1. Decide to buy a home.
That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Yet, so many of us are really “just looking” rather than seriously considering changing the location of our home. Why is it that you want to find a new home? Has your lifestyle changed enough to warrant this type of investment? Until you identify your NEEDS and your WANTS, you’ll find it very hard to find just the right home for you.
2. Find a great real estate consultant.
Once you’ve decided to buy a home, find a great real estate consultant. What you’re looking for is a Buyer’s Agent. This means that the consultant represents YOU as the buyer, rather than the person selling the home. They will have YOUR best interests at heart.
Really good consultants know their markets, and will help you find the best
match for your needs and wants. They can also recommend mortgage brokers with whom they’ve worked in the past.
3. Secure financing.
If possible, get “pre-approved” for a loan in the amount you’re willing to borrow. With this pre-approval, you’re in a stronger position to buy a home when you’re ready – rather than finding your dream home, only to lose it to another buyer, because you were waiting on the approval.
4. Find your dream home.
Now that you have your “wish list,” your consultant, and your “pre-approval” in hand, go forth and find yourself a home.
As you go through homes, make sure to keep the listing notes of yourimpressions of the house, and a photo (if possible) in a notebook, so you can remember all the homes you’ve seen.
5. Make a written offer and negotiate the price.
Once you find your home, work through your consultant to make an offer. Typically your first offer is going to be lower than the listing price. Listen to your consultant; they’re representing you and know what homes have sold for in that neighborhood. Rarely will the seller accept this first offer, so they’ll counter with another price. Back and forth you’ll go until you settle on a price. (This is where the consultant is really using their expertise).
6. Open an escrow account.
Once you and the seller have agreed on a price through
your consultant, you’ll open an escrow account. What this does is put a “good faith deposit” in a third party’s hands, to demonstrate that you’re serious about buying this home. Many buyers offer five to 10% of the selling price of the home.
7. Have an inspection.
The home inspection is to protect you from buying a home that may have serious hidden structural problems or defects.
8. Sign the final documents, get the key and move into your new home.
Finally! The home has been inspected, you’ve cleared the title to the property, and you’ve “closed” on the deal. All you have to do now is move in. Don’t forget to put out the welcome mat!