Congratulations on the taking the first step toward buying a home! As an experienced real estate broker and buyer specialist, I can assist you through the entire process of buying a home, starting with finding out your specific needs and desires and continuing right through closing – and beyond.
Here are the steps:
Get pre-approved for a loan
You should be pre-approved for a loan as early as possible in the buying process as possible. Unbelievably, in this post housing bubble period, almost 20% of all deals fall apart these days in part because of an inability to obtain a mortgage. As a result, sellers want to see a pre-approval letter attached right to the offer to purchase to ensure you are a serious buyer. You also don’t want to waste a whole bunch of time looking for a house in the wrong price range. This will also help speed up your closing process once you do find your dream home. If you aren’t working with a lender you like and trust, we would be happy to recommend lenders with whom we have excellent working relationships.
What home and neighborhood features are important to you?
Once you know what you can afford, you can look seriously at the neighborhoods that offer the amenities you desire. This is also the time to decide what kind of house you need. How many bedrooms and bathrooms are a necessity? Do you prefer a newer home or an older one? Big yard or no yard at all? Every situation is different — decide what is non-negotiable and what is nice but not necessary and start paring down. We have a buyer’s questionnaire that puts all these questions in one place to make it easy. When you schedule a buyer consult with us, we will email one to you to get your thought process started. If you can’t complete it ahead of time, we go through it at the consult with you.
Start looking at homes with your agent
This is the fun part. We will send you listings of homes that meet your criteria, and you can choose which ones you want to see. We set up all the appointments for you, and together we review the homes and talk about the pros and cons of each. If none of them fit the bill, we wait and go out again when new possibilities appear on the market. There is no pressure to decide right away.
Make an offer
When you’ve identified the home you want to buy, we do encourage you to proceed with an offer as quickly as possible. We will doublecheck what comparable houses have recently sold for and, based on circumstance surrounding the sale, we will help you come up with the best negotiation strategy that will allow you to get an accepted offer at the best price.
Once your offer is accepted
Once your offer is accepted, things start to happen fast and it can get stressful. You need to pay earnest money, get a home inspection, get homeowner’s insurance, work with the bank to get final financing approval, and walk through the house one more time before close. We keep track of all these deadlines for you, and help you check these contingencies off the list and get to closing day in the smoothest way possible. The only thing we don’t help with are the moving arrangements.
The day before closing day, we will make sure that you have the closing statement, and that all your questions are answered. Then we will remind you to get that cashier’s check and bring your driver’s license and checkbook to the close. We will meet you there, and make sure you walk out with the keys.
Enjoy your new home!