If you are thinking of buying a home, take the time to speak to a Realtor®. I am a planner so I can appreciate getting a timeline and not biting off more than I can chew. I have a list of questions I ask that help you assess where your comfort level is for this big ticket item. Resolving that question definitely will make the process easy and enjoyable. I do the homework, so you can enjoy the home!
Nine Steps to Buying A House
Step 1 and 2 – Decide If You’re Ready To Buy And Hire A Realtor®
Let me start by saying there are more (way more) than nine steps to buying a house but, the purpose of this post is to give home buyers a general overview of the process. There’s no blog post or infographic in the world that can replace the expertise of a local Realtor® and once you’re decided you’re ready to buy a house the very next step is to find an agent that is highly recommende, actively representing buyers, and someone who you feel comfortable with. Talk with friends and co-workers about their buying experience and if they had a great one ask for their agents contact info. If you aren’t sure if you’re ready you can always reach out to an agent and talk with them, get your questions answered and then make a decision.
Step 3- Get Pre-Approved
Some buyers miss this step and end up very disappointed when they have gone out and toured homes in a price range they end up not qualifying for. Determine your buying power in advance to avoid wasting time seeing homes you can’t get approved for. Ask your agent for lender recommendations, having the right lender is a key part of successfully purchasing a home.
Step 4 – Tour Homes
With the help of your agent locating available listings that match what you’re looking for you’ll then decide which homes you want to see in person. 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.
Step 5 – Choose The Home That Fits Your Needs
Decision decisions! Making the decision that it’s the home for you is a big one – most buyers just know when it’s the one but, that doesn’t mean a lot of thought and consideration don’t go into making an offer – they do. Your agent will be able to provide you with recent comps to review and guide you on how to structure the offer.
Step 6 – Negotiation
The amount of negotiation that occurs varies on every contract. In most cases price, contingencies, and settlement date will all be negotiating factors. Your agent will handle the communication and you’ll work together on the terms to be presented.
Step 7 – Secure Your Financing
You’re pre-approved, found the right house, have a ratified contract, and now it’s time to get your loan fully approved. Be prepared to submit extensive financial documentation, it’s a tedious process but, with the right lender will go very smoothly.
Step 8 – Fulfill Contract Contingencies
Contracts vary from state to state and you’ll need the help of your agent to navigate the deadlines. Home inspection, radon, financing, and appraisal contingencies are all very common. Each one has a deadline that needs to be met in order for the contract to continue moving forward. You also might have a review period for HOA or condo resale documents depending on where you’re buying.
Step 9 – Settlement
You’ve made it to the day of settlement! You’ll likely have a final walk through before closing, and as a buyer you’ll be signing lots of paperwork to officially purchase the home. Settlement is a very exciting day and all the preparation and hard work comes full circle when you officially become a home owner!