Home Buying Process/Preparing to Buy A Home

1. Loan Approval from a lender is very important. It gives you an idea of your price range. A preapproval letter also helps you have better leverage when submitting an offer.  We know some great lenders. Ask us about our Trusted Business Partners! 

2. Once you are comfortable with a REALTOR®, it's time to sign a Buyer's Representation Agreement so you are fully represented during the process. 

3. Your lender will walk you through the loan process, first deciding what type of loan best fits your needs. This will be based on what kind of down payment you have. There are many types of loans: FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA Rural and THDA (these last two are zipcode specific). Closing Costs are usually the BUYERS responsibility, but it is not uncommon for buyers to ask the seller for help with these costs. Once you get a closing cost estimate from your lender, you will know what you need to ask for in an offer. Closing costs are usually about 3% of the purchase price of the home

4. Trust Money/Earnest Money is a good faith deposit for the home you are offering on. Depending on the price of the house, TM/EM can be anywhere form $500 - $2000+. TM/EM is made payable to the title company of buyer's choice and is held in an escrow account. Your check will be deposited once it is received by the Title Company. Your TM/EM will be credited back to you, usually applied to your loan, at closing. TM/EM can be returned to you for the following reasons: inspection issues, loan issues, appraisal issues. If you back out of an offer for no reason, the seller will receive that TM/EM. 

5. It is very important to hire a qualified Home Inspector. A home inspection is approximately $350-$450 or more depending on the square footage of the home. This payment is due at the time of the inspection. A Termite Inspection is required for a VA loan, but all other loans do not require. However, a Termite Inspection is usually only $75-$100. If live insects are discovered, the seller is obligated to pay for the the treatment. Any other inspections you request will be your responsibility to pay. 

6. Home Inspection is usually a 10-12 day period. Once inspection is completed, there is an approximate 3-5 day period for repair negotiations. The seller can do ALL, SOME or NONE of the repairs requested. There is no set way for them to be done. If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, you can walk away from the contract and have your TM/EM returned to you. 

7. Appraisal is required if you are getting a loan. If you are paying cash, it is up to you if you want to have an appraisal on the home. Appraisal is usually ordered at the 14 day mark, usually repair negotions have been agreed upon. Your lender will request payment for the appraisal when needed. An appraisal is approximately $500-$600 depending on lender. 

8. Looking for Houses/Making an Offer is a collaborative effort between buyers and their agent. An automated search cna be set up for you. You can search LoraJoyandAndyKnoxville.com for the most accurate MLS listings. Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Facebook Marketplace and other sites are not always accurate. Be sure to always have your agent check an address for you to make surr it is active on the market. We will be looking everyday at our MLS hot sheet for the newest listings on the market. Once you find a house that you would like a make an offer on, we will walk you thorugh the entire process. There is paperwork that to send to the selling agent, possible counter offers to discuss, and the beginning of timelines when a binding contract has been made. It is exciting, but busy. Again, we will communicate well and walk thorugh the process step by step and with excellent comunication!  We hope you will choose us in helping you find your HOME SWEET HOME! 


Lora-Joy and Andy


Leave a message for LoraJoy

Want to take the next step?