If you’re thinking of moving in 2019, this nine-step home buying guide is for you.
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Thinking about everything that goes into buying a home may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry—our team is here to help. We’ve broken down the home buying process into nine simple steps:
1. Find a Realtor you can trust. Don’t hire the first Realtor you see on a yard sign. Instead, do your research on local agents and choose a professional who has the experience, knowledge, and resources necessary to guide your home buying experience.
2. Get pre-approved with a local lender. Doing this will not only help you better understand what you can afford, but it will also help you determine what kind of financing is best for your circumstances. Even if you’re paying with cash, you’ll still need to connect with a lender to request a proof-of-funds letter.
3. Have a consultation with your agent. Before beginning your search as a buyer, sit down with your Realtor and discuss the five must-have items you’re looking for in a home. When you walk into this meeting with that list already prepared, your agent will be much better equipped to point you in the right direction.
4. Start looking at homes. After you’ve completed the first three steps, it’s time to get out there and start checking out your options. Your agent will be happy to take you on a showing of each property, but it’s also a good idea to do some research on your own beforehand. You may find that after driving by a certain home, you’re no longer interested in it. After this, you and your agent will tour between three and five homes to see if any are a good fit. Seeing any more than this at one time can cause the options to bleed together in your mind.
“Don’t hire the first Realtor you see on a yard sign.”
5. Write up an offer. Once you’ve found the right home, you and your agent will draft an offer. The seller will more than likely counter it, but your agent should be more than capable of navigating through the negotiation process.
6. Provide an earnest money deposit. Assuming your offer was accepted and you’ve gone under contract, the next step is to submit an earnest money deposit. This deposit shows the seller that you are serious about the purchase. Better yet, the money will later be applied toward your down payment if the deal goes through as planned.
7. Order an inspection. Home inspections are designed to identify any structural, mechanical, or safety issues in the property. The buyer can then request repairs based on the findings.
8. Order an appraisal. While home inspections are meant to assess a home’s condition, an appraisal is meant to assess its value. Verifying what the home is worth with a professional appraiser is crucial, especially if you’re using a loan.
9. Wait for the underwriter’s “clear to close.” Assuming everything goes as planned, the underwriter will approve the buyer to proceed to closing. Then, after you’ve signed a few dozen papers, the home is yours.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.