The loan process can seem complicated and overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. Everyone has their part to play, and knowing what to expect can help you plan and prepare. Your Loan Officer and our experienced Support team will answer your questions and help you every step of the way.
Step 1: Obtain a Mortgage Pre-Approval
It’s never too early to contact us and set the loan process in motion. A homebuyer with a Pre-Approval Letter is highly desirable in today’s competitive market; many Realtors® will not work with clients without one. We highly recommend obtaining a Mortgage Pre-Approval, which is a more detailed and reliable evaluation of your income and assets.
We will begin by discussing your needs and goals: What does a comfortable monthly-payment look like for you? And what can you comfortably provide as a down payment? These questions help me determine the price-range you should focus on when house-hunting, and which Loan Program will suit you best. In order to obtain a complete credit and financial analysis, you will need to provide the following Required Documentation.
Step 2: Find a Home & Make an offer
A reputable, experienced Realtor® will help you find the right home for your needs, and assist you in making an offer to the Seller. The seller will either accept, reject, or counter your offer.
Once an offer has been accepted, you have the opportunity to complete a recommended Home Inspection, request repairs, and review the Seller’s disclosures.
It is also your responsibility to provide an Earnest Money Deposit in a timely manner, as a sign of good faith to the Seller. Earnest Money is held by the Title Company and will go toward your down payment and/or closing costs.
Step 3: Processing and Underwriting the Loan
Now the fun begins. You will be provided loan documents based on the conversations that we’ve had regarding your loan structure. This allows our local team to start the time-sensitive step of the loan process. After a careful review by our underwriting a team, we will have a Loan Approval which is a list of documents/items that we need to have to close on the loan.
- You: When we send you a list of any additional documents needed, please return to us within two business days.
- Us: We will coordinate all items remaining. This typically includes the title work, appraisal, insurance policy, and various verifications such as tax transcripts and a verification of employment/income. During this phase of the loan, you will receive weekly updates as to the progress of your loan which will include a timeline.
Step 4: Final Loan Approval
When the Appraisal report is back, I will submit your file to Underwriting for final review, along with any remaining required documentation. You will receive confirmation when your loan has achieved Final Approval.
Step 5: Sign Your Final Loan Documents
Following Final Approval, your Final Loan Documents will be prepared and emailed to the Title & Escrow company, usually within 48 hours. The escrow team will work up all the figures and send us an Estimated Final Settlement Statement. After we review the figures and confirm they are in line with our projections, in most cases we will notify you via email that your Closing Disclosure detailing the terms of your loan is available for your review and signature. Please read prior to signing, ask any questions, and make sure you are fully prepared to sign.
Receipt of the Closing Disclosure is a signal that you may schedule your signing appointment. Typically, signings take place at the Title & Escrow office during normal business hours, a couple of days before the actual close date. Contact your Escrow Officer directly with scheduling and location questions.
Please note that Escrow companies only accept “certified funds”. Therefore, plan to take a cashier’s check or wire funds. The aforementioned Closing Disclosure will provide additional information on this, including the exact amount of cash needed to close.
Step 6: Loan Closing
After signing, the loan documents are reviewed one last time by our funding department. The loan is funded, the sale is recorded with the county, and then ownership of the property is transferred from the Seller to you. You are now officially a homeowner. Congratulations!