When people ask us about what to expect when buying a home, we’re never quite sure how to answer. Because the home-buying experience is a little different for each person.
Some common emotions are joy, excitement, fear, worry, pride, hope, and many more. Sometimes all in one day.
We’ve helped home buyers through it all. We’ll be by your side as you feel all the feels.
We’re here to make the home-buying process as smooth and successful as possible for you.
While the experience may feel different to each person, there are 5 basic steps you can expect to take when buying a home:
Step 1: Determine What You Can Afford
This step requires knowing your finances. Not just how much you earn annually, but also your debt-to-income and how much you have available for a down payment.
Talk to a mortgage lender and get prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage.
Knowing what you can afford makes the process of finding your perfect home much easier because you can narrow your search to only homes that fit your financial situation.
Step 2: Find A Real Estate Agent You Like and Trust
Your real estate agent is an important partner to help you navigate the home-buying process. In addition to their ability to help you find the home you’ll love, they also have knowledge you don’t about negotiating offers and drawing up all the necessary papers to protect your interests. And there’s a LOT of paperwork involved in buying a home!
Best of all … as a home buyer, you don’t pay agent commissions. The seller pays the commission to both the selling agent and the buyer’s (your) agent.
Step 3: Find a Home and Make an Offer
This is the fun step. Touring through houses. Imagining yourself living there. Picturing your life in this new environment. Dreaming of the future.
This can also be a frustrating step if you don’t have the right real estate agent on your side. A good real estate agent can make your home search more efficient by getting you in to see homes when it’s most convenient for you or even helping you eliminate houses that don’t meet your criteria.
You can waste a lot of time checking out homes that aren’t in the right neighborhood, that cost too much, or that seem like a great deal but need more work and repair than you want to do before you can move in.
A good real estate agent, on the other hand, helps you find the right home for you as quickly and as painlessly as possible. And then they help you draw up the paperwork to make the offer to buy.
Step 4: Get a Home Inspection
The home inspection usually happens after the seller has accepted your offer. This is a critical step to make sure you know everything there is to know about the home that you want to buy, and your offer is generally contingent on the home inspection.
The home inspector will look for issues like structural damage, adequate plumbing and electrical systems, and anything on the property that needs repair.
Your real estate agent can then take the home inspection report and help you ask for any necessary repairs that need to be done before you close and take ownership of your new home.
Step 5: Finalize the Paperwork and Close the Sale
You’ll work with your mortgage lender to get the home appraised and your home loan finalized.
You’ll work with a title company to finalize official ownership paperwork.
Your hand is likely to be sore after all the papers you need to sign, but it is worth it!
Once everything is complete and the check is delivered to the seller, you’ll get the keys and be ready to move in!
We’re Here to Help
If you need further advice, we invite you to give us a call. We delight in helping you navigate the home-buying process.