Big Sky Homebuyer's Quick Guide
Buying a home can be overwhelming. Whether you're buying your first home or you're a seasoned veteran, I will help you smoothly navigate the real estate market. My goal is to ensure that buying real estate in Big Sky is a smooth and comfortable process.
Below is a quick snapshot of the home buying process. These simple steps are ones that almost every homebuyer will need to follow:
The majority of property buyers will need or choose to get a loan. You can get pre-approved by meeting with a loan officer to determine how much money you can borrow, based on factors such as your credit score, assets, and debts. Click here for a mortgage calculator that can give you a rough idea of monthly payments.
A pre-approval letter is a conditional agreement with a loan officer stating that you are approved for a certain size loan. The conditional aspect of the pre-approval means that once you find the home you want to purchase, it receives a satisfactory appraisal and title review.
Getting pre-approved is important because it can show sellers that you're a serious homebuyer. Plus, it means that you can lock in an mortgage rate and you can confidently shop for a home that's within your price range.
Choosing A Realtor
One might think that choosing a realtor is the easiest part of the buying process. Unfortunately, not all realtors are the same. It's important to choose a professional, local, and full-time realtor that specializes in Big Sky.
Your realtor needs to be someone whom you trust, who knows the Big Sky market, and who can help you navigate the buying process. Your realtor needs to be there for you throughout all stages of the buying process. They must be committed to finding you the right property.
It's my job as a Big Sky realtor to ensure that you have all of the information that you need to make the decision that's right for you. Take a look at some of my Big Sky real estate sales experience here.
Now it's time to find your dream home! The first step is to narrow down your search. I'll help you navigate the Big Sky real estate market based on the criteria that's important to you (price point, location, views, amenities, etc.). Many buyers take advantage of the free search tools available right here on Discover Big Sky.
Once we identify your properties that interest you, we can start looking at real estate. Sometimes we can view homes or condos at a moment's notice, but other times it may take 24 hours to arrange a showing.
I'll be there to answer any questions, comments or concerns. I will also help to educate you with additional information, such as comparable sales data.
Making An Offer
Once you find the property that you want to purchase, I'll help you prepare your written offer. We'll sit down and look at comparable properties, discuss prices, and go through every step of the offer together. A few of the details that we'll cover include:
- How will you finance the home?
- How much will the down payment be?
- How much earnest money will you put down?
- Who will pay closing costs?
- What inspections do you want done?
- Is any personal property included in the sale?
- What are the terms of cancellation?
- Are there any repairs that need to be done prior to closing?
- What date will you take ownership/possession of the property?
- If there are any disputes, how will they be settled?
- Are there any contingencies (potential situations that allow you to cancel the contract without penalty)?
Once you approve of the offer, it must be signed in person or digitally. Then I will present it to the seller's agent. This part requires a bit of patience as you'll have to wait for the seller to respond. The seller will either accept, reject, or make a counteroffer. A counteroffer means that it is a similar offer with slight changes like price, dates, etc. This begins the negotiation process. It's my job to help you reach a mutually agreeable situation. Once all parties agree, you're under contract.
Once the offer has been accepted by all parties, earnest money must be deposited. Earnest money is money that you put forward to show your commitment to the property. If for some reason the contract is terminated based on terms in the contract, you'll get your money back. If you breach the contract, the earnest money may not be returned.
A home inspection allows you to hire a professional licensed home inspector to inspect the property. An inspection helps to identify any problems with the property that you should be aware of. I'll provide a list of qualified home inspectors that work in the Big Sky area. Your home inspection may include, but is not limited to:
- Sprinkler System
As a buyer you'll need homeowner's insurance and title insurance. Usually these are required by the mortgage company as part of the loan. If you have any questions, I can make recommendations.
Contingencies & Deadlines
Contingencies and deadlines can sound a bit intimidating. Don't worry. The contract outlines all of the dates and contingencies that we need to remember. In order to stay within the contract, all contingencies must be met. This means planning ahead and coordinating with inspectors, appraisers, etc. It's my job to make sure that you know what to expect and when to expect it so that we close on time.
All appropriate funds for the purchase must be wired on provided to the Title Company on time in order to close. You'll receive secure wiring instructions directly from the Title Company.
Prior to closing, we can visit the property one last time. This is your opportunity to verify that the property is in the condition expected in order to proceed. Usually the terms of this are outlined in the contract - for example: personal property, professional cleaning, etc. If things aren't right, I'll help to remedy the situation.
For closing, we typically meet at my office with the loan officer (if applicable) and the title agent. This is the final step where documents and numbers will be reviewed and explained. This is your chance to ask as many questions as you want to ensure that you understand the details of the transaction. There's a lot of paperwork to be signed by both you and the seller to ensure that everything is transferred correctly. After everything is signed and recorded, it's time for you to take possession of your new home.
If you can do all of these things, you can own a home in Big Sky, Montana. It's my goal to make this process as smooth as possible for you. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to reach out. I'm here to help.