Buying a home, especially for the first time, can be intimidating. You have to work with the seller, their agent, the title company and more. Don’t let the process of home-buying overwhelm you. Stay on track with this easy-to-follow list of steps to take once you have chosen the house you want to buy.
Find a Great Real Estate Agent
By the time potential buyers have settled on a home, they most likely already have a real estate agent who has helped them along the way. If you are one of the few house hunters who chose a home without hiring a realtor, we applaud you! But with all of the complex steps involved in purchasing a home, we recommend you find a reputable, trustworthy real estate agent to guide you through the buying process. If you have a realtor who understands your needs and concerns, he or she will work tirelessly to ensure you get your home at the best possible value.
Work with your agent to come up with an offer that is sure to catch the attention of your seller. Remember that along with your offer you must also send an Earnest Money check. Offers usually discuss a number of factors such as reduction in price, who covers the closing cost, upgrades to the home and more. Your agent will know how best to negotiate these variables to give your offer the best chance of being accepted right away. However, nine times out of ten you will receive a counter offer. This means that the seller wants to negotiate an aspect of your original offer (most likely the price). Work back and forth with the seller until you are able to settle on an agreement.
Enter into Contract
Once both parties have agreed upon terms, you officially enter into contract. The first period of the contract term is known as Due Diligence. Due Diligence gives the buyer the chance to back out of the sale with no penalty, they even get their earnest money back. If you are still interested in purchasing the home, simply proceed with the contract.
Get the Home Inspected
Home inspection is a critical step buyers should take before closing on a house. This is your chance to identify any needs for repairs or flaws within your new home, before you officially purchase it. You, the buyer, will pay for the inspection and may decide to renegotiate if major issues or defects are found. Once all changes to the contract are approved by both the buyer and seller, it is time to move forward.
Learn more on the benefits of having a home inspection done!
Allow Your Lender to Appraise the Home
Next, your lender will determine the fair market value of your new home by having it appraised. This step confirms that your home is worth more than your loan amount.
Receive Loan Approval
After appraisal, your lender will send over official notification of your loan approval, including a confirmation of the amount.
Close on Your New Home!
Finally, the last step in purchasing your home. This step, known as closing, is when property ownership transfers from the seller to you. The transfer will take place at a meeting with the closing agent from a title company, but your real estate agent and the seller’s agent may be there as well. The closing date and location must be coordinated with all parties and agreed upon well in advance. Your real estate agent, as well as the closing agent, will remind you of the closing costs and any other fees associated with the procedure. After the meeting is finished and all necessary paperwork is signed, the home is yours!