Whether buying your first home or setting your sights on a dream retirement house, it is important to get organized before you dive into the real estate market. There are several legal documents that you should have ready as you prepare to buy a house.
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What documents should I prepare before buying a house?
These are just a few of the documents that you will need to prepare before you buy a house:
- Home Purchase Worksheet — A Home Purchase Worksheet can help you decide if it is the right time to buy a home. This worksheet can help you evaluate your personal finances and calculate anticipated mortgage payments in your price range.
- Home Evaluation Worksheet — A Home Evaluation Worksheet helps you compare the different properties that you are considering. This document may streamline your options and help you decide on the home best for you.
- Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter — Most real estate agents or home sellers will require you to provide a Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter before a viewing. This letter demonstrates that you meet mortgage application qualifications, and that you will likely be approved for a loan within that specific price range.
- Real Estate Agent Contract — You may need to sign a contract with a professional real estate agent if you intend to be represented by one during the buying process.
What documents might I need when I am ready to submit an offer on a house?
Once you have found the right home, you will want to make an offer. These are some of the documents you may need:
- Earnest Money Agreement — An Earnest Money Agreement provides the seller with an assurance that you intend to purchase the home in good faith. Many home sellers require that a deposit be put down with the house, and this document’s terms strengthen your offer.
- Real Estate Purchase Agreement — When you make an offer on a house, you may need to provide the seller with a Real Estate Purchase Agreement. Ask a lawyer about how you can craft an appealing offer that will motivate a seller to accept.
What documents will I need to complete the purchase of a house?
After you submit an offer that has been accepted, you will enter the next stage of the home buying process. These are the documents that you should prepare to complete the purchase of your new home:
- Home Inspection Report — Almost immediately after your offer has been accepted, you will likely schedule a home inspection. The Home Inspection Report can give you valuable insight into the condition of your potential new home.
- Appraisal Report — An Appraisal Report identifIes the assessed value of the property.
- Amendments to the Real Estate Purchase Agreement — If the inspection or appraisal prompts any changes to the terms of sale, you will need to amend the Real Estate Purchase Agreement.
What documents can I use to outline the sales terms before buying a house?
Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need other documents during your home buying journey. These are a few additional documents that you may need to prepare:
- Intent to Purchase Real Estate — An Intent to Purchase Real Estate document is intended to streamline the negotiation process and helps you quickly purchase the home by outlining the sales terms in advance.
- Property Sale Agreement — A Property Sale Agreement is another document that can outline the home sales terms. It is more commonly used by home sellers, but it is an option for home buyers who want to negotiate with a seller.
Purchasing a home is a significant investment. It is not only a critical financial decision, but it is also a deeply personal choice. When you are prepared with all of the necessary documents, you can spend less time on the logistics and more time on finding a home you love. If you have questions or need advice while you are preparing your documents, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer On Call® attorney for fast and affordable guidance and assistance.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.