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Buyer’s Guide

The Washington real estate market is rich and diverse. Finding a home or a niche for income opportunities here is easy, thanks to an array of residential, commercial, and investment properties.

Understanding the real estate buying process

Expect to go through the following standard steps when you purchase any real estate property:

  1. Building your “green file.”
    Every real estate purchase begins with you preparing your documents and records. Your green file should include your bank accounts, financial statements, credit card records, tax returns for at least two years, copies of leases, and statements for any investments.
  2. Getting a mortgage pre-approval.
    This is an important early step, as this keeps you informed of your actual purchasing capability. Knowing how much you can spend on property will guide you through your selection process, keeping a close eye on essential needs and avoiding excess. Learning about your potential future neighborhood.
    Before jumping onto any deal, visit the neighborhood you’re eyeing and talk to the people around town. Learn as much as you can so you’ll know more about the good as well as bad things to expect when you move in. Shopping for options.
    As you shop around, you’re sure to find at least a handful of favorites. Put your top three options into a shortlist and do a thorough comparison of each one’s best and least attractive qualities. Attend open houses to get a closer look and feel of the home, as well as the neighborhood. Bidding and negotiations.
    When you’re ready to bid, work with your agent to craft a compelling offer letter. Include details for the inspection and mortgage terms to cover all your bases. Be ready for counter-offers or even rejection from sellers – these are all part of the process. Going through escrow.
    During the escrow stage, a third party will hold on to your earnest deposit and documents until the deal is closed. Use this time to get your financing needs in order, have professional inspections done on the property, and complete all the necessary paperwork. Sealing the deal.
    Your earnest money will be released to the seller after a successful process. This also means you’ll have the title to the property and the keys to your brand new home!

Investing in Kitsap County, Pierce County, South King County, and Mason County Real Estate

Eyeing real estate in Kitsap, Pierce, King, and Mason counties? Here is a useful list of buying tips based on local laws and regulations to help you out:

  1. Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) – Buying a home for the first time? Get in touch with the WSHFC for assistance on their low-interest mortgage programs, down payment assistance, and buyers’ educational seminars.
  2. License verification – Want to double-check the credentials of an agent or a lender? Verify licenses with the Department of Licensing (360-664-6505) or the Department of Financial Institutions (1-877-RING-DFI), respectively.
  3. Washington Homeownership Center – If you’re looking for unbiased advice prior to digging deeper into the home buying process, this nonprofit agency is a reliable resource you can get in touch with.
  4. To work or not to work with an agent – In Washington, buyers are not required to work with an agent. However, it is highly recommended for those who are not familiar with the arduous process that the transaction entails.

Ready to shop for great real estate in the State of Washington? Get expert assistance from James Bergstrom by calling 360-566-2195 or emailing Homes@JBRealtorTeam.com.