Steps to Buying a House
So you’re ready to buy your first home. But where do you start?
Just the thought of purchasing a home can scare off even the bravest of people… But, the realization that you will have an amazing asset makes it all better.
In this article I am going to go over the steps in the home buying process & how to make everything go as smooth as possible.
1. Get in the Right Attitude
You may be thinking… “what is this guy talking about?” Well, the fact is that when someone starts the process of buying or selling a valuable item, attitude is everything. The beginning process of buying a home is all joy, good times, and searching through houses online. But be ready for those difficult times when you have to deal with a seller who doesn’t want to repair anything, a lender who needs constant updated documents from you, and a Realtor who has terrible communication skills. Trying to keep a positive attitude when dealing with that may be difficult. However, that can all be solved if you team up with the right people. Which then leads us into our next step….
2. Find a Realtor
Everyone knows that finding a Realtor may be one of the easiest parts of the process. However, what is always left out of conversation is if “that particular Realtor” will fit your needs. This isn’t some 1 week process of buying a house and moving in. You will start to spend a significant amount of time with your Realtor, going from house to house & finally deciding on the house you like. When you break it down, do you really want to be spending 5-10 hours a week with someone who doesn’t relate to what your going through? I for one want to work with someone I like, trust, knowledgeable on the subject, & can enjoy spending time with. The choice is up to you… but beware that once you are under contract on your new home, the truth will come out. (NOTE: Most Realtors will work with anyone or anything with a PULSE, make sure they have your best interests in mind & are not just after a pay day)
3. Find A Lender
Finding a lender is a fairly simple process. First, I would ask your Realtor for recommendations, then ask friends or family. Why I suggest asking your Realtor first is because they will have the most awareness on who is & isn’t a good lender in the area. (If They Have Experience) When buying a house a lender can severely impact the transaction. They will be the ones to either approve/deny you for the loan & make or break things. I would recommend speaking with a lender ASAP so you can get an idea on what you can afford & what loan program you qualify for. Lenders will qualify based off of:
Debt, Credit Score, Income, Down Payment Amount, Credit History, Etc.
4. Home Search Process
Buying a house may take you 4 weeks or 4 months, it really depends on how decisive you are as a person. I have worked with many clients in the past who lost out on their dream house because they could not make up a decision. What I always like to say is… “You can search for however long it takes, but when you find that dream home you’ve been waiting for, make a decision fast.” We have been in an odd market lately where homes are getting multiple offers & going over list price so it is very difficult to tell if a home will sell quick or not. Your Realtor will be able to guide you down the right path when it comes to where & when to make a decision.
5. Writing an Offer
This is when the nerves start to hit & it comes decision time. When writing an offer your Realtor “should” go over all offer documentation with you so you understand everything. At this point your agent will either be a “sub-agent” or “buyers agent”. (Will do another article on this) They may or may not be able to give you their opinion depending upon the agency type. For example purposes let’s say they are a buyers agent…. Now they can help you price the property, make sure everything that is of concern to you is evaluated & structure your offer so it gets accepted. This may mean writing an over list price offer depending upon the situation. Your Realtor “should” call the listing agent & figure out what the activity has been like, if there is other interest, if there are other offers, & how many offers on the table. The more information they can find out the better. It really comes down to rapport building & great communication skills of your agent in multiple offer scenarios.
6. Accepted Offer
After your offer is accepted now the process begins! This can either be a great or very stressful time, it all depends on your attitude 🙂 So after you get an accepted offer your Realtor should send over the offer package to your Lender so they can get starting on things. You will then have to call & schedule a home inspection if that was included in your offer. Any other inspections will probably be scheduled at this time as well. Your lender will order an appraisal & underwrite the file once everything is received. If any problems occur during the home inspection or appraisal they most likely can be fixed. With experienced professionals by your side they will guide you down the right path and make sure you make the best decision according to the scenario.
Congratulations!! You finally made it to closing day. There is a lot of detail that can happen between an accepted offer in closing, but for the fact of keeping this article short I didn’t go into a ton of detail. Before closing you will get the opportunity to do a “Final Walkthrough”. This can be within 3 days of closing & will allow you to make sure the property is in good condition. Before closing you will also want to double check with your lender on how much $$$ you need to bring to closing. For some loans it won’t be any. All you have to bring to closing is your photo ID (drivers license) & check for down payment. Then you will go through a 2 inch stack of papers and at the end you are finally a home owner!!
In conclusion, I hope that you found this information valuable & worth while. Buying a house isn’t extremely complicated, but it can be exhausting if you are partnered with the wrong people. If you ever need help with buying or selling real estate I would love the opportunity to help. Feel free to call or text me at 920-252-2864 or enter your information in the form below!