I work with individuals and families relocating to the Nashville, TN area and have learned so much about the different home buyer and selling processes. It seems to me that the road to home ownership is more of a roller coaster ride in other parts of the country than it is here in Murfreesboro Tennessee. However, no matter where you live, purchasing a home and investing in real estate in Murfreesboro, or the Nashville area, is a big financial decision! My job as your Realtor is to provide professional guidance along the way and make the trip an enjoyable experience instead of an unpredictable roller coaster ride with unpredicted dips and turns.
The most important first step in buying a home is to become pre-approved with a local, reputable lender. Don't fall prey to Internet lenders or deals that sound too good to be true! Mortgage lending is very competitive and lenders want to earn your business! They depend on future referrals to not only remain in the business but to thrive in the business. A local lender will work hard to make sure that you are a satisfied client. And, if something goes wrong, it is priceless to be able to walk into their office to sit down and discuss the problem with them in person. Unfortunately, I have been to closings where out-of-state internet lenders were used, only to have problems arise and not be able to reach the "lender" in person. Sometimes fees are charged on the HUD that the buyer claims they were unaware of. Worst case was a closing where the mortgage was simply not funded on time and the loan did not close! This is a huge problem because Tennessee does not allow dry closing and the contract becomes void at midnight on the the agreed closing date. The seller can renegotiate the purchase price or even has the right to sell the house to another buyer if a backup offer is on the table! Home buyers should never risk losing the perfect piece of real estate in Murfreesboro because of using an unreliable lender. Home sellers should insist on receiving a pre-approval certificate from a reputable lender before entering into negotiations on the sell of their home with a potential buyer.
Once a purchase and sale agreement is executed by both buyer and seller, it becomes a legally binding contract. The home cannot be sold to another buyer. However, until all parties have agreed to all terms of the contract, and the contract is executed, the seller and the buyer both have the right to walk away from the deal and stop negotiations. The negotiation process is possibly the most stressful portion of the home buying and selling process.
An executed contract can be void if:
- The buyer is unable to secure financing.
- The home inspection discloses serious problems or repairs that need to be completed that cannot be agreed upon between the buyer and the seller.
- The appraisal comes in at a lower price than the agreed Purchase and Sale Agreement price.
- There are unforeseen problems that are discovered with the Title during the title examination. This is very rare! (P.S. Once a home is closed and title is transferred, title insurance will protect the home buyer if any undiscovered liens, judgements, or blurbs are found with the title after closing!)
Buyers are sometimes concerned when they continue to see “their” home on the Internet and fear that another buyer will bump them out! Rest assured that this cannot happen once the home is under binding agreement! Homes are typically not moved to the pending status until financing is secured, appraisal is completed, and the home inspection has been done. Until these pieces of the puzzle are in place, the home will show as Active - Contingent in the Realtor MLS system and will also have a yellow highlighted banner. This information, however, it not visible on most of the consumer home search programs available online.
The seller may accept a back-up contract that will come into play if a problem arises with the existing Purchase and Sale Agreement that causes the first contract to be void. If the agreement has a contingency clause on the sale of an existing home, the seller will usually negotiate for a 24-48 hour kick out clause. This allows the seller the continue to market the property and try to find a cash buyer. If an offer comes in that is not contingent on the sale of a home, the seller, or the seller’s listing agent, will notify the buyer that there is a second offer and the buyer has 24 – 48 hours to remove the contingency and provide proof of their ability to close on the home and secure a loan by the agreed closing date. If the buyer cannot remove the contingency, then the first contract would be void and the seller would be allowed to sell the home to buyer number two.
It is wise to have a home inspection completed on any home that you are purchasing...even new construction. Home inspectors can find hidden or unknown problems so that they can be
corrected by the seller prior to closing,. It is rare to have a home inspection that does not result in something being discovered. It is a way to resolve minor items before they become major problems. On new construction, it can ensure that codes were met and there was nothing overlooked by the contractor or subcontractors during the construction phase. The time frame to complete a home inspection in Murfreesboro is generally within 7 to 14 days of the binding agreement date. If there is a contingency on the sale of another home, then the inspection would be completed within 7 - 14 days of the binding agreement date of the home that must be sold.
Once there is a binding agreement, the contract is sent to the closing attorney to start the title search. They will prepare all closing documents and work closely with the lender and the Realtors and advise everyone involved if any problems arise that may prevent or delay closing. Unlike other parts of the country, the average time frame for closing on a home in Murfreesboro TN, is 30 days from the binding agreement date. Closing dates can be negotiated, but long time-consuming closing are not the norm for this area! Once you find your home, be prepared to own it within a month or slightly longer.
This long post can actually be wrapped up in ten easy steps to buying Murfreesboro TN homes.
- Get pre-approved with a reputable local lender
- Go house hunting for your dream home with your Realtor
- Check the comps in the area to help you decide the best negotiating tactics.
- Negotiate the purchase and sale agreement. This is where it will really pay off to have a qualified Realtor on your side!
- Make formal application for your loan with the lender and pay the appraisal fee.
- Schedule and attend the home inspection. The cost of this inspection must be paid at the time of the inspection and will be collected by the home inspector.
- Negotiate for any repairs found during the inspection with the seller.
- Work with the lender to finalize your file and provide any necessary documentation requested.
- Confirm that negotiated repairs have been completed and do a final walk through on the home.
- Bring your driver's license, certified funds, and attend closing. Congratulations....you are now a homeowner!
Of course, each of the steps above have many different levels that need to be addressed. The home buying process can be complicated and you should never try to navigate through this complicated journey without a Realtor. The listing agent represents the seller - and NOT the buyer! Never, ever buy a home without the services of a qualified Realtor on your side!
If you are considering buying a new home in Murfreesboro TN, or selling your existing home in the Middle TN Nashville area, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell at 615-566-3789. I'd love to help make the path to homeownership an easy journey for you!