How long is the Home Buying Process… aka… When do I GET KEYS???

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes: Thursday, March 12th, from 5pm – 8pm (ish)
     Marshall Community Center, Conference room
    1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)Saturday, March 21st, from 11am-2pm (ish)
โ€‹       Vancouver YMCA, conference room
       11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave).         Monday, April 6th, from 5pm – 8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, Conference room
       1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday, April 11th, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
       1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)                                                                   
If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….
….we also have home seller classes available too…look for link on top of website

Happy March & Daylight Savings Time!
  Spring!  It’s coming!  I can feel it… and so an the plants, and the trees.  My daffy’s are blooming, and the market is absolutely crazy.  The real estate market runs on a pretty basic pattern…unless something out of the normal happens.  The best time of year to be a seller is February through early June.  The best time of the year to be a buyer is June – August, and again, October – January.  So, why is this?  Well, the majority of potential buyers use their tax refunds for down payments and/or closing costs, and most people get their tax returns starting in February.  Most people who are thinking about selling don’t put their homes on the market though until after spring break.  This is why the market is so brutal right now. There are more buyers than there are homes for sale.  It will ease up a bit about mid-April, but still be pretty crazy.  Once kids start getting out of school in June, the market changes again.  The summer has more homes for sale, and less buyers so it’s a good time to be a buyer, but not too bad of a time to be a seller either as the market picks up again when kids go back to school in September.  In September & October we see folks buying hoping to get in before the holidays.  After Halloween the market dies because of the holidays & the weather, but that is a great time to be a buyer.   This is the most common cycle we see in real estate but things like the teacher strike we saw a few years ago can disrupt the cycle.  
    Now, honestly, the best time to buy or sell a home is when it is the BEST time for your family.   I can give you all the information, but ultimately, you need to decide when it is the best time for your family to make THAT move.  So, what’s your first step?  
Talking to a lender about how much you are pre-approved for.  There’s nothing a realtor can do for you until we know what price range you are looking at.  This can also determine when is a good time for you to be out there on the house hunt.  
What if you are selling & buying?  Well, then you want to start with your Realtor to see what your current home is worth, and what you would be looking at after selling.  Then you would go to your lender to get pre-approved…just like we had just talked about.  
  So, one of the questions we get a LOT is how long is the home buying process?  Of course, what people really want to know is when do they get keys?  So…when does this all happen?  The home buying process is sometimes super short, and sometimes takes a long time.  On average, most people write an offer on one of the first 6 homes they see.  Weird?  Not really if you think about it….  when you get pre-approved you have an idea of the home you are looking for.  Your Realtor is going to do everything they can to help you find that home.  First, we are going to hope that the home you are hoping to find is in your price range, but if it is… we’re going to find it.  Now, sometimes, it can take longer….especially depending on the time of year.  The real estate market ebbs and flows and runs on a pretty cyclical nature.  There are times of the year where it’s better to be a seller, and times of the year when it is better to be a buyer.  How long it takes to get a home under contract really depends on these factors.  However, what happens after the home is under contract….

Once we have a home under contract with an accepted offer, that home goes PENDING (Congratulations!).  This is when things really start moving.  A copy of the signed around purchase & sale agreement goes to your lender and to the escrow/title company.  The escrow company opens escrow on the home, and does a title search.  The lender will call you to come in and sign your lending documents.  Now that you have a home under contract, the loan application, and process can begin.  On your end, we need to schedule the home inspection.  We have 10 days to have the home inspection completed and to request any repairs.  Once the inspection process is complete, the appraisal process begins.  Remember that the home inspection is for your information, and the appraisal is for the banks information.  Once the appraisal is in, the file goes to the underwriters again for their approval.  Once we have the underwriters approval, closing documents are ordered.  You will receive an email asking you to acknowledge receipt of the closing documents.  From receipt of the closing documents you have 3 days before you can sign at title.  Everyone always ask, “when is my signing appointment?”  We don’t know…yet…  You see, once the title company receives the documents from the lender, they have to balance those papers, and numbers, and information with the lender to verify that all the information is correct.  Until they are ‘balanced’ with the lender, they can not set up the signing appointment.  Once this is all done, the title officer will call you for a signing appointment.  Yay!  Signing appointments are often same, or next, day.  The title officer will also let you know how much (if anything) you need to bring into signing with you. Signing & closing gets mixed up quite often, but they are totally different steps.  Signing is when you meet with the title officer at the escrow office to sign acceptance of the loan, and of the property you are purchasing.  You will receive copies of everything you have signed and get sent home….to wait….  Why?  Because now we move on to the last step in your home buying process, the closing.  
Once you, and the seller have signed, all the paperwork goes back to the underwriters to sign off on, and then to the lenders to fund.  After funding happens, you will probably get a call from your lender letting you know it’s all done.  Ok, well, they are all done.  We, however, are not… Once funding happens (and this is when the banks get their monies), all the information goes back to the title company.  The title company then sends the necessary information to the courthouse to record your sale.  Recording is closing…this is when the home becomes yours.  Recording happens during business days from 10am-12pm & from 3pm-5pm.  Once the home records in your name, the title officer calls your Realtor to let me know that you are recorded.  Congratulations!!  NOW I can call you to meet up for those magical KEYS!!   
One thing to mention…your lender, and your Realtor….we do NOT give out your information.  We value your privacy.  Recording on a home purchase, or sale, is matter of public record though.  You WILL start getting tons of crap mail, and calls because it is public record.  If you are not sure about anything you are receiving, please call your lender, or Realtor, we can let you know if it is spam, or something you need, or help you get information on where to ask.  
So, how long does this take?  Depending on your loan type, and the speed that you can get your information to your lender, and the speed we can get inspectors and appraisers out, anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks to get from accepted contract to keys.  Average is about 40 days.  I’ve got one right now that we are closing in 2 weeks!!!  I’ve got another one that just received keys that went into 6 weeks because the appraiser called out a repair.  Wait, hold the phone!!!  That can happen????  Why, yes, it can…but that is an email for a different day.  ๐Ÿ˜€  

Thank you, as always, for reading this. 
I hope this helps you this week!  Please, if you have any questions, please feel free to call, email, text, or even facebook me anytime.  I am always here to help!   
Informationis power, and I hope that I am help you!  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.I hope that explains this a bit, but if you have any questions, or comments please call or email me anytime!  Please remember that while I mean these emails/blogs to be helpful, and educational, I am still hoping that you will call, or email me.  I would love to help you with your home buying, or home selling adventure!  ๐Ÿ™‚
    As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one.  Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships.  Your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  ๐Ÿ™‚  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.   Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.   ….disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…  Upcoming Topics:What’s the difference between Inspection & Appraisal?  

Last Month:  Showings…what you need to know 
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,   
Tracie DeMars   
Real Estate broker 
Re/Max – Van Mall   
360/ 903-3504 cell   
360/ 882-3600 fax

โ€œInterested in free and non promotional home education classes?  Go to, or for local upcoming home buyer and home SELLER classes, or facebook: Tracie DeMars Real Estate for my home buyer education blog.โ€“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”    
   – Shel Silverstein, American poet, cartoonist and composer, (1930 – 1999).

7 thoughts on “How long is the Home Buying Process… aka… When do I GET KEYS???”

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