The Home Buying Process in a Nutshell: 8 Major Steps to Ownership
It’s helpful to understand what to expect when you buy a home, particularly if it’s your first time. Here are 8 major steps that frame the process.
1. Find your Purchasing Power: Pre-Qualify!
Talk to a lender, and ask that they provide a pre-qualification letter to the Realtor® you’ve chosen to work on your behalf. Better yet, ask your lender to pre-approve you for a loan.
A pre-approval letter has much more weight when negotiating for a particular house. Ask about FHA, Rural Housing, and FHA Rehab type loans!
2. Choose YOUR Realtor!
When you sign our Buyer Broker Agreement, it’s a commitment to exclusively work together during this process. That’s why it’s important to interview Realtors and find one that’s best for you.
3. Go Shopping!
What’s your “dream home?” Check out the MikkiMoves website and other realty websites, drive through your ideal neighborhoods to look for available properties, ask around, etc. This part takes teamwork! Try to drive by first, and give your agent 24 hour notice to set appointments. If it’s new, or an incredible deal, or vacant, CALL ASAP!
4. Make an Offer!
Use the “Questions to Consider When Making an Offer” worksheet. Note: until the offer is fully accepted, anyone can make an offer and buy the house. Budget about 1% for your Good Faith Deposit when your offer is accepted. This money will then be used toward the purchase price.
5. Complete “Authorization to Order Inspections” Form
Once the offer is accepted, your authorization is needed so we can begin the inspection process. All inspection fees are due at the time of inspection. Budget about $600 for this process, but it may change depending on what/how many inspections you have chosen. You’ll meet often with your lender and get an appraisal. Budget about $500 for the appraisal. At the end of your inspection period, based on what you may have discovered from your inspections, renegotiate your contract or cancel your contract.
6. Release Inspection and Insurance Contingencies
Meet with your lender often. Again, they will ask you for a lot of information that will seem tedious, but it is important to comply.
7. Wrap Up the Deal
Sign escrow instruction, sign loan documents, transfer utilities, and do a final walk-through.