We offer the Riverscape Rebate to all qualified sellers and buyers based on sales price.
The rebate is .5% of the final sales price paid at settlement to either the seller or the buyer.
How To Buy A Home
Get Pre-Approved To Purchase
Before you start looking at homes, find at reputable lender to start a relationship with. Riverscape Realty is happy to point you to a lender that is right for you. It is best to get pre-approved PRIOR to touring homes. The lender will let you know how much home you can afford and recommend other important loan terms to know before you get started.
Riverscape Realty will help you determine some preferences for you and your family. Once we have some criteria, we will help you search online for homes that meet those needs/wants. It is not unusual to have multiple tours before the right one comes along.
Make an Offer to Purchase
Once we find a home that meets most of your important preferences, we sit down together and determine the best offer strategy. The offer is always in writing in the form of a contract of sale and will usually be accompanied by additional documents to the contract that further specify your offer details. The contract (offer) will have pertinent information concerning the offer price, settlement date, earnest money deposit, and financing type. Some of the additional documents are: home inspection addendum, seller help for closing costs addendum, financing addendum, lender pre-approval letter, and jurisdictional-specific addendum to name just a few. Once the terms of the offer are agreed to by both you the BUYER and the SELLER, then we move forward to meet the timelines and requirements spelled out in the contract. As we meet one milestone, we move to the next through to settlement.
Loan Application Process
Once the contract is ratified, you will be working with your lender to help with the home financing process. This is a grueling process to say the least! You will begin to think your lender loses every document you have been sending because she will ask for those docs repeatedly through to closing. Do not get discouraged. Hang in there and provide the bank statements, pay stubs, taxes, retirement fund statements, driver license, social security info, spouses full profile of information until you hear the words CLEAR TO CLOSE. That will be your day of reckoning!
Usually, the contract will stipulate which and what the timelines are for all inspections to occur. Once the inspections are completed, we will work with you to complete a request of repairs addendum to send to the seller. In Maryland, the seller is not required to make any repairs based on the inspections — so it is a negotiating hot point in the transaction.
The SELLER has the option of a) completing all of the repairs you (BUYER) requested; b) completing some of the requests; c) completing none of the requests; d) money in lieu of repairs.
Generally, everybody wants to get along and complete the transaction. It’s a lot of effort for both BUYER and SELLER to get to the inspections then not work with the other side. Sometimes, the SELLER thinks they shouldn’t have to repair a leaky roof or unsafe condition that may exist. Conversely, sometimes the BUYER may have unreasonable requests for repairs of cosmetic items (i.e. paint color) of the SELLER. And sometimes, the lender requires some repairs to be made by the SELLER prior to settlement. When there has been a meeting of the minds and the repair list has been set, it is the SELLER’S responsibility to repair those items prior to settlement; provide receipts of the work; and use licensed contractors when required per the agreement for repair. The repairs will be completed prior to settlement so that the BUYER may inspect those repairs before closing day.
Once you have completed the initial loan application, the lender will order an appraisal for the property you want to purchase. Depending on the loan product, this usually takes 2 weeks. VA loans will always take longer—maybe 3 weeks. In order for the contract to move forward, the appraised value cannot be LESS than the sales price. If the appraised value is MORE—good for you, you have instant equity when you move in. Don’t count on this, appraisers keep the value close to the sales price in most cases. If the appraised value comes in LESS than the offer price, then new negotiations will ensue with you and the SELLER.
In order to get the loan, there are 4 options:
- Seller reduces the sales price to the appraised value
- Buyer brings the difference of the sales price versus appraised value to settlement
- Seller declines to reduce the price
- Buyer declines to bring the difference to the closing table
Settlement and Title Insurance
It’s time to go to closing. We did a walk-through of the property to ensure the inspection items were addressed, the appraised value came in just above sales price, the lender has given us the CLEAR TO CLOSE, the down payment has been wired to the title company, and you have made arrangements for utilities, water, cable. At settlement, you will sign away your life and not know what happened. Essentially, you are signing for the loan and taking title to the property. A closing agent coordinates and distributes all the paperwork and funds, then ownership is transferred. The lender will require their own title insurance, but you will have the option as the new owner. Title insurance guarantees the property you are purchasing is free of liens or confusion in rights of ownership, and it also insures against any losses to the property that result from defects in title or deed. When it’s time, we can discuss title insurance options and questions you might have.