Purchasing a home is an exciting and important investment. I will help you navigate the process and celebrate with you at closing!
Contact me to start the search for your dream home! If you're not ready to buy yet, still saving, or just curious about what it involves, give me a call. You can learn more about the process and find links to more resources below.
Steps to Buying Your FIrst Home
Whether you are thinking about placing an offer on a house this weekend, or next year, here are the steps from making the decision to buy through closing.
1. Choose a REALTOR®
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As your agent, I will work for you, to answer questions, tell you what to expect, explain market trends, help you narrow down your search, and find a home. I will show you homes, do research on properties you are interested in, write offers, schedule inspections, negotiate price, repairs, or credits, and my services are free to you, as my commission is paid by the seller.
2. Get pre-approved from a mortgage lender
You'll want to do this before you start house hunting. They will look at your finances and help you find out what you can afford, how much you need to save if you're not ready now, and what loans and programs you qualify for. This will let you narrow your search to what's realistic for you.
3. Decide on the kind of home you are looking for
Consider the differences between a single-family home, a condo, in the city, the suburbs, move-in ready, fixer, and other housing options. Talk these over with me, I will answer your questions about the pros and cons of the options you're considering
4. Prioritize your wants and needs
Make a list of what features you are looking for and what you want to avoid. Easy categories are "Must Haves", "Bonus Points For", and "Deal Breakers". If you are purchasing the home with someone else, have them make a list separately and compare, combine, and edit. The goal is to identify what you like, without being too picky, and find out what is really important to you.
5. Start your search
While Redfin and Zillow are great search tools, and lists are easily shared with your partner, family, friend, etc... As a REALTOR® I subscribe to access of the regional multiple listings service (RMLS) and have search tools that are often more accurate, more timely, and include private remarks or information from the listing agent that may be important for a buyer's agent to know. I will also provide you curated daily updates of available homes that meet your search criteria, and do in depth research on the properties you are most interested in.
6. Make an offer
Purchasing a home is a transaction that involves heavy negotiations. I will help you determine what a strong, appropriate initial offer would be and prepare a sales contract to present to the seller. The components of your offer will be:
The price you are offering to pay
A legal description of the property
Your down payment, earnest money amount, and mortgage amount
Type of financing you are seeking
Any contingencies you might have
Any personal property to be bought with the home
A closing date
A possession date
The date the offer expires
7. Counter Offers
A seller may decide they want to negotiate, and they will make a counter offer with different price or terms. We can accept or counter back and forth until an agreement is made or not.
Once your offer is accepted, your have an inspection period (~10 business days) during which, you will hire (at your cost) a professional home inspector to look over the home and generate a detailed report about the condition it is in. There are many types of inspections that you can have done, and some buyers even waive their right to inspections. We will go over what your options are and what they say when they come back. After, a seller may adjust the purchase price or sales contract terms if major problems are found. Or, you may decide not to purchase the home.
An appraisal is ordered by your lender. A licensed, professional appraiser will estimate the value of the property you are purchasing.
10. obtain Homeowner's insurance
I recommend buyers get multiple quotes, but get one from their current car insurance company first, as there is often a discount for bundling them together. Your lender will most likely be bundling your insurance and property taxes into your monthly mortgage payments. This is easiest, and most lenders prefer it.
11. Do a final walk-through
We will do a final walk through of your home a few days before closing to make sure it's in the condition agreed upon with the seller.
Many first time buyers aren't prepared for closing costs. A good number to prepare for is 3% of the purchase price amount. These are in addition to your down payment. They include taxes, recording fees, title insurance and more. A few days before closing you'll get the exact amount and will provide the title company with wire instructions or you'll need to get a cashier's check for the exact amount.
That's it! You just bought a home, Congratulations!
As your buyer's agent, I will be with you from the start of your search through signing your closing docs and handing over the keys to your new home!
START house hunting with me
If you are ready to start your search, or have more questions about the process, give me a call, email or fill out the form below, and you'll hear from me soon.