Information about the Buying Process

An Outline for Buying a Home

·         We determine your timeline.  When do you need to be in a home?

o   What kind of home are you looking for and where?

o   What are the things you absolutely want in your home?

o   What are the things you’d like to have but may be able to do without?

·         We review all anticipated costs so that there are no surprises at closing.

·         We get you pre-approved for your loan based on your timeline.

·         You receive your preliminary list of homes

o   If your timeline allows us more than two months, You  can drive by the homes and neighborhoods to select the homes you want to tour.

o   If your timeline is less than two months, we will want make appointments to see the houses that look good to you based on the home description sheets and photos.

o   If your timeline is very short or if you are an out-of-towner, we make lots of appointments and hit the pavement immediately.  Usually in this case, we will have previewed the homes on your list before you arrive in Dallas.

o   If your timeline is 3 to 6 months or more, I really only want you to drive through select neighborhoods to determine the ones you like best.  It’s too early to go see homes.  The same homes won’t be available when you are ready to buy.

·         Your list of homes is automatically updated every morning by email, or as soon as homes come onto the market.

·         Once we have found a great home, we do an in-depth market analysis to determine the range of value for the home and neighborhood.

·         We decide on a negotiating strategy based on the market analysis and your personal situation.

·         We make our initial offer or offers and negotiate until we put the home under contract.

 At this point, I take over all of the details.

But, here’s what’s going on in the background…until we close and celebrate.

·         During the Option Period, we inspect the house, research its insurance history, and get a copy of the property’s survey.

·     We renegotiate the price or terms of the contract if the house has problems or needs repairs.

·         Your loan is finalized.  At this time, the Title company researches title to the land and takes over most paperwork.

·         Once we know the house is in good condition, the title is clear and the loan  is approved, we relax a bit.

·         We order your new insurance.

·         We notify all utility companies, cable and newspapers when you will be moving in.

·         On the day of closing ( Celebration ) we walk through the house just to make sure that everything is still in the same condition as on the date of our inspections.

·         At closing, you sign all of the purchase and loan papers, the bank wires your money to the title company and the title company pays the seller.

 At this time, I can give you the keys to your new home.


Do I Need an Attorney When I Buy a House?

It depends upon the complexity of the offer and Contract.  If the seller has several important contingencies to include in the negotiations, we want to have an attorney read over all documents and advise us.  However, Texas real estate contract documents are designed so that the typical home purchase can be completed without the Buyer needing an attorney.  

Most home buyers are capable of handling routine real estate purchase contracts as long as they make certain they read the fine print and understand all the terms of the contract. In particular, you should be clear on the terms of any contingency clauses that will allow them to back out of the contract. If you have any questions at all, it may be advisable to consult an attorney to avoid future legal hassles. In looking for an attorney, ask friends for recommendations or ask your real estate agent to recommend several. Call to inquire about fees and to check on their experience. In general, more experienced attorneys will cost more, but real estate fees as a rule are small relative to the cost of the property you are buying.

What repairs should a Seller make?

In Texas, a residential real estate contract has a clause that allows the Buyer the "unrestricted right" to back out of the contract within a negotiated period of time (the option period) after signing the contract.  During this time, we will inspect the house, compile a list of repairs we want completed prior to sale and send the Seller the list in the form of an Amendment to the Contract.  The Seller may agree to complete the repairs, complete some of the repairs or pay for us to complete the repairs after closing.  Essentially, the contract is being re-negotiated, and, if it does not meet our expectations or needs, We may terminate the contract without questions asked.  This is a great incentive for the Seller to agree to complete all or most of the repairs we ask for.

Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers on their house?

No.  And they won't.  Sellers are not legally obligated to disclose the terms of other offers to prospective buyers.

How do I get the real scoop on homes I am looking at?

We will Help you with this.  We provide you with every bit of information available about the Seller, Tax History, Sales History, Market Value and the like prior to making an offer.  After we have made an offer and the house is under contract, Home inspections, the Seller's Disclosure Statements, Title Searches, the Appraisal will fill in the details.  It is as simple as that.  We have to do our due diligence on the home you are thinking of moving your family into.


Steve Ritchey
Steve Ritchey
Exclusive Buyer Broker
4925 Greenville Ave. Dallas TX 75206