mortgage lender requires property appraisal. A home appraisal prevents them from lending more than fair value. Get a professional Indiana house appraiser to determine its market value. The loan amount equals the appraised value. If the down payment is low, you can raise it or renegotiate.

7. Close The Deal

You can close the deal if everything goes according to plan and the final walk-through is agreeable. The final stage involves paying closing costs, signing paperwork, and getting the keys.

The closing disclosure is provided by your lender three days before closing. It includes your mortgage type, monthly payment, interest rate, origination fees, closing costs, etc.

The closure will include your agent and others. Sellers, their agents, and settlement agents—real estate attorneys, escrow representatives, or title companies—are involved. The escrow will transfer the closing costs and down payment onto the seller after deducting them.

Buying a Home in Indiana: Some Helpful Tips

Buying a house in Indiana can be intimidating but thrilling. Here are some Indiana home-buying tips to prepare you:

Buying a home can be overwhelming; however, with the right knowledge and help from experts, you can make this journey fun and easy. 

If you're looking for a new home in Indiana, our team at RE/MAX Advanced Realty - Indy Home Pros is here to help. You can check out townhouses, condos, and other properties for sale here

Closing on a house is one of the most rewarding parts of the home-buying experience. It's the time when everything is settled, including all the fees, papers, and other necessary steps. It is officially the day you take over the property and have your keys to your new home, which marks a new beginning in your life. 

Closing Process

The closing process is the final step of the lengthy home-buying transaction with real estate. It is when the purchase and sale agreement is signed and processed, and it usually takes at least a couple of months. It is the day when the ownership of the property is transferred to the new owner of the home, and the seller receives the proceeds from the transaction. 

Closing requires the completion of many important steps. If the buyer is not paying in cash, they will need to secure a mortgage to purchase the property. There will also be a third-party inspector to inspect the home’s condition along with an appraisal of the property. Any repairs and costs will also be discussed and agreed upon, and the buyer will have a final walk-through of the property. Generally, when a final walk-through happens, all the belongings from the seller should have already been packed and moved. 

On this day, all parties will be present, including the attorney to check and review the deal that will be signed upon agreement by both seller and buyer that finalizes everything. It usually lasts about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the current situation.

Interesting Reads:

Clear To Close (CTC): Everything You Need To Know About It [Part 1]

Clear To Close (CTC): Everything You Need To Know About It [Part 2]

Factors That May Cause Delay On Closing

While it usually takes 2 days or less to complete the final transaction, there might be a delay in the closing process because of several reasons, such as low appraisal rate, contingencies, title issues, and problems with the mortgage. 

realtor talking to family about new home

How Long Does It Take To Close The House?

On average, the closing of a home takes about 30 to 45 days, starting from filling out the mortgage application loan until the closing table. Securing a mortgage is often one of the main reasons that delays the closing process. How long it takes to close a house will depend on how the transaction will go between the three parties -- the loan officer, the real estate agent, and the seller. To understand more, here are the steps that you and lender will need to complete before closing on a house:

Understanding Your Documents  

Study, research, and list down all the documents you need. Also, make sure to remind yourself of all the necessary deadlines. 

Organize all the documents required for closing, so it will be much easier to locate the files you need when someone requests them from you. 

In addition, when giving documents, check everything first and mark your list to when you submitted and who received it, so you’ll know when someone asks again.  

Common Closing Documents:

Reviewing these documents is important when closing on a house. Make sure that there are no discrepancies and that all details are correct before the signing.

Here are more tips to consider when closing a home:

Consider Hiring An Attorney – Getting a legal opinion from a professional is a must before signing any closing documents. They can help you understand the things or terms you're not familiar with. They can also help ensure that the closing goes smoothly. 

Getting A Home Insurance Plan – Home insurance covers damages and other insurance-related deductibles. The cost will depend on the features you will get and your home's condition. Most lenders require buyers to get the insurance and show it during the closing. 

Negotiate Closing Cost – Closing costs are the fees paid to lenders and other third parties to close on your loan. It includes several fees like appraisal, title insurance, and application fees. Close costs can be expensive, but some can be negotiable.  

Confirm The Closing Date – It’s the date the seller will move out of the house. The closing date usually takes a month or longer after the purchase. 

Final Walk-Through – Having a final walk-through before moving the house is an opportunity for a homebuyer. It allows you to assess the property before closing as sometimes, damages occur after the first inspection. 

If anything needs fixing, you can request a repair before closing the deal.

Bottom Line 

The journey of closing a home takes a lot of effort and time, especially for beginners. However, knowing and researching the entire process will help you better navigate every challenge and is much better than hurrying to sign a deal and facing problems later on. Having an idea of the documents you need and preparing can also help prevent possible delays. Some professionals can help you ensure that everything will go smoothly and avoid going on a bad deal. 

If you need help closing a home or you just want to learn the buying or selling process, our team at RE/MAX Advanced Realty - Indy Home Pros is here to help.

Call us at 317-316-8224 or leave your email in the comment box below so we can assist you!

You'll eventually reach the long-awaited closing day if everything else is in line. When you attend your closing meeting, the home title is officially transferred and you become the new legal owner of the property.

Your closing day is all about wrapping up loose ends and finalizing the transaction. Signing all documentation, amending the deed, and paying your down payment and closing charges are all part of this process.

Can Your Loan Be Denied Even After The Closing Disclosure? 

After their loan has been authorized and the Closing Disclosure has been signed, clear-to-close buyers are rarely refused. However, in some cases, a lender may deny an applicant at this point. These rejections are frequently the result of significant changes in your financial status. 

Leaving your job, opening a new large credit line, or taking out another loan can all raise red flags with your home lender. If at all possible, avoid making any major improvements until the house is yours.

How Long Does It Take To Close After Being Cleared? 

Once they're cleared to close, most buyers won't have to wait long to meet at the closing table. Considering this, you should have at least a 3-day buffer between obtaining the Closing Disclosure and closing.

You should also be aware that if you discover any blockages between the time you're cleared to close and the actual closure, your closing time frame may be extended. For example, if you discover substantial concerns with the home during your final walkthrough, you may need to postpone your closing meeting to provide the seller with sufficient time to make these repairs. 

FAQs About Clear To Close

Is it better if I close at the end of the month?

If you arrange your closing near the end of the month, you will pay less in mortgage interest for the month in which you close. This might result in hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in savings on closing fees. However, depending on your financial condition, it may make more sense for you to close at the beginning of the month. 

husband and wife touring new house with real estate agent

What makes a mortgage commitment letter different from clear to close?

A mortgage commitment letter is an assurance from a lender that they would lend you money; nevertheless, obtaining the letter simply implies you have finished the underwriting procedure for the loan you have sought. Before your mortgage lender fully approves your loan and you are cleared to close, you or the property may still need to meet certain final criteria. 

What are the underwriting standards for being clear to close? 

Your lender will go over the underwriting standards you'll need to achieve to become clear to close in your mortgage commitment letter. Your lender may normally seek the following to determine whether you have met these conditions:

The Bottom Line: 'Clear to Close' Indicates You're Nearing the Finish Line

Although becoming CTC isn't the end goal for your loan, most home buyers can anticipate a closing date soon.

As with the other processes in your mortgage application, getting to your closing date as soon as possible will necessitate a thorough understanding of the clear-to-close process and what follows. Constant communication with your mortgage provider is critical to moving your application along swiftly, which is why it's critical to work with a lender you can fully trust.

While being clear to close indicates that you're nearing the end of the process, you can start your home-buying journey by becoming pre-approved. Knowing how much money you can borrow before you start shopping can allow you to shop smarter and make a more compelling offer when you find your dream property.

Owning a house is one of the largest single investments you’ll ever make, and it usually starts with house hunting. 

When you buy real estate in Indiana, you’ll spend a lot of time, energy, and effort searching for the home you like. So before you close any deal, write down a list of potential questions and ask the owner before you decide to buy the property. 

It’s always a good idea to do detective work and get some answers. It may not only give you peace of mind, but it will also save you from any financial problems in the future.

Why Are You Moving?

There are many reasons people move, such as the desire to move to a larger house, job relocation, moving to another state or country, life events, marriage, etc. 

It’s good to ask this question though sometimes they won’t give you an honest answer, but it can still be helpful when you make room for negotiation.

What Are The Average Monthly Expenses?

Ask a utility to run a check and maintenance cost of the house. It’s hard to know the true cost of a house, so getting help from a knowledgeable person can save you every month.

By knowing your average water, electricity, and gas bill, you can determine if you can afford the house plus its monthly bills.

Length Of Time It Was On The Market

You can directly ask the seller or the real estate agent how long the house has been on the market. One of the reasons a house ends up staying on the market for long is because of its high price or because there’s something wrong with the property. The more the house spends on the market the more power you have to make room for negotiation to lower its asking price.

What Is Included In The Sale?

You can directly ask the seller or the real estate agent how long the house has been on the market. 

One of the reasons a house ends up staying on the market longer than usual is either it's too expensive or the property itself. The more the house spends on the market, the more power you have to make room for negotiation to lower its asking price.

Previous Selling Prices

If you know the previous price of the house, you can easily notice if the price has been marked up or down. Knowing how much the seller paid can help you make room for any negotiation. If they were able to buy it at a much lower price, you can lower your offer but make sure that it is still at a reasonable price. In case they didn’t tell you the price, you can always check the public records where the house is located.

Neighbors

The seller will not say it outright if there is anything wrong about the neighborhood, since this might affect the buyer's decision.

You can survey the area and try to understand your potential neighborhood. Observing is one of the keys to determining whether it's the right home for you or not.

Find out if it has a strong sense of community or there are any problems before going through the purchase. Visiting the local police department can also help you determine if it is a safe environment to live in or not.

Past Problem Conditions

Home sellers must tell you about any current problems with the house though it may vary from state to state. However, home sellers are not legally required to disclose issues if there are any.

You can enquire whether the seller has had to repair any issues with the house and how well the remedy worked, particularly if it is a former issue that has been resolved. 

It also helps to know who completed the work in case a similar issue arises.

keys handed to new home buyer

How Long Have You Lived In The Home?

This is one of the most common questions to ask, but it is similar to asking why they are moving. Find out how long they have lived in the house and try to have them open up or share a memory of them in the house and observe if there are any signs that the house might not serve your needs.

Age Of Components

How the house looks is important and so is asking about the age and condition of the house as this can help you prepare for any impending expenses.

Knowing how updated it is is necessary to repair or replace important components like the water tank, A/C unit, heating system, septic systems, plumbing, electrical systems, and appliances.

Major Repairs or Renovations

It is important to ask if there are any major repairs or renovations made to the house and who did it. You may also ask if it is DIY, with a licensed contractor or professional. Bad renovation, plumbing, or construction can end up wasting more money and exhaust you financially.

What Do You Love About The House?

You don’t always have to dig for dirt. You can ask questions with a personal touch. Try to find out what the seller loves about their home. It can get the seller to talk about their home and the neighborhood. They can also talk about a specific place in the house or a favorite spot. You might learn something positive that you might not have known.

Conclusion

Getting a list of questions to ask before buying a house is important. You want to make sure about its history before anything else. Talking to the seller can help you learn exactly what you could be getting into. 

Besides, having a real estate agent can also give you a handful of information in case you didn’t find the answers you want to know in the seller. Knowing the house will give you peace of mind and save you the hassle.

Buying a home can seem like a daunting process. When you think about it, it may just be one of the most expensive and difficult you will ever purchase. You need to be emotionally and financially prepared. Despite that, proper preparation, research, and determination can help you get that home you’ve been wanting and waiting for — from dreams of owning to the paths toward handing over the keys to your new home.

The Decision To Buy 

Before dipping your toe into the buying pool, it’s important to consider whether you are now ready to take the responsibility of owning a house. The first thing is to take a closer look at your budget. 

To determine how much you can spend on a home, you may start by listing down all your expenses and reviewing your bank statements. That way you can figure out how much you are spending daily, from transportation, food, and streaming services to your leisure spending and take-outs. Taking a good hard look at your finances will help you decide if now is the right time to purchase a home. 

It is crucial to know if it's the right time. Just because you can get a mortgage or financial assistance doesn’t always make it the right time to do so. Keep in mind that besides the mortgage, purchasing a property involves extra one-time payments that can mount up rapidly, such as closing charges, legal fees, and other connected costs like a house inspection. Moreover, don't overlook the cost of relocation or house upgrades. Plus, you’ll want to plan for those expenses like a moving truck or new furniture. The last thing you want to do is stretch yourself too thin financially.

Finding a Real Estate Agent

Wondering what's next if you’ve already made up your mind to buy a home? The first step to getting the ball rolling is to find an experienced local real estate agent to guide you through the process. 

Typically, the seller will cover the commission fees for both their agent and your buyer's agent, so hiring an agent won't typically cost you anything. The agent will not only help you find your dream home (which can be very tough in a seller’s market) they’ll also help you through negotiations and paperwork. When purchasing a new home it is nice to have some experts to advocate for you when discussing pricing or needed repairs with the seller or their agent.

Understanding The Current Trend 

Understanding your local real estate market is crucial. The housing inventory in your town and how you formulate your offer can both be significantly impacted by whether it is a buyer's or seller's market. To prevent missing out on or overpaying for your desired house, rely on your real estate agent's knowledge in this area. 

Get A Mortgage Pre-Approval

Now that you have an idea of the current trend and the amount of your dream house, it’s time to get a pre-approval letter. A pre-approval letter is a written estimate from a lender of how much you will likely be able to borrow from them. 

The letter will help you determine how much you can afford. It will also help demonstrate a secure home loan when you are ready to make an offer on a house. During a pre-approval process, a lender will do a hard look at your credit pull, take a look at your bank accounts, and review everything including your tax returns and pay stubs. They will also confirm your employment history and dive into your assets and debts. 

Pre-approval means a near-certain approval for a loan up to the amount specified by the lender, assuming nothing changes. Pre-approval letters, however, typically only hold true for 60 to 90 days due to the cyclical nature of credit scores, employment, and financial stability. 

Take your time in submitting all the requirements before getting pre-approved, be sure you're serious about buying because getting pre-approved more than once quickly could harm your credit.

The Search For A New Home Begins

Now that you’ve got the nitty-gritty out of the way, it’s time for the fun part—house hunting! Choosing a neighborhood can be overwhelming but you can narrow your choices by focusing on where you can afford a home. 

You can also consider the location of the house to where you are working and if you have a family, think about the schools available in the area for your child. 

You can also check the shops, groceries, and restaurants nearby for your convenience. Talking to friends and family and knowing where they live will help you check out your options. Learn more about your potential location by having a quick walk or a tour of the neighborhood to help you decide. 

Once you have a preferred location, the next step is to check for homes. Consider major components of the home and lay out your preferences for each — including minimum square footage, rooms like bedrooms, bathrooms, dining area, visitors area, garage spaces, finished basement, or specific neighborhood. Make sure your agent knows all the personal preferences you want. That way, you will both make the most of your time. 

minimalist home

Making An Offer

Once you found the one -- a.k.a. your dream home -- it’s time to make an offer. 

The amount you're ready to pay, as well as information like who covers which closing expenses, whether the offer is subject to conditions (such as having to sell your own house first), and the projected closing date, will all be included in an offer. This offer is a crucial beginning point for discussions with the seller even though it might be modified along the route. 

Working with your agent closely can help you make sure your offer fits your specific situation and is competitive. In a highly competitive market, where attractive listings are scarce, sellers will be likely to receive multiple offers, so you want yours to be the most attractive while still not overpaying for the property. You’ll also want to move swiftly to avoid losing out to another buyer if you’re not on the seller’s market. 

Get A Home Inspection

Hiring a home inspector is always a good idea, so schedule a home inspection as soon as possible. They can help you learn about any issues that may prevent you from buying. A licensed home inspector knows what to look for -- they will cover the condition of the home, especially when it comes to foundations of a roof, plumbing, HVAC systems, and other defects. It will give you the chance to reconsider or have room for renegotiate if structural damage or needed repairs are discovered. 

Closing The Deal

It's time to hand over the keys after the home inspection and any repairs that you and the seller have agreed upon. 

This is accomplished during the closing, which operates somewhat differently depending on your state. Regardless, the transaction is completed on both sides at closure. 

Before the closing date the seller, the buyer, and their representatives will sign the papers officially sealing the deal. You’ll also be given a settlement statement that lists out exactly how much you’ll be paying that day. 

It will show your final purchase price and all the included fees like insurance and tax payments. These are kept in an escrow account with your mortgage lender so they may pay the bills when they are due on your behalf.

The final purchase price will be deducted from any outstanding mortgage balance and any seller-paid closing charges, such as past-due real estate taxes, agent commissions, and title company fees.

Once the closing is settled, congratulations — finally the place is yours. You’re now the proud new owner of your dream home! Enjoy and start to picture your new life inside the walls of your new home.

Disclaimer: We know this is easier said than done; however, there's no need to worry. Our team at RE/MAX Advanced Realty - Indy Home Pros is here to help!

Our agents have 8 years of average experience in selling and buying just listed homes for sale, so rest assured that we have the expertise and skills needed to help your relocation quickly and seamlessly. 

Contact us at 317-298-0961 to learn more!

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