Steps in Purchasing a Home:
There is an orderly and logical progression of purchasing steps for every home purchase:
- The buyer must find an affordable house that meets their criteria and addresses their needs.
- The buyer makes a written offer to buy the house from the seller. The offer is made on the form which, when signed by the seller, will become the contract. An initial deposit (usually to be followed by an additional deposit shortly after there is a binding contract) should accompany the offer.
- The seller may reject the offer outright, may accept the buyer’s offer by signing the contract, or may make changes. At which time, it becomes a counteroffer. If there is a counteroffer, after going back and forth, when all parties agree on all changes to the original offer, evidenced by initialing all the changes, the document becomes a binding contract.Applying for a Mortgage.
- The buyer must promptly apply for a mortgage to finance the purchase of the home.
- The buyer will order an inspection.
- Depending on the custom in your community, either the seller or the buyer contacts a title and closing agent to begin the title work required to convey a clear, unencumbered title to the property to the buyer. In Palm Beach County, the seller normally has that duty under the contract.
- The buyer examines the home inspection report and the title report, and depending on the terms of the contract, may or may not decide not to go forward with the purchase. The contract governs the rights of the buyer and the seller. It is important that the parties understand their rights and may find it helpful to discuss any questions with their real estate agent or their attorney.
Financing and Closing
- If a commitment for financing is not obtained by the time specified in the contract, the seller must be promptly notified. They must be notified within the time provided in the contract so that the buyer can cancel the contract. Once financing is obtained and all other requirements of the contract have been met, a closing is held. It is at this time that the buyer and the seller sign the closing documents. Then, the buyer pays the balance of the purchase price (not covered by the mortgage proceeds) plus all buyer’s closing costs, and the seller delivers the deed and the keys to the house to the buyer.
- Finally, sometime after the closing, the buyer receives a copy of the recorded deed and a final title insurance policy.
*These are the steps in purchasing a home.
With over 40 years experience in the practice of law, attorney Richard Weinstein assists clients with the important financial situations in their lives, as well as civil litigation. Whether you are dealing with bankruptcy, real estate (both commercial and residential, including foreclosures and title insurance), estate planning or probate, or business formations, sales or mergers, Richard Weinstein is the attorney with the experience and knowledge you need! Call us at (561)745-3040 or visit us at
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Phone: (561) 745-3040