9 Steps To Take When Buying Your First Home
1. Find a Great Agent
You will want to find a real estate agent that understands your needs and whom you get along with!
He or she is the first expert you’ll meet on your journey, and the one you’ll rely on most. We highly recommend a Connect Agent!
2. Choose a Lender
Once you’ve found your agent, ask him or her to recommend at least three mortgage lenders that meet your financial needs. This is another big step, as you’ll be working with your lender closely throughout the home-buying process.
3. Pick a Loan
Once you’ve decided on a lender, you’ll work with your loan agent to determine which mortgage is right for you. You’ll consider the percentage of your income you want to spend on your new house, and you’ll provide the lender with paperwork showing proof of income, employment status, and other important financials. If all goes well you’ll be pre-approved for a loan at a certain amount.
4. Visit Open Houses
Now that you have an agent who knows your housing preferences and a lender to finance a house within that budget it is now time to house hunt. Going to showings gives you the best idea of what living in your home could be like. Your agent will help provide you with listings based on pricing, area, and only other wants and needs. Going to open houses and private showings, which give you the unique opportunity to evaluate properties in a way you can’t online.
5. Make an Offer
You’ve found the home you want to buy! It’s time to make an offer you’ll work with your agent to craft the offer that not only specifies the price you’re willing to pay but also the proposed settlement date and contingencies. Lucky your agent is here to help you prepare all the paperwork needed!
Some home sellers simply accept the best offer they receive, but many sellers make a counteroffer. If that happens, it’s up to you to decide whether you want your agent to negotiate with the seller or walk away. This is an area where your agent can provide real value by using their expert negotiating skills to haggle on your behalf.
Most sales contracts include a home inspection contingency, which means you’ll hire a licensed or certified home inspector to inspect the home for needed repairs. Once the inspection is done then you will ask the seller to have those repairs made. Having an inspection ensures that the home doesn’t have any unwanted surprises before you move in. Your agent can recommend one in your area.
When you offer to buy a home, your lender will hire and appraiser. The appraiser will determine if the house value is at or above purchase price. If the home appraises close to the agreed-upon purchase price, you’re one step closer to settlement.
9. Close the Deal
The last stage of the home-buying process is settlement, or closing. This is when you sign the final ownership and insurance paperwork and make this whole thing official. Your agent will help to make sure every last detail is managed and your home is move-in ready on closing day. It’s time to sign the papers and receive the keys!