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  • Billy Morris

10 Steps to Buying a Home


Step 1: Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are important partners when you’re buying or selling a home. Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable. And best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to use an agent – they’re compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house. The BEST Real Estate Agent will guide you through the entire process and look out for YOUR best interest. If you are using an FHA of VA home loan, you want an experienced agent who know the ins and outs of the process. Availability is key. This might sound obvious, but choose an agent that will answer the phone, or reply in a timely manner.


520-256-6697


Step 2: Determine How Much House You Can Afford

Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. Home and termite inspections are highly recommended and my be mandatory in some cases.Your real estate agent usually will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage.Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made. Step 3: Get Prequalified and Preapproved for credit for Your Mortgage

Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how much you can actually spend. The best way to do that is to get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you just need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. Your lender will review this information and tell you how much you can qualify for. This will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at. Later, you can get preapproved for credit, which involves providing your financial documents (W-2 statements, paycheck stubs, bank account statements, etc.) so your lender can verify your financial status and credit.

Step 4: Start Your Research Early

As soon as you can, start your search. Reach out to your real estate agent. Let them know the specifics of what you are looking for. They can provide you with all of the available properties that meet your criteria. They can set up automatic emails, so you will always see new listings as soon as they come on the market! Mobile friendly apps and websites such as Zillow and Tulia are great places to look as well. Make a note of particular homes you are interested in and see how long they stay on the market. Also, note any changes in asking prices. This will give you a sense of the housing trends in specific areas.





Step 5: Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer

Once you and the seller have reached agreement on a price, the house will go into escrow, which is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process.When you are ready to start looking at properties, let your agent know. They will review the listing you are interested in and verify with the listing agent that the property is still available. There may be specific showing instructions for that property. Some may be occupied while other are vacant. Your agent can provide you access to the homes you are interested in and you can provide feed back, concerns, or questions about the home.


It’s also important to evaluate the neighborhood and make a note of things such as:Are the other homes on the block well maintained? How much traffic does the street get? Is there enough street parking for your family and visitors? Is it conveniently located near places of interest to you: schools, shopping centers, restaurants, parks, and public transportation?Take as much time as you need to find the right home. Then work with your real estate agent to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes in the same neighborhood. Once you and the seller have reached agreement on a price, the house will go into escrow, which is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process.When you are ready to start looking at properties, let your agent know. They will review the listing you are interested in and verify with the listing agent that the property is still available. There may be specific showing instructions for that property. Some may be occupied while other are vacant. Your agent can provide you access to the homes you are interested in and you can provide feed back concerns, or questions about the home.


Step 6: Get a Home Inspection

Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. Home and termite inspections are highly recommended and my be mandatory in some cases.Your real estate agent usually will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage.Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.





Step 7: Work with your Lender to Finalize your Loan

Over the course of your transaction, the lender will may be requesting additional documentation to finalize your loan through the underwriter. Ensure the requested documents are submitted in a timely manner to avoid any delays.


Step 8: Have the Home Appraised

Lenders will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.


Step 9: Coordinate the Paperwork

As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. A title company will handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying. They will ensure you receive clear ownership of your new home and provide you with any HOA information if pertainable.


Step 10: Close the Sale

At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. It typically takes one or two days for your loan to be funded after the paperwork is returned to the lender. Once the check is delivered to the seller, and the transaction is recorded at the county by the title company, you are ready to move into your new home! Your real estate agent will coordinate for you to receive the keys.





Ready to get started? Contact Billy Morris at Real Estate Select. 520-256-6697



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