How To Buy a House in Portland, Oregon
Updated: Jul 29
So You Found the “One”, Now What?
Step by Step - A Home Purchase Transaction
1. Place your offer: What does that involve?
a. The Paperwork: you will be signing about 15-20 pages of paperwork, don’t worry this is usually digital and takes only minutes. You will be signing an agreement to purchase and multiple disclosures allowing me to work on your behalf.
b. A pre-approval letter from your mortgage broker or bank. If you are paying cash you will need to show proof of funds. This is typically a bank statement.
c. Promise of Earnest money. Earnest money is typically equal to 1% of the total sales price. This is written into the agreement, but not deposited until after mutual acceptance. Earnest money is part of your total down payment FYI.
2. Negotiations: The average transaction will have one to two counter offers. This will be officially in writing and signed by the buyer and seller, but some of the negotiation is done verbally between brokers before being placed on formal paperwork.
3. Offer accepted: You are officially now in Escrow. You will be assigned to work with an escrow company. They handle all transfers of money and title. Escrow is where you will sign your final sales paperwork (in person) drawn up for you by your mortgage professional.
4. Deposit of Earnest money: The amount you promised to deposit is due within 3 business days after mutual acceptance of the sales agreement. This means that all parties have signed and are in agreement. You start counting business days the first FULL business day after mutual acceptance. So if you sign at 4pm on Friday your first full business day would not be until Monday. Monday would be day 1!
5. Inspection Period: This is a period of time to inspect your future home. It typically last 10 business days or about 2 full weeks if you include the weekends. This period can be shortened or extended. I usually stress having inspections done ASAP so a buyer may perform extra inspections if needed and collect bids for repairs suggested. During this period you have the ability to do inspections on the home. Inspections completed usually include: a general home inspection, sewer scope, radon test and if the home is older a tank sweep for any underground oil tanks. After reviewing the general inspection you will have further knowledge of what other inspections you may need such as roof, siding, foundation, or mold. When all inspections have been completed and bids collected you will be ready to negotiate repairs with the seller.
6. Repair Negotiations: Negotiations over repairs take place during the inspection period. A buyer has the right to walk and retain their earnest money in full if the seller and buyer can not come to a mutual agreement over suggested changes to the sales agreement given the information gathered during the inspection period.
7. Appraisal: Your lender will want to order your appraisal ASAP to ensure it is completed well before closing. The appraisal process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. Usually longer during peak season. I encourage buyers to order appraisals during or just after inspections to ensure they have their appraisal back and we can meet our closing date. The time between offer acceptance and closing escrow is typically 30-45 days.
8. Loan approval: Your mortgage professional will work with you to gather all information necessary to get your final approval on your loan.
9. Final walk through: I always advise a final walk through of the home before you sign your “life away”…The final walk through can also be a time to make sure all agreed upon repairs have been completed. Some buyers opt to have a professional inspector come back out during this time.
10. Signing: Once all documents have been drafted and numbers have been checked you will set up a time with escrow to go in and sign your loan documents. Or you may choose to have a professional notary come to you directly to complete signatures. Along with signing, you will need to wire or bring a cashier's check into escrow for the final sum needed to close. This typically includes your down payment, dues to escrow and your lender, and prepayment of taxes and insurance.
11: Transfer of funds and title: Typically one business day after signing, your funds will transfer to escrow and you will be the proud new owner of your new home!!
**This represents a basic synopsis of the home purchase process and does not cover all types of negotiation tools available to my buyers**
Follow these easy steps and you will soon be a homeowner! Happy House Hunting!
Your friend in Real Estate,
Oregon Licensed Realtor
"Results that Move you!"