Buy a house online | Accelerate lending
How to buy a house online
Buying a home online is similar to the process of buying a traditional home in many ways, but it may differ in some important ways. Let’s take a look at the steps.
1. Find a lender that offers online mortgage services
If you’re considering buying a home online, it helps to have a lender who specializes in carrying out the mortgage process online as well. When you qualify for Rocket Mortgage®, they check your credit and get documents from you about your income and assets so you know exactly how much you can afford. In real estate, this is commonly referred to as mortgage pre-approval.
One of the things that sets us apart is that we do all of this online, so it’s very easy to share information digitally without having to go to four different places to search for documents. We will simplify the process for you.
2. Choose an experienced real estate agent
If you’re buying a house online, you might think you can find a house on your own and don’t need to use a real estate agent or realtor.®but an agent with experience buying a virtual home can be extremely valuable.
Someone who has done offers and negotiated online ads can help you figure out how much to offer. They might also be able to help you spot things that are and aren’t shown in the pictures, which might tell you what condition the house is in.
Once you’ve found a home and want to make an offer, it’s important to have an experienced attorney in your area who negotiates on your behalf. You might only buy a house once a decade if that, but real estate agents are out there in today’s market every day. They know what homes look like and what a good deal looks like. They can advise you to give you the best chance of getting the house without being taken for a ride on the price.
Looking for an agent who can align with your budget as well as your goals? Our Friends at Rocket HomesSM will be happy to put you in touch with one of their Verified Partner Agents.
3. Start your house search online
This is the part of the process that people often find both the most exciting and the most overwhelming. It’s time to actually find a home you want. Before you take a look at any of the sites we’ve mentioned above, we recommend making a list of what you really need in a home and what would be nice to have.
In much of the country, it’s a seller’s market. Given this, you should at least be prepared for the possibility that you may not be able to find a home that has everything you want and that also fits your price range. However, if you can find a home that meets all of your needs and most of your wants, you’ll be fine.
Once you’re on the home search websites or apps, one of the really neat things is that there are almost always very robust filtering capabilities that allow you to tailor your search to the homes you want to see in a given area in seconds. After that, it’s up to you and your realtor to consider carefully.
In addition to paying close attention to photos, there will often be virtual tours that allow you to simulate the experience of an open house without having to leave your home. This can make your search easier and give you an idea of the space.
4. Make an offer
Now that you’ve found a home, it’s time to make an offer. The site where you found the house will contain the contact details of the listing agent. From there, you can work with your agent to craft the offer.
Any offer you can make in person can also be made online, including cash and mortgage-backed offers. Your offer should also include any contingencies you want, such as those for inspection and appraisal.
Your agent will be able to give you advice, but it is important not to take it lightly. Contingencies are usually the only way to get your deposit back if something goes wrong.
After a seller receives your offer, they can accept, reject, or counter it. If they make a counter-offer, it’s not uncommon to go back and forth several times. Sometimes the sticking point is not the price, but the move-in date or the timing of various contingencies. Trust your agent to guide you.
5. Begin the closing process
If your offer is accepted, now is the time to prepare everything so that you can continue with the closing process. For this to happen, several things need to happen in a short period of time.
- Subscription: During the underwriting process, your lender makes final checks on your income, assets, and credit to make sure you qualify for your mortgage. It is important not to take out new credit or make major purchases that require financing. This way, your credit score and debt ratio stay stable. Your lender will also do an employment verification at this time.
- Evaluation: During an appraisal, your home is valued. This is based on comparable properties. As an example, two bedroom pool homes are judged against other two bedroom pool homes. This value is crucial because the house serves as collateral for your mortgage. The lender can only grant the loan based on the value of the house. If the valuation is too low, you may need to bring in additional money to close, renegotiate, or withdraw. The appraiser also makes sure there is nothing wrong with the house that would pose a risk to the health or safety of anyone moving into it.
- Inspection: While an appraiser performs a basic health and safety assessment, a home inspection involves walking through the home with a trained inspector who can point out current home issues as well as what to watch out for. the future. While some home buyers are tempted to skip this in competitive markets, a good home inspection can prevent you from buying a home with major issues. It can also provide you with evidence that you can use to negotiate repairs or lower the price so you can do the repairs yourself.
6. Close your new home
Now that you’ve passed the final underwriting checks, received an appraisal and inspection, it’s closing day. How does it work if you buy online and don’t meet in person? There are several ways to do this, but today we are going to discuss eClosing.
Within eClosings, there are several different types, but the most readily available to homebuyers is a hybrid eClosing. In this process, some documents are digitally signed and others by putting pen to paper. These are signed in front of a notary and sent.
Beyond that, your closing process works much the same as a traditional closing. Prior to your closing date, you will have 3 business days to review your closing disclosure. You’ll want to make sure this hasn’t changed significantly from your loan estimate. Your down payment and closing costs are wired instead of bringing a physical check.