Interested in Buying a Home?
Home Buying Process
There are so many aspects involved in the purchase of a home that buyers can often be left very confused by the whole experience. That’s why it is so important to have a real estate professional who can walk you through each step and address your questions along the way.
Steele Residential ensures that buyers are comfortable with the experience and are fully aware of the options available to them. With superior market knowledge and a wide range of services, our exceptional agents maximize the efficiency of your home search and serve as a trusted guide before, during and after your move.
Step 1: Prioritizing Your Needs
Start by establishing a list of features that you want in a home and the reasons why. Use this as your basic search guide, but remember that depending on your financial situation, you will probably need to make some compromises. Also, talk to your real estate agent about where you want to live. Location is a critical part of any home purchase. Your agent can help you narrow down your choices by providing the latest market trends and local information like neighborhood statistics and community links.
Step 2: Determining How Much House
Once you know what you want in a home, you need to find out what you can afford. Start with getting a loan prequalification and consider getting a mortgage pre-approval. This will take into consideration your financial information such as income, debt and credit history to help determine your maximum loan amount. Once you find a property, the remaining pieces of the loan application can be completed. By definition, a pre-approved buyer has an approved mortgage subject to an appraisal of the property. A buyer can often use this pre-approved status as leverage during the home buying negotiation process.
Step 3: Searching for the Perfect Home
Once you have a good idea of the community you’d like to live in and have your loan pre-approval, it’s time to search for your dream home. If you’re like most home buyers, you’ll likely start your house-hunting search online. It will save you time and assist you in pinpointing properties that meet your search criteria. Your real estate agent can then arrange for visits at homes in your desired neighborhood and price range. When you start viewing properties, it’s a good idea to take notes as you walk through. When you visit too many homes, the unique features of each property will start to become a blur.
Step 4: Negotiating the Offer
Once you find the perfect home, you will need to make an offer to the seller. This is typically the most difficult part of the home-buying process because the involved parties have completely opposite goals. In general, the more you know about a seller’s motivation, the stronger negotiating position you have. For example, a seller who must relocate quickly due to a job transfer may be amenable to a lower price. Remember that the listing price is what the seller would like to receive, but it is not necessarily what they will settle for. Before making an offer, check the recent sales prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood to see how the seller’s asking price compares.
Step 5: Inspecting and Insuring the Property
Once the seller accepts your written offer, the document becomes a legally binding contract. Your real estate agent will coordinate the home inspection and recommend resources for homeowner’s insurance, mortgage financing and closing attorney. The purchase contract can be written to include a contingency for any repairs needed on the property or related items that the seller must take care of before closing. Buyers also can protect themselves by inserting additional necessary contingencies. For example, you may indicate items like curtains and appliances that you would like to remain with the house and stipulate that you have the right to personally inspect the home 24 hours before closing to make sure all is in order.
Step 6: Closing on Your Home
Before closing day, make sure all the necessary paper work and deposits have been completed. If the mortgage, title work, homeowners insurance and other items necessary under local and state laws are not completed and brought to the closing table, the closing may not occur on time. Depending on what the contract calls for, this could result in further action including financial penalties and even the loss of your rights to the home. Once the property is officially yours but before moving in, be sure to consider any needed renovations or interior painting, as well as hook-ups for the electricity, water, Internet, alarm system, etc.
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