Steps to Buying Your Home

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, up-sizing from a condo to a house, or downsizing – buying a new home is an exciting time.  But it can sometime be a long and unnerving process if you haven’t been through the home-buying process before .  Our agents are here to help make purchasing your home as seamless as possible.  Here are 10 steps we’ve identified to buying your home:

1. Getting the Pre-Approval

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is one of the best steps you can take before looking for your new home.  Having a pre-approval letter helps identify how much home you can afford, shows sellers you’ve done your prep work when you are ready to make an offer, and could even go as far as giving you an advantage over competing offers.

2. Loan Application

While pre-approval is the first step, you will also have to complete a loan application, which will pull your credit rating and history.  This will help determine how you can finance your home.  Timeliness in providing requested materials and other information is important to help with a quick approval and smooth buying process.  A word to the wise… now is not a time to make any other large purchases like a new car.

3. Finding ‘The One’

If you haven’t already, now is the time to identify the ‘must-haves’ for your new home.  Things to consider are the age of the home, move-in ready vs. fixer upper, location, area amenities, etc.  Once you have your list, talk with your REALTOR®.  They will identify homes they think you’ll like, set up showing times and when you’re ready, negotiate the sale, set up additional appointments, confirm closing date, and help you get ready to purchase your new home.

You might also enjoy our tips for a happy house hunt.

4. Lock In Your Rate

Once the offer on your new home has been accepted, and your loan application is complete and up-to-date with any new information, it’s time to discuss your interest rate with your loan officer.

5. Insurance

Your offer has been accepted, loan application sent for approval, now you need to protect your new investment with home insurance.  Mortgage companies require you to have fire and hazard insurance.  You may also be required to have flood insurance if your new home is in a flood zone.

6. Inspections

Inspections are a huge part of the home buying process.  You can expect to have a whole house inspection, radon test, pest inspection, and possibly a septic inspection.  Your REALTOR® will be able to help you identify area inspectors and set up appointments.

7. Appraisal

The appraisal helps mortgage companies justify the price you are paying for your new home.  If the home happens to appraise for a lower amount than the purchase price, you may be able to renegotiate your purchase price.

8. Abstract

The abstract is essentially a historical record of each property.  This also confirms that the property is clear of any liens.  Once all of the liens are clear, an attorney will confirm the transfer of title to the new property owner.

9. Processing + Underwriting

Once all of the information is received and loan documents are filled out, the mortgage request is given a final review by a loan processor and underwriter.  Once they have made the final decision to approve, your loan is granted and the closing date and location are set.  Now it’s time to start packing!

10. Closing Time

The final documents have been approved and signed, now it’s time to finally close on your new home.  At the closing, be prepared to bring a check or certified check for closing costs. Don’t forget your ID!

If you have any questions about the home buying process, please reach out to any of our agents!  We’re here to make buying and selling your home as seamless as possible.

Download our 10 Steps To Buying printable version.