Buying a home, especially your first home, can be overwhelming and confusing. You might be asking yourself: “How do I buy a house?” “Do I need a real estate agent?” “What is most important when buying a house?” Well, I am here to help answer these questions and give you an idea of what you can expect when buying a house.
- Choose a Realtor: Most sellers will interview different agents when selling their home. Many buyers don’t realize that they can do that too. Find an agent you will get along with and trust, feel confident in their knowledge of the market, area and houses. Then you will have someone in your corner, working for you in your best interest.
- Pre-Approval: Before you start looking at homes, in person, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will help you know how much you can spend. Based on your pre-approval numbers, you also can figure out how much you actually WANT to spend on a home.
- Home Search: The next step is signing a Buyer Representation Agreement (if it wasn’t completed in step one already) and setting up your home search with your agent. What are your musts and maybes? What are you willing to compromise on? They get looking through the home search emails and choose ones like enough to see in person.
- Choosing a Home: So, you picked the house! Now what? Once you have chosen a home that you would like to offer on your agent will send you comparable sales in the area so that you can decide on a fair price that you would like to offer for the home. Other things decided at this time are conditions to include in the offer and closing date. Then the agent will write the offer. Your offer will be presented to the sellers and they will decide if they want to accept your offer or sign it back. If they sign it back you will have the chance to accept their changes or not, and this negotiation will continue until both buyer and seller have come to an agreement.
- Offer is Accepted: That means Within 24hrs of acceptance your deposit is due, unless otherwise specified. Deposit amounts can range from $5,000 to $30,000+ depending on the price of the home and the market you are purchasing in and, because you have already submitted it, the deposit will be put against the amount owing on the home on closing day.
- Complete Conditions: Now that you have an accepted offer it is time to complete the conditions that were laid out in the offer. Most commonly this is home inspection and financing (Can also include: Lawyers review, Status certificate review, Sale of buyers property, etc.). I, like many realtors, have a list of home inspectors that they work with and whom they trust, that we would refer to you for your option to choose from. The home inspection appointment usually lasts between two to three hours.
- Firm Deal: Once all conditions have been met you will prepare for closing by choosing a lawyer (again, I have options I provide my clients with) and then a couple walk throughs that the buyer can have before closing. One of the walk throughs is usually saved for a few days before closing to inspect the home one final time to ensure that everything is in good working order and as it was when you purchased the home.
- Closing Day: The lawyers takes care of closing day. They will manage the transfer of funds, title, etc., and once all of that is complete, they will provide you with the keys your new home! Once you have the keys it is yours!
- Move in: Now, all that is left to do is move in!!! You made it through the sometimes stressful experience of buying a house and now you get to make it into a home!
I hope this helps answer some questions about how to buy a home. Whether it is your first time or your 10th time, I hope you find a home that helps you to be happy, comfortable and enjoy life even more!