Barbara's Blog - Navigating the Home Buying Process

Real Estate Agent


You’ve made the decision to buy a house, but as a first time home buyer you’re not quite sure of the process.   There is a lot more to it than just finding the perfect house. You should have a clear sense of the process from timeline to closing.  Knowing this and working with the right realtor can make the process fun and seamless.

The first step, that surprisingly many people don’t know, is to have money to buy a house. Not just a mortgage but money for a down payment.  This along with talking to a mortgage lender is the most important step in the home buying process.  Without this step, buying a house is virtually impossible.

As part of the first step, you will need to secure a mortgage.  It’s a good idea to do some homework on local lenders in your area before choosing the right lender and mortgage for you.  Once you do, make sure you get the lender all the documents needed to secure a real pre-approval letter and not a pre-qualification letter.  Many home sellers will not even consider an offer without a pre-approval letter.

The next step is to organize your thoughts on the type of house you want, the area you want to live in and the specific amenities you can’t live without all within the price range set by your budget and your mortgage lender. So to help with this step you should work with a realtor.

The right realtor will help you get information on neighborhoods, current market values, current trends in housing as well as help you with the offer process. A good realtor will look out for your interest when looking at homes and during the offer and closing process.

Once you find the right house you will need to make an offer.  Understanding this process is important.  Your agent will help you go through the contract – it is critical that you know the ins and outs of the contract before signing and submitting. 

Your offer will include what you want to pay for the house, a suggested closing date, purchasing terms such as what you want to remain in the house, any repairs you feel the owner should take care of prior to purchase and of course contingent on an inspection and appraisal. Your realtor will assist you in writing this up making sure your offer is reasonable and will let you know if any of your requests are unreasonable or appropriate. Prepare for possible counter-offers and a negotiation period.

After the offer is submitting is the waiting period. Your lender may or may not tell you that during the home search and offer period, it is critical that you maintain your credit rating so you can keep your pre-approval and your interest rate. This means watch your spending – don’t buy a car or open any new credit accounts during this time.

The appraisal and inspection goes well, the offer is accepted and you it’s time to close on your new home.  At this point you will make sure your loan is secured with all the proper documentation, you have your down payment ready and you have done your final walk through. Your realtor will help you through the closing process which will require legal representation. Once all the papers are signed and the keys handed to you, the home is all yours.

Comments (3)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center 262-567-2455 - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great advice!  I hope you get tons of buyer clients from this blog and information!

Jan 24, 2015 11:43 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Most buyers in our area know you need money to buy a home, any real estate. The complication starts with the best deal of what is needed and why in the layers of players. That is the guiding through the red flags that can lead to white ones being waved if care and attention is not administered.

Jan 24, 2015 11:54 PM
Steve Kantor
Best Agent Business - Virtual Assistance

I'm always surprised by how little buyers sometimes know. Good for you for putting together a simple consolidated list, Barbara.

Jan 25, 2015 12:05 AM