Looking for a home as a first time home buyer can be quite daunting! You may not even be sure what type of home you’re looking for or neighborhood. You have tons of questions, and do not know where to start! That’s where a realtor comes in, having a skilled professional in the area, will give you market advice as well as having negotiation skills that will help you in getting the best price for your home! The right realtor has great knowledge at their disposal, whether it means getting you pre approved, home inspections, appraisals, closing costs, and will help you through the process step by step to make sure your making the right decision! It’s the biggest purchase of your life!
Finding the right Realtor may also be hard, you want someone who has your best interests at heart, and someone who you can trust with one of the largest transactions you will ever make! Ask your friends and family for a referral to the agent that they had a great experience with! That’s my first suggestion, as well as meeting with that realtor and asking questions and making sure you mesh with this person and they make you feel comfortable! The best part is that you do not pay a realtor as a buyer! More money for your down payment or any updates you want to do prior to moving in!
I will be giving you a step by step guide to buying your first home! What to do and when to do it!
Step 1: Get Pre Approved with a Mortgage lender/ Find a Realtor
Getting pre approved for a loan is the very first step to finding a home! You want to know what you are able to afford as well as what money you need to put down, and what type of loan may work best in your personal scenario. If you are not yet pre approved but find that great agent, they will have plenty of lenders at their disposal that they can refer you, to the right one! That person can lead you in the right direction to get you pre approved! Make sure you get your lender all of the Paperwork needed to get this off the ground!
Step 2: Find your Perfect Home / Writing an Offer
Now that you are Pre Approved and know you spending limits, you can search for your forever home! Look through home search sites like Realtor.com. Go see homes with your agent, as well as open houses to make sure what you want! Wait? You found it? Its Perfect!! Lets write an offer! Your realtor will ask what price you want to offer on the home, as well as give you market advice as to what price may be best for that particular home. They will write a solid offer for you to submit it to the seller. Once your Offer is submitted, now we wait for the seller to Accept, Counter, or reject the Offer! Your realtor will negotiate on your behalf until you and the seller reach an agreement!
Step 3: Accepted Offer/ Contingencies
Your Offer has been Accepted by the Seller! Congratulations! The offer may be contingent on somethings, most likely a Home inspection, an appraisal (to determine Value of home), and a final loan commitment from your lender. Your realtor will guide you through these steps to make sure all deadlines are met! First will be your home inspection by a certified home inspector in the area. An inspector will come into the home with you and your agent and look through all things involving the home, roof, furnace, A/C, windows, attic, basement, and outside grounds to make sure are structurally and mechanically sound, and will also note of things that may need to be addressed to the seller. If you decide you want the seller to fix something, here’s where more negotiations between realtors continue! Your agent will work with the listing agent to have the seller replace a Bad electrical Panel, fix a leaky dishwasher, or negotiate for a credit at closing because of a very old roof… these are all examples of any issues that may arise!
Once all is Settled and agreed upon, next is the appraisal. Your mortgage lender will order an appraisal on your behalf, to determine the value of the home you are purchasing, to make sure the offer price qualifies for the loan you are receiving! If the value of the home comes in below the offer, you and the seller can negotiate and agree on a new selling price for the home! If home comes in above offer, all is good and this contingency is met! One more thing to check off the list, and one step closer!
Receiving loan commitment from you lender, is also a contingency upon the sale of your new home. Making sure that you are getting your lender all of the documents that they need along this process is very important, if not it may delay closing! Once you get them everything they need, we will receive an email saying we are CLEAR TO CLOSE!!! Great news and probably time for a drink… you deserve it!
Step 4: Closing day
You, your agent, lender and the title company will all set a day and time for closing! Closing will be based on your preferences! This is the day you will sign your new loan, deed to your new home and get your keys!! Today is also the day you can call it “Home sweet Home”. Pack up the kids, dog, and the car for moving day! Congratulations on your first Home!
The Bottom line is purchasing your new forever home can be scary but if you have the right people supporting, and guiding you, it will be an exciting and happy time for you and your family!