November 30th, 2022
Corey Ray & Scooter Gillis
Regardless of where you are located, buying a home in today’s market can seem like a daunting, overwhelming process for everyone involved. While we know the feeling, our combined years of experience have allowed us to break down the process into 6 steps. So let’s take a breather, run through the steps, and find you the home of your dreams!
1. Decide Your Terms
TIP → Take your time with this step and do it before you meet with your agent, to avoid ambiguity and to speed line the process.
Deciding your terms beforehand allows you to feel confident as you jump into buying a home. Before you meet with your agent, it’s a good rule of thumb to do some research and figure out the deal-breakers. To start, what is roughly your price range? A good idea is to meet with the bank and review your assets and history to get you pre-approved for your loan! This will do a few things for you to boost your home-buying ability. It will remove the time-waster homes, meaning it will let you know which homes are realistic for you to purchase, so you don’t spend your time falling in love with a property that is out of your acceptable range. It will also give you more power as you put in offers, but we will cover this portion later! There are trusted lenders that we have worked with and can recommend if you are not sure who you should go to!
Another step in this preliminary period is to start keeping your eye out for properties in your area that you like. If you do this beforehand, you will have the ability to tell your agent your wish-list and your deal-breakers. Do you need a certain amount of bedrooms or maybe a specific amount of acreage? If you would like a better idea on how to do this, review some of the options currently available on our custom property search page. You are able to find properties for sale in any area that you would like, along with separating them by certain search criteria.
2. Choose Your Realtor®
TIP → There are a lot of agents out there, make sure you put emphasis on this step, as this is possibly the largest purchase you will make in your life!
Regardless of the area that you reside, you might find yourself asking the question, “How in the world am I supposed to know what agent is right for me?” The best route to take is word of mouth by friends and family. If you know someone who recently bought or sold a home, give them a call and ask how it went. If you don’t have this luxury, then you can do some quick and easy detective work to get the job done! Call around to your local real estate companies and set up some interviews. You can focus on their experience, testimonials, and knowledge base in the area that you are wanting to buy a home in. In today’s day and age, you also have access to agents’ websites! This can give you some great base information on each agent and which ones you should consider meeting with. Read more on what factors you can look for when choosing your agent.
3. Search & Negotiations
TIP → Keep an open mind when looking through the available homes that your agent sends you, but give as much feedback as possible on what you like/dislike.
The search has begun! You have found your agent, went through your personal to-do list, and have started to get in the game. Your agent will start to send you relevant homes in your target area that meet the requirements that you have laid out for them. Now it’s your turn to give feedback on what you like and dislike. The agent you chose should have solid leads and information in your local area, so they will be able to give you the inside information on what to look for and what the current statistics are. If you’re not satisfied with the current homes on the market that they are providing you, remember to have patience! This isn’t a sprint, this is the biggest purchase you may make in your life, so give it some time and don’t give up! Your dream home will pop up in due time.
Once a home catches your eye, your agent will go to work fighting for you and your best interests. They will place your offer that you have agreed upon and negotiate terms that are acceptable for your party. This can include possible repairs that need to be done, price, and so much more. This is why finding the best agent is so important when you’re buying a home in this market, because you want your realtor to rise to the challenge and fight for the best terms for you.
4. Legalities & Assurance
TIP → This step can get tricky very fast, so being able to rely on your Realtor® is vital.
After your offer has been negotiated and accepted by the selling party, the contracts will begin! This can seem daunting and scary, but your agent will take you through it and explain it in terms that are easy to understand and will make sure there aren’t any hidden terms that you’re missing. All parties involved will sign the contract, agreeing to the terms set forth by both parties. Once the signatures are on paper, an inspection will be scheduled for the home. This inspection is vital, and can be skipped during the excitement of the home-buying process. The home inspector will do a walk-through of the house, checking the structure, mechanics, and systems to make sure it’s up to par. These findings will be submitted and you may have the ability to reconsider the terms, depending on what is found. This makes it virtually impossible for anything considerable to be left out or kept secret, protecting you and the other party from any regrets later on.
TIP → Before you start getting serious about buying a home, get serious about building your credit.
If you were pre-approved at the beginning like we mentioned previously, and you stayed within your target price range, then this step won’t be as scary as it may seem. To simplify this step, you will sit down with your lender and they will decide whether to approve your mortgage amount. Seems easy enough, right? We will move on as we have already reviewed this step above with your pre-approval.
6. The Finale!
TIP → You’re almost past the finish line, don’t rush the ending!
The final step includes escrow and the closing table. Escrow is when the buyers give an allotted amount of money in good faith to the sellers. The point to this gesture is to show that you are genuinely interested in and are planning to complete the purchase of the home. Once this money is put forth, the home will be officially taken off the market. You may be thinking, “Why do I have to pay an additional fee?” Don’t worry, this money goes towards the closing costs of the home. Now for the most exciting part, the closing table! This is when everything is finalized and becomes official. The remainder of the contracts are explained and signed, closing costs are completed and once ownership is officially transferred, it’s all yours!
Now that we have reviewed the steps involved with buying a home in today’s market, we hope that you feel a little more at ease. While these steps are simplified, there is so much more information on the home-buying process you can learn. You can read more in order to feel like you can push your worries aside and enjoy your experience!