Buying a home can be an exciting adventure! This home buying guide will help you understand the process – from steps you should take at the beginning through closing on your new home. While there are a lot of details involved when buying a home, taking the right steps and making informed decisions will make your purchase go smoothly as possible.
Define Your Goals Before beginning your home search, make sure to have clearly set goals: desired neighborhoods, type of home, must-have amenities, etc. As you get into the market, you may need to be flexible on some of these requirements, but starting with a best-case list will be helpful.
Examine Your Finances Before buying a home, it’s important to make sure you have your finances under control – make a detailed budget and ensure that you have savings and reserves in place to support your home purchasing goals.
Hire a Real Estate Professional Take some time to do some research here! When buying a home you want to be represented by an agent you like, trust and feel comfortable with. By this point, you have a good grasp of the type of property you’re looking for. Talk to a few agents to find someone who you like and trust. Also, look for social proof of experience and check out reviews! If you’re shopping with a spouse or anyone else, make sure both of you agree on the agent. Buying a home can be a storm and you want a good captain that you’ll both trust!
Get Pre-Qualified Your real estate agent will be able to recommend some great lenders so you can get pre-approved and start seeing some homes in person. You may want to talk to several mortgage lenders – you’ll find differences in loan types, rates, fees, and customer service. Finding the right mortgage lender is very important when buying a home. Pre-qualification is a must have at this stage – you need it in order to view homes in person and then submit an offer. Your agent will need to submit your pre-qualification letter along with your offer.
Search for Homes Now that you’re pre-qualified you can really get into the fun part of buying a home! You will work with your agent to search homes that meet your goals and criteria. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t find a home immediately – each showing gives you a chance to learn more about what you can get in your area at your price point. You’ll find a place to call home; buying a home is a process and can take some time.
Make an Offer and Negotiate Once you’ve found the home you’d like to buy, it’s time to make an offer. Shepherding you through offer, negotiations and closing is where great agents shine! When buying a home, sellers can counter your offer, inspections can reveal possible repairs, and you can suddenly find your budget at risk and maybe even question if this is the right home for you. Above all, stay calm and continue to communicate with everyone involved. Check your budget, your emotions, and your buying partner to make the next right steps.
Secure Your Financing You’re almost there – remember, your lender wants to ensure that this is a good move for everyone, so they will ask for very detailed information about income, the condition of the house, and your credit history. Providing accurate and timely responses keeps the process moving and gets you to your desired outcome the fastest.
Close the Deal The timing for closing can vary, but the average is 30-45 days. Typically, within 48 hours prior to closing, you’ll do a final walk-through to check that any agreed-to repairs are completed and that the home is in the expected condition. For the closing itself, you can expect to meet at a Title company with a representative from the title company (possibly an attorney), your lender (if local) and real estate agent to finalize the paperwork. The seller’s agent, and seller will most likely be present as well. During the closing all paperwork will be finalized, including: the deed, title, financial/funding, closing statements, insurance, contract, etc. At this point, you’re done with everything; you get the keys and you will be ready to move into YOUR new HOME!!