Buying a Home
Your home is the probably one of the biggest and most absorbing decisions you will make in your life. Having a real estate professional who knows the road you will travel – with its highlights and pitfalls – will be supremely important. And an agent who also takes time to know your personal needs and works hard to understand your desires adds enjoyment to the experience as well.
Our associates work hard to not only find the perfect home for you, but also to handle every last detail of the purchase process, from negotiating the terms of sale to recommending moving companies.
To help you get started on buying your new home, take a few minutes to evaluate how we can be used as a resource; considering the investment, it will be well worth your time!
7 Essential Steps of Home Buying
Step 1: Make the Decision to Buy
How do you know if it's the right time for you to buy your first home? Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run.
- Here’s the most important rule for keeping your stress to a minimum: you don’t have to know everything to get started!
Step 2: Let Us Champion You in the Process
When you're looking for a real estate professional to help you, know that above all else good agents put their clients first. The seven main roles your real estate agent will perform include:
- Educate you about your market.
- Analyze your wants and needs.
- Guide you to homes that fit your criteria.
- Coordinate the work of other needed professionals.
- Negotiate on your behalf.
- Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.
- Solve any problems that may arise.
Step 3: Secure Financing
This is a very important step! The better a deal on a house, the faster you will have to move to get a chance to purchase it! Being pre-qualified not only makes give you an idea of what you can afford (based on what monthly payments you are comfortable with), but arms you with the credentials to move quickly on an offer.
We can help you through these six steps to financing your home:
- Choose a loan officer.
- Make a loan application and get preapproved.
- Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
- Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
- Get an appraisal and title commitment.
- Obtain funding at closing.
Step 4: Find Your Home
The internet has become the home-seekers’ friend. We could collect all the criteria you feel is important in your new home and recommend houses to see, or could help you do this yourself. The right home will meet all your important needs, and as many of your additional wants as possible. Some questions you might ask yourself include:
- What do I want my home to be close to?
- How much space do I need and why?
- Which is more critical: location or size?
- Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
- How important is home value appreciation?
- Is neighborhood stability a priority?
- Would I be interested in a condo?
- What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
Once you have narrowed your search to a few houses, we could go on the road with you and see them in person. You’ll learn as you look at homes, your tastes and needs will become more specific.
Step 5: Make an Offer
Once you’ve found a house you love, you’ll need to make a compelling offer. Look to us to explain the process and guide you through. Ultimately, the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your agent's market research will help guide this decision. This is important: We can help through the three basic components of your purchase -- price, terms, and contingencies.
- Price is obviously the dollar amount you are approved for, willing and able to pay.
- Terms cover the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
- Contingencies are clauses that let you out of the deal if the house has a problem that didn’t exist or which you weren’t aware of when you went under contract. They specify any event that will need to take place in order for you to fulfill the contract.
Step 6: Perform Due Diligence
You’ll need to have a property inspection (which we highly recommend you attend) that will hopefully inform you of all the features, strengths and weaknesses of the home. A good inspection will both reassure you of the quality of the home and arm you if more negotiation is needed due to unexpected flaws or concerns.
- Your main concern is the possibility of structural damage. This can come from water damage, shifting ground, or poor construction when the house was built.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s the inspector’s job to mark everything discovered no matter how large or small. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
- If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist and if the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.
- And even if your home passes inspection with flying colors, you will still need to buy a home owner’s insurance policy, to protect you against loss or damage to the property itself and against liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property.
Step 7: Close
You still have a few pre-closing responsibilities:
- Stay in control of your credit and finances. More than one home has been lost because the buyer’s credit score changed during the due diligence period.
- Keep in touch with your agent and lender and returning all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
- Communicate with your agent at least once or twice a week, and verifying with your lender that all mortgage funding steps are completed.
- Conduct a final walk-through of the home with your agent.
- Confirm with your agent, home insurance professional and lender that you have the settlement statement, certified funds, and evidence of insurance lined up prior to closing.