Home Buying Process
Every licensed Realtor in Cape Coral or Fort Myers has access to all properties for sale in the area. Therefore you should work only with one Realtor of your choice. The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a central database for real estate.
Buyers don’t have to pay commission. It is customary that the seller pays commissions and fees for the transaction. As a buyer you usually pay for recording/transfer in Lee county records, small fee to the Title Company and for recommended home inspections.
If you decide to finance your purchase, you should talk to a bank or mortgage broker and get a “Pre-Approval” before you look at homes. With a pre-approval you know what home you can afford to buy.
Often sellers require a pre-approval or proof of funds before signing an offer.
Finding a Home
Next step is to find the right home. Your Realtor will search for homes that match your desired criteria. Usually you get access to an online MLS portal.
When you find a few homes you would like to see, your Realtor will make showing appointments for you and assist you in viewing homes.
When you find your dream home you make a purchase offer. Your Realtor will help you with the offer contract. Usually a down payment of 3-5% of purchase price is expected with an offer. The money will be deposited in an escrow account of a Title Company or Attorneys Office.
If seller accepts and signs your offer, you have a valid contract.
When you finance your purchase, you should apply immediately for financing.
Now you order the home inspection to be performed within 10-15 days of “effective date” (when buyer and seller signed contract). Inspectors check electric, water, appliances, air condition, roof and more.
If you are satisfied with the home inspection, the Title Company or an attorney starts the closing process. At the closing date (or before via email/mail) both parties sign the closing documents and the money and the property changes legally ownership.