Finding a house to buy is very difficult, even for experienced real estate professionals. It takes a lot of work and time in the field, meeting with many sellers and their agents, doing your due diligence, and being persistent.
It can easily take weeks or months to find the right home!
In fact, some experts say that it is impossible to be able to close on a house within six months unless you are the owner’s child or they will make an obscene amount of money off of you (no joke!).
That isn’t good if they want to sell quickly because most people don’t feel like they get enough value for their homes when they list them so there is no incentive to have a sale.
If you’re looking to own a house soon, here are 6 things you should do to ensure you close on your dream house as fast as possible.
1) Figure out how much house you need – seriously, this makes or breaks it
This sounds crazy hard to do at first glance but it’s not. Most people overbuy the house they desire slightly more than they needed to give themselves a cushion in case something goes wrong.
They also believe that buying a house is a risk so they want to cover that risk by making sure they have a little extra left over for unforeseen expenses.
Pay all of your bills
It’s very important to pay all of your bills as soon as they come due, otherwise, you run the risk of having them not get paid because there is no money in your account to cover them.
It sounds crazy, but this has happened!
A house seller who ran out of funds just before closing left many creditors unpaid. What may seem like a minor detail can have major ramifications for you if you are still paying off debts years later.
Many times, these lenders will accept a partial payment instead of waiting for their full payoff, which negates the purpose of credit counseling. Credit counseling services typically offer several months of debt help that includes lower monthly payments or even a total wipeout of unserviceable debt.
Have a backup plan
As we mentioned before, your best bet is to get pre-approved for as much credit as you can handle. This will give you the exact amount of money needed to close without any worries.
But what if you run out of credit? Or what if your income cannot cover the monthly payments even with a lower limit set on loan amounts?
It is important to have a back up plan in case things go wrong when house hunting. You do not want to be stuck waiting for your dream home because you did not have enough cash to place down a deposit or pay the closing costs.
Cash is always the best solution. So instead of looking at expensive homes, look into buying a house that does not require a large down payment or high monthly payments. A house with a smaller down payment may offer you the same feeling you got from creating memories with your family in a beautiful area.
I know it can feel frustrating trying to find the perfect home only to run out of funds, but don’t give up! Keep looking and staying focused on your dreams of owning a home.
Hopefully you learned something new about how quickly you can close on a house in this article and have some tips to help you along the way.
Get a title insurance policy
When you are ready to close, get your house sold as quickly as possible! That is why it is important to have a clear understanding of what title insurance protects you against.
A professional lender will go through this process for you, but here’s what you need to know about protecting yourself against loss before you agree to pull the trigger on closing.
Title insurance typically covers two things:
Loss of possession (also called “legal seizure”)
Damage or destruction of property that would otherwise be yours
In other words, title insurance usually covers any liens that might prevent you from moving into your home, and it can protect you in case someone else owns part of the house – like if a neighbor claims an interest in the land under the roof.
You probably already have some form of coverage now, but make sure you understand what each one does. And don’t forget to ask about extra policies you may want — like coverage for lost wages due to having to move during the closure period, or protection if there are out-of-state buyers involved.
Have a good lender
As mentioned earlier, your close date will be determined by how quickly you are able to find a loan officer that is willing to help you through the process. You can’t rely solely on the lenders in your current mortgage team, as they may already have their favorites and relationships there so they don’t feel like going through all of the steps needed to get you into the next one.
It is very important that you look outside of your group for a new home loan. You wouldn’t want to be stuck waiting for someone else to do something that only they could do, would you?
Finding a new lending professional may take some time, but it is totally worth it. They will go through the same processes you did, but likely with more detail and accuracy than you received before!
They will ask you about past loans and experiences, test out different types of mortgages on you, and make sure everything makes sense and conforms to the regulations. It’s their job to make sure you receive the best possible deal under the rules and regulations that apply to house buying.
Beware though, not every bank has access to the same type of products offered by large banks. Some small community banks may not offer pre-approved funds or conforming loans.
In this case, you will need to spend extra time finding a lender that does.
Know your lender's timeline
As mentioned earlier, you have to close on your house within a certain amount of time! This is called the sale closing period or timeframe. Your seller will agree to sell their home at their current price during this timeframe.
Most lenders require that you as the buyer close on your house no later than six months from today. That means if you want to be able to take possession immediately, you must find a way to close on your house by June 30th.
Plan your sale
The next step is to determine if and when you should list your house for sale. This will depend on many different factors, such as whether you are in a strong housing market or a weak one, how much inventory there is, what price you can get for your home, and what type of seller you want to be.
If you are in a hot area with lots of homes for sale, then it makes sense to start looking now! However, if there are not a lot of houses for sale nor people who have money to spend, waiting may be the best option. You do not want to put your house up too soon because then nobody has a chance to look at it, and you lose interest while you wait.
Also, knowing when to sell and where to advertise your home is important so that people can find it. If your house gets picked up quickly, you might consider advertising online only so that fewer potential buyers are distracted by advertisements that say “Listing Agent” instead of the house’s address.
Overall, waiting until the right time is always the best choice unless you know exactly why selling now is the better option. By being smart about when to sell, you will enjoy this process more.
Prepare your house for sale
The next thing to do is prepare your home for sale. This includes cleaning, staging, refreshing the interior and exterior, and making sure everything you need is in place!
You don’t want to be spending time trying to organize all of these things while people are coming to look at your house, so start organizing now!
Some other important things to do before listing your house include getting estimates on repair work or renovations that may benefit from being marketed alongside your house, ensuring your moving plans are clear and well-thought out, and figuring out how much you should ask for when putting your house up for rent or sale.
Price it right
The second most important thing to consider when house hunting is price! Obviously, you want to make an investment in your home, but you do not want to invest too much money unless you have that extra cash to spend.
You will need to know how much house you can afford before looking at houses. Many people erroneously believe that they can find their dream house by going through several homes lists or advertisements. This is very expensive if you include the fees for agents’ services, documents and mortgages.
It is best to pick up a mortgage adviser who knows what products are needed for you to be able to buy a property. They can tell you whether or not this house is within your budget.
By knowing your limit, you will save lots of time searching for the perfect house. Start looking early as properties may sell quickly due to popularity or lack of space. Check out real estate websites such as Zillow and Realtor.com so you don’t miss anything crucial.