Steps in Real Estate Transactions

August 3, 2023

Every land or real estate transaction is different. However, a real estate transaction typically involves several key steps. Here's an overview of the general process:

1. Research and Preparation: Buyers begin by identifying their needs, preferences, and budget. They research the housing market, neighborhoods, and property listings to find suitable options. Sellers prepare their property for sale, including repairs, staging, and setting a listing price.

2. Financing: Buyers who require financing obtain pre-approval or pre-qualification from a lender. This involves submitting financial information and documents to determine the loan amount they can afford.

3. Property Search and Viewing: Buyers work with real estate agents to search for properties that meet their criteria. They schedule viewings and assess the condition, features, and location of the properties.

4. Making an Offer: Once buyers find a suitable property, they submit an offer to the seller, including the proposed purchase price, contingencies, and any specific terms or conditions. Negotiations may take place until both parties agree on the terms.

5. Contract Execution: When the seller accepts the buyer's offer, they sign a purchase agreement or contract. The contract outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the purchase price, contingencies, closing date, and other relevant details.

6. Contingency Period: After contract execution, the buyer enters a contingency period during which they conduct inspections, secure financing, review property disclosures, and satisfy other contingencies outlined in the contract. If any issues arise, negotiations or adjustments may occur.

7. Appraisal and Financing: The lender arranges for an appraisal to determine the property's value. If the appraisal supports the purchase price, the buyer continues with the financing process, providing required documentation and finalizing the loan terms.

8. Title Search and Insurance: The buyer or their attorney orders a title search to ensure the property's title is clear and marketable. Title insurance is typically obtained to protect against any title defects or claims.

9. Closing Preparation: As the closing date approaches, the buyer completes the necessary paperwork and coordinates with the lender, title company, and other involved parties to ensure a smooth closing process. Closing costs and funds required for the purchase are determined.

10. Closing: At the closing, both parties meet to sign the final documents. The buyer pays the remaining down payment and closing costs, while the seller transfers ownership of the property. The title is recorded, and funds are distributed to the appropriate parties. The buyer receives the keys to the property and takes possession.

11. Post-Closing: After the closing, the buyer typically takes care of tasks like setting up utilities, changing locks, and moving into the property. The seller proceeds with moving out and addressing any necessary property transfer details.

Keep in mind that the specific steps and processes involved may vary based on local regulations, the involvement of lenders, real estate professionals, and individual circumstances. Working with experienced lenders like Heritage Land Bank, real estate agents, attorneys, and other professionals can help navigate each stage of the transaction more effectively.