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A Step by Step Guide to Buying Property in the United States

A Step by Step Guide to Buying Property in the United States

Guide to Buying Real Estate in the US

Real estate in the United States remains among the most in demand in the world. This is especially true in the wake of Brexit and Canadian regulators desperately making new attempts to cool the housing market there. Forecasts call for an even greater year of U.S. economic and property investment performance in 2017. The big question many still have is what the process of buying property in the United States is really like? How do you do it?

  1. Determine Your Priorities
  2. Save time, stress, and money and enjoy a happier property shopping experience by defining what your priorities are in advance. Make a list of the top 3 must-have items. It may also help to make a list of your 3 most unwanted features as well. What is most important to you? Price, speed of closing, number of bedrooms, location, or something else?

  3. Make Sure Your Finances Are in Order
  4. Be sure to have you money in order before you actually get out to shop and view homes. Know how soon you will be able to liquidate funds and have them cleared by transfer in the United States. Be aware of any transfer or foreign currency exchange fees and which services offer the best deals. If you’ll be using financing decide whether the best option is a loan in your home country, from an international bank or mortgage broker, or from a local finance source where you will be purchasing a property. Ask how long it will take to get from providing the details to the lender to actually being able to complete. If you are seeking a loan within the U.S. you may wish to proceed to the next step and ask your real estate agent for recommendations to banks.

  5. Find a Real Estate Professional
  6. Find a licensed local professional real estate agent who is also a Realtor. Ask for referrals from friends or family who have had great experiences before, or search the internet to see who has the best presence and reputation in the area you like best. There are so many nuances when purchasing a home that it is essential to not only find someone trustworthy and experienced, but that has in-depth local expertise. This is vital for understanding lots, views, housing association rules, all of the costs involved, the schools children will be eligible to visit, the direction of the market and true value, and much more.

  7. Discuss Your Needs Clearly
  8. A great agent will take their time to carefully and fully understand your needs and desires in your property purchase. Be very forthcoming with your agent in order to empower them to help you to the best they can and as efficiently as possible. Let them know the property features you desire, as well as your financial situation, and any limitations which may delay communications or the ability to complete.

  9. Shop for Properties
  10. Once your agent has a clear picture of what you want in a property they will begin providing you with properties to view. They’ll normally give you a list to preview and make a short list from by picking those you love best. You may view your option online from abroad, visit and tour your favorites in person, or have your agent provide full virtual walk-through tours (live or professionally recorded).

  11. Make Your Offer
  12. Once you’ve found a great match you will work with your agent to craft a winning offer. They are experts who will help you craft a winning offer based on the available data, their expert insights to the current market, and their local knowledge and connections with sellers and other agents, as well as your personal preferences. The purchase offer will layout all of the conditions of the sale including how much good faith deposit will accompany your offer, who will oversee the closing documents, how long you have to inspect the property, and when the transaction needs to be completed.

    It is common for there to be a round or two of counteroffers and negotiations before the contract is finalized and agreed upon by both buyer and seller.

  13. Due Diligence
  14. Once the contract is signed by both parties the clock start ticking on completing due diligence items and counting down to the closing day.

    Typical items here may include:

    • Physical property inspections to assess condition and repair needs
    • An official appraisal or valuation
    • A review of the chain of title and ownership of the property
    • Obtaining a survey which shows the legal boundaries of the property
    • Obtaining insurances
    • Reviewing home owner association rules and making application if needed
    • Providing copies of any documents required by the lender

  15. Transaction Management & Closing Coordination
  16. During this phase your agent will help manage the transaction and work with other parties involved to ensure a successful and timely closing. This includes assisting with coordinating the signing of the final documentation as well. They will attempt to make the closing as convenient for you as possible. However, do be alert to the fact that the final documents are extremely time sensitive and must be returned correctly immediately in order to ensure funding and recording. You may choose to attend a local document signing in the area where you are purchasing the property. This typically happens at an attorney or title insurance company office. You may also elect to close in your home country or while traveling abroad. Your agent will help walk you through this process.

  17. Sign & Complete
  18. At closing you or your lender will provide any outstanding funds to complete the transaction. You and the seller will sign the documents. You receive your keys and title deed securing your ownership rights to the property. The deed and any mortgage liens are recorded in official records by the closing agent.

  19. Time to Move-In
  20. Now you are able to enjoy moving in at your convenience. Your real estate agent can also assist in proving contact information to local interior designers, utility companies, moving firms, and other concierge services to ensure a pleasant experience.

About Anne Hogan Perry

Anne Hogan Perry is a real estate agent specializing in luxury properties in Hawaii. She is an expert in the Honolulu market and having been born and raised in Oahu, she brings an unbeatable eye and perspective to all her clients’ needs. Anne has been recognized as one of the 1% of Coldwell Banker sales associates worldwide as well as one of the Top 100 Realtors in Hawaii since the award’s inception in 2007. Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a sophisticated real estate investor, Anne consistently delivers the highest level of service and is determined to produce exceptional results for every client. Her track record of success proves her phenomenal skills as an agent as well as her love for the islands and local Hawaiian lifestyle.

For more information about luxury real estate in Hawaii, contact Anne directly via email at annep(at)cbpacific(dotted)com or by phone at 808.286.6474.

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