You’ve decided its time to start looking for a home, but where do you start? The home buying process should be a fun and exciting time in your life, not an overwhelming and stressful process. Below is our ten-step buyer process to help ensure you find the perfect house, with as little stress and hassle as possible. If you have any questions during your home buying journey, as many people do, we are always happy to answer them.
Step 1. Get your favorite Realtor involved right from the beginning.
Yes, we are a real estate brokerage with 70+ Realtors representing us, so of course this would be our first step, right? Well yes, but all biases aside, there are many advantages in getting a Realtor involved sooner versus later. In Tri-cities, we are currently in what is called a sellers’ market. This means there are more people looking to buy a home than there are homes for sale. Does that mean it’s a bad time to buy? Of course not. If you are ready to buy a home, then it’s the perfect time to start looking. A seller’s market just means homes don’t stay on the market long so it’s important to have someone on the inside looking for what you want. Sites like Zillow and Realtor.com are very popular for looking at homes but there is a time delay these third parties experience in updating information. In a sellers’ market, this could mean the home you are looking for goes under contract before you ever get a chance to look at it. Another buyer may have a well-connected Realtor looking for them, and that Realtor receives information about a new listing matching what they are looking for before the third parties even have a chance to update their websites. A good Realtor will have complete knowledge of what is available in Tri-Cities and will be connected with other Realtors to know what homes will be coming onto the market before any third parties do. This knowledge will help ensure you won’t miss seeing listings that match the home you are trying to find.
Step 2. Determine How Much Home You Can Afford
Not sure how to determine this? Getting preapproved for a mortgage loan will show how much you can spend. This will help you be ahead of the game when you go to make an offer. It’s important to know what price range of homes to be looking at before starting your home search. Obviously, the million-dollar home is going to look more appealing than the quarter of a million-dollar home, but if the million-dollar home isn’t in your price range currently, then its just a house, it is not your home. At Windermere Group One, we believe in unlocking the power of ownership. This goes beyond just homeownership to include owning our lives. The freedom of waking up each morning with enough money coming in to do what you want to that day is a dream we have for everyone in our community. Buying a home outside of what you can afford isn’t worth the stress of living paycheck to paycheck, wondering if you’re going to make it. So, don’t give up on that million-dollar home you dream of, but work up to it. By determining your price range ahead of time you’ll be able to better focus your home search and you will be happier with the results.
Step 3. Select Properties to View
Finding a home with a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms is the easy part. It’s determining the location and other amenities that can be more time consuming. Research areas, neighborhoods, tax rates, school districts, commute times, crime rates, and anything else that is important to you in determining where to live. It can be difficult if you are from out of town, but your agent can help you in this research and it will help save you time, money and get you even closer to finding your new home.
Step 4. Start Looking!
Once you have an idea what to look for, how much you can spend, and have an agent to help you find what you are looking for, Start looking! Touring homes online is easy and convenient, but you will also want to look at the house in person. Online you only get to see what the listing agent wants you to see, you might not get the full picture. You may also find that what you thought you wanted isn’t what you want anymore. Keep in mind that your Realtor can schedule a time with the listing agent to view the house outside of open house hours, that way viewing the house fits your schedule. Your Realtor can even show for-sale-by-owner homes given the sellers permission.
Step 5. Make an Offer
You know what you want, you found what your looking for, so make an offer on it. Your Realtor will help ensure you don’t pay too much for the home by reviewing the MLS (multiple listing service) information and market data. During this step you also get to determine when you’d like the closing date to be and if you want to add any contingencies, such as selling your current house first. A good Realtor is very knowledgeable in what it takes to get an offer accepted during the current market, presenting your needs in an appealing light and make sure you’re not taken advantage of.
Step 6. Negotiating
You will work closely with your Realtor in this step. Maybe you don’t need the seller to leave the fridge and washer/dryer after all if they will update the roof. It’s your Realtor’s job to help guide and represent you through the negotiations to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Step 7. The Contract
You’ve found your house and your offer was accepted! At this point your Realtor will walk you through the legalities and put into writing everything discussed during the negotiating process to help solidify the transaction. You can almost feel the keys in your hand at this point, you’re almost there!
Step 8. The Loan Process
You’ll finalize your application and because you were preapproved for your loan there won’t be any surprises, assuming you did your part and didn’t decide to go buy a new car during the process. You’ll get an appraisal on the house and get insurance set up and finally receive the mortgage commitment.
Step 9. Review the Closing Disclosure
Your Realtor will help ensure everything is good to go and that the seller did indeed fix the roof like they said they would.
Step 10. Closing!
You’ve done it! You made it through the home buying process. You get the keys to your new home and start moving in. Congratulations!
Need help finding a realtor? Not sure what to look for when choosing one? Stay tuned for our next Monday blog! If you can’t wait, give us a call at 509-946-1188 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will be happy to guide you in the right direction.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. We are here to help and want the home buyers process to be a fun and exciting time in your life so that you too can experience unlocking the power of ownership.
See you next week!
Join us for “How to Choose Your Realtor” live on Facebook, Monday Aug 27th at 3pm. https://www.facebook.com/windermeregroupone/