Everybody remembers buying their first home. It is a timely process and requires careful planning to make the process a successful one. If you’re already a homeowner, I’m sure you remember buying your first home. I’m certain it was an exciting and memorable experience!
FIND AN AGENT
Find a local REALTOR® that’s familiar with the real estate market that you’re searching for a new home in. Shop around – NOT all real estate agents are created equal!
GET PRE APPROVED
Talk to a lender (loan officer) to get a pre-approval letter so that you know how much house you can afford. Most agents will NOT show you a home without a pre-approval letter because one will be required to accompany a contract for purchase offer on a home. If you’re a cash buyer – then you will need “proof of funds” to go along with any offer made on real property.
Start working with the Realtor you have chosen. Discuss the type of home that’ll meet your needs and price range. The Realtor will then run a search in the local MLS (Multiple Listing Services) and prepare a list of homes to view as – well – as making the necessary arrangements with the sellers to view each home.
MAKE AN OFFER
It’s time to make an offer. Your REALTOR® will put comp’s together to find out the current market value of the home and determine what the home should appraise at. This analysis will determine if the home is priced correctly or if it’s overpriced. Remember, most of the homes that have been on the market for a long period of time is because they are overpriced!
Ask for recommendations from your REALTOR® for a good home inspector. Schedule your home inspection as soon as possible because there will be a clause in the purchase contract called the “inspection period”. This is the amount of days a buyer must inspect the home and if something is found to be wrong with the home the buyer is given the opportunity to back out of the contract and retain their initial deposit or earnest money.
At this time, the lander will order an appraisal to determine that the house is not overpriced. If you have chosen a competent Realtor to work with the house should appraise for more money than what you are purchasing it for creating instant equity in the home. If this is done correctly – you have just made a GREAT investment.
It is recommended that you call and shop around for the best rate. At the very minimum a buyer should at least get three to four different estimates for their new home. Remember this insurance rate will factor into your monthly mortgage payments.
SET UP UTILITIES
Ask your Realtor who the local utility providers are and give them a call. You want to have all utilities on and active in your name the day of closing.
During the final walk through on or the day before closing should be done. This ensures the buyer that nothing has been damaged or removed from the home that shouldn’t have been removed and is considered “a fixed” to the home, (i.e. a refrigerator).
You have made it to the last step with the help of a Realtor. All you must do now is make sure to wire transfer any funds of down payment (if any is needed) to the title company that’s handling the closing. Then show up with your driver’s license and sign a bunch of legal papers. Congratulations! You’re now a homeowner.