7 Steps to Home Buying
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or not, the steps of the home buying process is the same regardless of who you are. These simple steps can help you prepare for your home purchase:
1. Contact a Lender
Contact a lender to become pre-qualified for a loan – the most important step in purchasing a home is being approved for a loan. There are several different loan programs offered by several banks, so it’s the lender’s job to find the loan program that best suits you. If you are not already working with a lender or don’t know a lender, check out my Partners page in the Resources section for a few trusted partners to contact. If you let them know you are working with me, they will give you their utmost attention and make you their #1 priority.
2. Make a list
Make a list of things you want your home to have – many times, this list changes as you begin to search for a home, but it is important to start with a list of your search criteria so that you can begin to find properties that match what you are looking for. Some of the basic criteria to start with is:
- Type of home (Single-Family, Townhouse, etc.)
- Minimum number of bedrooms
- Minimum number of bathrooms
- Price (often defined by your comfort level after becoming pre-qualified)
- Any additional features (basement, garage, etc.)
3. Contact your Real Estate Agent
Now that you are pre-qualified and know some of your search criteria, it’s time for your agent to begin working for you. Your Realtor should have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), where thousands of houses are listed for sale, but not all match what you are looking for. It is the agent’s job to assist you in finding the properties that meet your criteria and helping you answer questions along the way.
4. Tour your Favorite Homes
After picking some of the houses that interest you the most, it’s now time to tour them. Your Realtor should be scheduling the appointments to tour the houses you like so that you can see them in person. Pictures can be deceiving, so seeing the house in person is extremely important
5. Make an Offer
Now that you’ve found the house you like, it’s time to make the seller an offer. Before writing an offer, have your Realtor conduct a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) to examine the values in the neighborhood the house is located in so that you can determine the best price for you to offer. You will want to make sure that the Realtor includes
contingencies in the contract for your various inspections, including a home inspection and optional radon, mold, chimney and other inspections.
6. Offer Acceptance
After the negotiations have settled and you and the seller agree to the terms of the contract, you need to do a few more things before you are ready for closing. These tasks include:
- Conduct your inspections during the allotted time (See Partners for trusted inspection companies)
- Submit your contract to the lender for final loan processing and submit requested documents
- Submit your contract to the title company who will be conducting the closing (See Partners for trusted settlement companies)
- Contact an insurance company to obtain a homeowner’s policy (See Partners for trusted insurance companies)
You are only moments away from owning your home! The final step of the home buying process is settling on your new home. The title company will have all of your loan and property documents prepared for you to sign at the day of closing. Be sure to bring a photograph ID with you so they can properly identify you as the buyer signing the documents. Once you have dotted your last i and crossed your last t, you will be handed the keys to your new home!