The Home Buying Process. This is a very simplified outline of what happens. For a more detailed summary, visit Eight Steps to Buying a Home. We will provide a step by step flow chart of the process and keep you updated each and every step of the way.
Find a Realtor®: Search online for a local Realtor® or talk to your friends and family to see if they can refer someone they know and trust.
Select your lender & Get pre-approved. Find a lender you want to work with and find out how much home you can afford. In our market, sellers typically won’t even look at an offer without a pre-approval letter attached. With homes selling quickly, you can’t wait to get pre-approved. You’ll also want to be certain you’ve compared lenders for fees and rates, because once you go under contract, you won’t have time to change lenders and comply with the strict timelines in the contract.
Find a home: Your Realtor® can help you find an existing home or assist you in having a builder build you a new one.
Make an offer: Your Realtor® will help you negotiate the best price and terms for your new home and complete an Offer to Purchase & Contract to buy the home.
Offer accepted: Arrive at a mutually agreed upon price and terms with the home seller.
Get a home inspection and any other needed inspections: After you select a home and your offer is accepted, you should hire a licensed home inspector. Your Realtor® can recommend a licensed home inspector that will check the property you want to buy for potential problems. The inspector will check the roof, plumbing, electrical systems, appliances, etc. They will make recommendations for repairs that you can ask the seller to fix prior to closing, but keep in mind, all homes are sold as-is, and the seller isn’t required to fix anything. If the inspector finds a serious issue with the home that you can not live with, you can generally stop your purchase of the home during the “Due Diligence Period”. A home inspection is not required; it is only to protect you from buying a home with issues you may not be aware of. You must pay the home inspector and any other inspector for their services out of pocket at the time of inspection.
Get an appraisal: If you finance your home an appraisal will be required by the bank. Your lender will hire an appraiser to determine the value of the home you want to purchase. The home should appraise for an amount equal to or greater than your offer. If it does not appraise for the amount you offered to buy the house for, you can ask the seller to lower the price or you may pay the difference out of pocket. You cannot choose your own appraiser, the appraiser is selected at random to ensure a non-biased result. The appraisal fee is collected by the lender at the time of loan application, you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket.
Shop for homeowners insurance: Homeowners insurance is required when you finance a home, and is always recommended for all homeowners. It protects your home from fire, vandalism, and theft. Just like any other insurance, rates fluctuate from company to company so it’s important to shop around. Many companies offer discounts for having multiple policies such as home and auto. Homeowners insurance can be paid for out of pocket or included in your closing expenses. You’ll need this taken care of at least 10 days before settlement.
Close on your new home: After all these steps, you are ready to close on your new home and GET YOUR NEW KEYS!