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Home Buying 101: The Process

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have done it before, the process of buying a home can be a bit daunting. There’s finding the right realtor, getting all the proper documentation together for your mortgage broker, touring properties, home inspections, negotiations, and varying obstacles in between. For the average homebuyer, the process of finding a home takes 30-60 days. Approximately three months from touring properties to moving in.

There are obstacles to every transaction – some small and some large. Obstacles aside, the stages of the process remain consistent:

  • Pre-Approval: speaking with a mortgage broker, submitting required documentation, discussing goals, determining purchasing power, and understanding the costs associated with buying a home

  • Home Search: touring potential properties & analyzing them based on your list of needs and wants

  • Making an Offer

  • Ratifying Contract & Open Escrow: come to agreement with the sellers on all terms of the purchase agreement, submit your Earnest Money Deposit (later applied to down payment) to the escrow agent

  • Loan Application: make formal application for a mortgage with your preferred loan officer and begin the underwriting process

  • Schedule Inspections: schedule any home inspections and appraisals to align with time-frame specified within the sales contract and contingencies put in place

  • Negotiate Repairs: negotiate any repairs and/or credits with the seller regarding items uncovered during the home inspection

  • Walk-through: conduct a final walk-through of the property to ensure all repairs or changes have been completed

  • Settlement: sign all closing paperwork and legally become the homeowners

  • Celebrate!!

While I’ve met with buyers that originally plan to do the home search on their own in an effort to get a better deal by working directly with the listing agent – the thought of having the listing agent reduce their commission due to unrepresented buyers is a myth. (Jon Sterling, Chase International) Having a buyer’s agent on your side is beneficial in various stages: the home search, negotiating repairs and concessions, determining market value, inspections, and working with title – a buyers’ agent will also save you money. To me – buyers working with the listing agent is similar to being represented by the lawyer/attorney representing the other side in a court case. It’s both a personal and professional decision on my part to bring in another agent for unrepresented buyers. In standard transactions – the sellers compensate the realtors representing the sellers and the buyers, in fact total compensation is built into the listing agreement. A majority of home purchasers are able to move into their homes with virtually no additional expense to compensate the agent whom represented them, so why not have someone in their corner?

As realtors, we work in the best interests of our clients, successfully navigating our clients through every step of the home-buying process. Should you have any questions regarding purchasing a home, loan officers, title companies, moving companies, or anything else related to real estate - reach out, I’m here to help in any way I can!

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