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Steps to buying a home

Real Estate Broker/Owner with SoJax Realty

Happy Couple buying houseCONGRATULATIONS!!  You've made the decision to purchase a home, that's wonderful!   There's a very good chance you are asking what steps you need to take toward buying a home.  Indeed, there are several steps that you need to go through to get underway.

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Before we get into all the details, you might find it a lot easier to  just pick up the phone and give us a call!  We can walk you through all the steps with ease, answer any concerns you may have, and be there with you every step of the way.  At Alford Realty Group, we want to make sure your home buying experience is a great one.  We will make sure that you are getting a great house at a great price and we'll handle all the bumps in the road so you get to enjoy the ride.  Feel free to call us now 704-408-2834 for great service!

Step 1 - find a great real estate agent who can help you find not only a great lender but can help you through all of the steps below.  Can you buy a house on your own?  Yes, but it's much more difficult and time consuming.  Having a buyer's agent cost you nothing, here in North Carolina, the seller pays for the buyer's agent commission fees.  The seller has already agreed to pay it before it goes on the market.

Step 2 - call a reputable lender and at least get pre-qualified.  This will let you know several things, (1) if you are ready to purchase a home financially; (2) what loan amount you qualify for and (3) roughly what down payment you will be required to have.  Having said at least get pre-qualified, it is actually a great idea to go ahead and get pre-underwritten.  What the heck is that?  During a loan process the longest part of the loan processing is getting the buyer underwritten for a mortgage.  That means they are fully approved for the loan and ready to close.  Now, this takes time and you are ready to go.  GREAT NEWS!!  You can do this process while you are looking at houses because you are already pre-qualified.  If you get pre-underwritten prior to finding your house, then all you have to do is find a house, get a contract and have the house appraise.

Step 3 - start the search process.  You will want to work with your qualified real estate agent to do this.  The licensed real estate agent has access to every house in the area via the MLS system.  Not only that but they are likely much more experienced than you in the home purchasing process and can make sure you aren't overpaying for your home, you are getting the proper inspections, repair negotiations are handled and the closing is handled properly.  In the end, leaving you a happy homeowner with as little stress as possible.

Market Snap ShotStep 4 - You have found your dream home!  Now you must decide on what to offer the seller for this home.  It is common to want to go one of two ways, offering way too much for the home or offering way to little for the home.  Knowing what the market is calling for on the price of a home is key in helping you strike a fair deal without overpaying.  Negotiation plays a key role here too as you do want to get the best price possible.  Ask your real estate agent to assist you in determining the initial offer and a maximum value.

Step 5 - Inspections - different houses have different needs in terms of inspections.  What is inspectiongood for one is not good for all.  For example, does you home have a pool, dock, basement, stucco, or anything that would need additional inspections?  What's the age of the HVAC system?  Does that need a separate inspection?  Your real estate agent should know which inspections are needed for your home although you will be the one to make the final determination as to which ones to order.

Step 6 - Repair Negotiations- Now you have had your inspections and received the reports.   Almost every house has something (no matter how small) going on with it.  Get together with your real estate agent to help explain the significance of the items, if he/she feels it necessary discuss them with a handyman or other professional who specializes in that field to decide what is necessary.  Then you will likely want to ask the seller to take care of some or all of the items on the inspection report(s).  This is indeed a second negotiation stage.   Again, it is likely that your real estate processional has dealt with a similar issue before and can help guide you through this process and keep your best interests at hand.

Step 7 - Making sure you are ready to move.  Do you have a list of all the utility providers?  Do you have a reputable mover?  Are there any last minute items you need to take care of for the loan or otherwise?  This is the time to get all of that straightened out.

Step 8 - Closing!  Everything is done, all preparations have been made, the seller has moved out and you have done a final walk through to make sure everything is in order on the house.  Now it's time for the closing.  This is where all of the numbers are taken care of, money is exchanged, deed is signed over, loan paperwork signed, etc.

Step 9 - Moving in.  So you have closed and the deed has been recorded and the seller has released the keys to you.  CONGRATULATIONS you are now officially a home owner!  It's time to move into your dream home at last.

If there is anything that comes up after this your real estate agent will more than likely be there for you to answer any questions or concerns regarding the house.  At Alford Realty Group we are always here for our clients, before, during and long after the closing.  We want to be the real estate agent you choose for life.