for Home Buyers
is power, and now that you’re
ready to buy your new home, this
handy 10-step guide takes you through
the entire home buying process.
Taking a few minutes now will help
you make the right decisions later.
1 - What am I looking for?
The first step on your venture is
to ask yourself what you want. Write
down what you want, like, need and
why, in order of priority. Unless
you have an endless supply of cash,
buying a home is often a series
2 - Choosing a Location
Let a qualified Real Estate professional
who knows the ins and outs of the
surrounding towns help you narrow
down your choices as he or she shares
with you the current market trends
and neighborhood advantages.
you have decided on a few neighborhoods,
compare what you get in one town
3 - Mortgage Qualification and Pre-Approval
Get Pre-Approved for a mortgage.
Just five years ago, everyone told
you to get pre-Qualified. Today,
a top Real Estate professional wouldn't
even look at an offer unless the
potential buyer was Pre-Approved.
The reason is simple. Pre-qualified
means someone has told the seller
that you can afford a home and then
a piece of paper is written out
to confirm this. Meanwhile being
pre-approved means a person has
an approved mortgage subject to
an appraisal of the property. Another
reason the industry has changed
to pre-approval is the time it takes
to get pre-approved. Five years
ago, it could have taken you up
to 45 days to get pre-approved.
Today is can be done in under an
hour, in many cases.
Pre-approval process accomplishes
two main objectives. It lets you
know how much of a house you can
afford and what your monthly payments
would be. It also lets the seller
know that you can afford to buy
their home, providing you with leverage
during the negotiating process.
4 - Looking for a Home
Preview a number of houses online
to get an idea of what your dollar
can buy in a particular neighborhood.
This will also help you save time
by cutting out homes that don't
meet your specifications. In order
to do a true comparison, make sure
you are looking at comparable homes.
Is the property tax approximately
the same? Are both the houses renovated?
Do they both have the same amount
of bedrooms and bathrooms? Are both
houses located on the same or similar
streets? Does either house have
you have narrowed down your options,
it's time for a look inside.
5 - Touring Homes
Look at the home and keep an open
mind. Look at what it could be.
If it doesn't have that master bath
but has the room to put one in and
is priced at a level where you could
put one in. Today some mortgages
allow for upgrades remodeling and
additions. It could become the perfect
home. An experienced Real Estate
Professional will have the know
how to help you out in this regard.
don't be as concerned about the
condition or age of the appliances
in the house. Many of these items
can be covered with a Home Protection
Plan. A Home Protection Plan is
a policy that insures the major
appliances and components of a home.
Every policy is different. Read
it carefully so that you understand
what is and what is not covered
and at what price. A home protection
plan can be obtained by either a
person selling a home or by you,
the buyer. If you are worried about
the possibility of paying a large
bill during the first year after
buying a home, a Home Protection
Plan could be just the right choice.
6 - Making an Offer
Get an updated market analysis.
In today's Real Estate market, even
one with information a few weeks
old can be outdated. When doing
a market analysis on the Internet,
make sure the information is up
to date. Also, keep in mind that
the inside of the house - whether
or not it is renovated etc. - could
make a major difference in the price.
Only your local Real Estate Professional
who has been inside the homes in
the area will have up to date information.
7 - Negotiating the Offer
This is a very difficult and trying
time since both parties have totally
different goals. In most cases it
is better to have a third party,
such as a Real Estate professional,
negotiate the offer and seek the
win - win.
you have any interaction with the
homeowner, don't give out any information
about your move, your current housing
status, financial status or your
feelings about their property -
positive or negative. This could
hurt you in future negotiations.
may want to review the Selling process.
It may give you some additional
8 - After the Offer is Accepted
After your offer is accepted you
will then need to set up, coordinate
and interpret various inspections:
insect, radon, building quality,
oil tank, title, etc. You will also
need to arrange for homeowners insurance
and finalize the mortgage. This
is a major step in the Real Estate
process. There are many potential
problems with a house that can be
discovered during this process like
a roof leak, radon gas, insect damage,
foundation problem, wall cracks
etc. These problems happen all the
time. The difference between closing
on your dream house and starting
the process all over again is the
negotiations that happen between
you and the seller. Since you still
have different goals and since the
seller has a separate agenda, you
may need to have a partner or agent.
most states you also have the option
of a walk through. This is your
last chance to make sure that all
of the items that you have agreed
upon were completed correctly and
to your satisfaction. When a true
win-win has been established this
is an enjoyable process. Sometimes
you will even find additional items
were left for you - a workbench
in basement or the swings in the
back yard. On the other hand, if
a seller feels like it wasn't a
win - win you could see plants uprooted,
and doorknobs changed.
9 - The Close
Bringing it all together means staying
on top of all of the people involved
in the closing process. Making sure
that they did their job, correctly,
and on time. If the mortgage, title
work, homeowners insurance and other
items that may be necessary under
local and state laws are not completed
and brought to the closing table,
the closing may not happen on time.
Depending on what the contract says,
this could result in further action.
You could lose your rights to the
house or/and incur financial penalties.
10 - Making the House your Home
Once you have closed and before
you move in you may want to do certain
things. Arrange for an alarm system,
turn on the electricity, subscribe
to the local paper, clean or replace
the carpet, arrange for lawn services
etc. This could also be a good time
to make some needed renovations.
Where can you go for help? Your
agent is a resource for life.
be advised that your state, county
and town laws could change this
process. Please contact Agent for
of Using a Buyers Agent
buyer's representative will:
Evaluate the specific needs and
wants of the buyer and locate
properties that fit those specifications.
Assist the buyer in determining
the amount that they can afford
(pre-qualify), and show properties
in that price range and locale.
Assist in viewing properties --
accompany the buyer on the showings,
or preview the properties on behalf
of the buyer to insure that the
identified specifications are
the selected properties to identify
any problems or issues to help
the buyer make an informed decision
prior to making an offer to purchase
the buyer on structuring an appropriate
offer to purchase the selected
the offer to the seller's agent
and the seller on the buyer's
on behalf of the buyer to help
obtain the identified property
-- keeping the buyer's best interests
in securing appropriate financing
for the selected property.
a list of potential qualified
vendors (e.g. movers, attorneys,
carpenters, etc.) if these services
importantly, fully-represent the
buyer throughout the real estate