There are many steps in buying a home. While it may be intimidating to the first-time buyer, having a great realtor will be an asset to you during the home buying process. Take a look at a few of the main steps in buying a house. Be sure to check out our “Before You Buy” article to get an idea of the steps you need to take prior to this process.
Connect with a Realtor and Lender
Communicate with a number of different lenders before deciding on one. See if friends, family, or even Internet reviews can recommend a quality lender. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask during this process. Once you find a lender you are comfortable with, move ahead with the pre-approval process. Getting an approval will make a buyer more competitive, dramatically shortening the sales cycle.
Look for Your Future Home
Make a list of amenities you would like to have in your home. Categorize them as “must haves” and “nice to haves.” Consider the number of bedroom and bathrooms you need, as well as storage space, yard size, etc. With your list in mind, consider the neighborhood, schools, and distance from work. A good realtor will also help you identify areas with a favorable amount of home appreciation.
Submit an Offer
Once you’ve identified a house that aligns with your desires, submit an offer. With your realtor’s advice, price your offer according to comparable homes in the area. Sellers are often prepared to receive offers below selling price, so don’t be intimidated by the asking price. Don’t be surprised by counter offers from the seller. While you are free to make counter offers in kind, you want to avoid too much back and forth. Once the price is finalized, you’ll need to make an earnest money deposit in order to show the buyer you are committed to purchasing the home. This money will go towards your down payment once escrow is closed.
Get a Mortgage
At this point, you’ll want to consult with your lender again to determine which loan you’ll ultimately apply for. There are many different types of mortgages, but the most common are adjustable rate and fixed rate. Each kind of loan has its pros and cons, which can be beneficial for different situations. Discussing options with a lender will help you determine which loan is right for you.
Close your Home
Get a home inspection before you close your home. This will ensure that the property is in good condition and has a sound foundation. After you have had the home inspected, agree on a closing date. This can sometimes be a challenge as both seller and buyer may have some time constraints that need to be considered. Lastly, talk to your mortgage banker in order to anticipate any additional closing costs.
Once you’re done with the home buying process, get the keys to your new home!