We’ve made it to the end of El Home Buyers Playbook. After all their financial preparedness, hard work, home viewings, and guidance from María, their real estate agent and REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, Elena and Mateo have found a home and are ready to make an offer!
They are once again on the edge of their seats, just like when they watch the season finale of their favorite telenovela.
Thankfully, Elena and Mateo are not alone – María has supported them throughout the entire journey. Because she is a REALTOR®, she brought invaluable ethics and expertise. She has helped them understand the local market, identify potential red flags, and find the right group of professionals, like a mortgage lender and a home inspector, to also help them through this process.
LOTERÍA HOUSE EDITION
With all of their paperwork in order, María can take Elena and Mateo through these final steps:
- Making the Offer: With María’s guidance, Elena and Mateo will decide on a fair offer based on the recent sales price of comparable homes in the area and the condition of the property. This offer includes not only the price, but also the terms of the purchase, such as any contingencies for financing, the appraisal, home inspection as well as a proposed closing date.
- Activate Those Comerciante Skills: After the offer is made, the seller may accept, reject, or make a counteroffer. This is when Elena and Mateo are thankful to have a REALTOR® by their side with the expertise to negotiate a deal with their best interest in mind. This negotiation process can go back and forth like a Sunday barter session at the swap meet, but hopefully both parties will eventually come together and agree on the terms.
- Signing the Purchase Agreement: Once the offer is accepted and all terms are agreed upon, both parties sign a purchase agreement or contract. This legal document outlines the agreed upon price, terms and conditions, and closing date. All previously discussed and thoroughly explained by María. The excitement is so much that Elena keeps everyone updated on the family group chat!
- Secure the Loan: With their offer accepted, Elena and Mateo can now finalize their mortgage with their lender. This involves having their home appraised, providing any additional paperwork and locking in that interest rate so their mortgage payment stays the same year-to-year (you don’t get that when renting an apartment!). Plus, it’s a good thing they already went through the steps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before starting their house search as it makes securing a loan a lot easier.
- Chismosos Unite: Elena and Mateo can pick from a list of home inspectors referred to them by María who will check the home for any potential issues, such as structural damage, needed repairs or el cucuy! (IYKYK). If significant issues are found, they have the option to negotiate with the seller to make repairs, reduce the price, give credit for repairs or in some cases, cancel the deal. This is where Elena and Mateo will lean heavily on María’s expertise.
- Home Ap–Que? It’s called an appraisal and it’s an official estimate of a property’s value in the current real estate market that is meant to protect all parties involved. If the appraised value comes in below the agreed sales price, they may need to renegotiate. And once again, if any issues arise, they’ll be glad to have the expertise of a REALTOR® by their side.
- Ay, El Escrow! An escrow company is in charge of collecting the earnest money deposit, which typically ranges between 1-3% of the home’s purchase price, holding everyone accountable to the timeline, and securing all documents related to the transaction. Now when it comes to the earnest money, the deposit is typically placed into an escrow account which is a neutral holding place used to hold and manage funds during a real estate transaction until all conditions of the contract are met. It’s also important to mention that this earnest money goes toward your down payment and can be negotiated if needed. Overall this process typically lasts 30-45 days.
- El Closing Act: At closing, all parties involved will go over the final documents, sign the mortgage agreement and pay closing costs. Throughout this final process, María reviews everything with Elena and Mateo and provides them with a closing packet with all their documents. The deed will be recorded with the county, and the deal is officially a CASO CERRADO.
It’s done! Elena and Mateo are now homeowners! Cue the cumbias, fire up the grill, and make way for the dance floor because Latinos are IN the house. Literally! Homeownership is a foundation that can be as strong and long-lasting as their abuela’s molcajete. This salsa is full of financial stability, and a tangible asset for their family’s future that can serve as a launch-pad to start building wealth juntos.
Homebuying doesn’t have to be anxiety inducing. Working with a real estate agent who is a REALTOR® to guide you can help make this dream a reality! ¡Vamos por todo!
REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS®