Top Ten Steps to Buying a Home
Buying a home is hard, but if you follow these steps it can be a breeze. Not all homes are created equal so some steps may take longer than others. Be diligent with all information and paperwork. This will guarantee your home for years to come!
1. Hire A Real Estate Agent
Preferably a Verbode Agent! All kidding aside there are many important documents and decisions to make when buying a home. It is nice to have an expert help you make the best decisions easier. Paperwork is important to a new home owner. If you do not know all the steps and where to sign, you will likely feel lost. The best Agent for you will be the agent that has the most expertise in the Neighborhood you want to live in.
2. Get Pre-Qualified For A Loan
You need to make sure you can pay for a new home before you start the process in buying one. Make sure to check your personal credit and ask your Agent for Mortgage Brokerage Referral. Once you have been pre-approved make sure you feel comfortable with the amount you will pay per month.
3. Start Your Home Search
Put a list together of the must have’s in a home. This list will help your Agent find the best fit for you. The list should have a general area with a few neighborhoods. Next the style and size of home you are looking for. Take into account how many bedrooms and bathrooms your family needs. The Agent can then find homes in those areas that meet your parameters. Tell the Agent to inform you of any open houses coming up in that area. If you have a specific house you really want to see, have your Agent set up a showing.
4. Research Select Homes
When you have narrowed your search down to a few homes, you and your Agent need to research the recent transactions in that area. Find out what homes have sold that are similar in size and location. Check the amount of time the homes have been on the market. This will give you perspective on the next step.
5. Make An Offer
Have your Agent collect all needed information in order to make a comfortable offer for you that will also be reasonable to the seller. Days on market, location and condition will be factors you use to make an offer. It is important note that there will be other offers and maybe even a counter offer from the seller.
6. Earnest Money Deposit
Once the offer is accepted, you will need to set up an earnest money deposit with an appropriate party. This check will not be made out to the seller. This is important in the case you cancel the contract. Your offer needs to have a contingency built-in in order to get your money back.
7. Escrow, Title, Appraisal & Disclosures
This step is the basic needs for any transaction. You will need to ask your Agent or the transaction coordinator to order escrow and title. Your lender and insurance agent will need this information. Then order an appraisal which your lender will require advanced payment for. Sellers are required to disclose anything that may need to be know by the buyer. This includes inspections and title policy.
8. Safeguard Your Home
Home insurance is a must. Get ahead of the curve and order one early. This is also the best time to get the home inspected. The inspector should make a list. You and your agent should be in attendance for this step. Once inspections are done, you will need to request repairs if there are any needed. This can be done by the seller or they can give you credit toward repairing after your purchase.
9. Remove, Walk-Through & Loan
Make sure the appraisal has been accepted and that your loan is firm. You can then remove any contingencies on the loan. Go on a final walk-through of the home in order to make sure it is in the condition you agreed on. Address any serious issues before you close. It is now time to sign your loan and escrow documents.
10. Deposit & Close
Create a certified check made out to escrow. These funds can be wired to your bank, unless of course you want to wait in a bank line. Once money is in the right place, your property deed, seller’s reconveyance and deed of trust will be put in public records. You will then be notified by title when this is done. After all that, you have your new home!