What do I need to know about buying a Portland home?
While the steps to buying real estate are pretty similar across the US there are some details in every state that vary and making sure you know the rules and the procedures can help make the entire home buying process much less stressful.
1. Obtain financing
Unless you are a cash-out buyer you will need to obtain some sort of home loan, mortgage, and financing for your Portland real estate. Sit down with the lender, apply online, or find a mortgage broker in your area that you like, fill comfortable with, and offers great rates and fees.
2. Ask for a copy of the preapproval letter
Once you have been approved for a home loan ask your lender for a copy of the preapproval letter stating that you have already done your homework and are currently approved to purchase a home within a certain price range. You can ask for a generic letter not stating a specific price or once you find a home you want to put an offer on you can ask your lender for a specific letter stating you are approved up to the amount you are offering.
3. Submits an offer
As an exclusive buyer’s agent in the Portland real estate market I will draw up a tight, solid offer with minimal contingencies negotiating your terms and your offering price. You are welcome to offer any price you want on a home and I would be glad to offer advice and guidance on the best way to go about this. Each neighborhood in Portland is slightly different and the sellers can vary from community to community, so knowing how to offer is key to getting your offer accepted.
4. Possible counter offer
There are many occasions where the seller will simply accept the first offer on the table but if not they may counter offer with different terms and/or a different price. It is now up to you to accept or counter/counter-offer. This negotiation can go back and forth several times and there maybe some time allowed between each offer presentation (check with your buyers agent). If the waiting time for a response goes over this the transaction can be terminated on either side without penalty.
5. Mutual acceptance and deposit of your earnest money
Once the buyer and seller have agreed upon the terms and the sales price, your earnest money deposit, which is about 1 to 3% of the purchase price of the home, will be deposited either with the real estate company or with title and escrow. These funds go towards the purchase price and will be deducted on the final statement at escrow closing. If for any reason the transaction is terminated you may be able to receive this deposit back if negotiations and reasoning allow.
6. The listing is now classified as “subject to inspection” or STI
While having an inspection is not legally required we highly recommend and urge all of our buyers to have a professional home inspection. This is one of the largest investments you may ever make and not knowing everything you can about it can cost you time and money in the future. You may have a general inspection or expand those inspections to pest, radon, lead-based paint on homes older than 1978, roof certifications, and septic tanks. If an inspector feels that an additional inspection should be conducted this is not required but highly recommended. Inspection fees can range anywhere from $200-$800 depending on the type of inspection and company. This, as well as the earnest money deposit, will typically be the only out-of-pocket expenses during the home buying process.