Congratulations on the decision to purchase a home! You’ve made the first step, now what?
- Consult your Realtor. Don’t have a Realtor? Email me. I have an extensive network of excellent Realtors with whom I’d be happy to put you in touch.
- Speak with a lender. Your Realtor may require that you’re pre-approved before going to look at homes. Why? Two reasons. First, falling in love with a beautiful home only to find that it’s unrealistic stinks! Second, in a strong market, often sellers require buyers be pre-approved. We don’t want you to miss out on your dream home because you had to wait till Monday to get pre-approved and could not submit an offer.
- Start the search! In looking at homes, the more honest you are in discussing your likes and dislikes, the better your Realtor will be able to meet your needs.
- You’ve found the home!
- Offer to Purchase. Your Realtor will discuss your price, terms, and conditions and will submit an offer to purchase.
- Negotiations. If your offer is accepted, you skip the negotiations step. If the seller presents a counter offer, you and your Realtor will discuss the counter and negotiate until an agreement is reached.
- Offer accepted! Or go back to #3, but hopefully not!
- Due Diligence period begins. Your agent will help you coordinate inspections, a survey, obtaining insurance, selecting a closing attorney, and applying for a loan (if not a cash offer). The lender will order an appraisal, the closing attorney will complete a title search, the loan application will go to underwriting, and be approved or declined.
- Negotiate repairs. Negotiate any repairs that came up during the inspection, survey, or appraisal.
- Schedule a closing date
- Final Walkthrough
- Closing day! Deed is recorded, possession is transferred, the home is yours! Congratulations!
This may sound complicated, but a good Realtor with clear communication and expectations can make this a relatively painless process. After closing, your Realtor can be a wealth of information about anything from a good lawn service to restaurant recommendations to maximizing your renovation budget. You just need to ask!