Home Buying – Your Step By Step Guide
Home buying can be a complicated and scary process, especially for first time home buyers. We are here to make it easy and walk you through the process. This is a basic step by step home buying checklist of what you should expect throughout the home buying process. Follow our blog and we’ll detail out each step of this process in future posts.
- Decide to Buy – The first step is making a decision that it’s time to buy. If you’re in a good financial position and plan to stay in one place for at least 3 years, it may be your time.
- Select a Real Estate Agent – A good agent will walk you through step by step, and help you find other professionals (lenders, inspectors, title companies, etc) throughout the process. They will listen to your needs and wants, educate you about the market, negotiate for you, and advise you all the way. This one is critical.
- Select a Lender – Your lender is another critical person in your home buying process. They can advise you on available loan programs and help you determine how much you can spend. A great lender is one who can give you a good explanation and respond in a reasonable time frame.
- Obtain Loan Preapproval – Give your lender your financial info and make sure you are qualified before you shop.
- Analyze Your Needs – Meet with your agent and discuss what you want in a home, your price range, and the location you prefer, and your agent will start sending you properties meet your criteria.
- House Showings – Pick some properties you want to see and have your agent set up the showings. Visit these properties with your agent and hopefully you’ll fall in love with a great home.
- Make An Offer – At this point, ask your agent to look at recent comparable sales to determine a good value and write an offer.
- Negotiate Terms – After the initial offer there will often be a series of counter offers until the buyer and seller agree on terms. Everything is negotiable.
- Accepted Contract – Once the buyer and seller both sign off on the same terms, a home is considered “under contract”. At this point you work on lining everything else up to move towards a closing.
- Obtain Home Owners Insurance – Your lender will require you to get a home owners insurance policy lined up before they give you a loan commitment and fund your loan.
- Remove Contingencies – Most contracts have contingencies such as; inspections, financing, appraisal, etc. Your agent will help you step through these contingencies and work out any issues that arise.
- Settlement Statement – Your agent and lender will coordinate details with the title company to get you to arrive at a final settlement statement. This will tell you how much money you need to bring to closing.
- Closing Day – Closing is the process of signing loan documents and title transfer documents. It is at this point that you actually take over ownership. Your lender will send funds to the title company for your loan amount. You will need to bring a cashier’s check for what is due on the settlement statement, and the sellers will give you your keys to your new house!
- Move In – Finally, you get to take possession and move in! Or you get to paint, remodel, or do whatever else you planned on doing before moving into the property.