Step 1: Defining your priorities, exploring your choices, and creating an action plan
Know what your reasons for purchasing are, and decide the type of home, neighborhood, and features that you want. Because the buying and financing of homes are fundamentally linked, you will also need to examine your current financial situation and understand what you can afford realistically.
You'll be in a better position to research housing and mortgage options once you're clear on the above, and create a plan of action with timelines to move forward. While it's possible to do this on your own, you may benefit by taking the consultation of an experienced real estate professional right from the beginning.
Step 2: Contact a real estate professional
Contact a genuine real estate professional once you've agreed to purchase. A professional agent will direct you through the property search, financing, negotiation, and transactions. Consider their awareness of the local market, experience, and track record when evaluating potential agents.
Step 3: Get pre-qualified for a loan
Before you begin looking at homes in earnest, it is important to get pre-qualified for a loan. The Pre-Approval method involves meeting and authorizing a lender to examine your current financial situation and credit history. Based on this examination, the lender may provide you with a document detailing the amount you are pre-qualified to borrow to buy a home.
Financing is available from many sources and it should be possible for your professional agent to suggest lenders with a history of offering excellent products and services for mortgages.
Step 4: See homes and find the one
Knowing what you want helps in a home search. You can view homes, see photos, take videos, and access neighborhood information with today's mobile apps and online real estate websites.
However, to look at homes in person is very important. Although the specifics of the property can appear similar, homes can be very different in terms of layout, architecture, workmanship, and other aspects. Ideally, you should view homes with the help of an experienced real estate professional who may notice things you might miss, provide professional analysis, and act as an unbiased sounding board.
Step 5: Make an offer and negotiate with the seller
It's time to make an offer when you've found the home you'd like to buy. Your state or local real estate association probably has contracts that are commonly used for transactions in your area. These contracts enable you to set a selling price and also allow the inclusion of clauses specifying different terms of purchase, such as the closing and possession dates, your deposit amount, and other conditions. Through your real estate professional, you can carefully check these clauses to make sure they express your intended offer.
Successive counter-offers can be exchanged, with deadlines for responding and meeting conditions until a mutual pending agreement is reached or the negotiations breakdown between you and the seller. Negotiations involve a variety of considerations linked to various market conditions, homes and sellers, and other variables that a professional agent can handle with ease.
Step 6: Secure your financing
It's time to return to your preferred lender to finalize the mortgage details once you have a pending agreement to close the deal. This means completing the loan application and finalizing the down payment, interest rate, regular payment schedule, and all other closing-related financial conditions.
Step 7: Close the deal
Key steps to be followed before closing
A historical analysis of all legal records relating to the ownership of property will be needed to make sure there are no lawsuits against the property's title. It is therefore important to buy Title Insurance for protection in the event of errors in the records or mistakes in the review process.
You will be allowed to look at the house one more time to make sure it is in the same state as when you signed the sale agreement.
Usually, you can sign all the paperwork needed to complete the deal on or shortly before the closing date, which can be accomplished in a meeting with a lawyer, real estate professional, or escrow agent, depending on your market. Paying the closing expenses, legal fees, property adjustments, and transfer taxes will be part of the settlement. At that point, you will get the title of the property and copies of all the purchase documents.