Home Buying Guide

The Search Process

Service Providers: During the process of buying a home, if you need any outside services, we have a list of local professionals and companies such as lenders, attorneys and inspectors that deliver superior professionalism in their fields. You are not required to use these providers. This list is provided so you have the option to work with providers that have a proven track record.  List of Service Providers

Select A Lender: Once you select a lender, apply for pre-approval. Your lender will check your credit and ask for all of your financial documents—tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, credit card statements, student and auto loans.

Search For Homes: You will search for real estate listings on the most up to date service available using the “Search Feature” on our website. It provides complete access to all properties listed Connecticut. 

Comprehensive Attention: We want you to feel comfortable, so we will take the time to answer your questions and provide you with plenty of material so the process of buying a home is enjoyable and not filled with uncertainty and stress. 

One-On-One Personal Attention: We will make ourselves accessible so you can reach us at any time. Your calls will be taken as priority, no matter when you call. 

Flexible Scheduling: We will open our schedule to ensure that we can show you any desired home on your timeframe. 

The Offering Process

Make An Offer: When you’re ready, your agent will help you determine how much to offer and which contigencies to include. To determine your initial offer price, ask your agent for a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA will show the list and final sale prices for similar homes that recently sold in that area.

Earnest Money Deposit: You will be making an initial good faith deposit with your offer.  The amount can vary, depending on the purchase price of the home, but $1,000 to $2,000 is common. Often times a Buyer, in an effort to strengthen their offer, may also offer to make an additional second deposit to be paid 7-10 days after the seller signs the contract. Your agent will deliver the earnest money deposit to the listing agency, which will be held in their deposit escrow account until the closing. The total of both earnest money deposits is typically 1%–3% of the sale price of the home and is applied toward your total downpayment amount. If you back out of the deal for anything not covered by a contingency, you will likely forfeit your earnest money deposit.

Adding Contingencies To Your Offer: Contingencies are conditions that must be met for the sale to go through. Here are the most common contingencies:

  • Financing contingency: Lets you terminate the contract if for any reason you can’t get a mortgage.
  • Home inspection contingency: Gives you the right to get the home inspected and negotiate further if there are repair issues.
  • Termite or wood destroying insects contingency: Gives you the right to get the home inspected and negotiate further if there are repair or treatment issues.
  • Well & septic contingency: Gives you the right to get the well & septic system inspected and negotiate further if there are repair issues.
  • Radon gas contingency: Gives you the right to get the home inspected and negotiate further if there are any issues.
  • Sale contingency: The completion of the purchase is dependent upon the sale of your current home. 
  • Home appraisal contingency: The success of the offer depends on an appraisal confirming a value for the home that is equal to or greater than your offer amount. Essentially, if the home is worth less than what you are offering and you can’t come to an agreement with the seller, you can terminate the contract.

Negotiating: Once you submit your offer, the seller will review it with their agent and accept, decline, or submit a counteroffer. Counter-offers are common and should even be expected. If you end up in a counter-offer situation, your agent will help you negotiate the best deal possible. Remember, each seller and market is different, and almost no one has their first offer accepted. Ask your agent if there’s anything else you can do to make your offer more appealing. Most buyers go through at least one rejection before finally landing the right home. It can be disheartening to lose a home, but try not to take it personally.

The Closing Process

Once you and the seller agree on the terms, you’ll enter the closing process which usually takes 30 to 45 days. You’ll likely be in very close communication with your agent, lender, and attorney during this time.

Home Inspection: Next, you will schedule a home inspection unless you waived the home inspection contingency or had the home inspected prior to making an offer. An inspector will give the buyer an accurate picture of the home’s condition and identify any major issues with the home, so you can confidently negotiate and close the deal. An inspection generally takes a few hours, and at the end you will receive a report outlining any issues discovered during the inspection. If you have an inspection contingency and discover an issue with the home, you can back out of the deal at this point or attempt to negotiate repairs with the seller. If there is a well & septic, radon and termite contingency these inspections are generally completed within the same time line.

Home Appraisal: Unless you are paying all cash, you will get a mortgage. Then, your mortgage lender will order a home appraisal. If the home does not appraise, meaning the bank doesn’t think it’s worth what you are offering, you will have to decide what to do. A home appraisal contingency allows the buyer to back out of the deal at this point or renegotiate a new price that you the lender and seller are happy with.

Financing: If you have a financing contingency and are not able to secure a loan to buy the home, you can terminate the contract and reclaim your earnest money deposit.

Closing Costs For Buyers: Closing costs are the lender and third-party fees paid at the close of a real estate transaction. The fees usually total 2%–5% of the final sale price.

Final Walk-Through: One of the very last steps before the closing is the final walk-through, which should confirm three things:

  • That the home is in the same condition as when the offer was accepted;
  • That all necessary repairs have been completed;
  • That everything that was included as part of the sale is still in the home.

And finally, attend the closing – get the keys and move in.

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