Home Buying Steps
Buying a house requires a lot of time and effort, but these steps can help make the home buying process manageable and help you make the best decisions possible.
Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how much you can spend. The best way is to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker. Your lender will review this information and tell you how much they can lend you. This will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at.
Select Agent & Search for Property
Real estate agents are important partners when buying or selling a home. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area can be extremely valuable. The buyer does not pay a fee for an agent, the agent is compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house. With a great professional by your side, it’s time to go house hunting. Have your agent start a custom search for you. Your real estate agent can help navigate the market to find exactly what you’re looking for in a new home.
After you have found your home, your real estate agent will help you decide how much money you want to offer for the house, along with any conditions you want to ask for. Your agent will then present the offer to the seller's agent; the seller will either accept your offer or issue a counteroffer. You can then accept, or continue to go back and forth until you either reach a deal or decide not to accept a deal.
Due Diligence & Inspections
After you reach an agreement, you'll make a good-faith deposit and the process then transitions into Due Diligence. Due Diligence is a short period of time during which the seller takes the house off the market with the contractual expectation that you will buy the home, provided you don't find any serious problems with it when you inspect it.
You will then have the home inspected. If you find serious problems with the home during the inspection, you’ll have an opportunity to ask the seller to fix it, have the seller pay for you to have it fixed, or cancel the contract.
Final Walk Through & Closing
Before you sign your closing papers you should walk through the property. You want to make sure that no damage has occurred since your last home inspection, required fixes have been executed by the seller, no new problems are found, and nothing has been removed that is included in the purchase agreement.
Closing is the last thing to do in the home-buying process. This is when you sign the paperwork the lender requires, pay your closing costs and collect your keys.
Closing costs for buyers vary depending on your loan. Your lender should tell you beforehand how much you need to cover the various fees required to finalize your loan.