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Quick Guide to Buying a Home

  1. Choose an Agent

Having a real estate agent working for you is an invaluable tool. They are licensed professionals who have access to information that the general public does not. A great buyer’s agent will be a market expert, be skilled in locating homes that will suit your needs, and will have a higher level of negotiating skills in your market.

The great thing is, the seller pays all real estate commissions in a home sale, so working with a real estate agent won’t cost you a thing.

  1. Find a Lender

With so many options in the mortgage industry, finding a lender that you can trust can be a daunting task. It is important to work with a lender that is knowledgeable in the real estate process and can guide you through the mortgage related tasks involved with purchasing a home.

Reach out to your Real Estate Agent for suggestions with selecting your lender. Most agents have a list of preferred lenders that they have had previous experience working with.

  1. Get Pre- Approved

Once you find a lender, it’s time to apply for pre-approval.  Your lender will check your credit and expect you to provide financial documents.  Some documents that they may require are pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns.

This process will give you a better idea of what home you can afford based on your budget.

  1. Create Home Wish List

This is where the fun begins!  Start making a list of needs and wants for your future home.  Some criteria to consider are desired area, square footage, and lot size.

Work with your real estate agent to narrow down the interior and exterior features that you desire in your home.  Don’t forget to be mindful of the market conditions, make your wish list with your budget in mind.

  1. Search Local MLS Listings with your Agent/Realtor®

Once you have an idea of the home that you are looking for, it’s time for your agent to begin searching for your perfect home.

Your real estate agent will be able to set up a recurring search that meets your criteria. This will give them the ability to send listings that have been on the market and new listings that come onto the market.

  1. Make an Offer

Now that you have found the home you have been searching for, it is time to make an offer! Your agent will guide you through this process by helping you determine how much to offer and what contingencies you may or may not want to include.

A comparative market analysis (CMA), run by your agent, will allow you to see what similar homes in that area have sold for recently.

Once you have submitted your offer, you will begin the negotiating process with the seller.  During this process, it is important to look at the bigger picture and not just the final offer price.

Click below to view a sample copy of the Standard Offer to Purchase and Contract Form.

  1. Complete Due Diligence

The due diligence period is the opportunity you have to thoroughly inspect the property while in escrow. Allow your real estate agent to guide you through this process to avoid as many hiccups as possible.

Some common arrangements made during due diligence include… conducting evaluations, appraisals, examinations, inspections, surveys, and various other tests.

  1. Complete Loan Requirements

The typical escrow period is 30-45 days. During this period, you will be asked by your lender to complete a few tasks before closing.

Some of these tasks may include… obtaining homeowners insurance quotes, providing additional documentation for processing, and discussing loan terms and closing information.

  1. Attend the Closing

During closing, you will be signing all the necessary paperwork to complete the purchase transaction. Once the paperwork is signed, the deed is recorded, and the funds are received by the seller, you will be ready to move into your new home!