If you’re looking to buy your home, it’s important to brush up on the real estate process!
The home buying process is very involved. No matter how many times you’ve had the opportunity to purchase a home, or whether you’re a first time home buyer, it can be simply confusing. We’ve compiled a list that may help clarify the steps of the home buying process and give you an idea of the real estate procedures involved:
1. Look into your finances.
Before you start looking at houses, you need a clear idea of what fits into your budget. You first want to check if you have good enough credit, and you can do this with a credit report. Usually a good credit score for a mortgage begins in the 600s to 700s.
Everyone’s financial needs are individual, so take a comprehensive view of your monthly and annual budget and see what price range is in accordance with this. Once you know the kind of mortgage you can afford, come up with the price range that will fit best into your budget.
2. Conduct preliminary research.
After deducing the price range of houses you can afford, it will be easier to come up with a better idea of what will fit your needs. You can then start researching the housing market in your area and going to open houses to get a taste of what kind of homes in your price range are available.
3. Find the real estate agent that’s right for you.
Once you’ve done sufficient research and have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to find your right-hand man. Buying a home is an involved and at times exhausting process, so you want to make sure you have the right agent to help you.
The right real estate agent will make you comfortable and heard. Invest some time in research, referrals, and online reviews. Even though it may be a process, have faith in the wealth of information at your fingertips that will point you in the right direction. Interview agents, narrow it down to the right one, and you’ve got your partner in crime.
Once you’ve communicated the kind of home you’re looking for, you and your agent should reach a consensus on how to move forward in this process.
4. Get pre-approved for a loan.
As with a real estate agent, you’ll want to research and compare licensed and qualified lenders in your area. After assessing your credit score and financial standing, the lender will decide how much they are willing to lend you.
This step is important because it gives you a competitive advantage over buyers who are not pre-approved for a loan.
5. Look at homes.
Your agent should work with you in finding listings that are in line with what you’re looking for. You can tour these homes and note which ones pop out at you and which ones don’t make the cut. Even this part is great research, because as you walk through homes you’ll get a refined sense of what you want and what will realistically fit your needs.
6. Make an offer.
Once you’ve found the right home, your agent will work with you to make the most reasonable offer for you, including any contingencies you want to include. (For more information about contingencies, click here). Depending on the response, you either negotiate with the seller on their counteroffer or (if they decline) move on to looking at more homes.
7. Addressing contingencies.
Assuming the seller has accepted your offer, you’ve probably put money down before you and the seller address any contingencies in your offer. This might include a home inspection, which is a comprehensive professional examination of a home.
Take advantage of home inspections and ask your inspector to look at any problems you might have with the home. What you discover at this point may be crucial negotiating points, and you might find that you have more confidence in your decision after this inspection.
Once contingencies in your contract have been addressed, you can make the final steps to acquiring your home.
8. Get insurance and set up your new home.
You will want to protect your new property with insurance, so inform your insurance provider of the big move or find a provider if you don’t already have one. Let utilities companies know when you’re moving in to make the move go smoother!
You read and sign the documents that tell you exactly when the title (ownership) has been transferred to you. Grab the keys, and it’s yours!
We hope these steps clarify the home buying process for you! Curious what we can do for you? Check out our Buyer Representation page for more info!