Amanda does a wonderful job covering the entire home buying process in an easy to understand way.
Doing parts 1-3 correctly make the home buying process as stress-free as possible, and the importance of working with a great lender & real estate agent cannot be overstated.
9 Steps To Buying A Home
Buying a home is a big step and it takes preparation and planning to be successful. There are far more than 9 steps when purchasing a home but, this post will give you a general overview of the process. There’s nothing that can compare to the expertise and guidance a local Realtor® can provide.
1. Determine If You’re Ready to Purchase a Home- home ownership is a wonderful feeling and there’s a lot of pride that comes with it. Searching for a home takes time so you’ll want to make sure your schedule will allow for that. It’s a big step to take and you also want to be sure that you’re ready and willing to care for a home. Along with making the decision you’re ready to take on the responsibility of owning a home you should consider reviewing your finances in advance. Are you ready to buy right away or do you need to save a little more in order to have your down payment ready?
2. Hire A Realtor®- selecting the right agent to represent you in your purchase is a key step in order to be successful. Like anything else not all agents are created equal. Just because your brother in law has a real estate license doesn’t mean he’s the best person to represent you. Look to friends, family, and co-workers to see if they were pleased with the agent who represented them in their home purchase. Ask for recommendations and do your research. Seek an agent who is experienced and has a proven successful track record in the areas you’re interested in. It’s important to work with someone you’re comfortable with and trust.
3. Get Pre-Approved- buying a home is a very exciting time and many buyers view homes online and want to check them out right away. Do not miss the step of getting pre-approved before you go see homes. Your agent will be able to recommend lenders if you don’t have one in mind. Determining your buying power in advance avoids spending time seeing homes you can’t ultimately buy and it saves the heartbreak of falling in love with a home you aren’t able to purchase. Having the right lender is a key piece of the home buying puzzle. It takes teamwork and you want to make sure you have the right team of professionals working for you.
4. Touring Homes- your agent will learn about your likes and dislikes and help you locate the right homes to tour. Touring homes is exciting! Once you’re inside you’ll start to notice more details about what you do and don’t like and even start narrowing the search to certain neighborhoods that you really see yourself living in. Communicate with your agent about what does and doesn’t appeal to you, they’re there to help you fine tune your search and it will help them seek out homes that match what you’re looking for.
5. Choose the Home That Fits Your Needs- decision decisions! Making the decision that it’s the home for you is a big one but, not to worry, most buyers just know when it’s the one. There will be a lot of thought and consideration that go into making your offer. Your agent will be able to provide you with recent comps to review and guide you on how to structure a realistic offer. Rely on them to explain the legal contract to you and answer your questions.
6. Negotiation- in most cases there are several factors that will be up for negotiation; price, contingencies, and settlement date. The amount of negotiation varies in each home purchase. This is another key reason who you select to be your agent matters. Having an expert negotiator who knows how to effectively communicate and bring all parties together is imperative for your success. You’ll work together on what terms will be presented to the listing agent but, how they’re delivered makes a big difference in the outcome.
7. Secure Your Financing- you selected your agent, have your pre-approval, located your dream home, ratified on a contract, and now it’s time to get your loan fully approved. Be prepared to submit extensive financial documentation. It’s a good idea to start gathering income documents when you start your home search so that you have them ready to submit to your lender. It can be a tedious process but, with the right lender working for you it will go smoothly. Understand that when they ask for documentation it’s not because they are being nosy, they have guidelines they have to follow and need the documents in order to get your loan approved.
8. Fulfill Contract Contingencies- purchase contracts vary from state to state and you’ll want to rely heavily on your agent to manage your contract contingency deadlines. Home inspection, radon, financing, appraisal, and resale documents can all come into play and each has a different deadline for response. Buyers are obligated to meet the deadlines in order to remain compliant and keep the contract moving forward. Having an agent who can oversee each deadline for you will save you time and stress.
9. Settlement- settlement day is a big day! You’ll likely have a walk through a couple days before settlement or possibly the day of. Assuming all goes well with your walk through from there you’ll be signing paperwork to officially purchase the home. It’s a very exciting day; all the preparation and hard work comes full circle when you receive the keys to your new home!