Finding the perfect house on your own is not easy - choose the agents you can trust.
So, you want to buy a house—now what? The first time buying a home is exciting, emotional, and sometimes exhausting. You may also be wondering along the way—what am I missing? This is a common question. Here’s how the buying process works from start to finish.
Do some preliminary online searching. Check into what homes are selling for in the areas you’re interested in to give you an idea of what you’re looking for. This will help later on when communicating your wish list with your real estate agent.
Take care of the budget. Use an online mortgage calculator to determine what your monthly mortgage payment would be if you were to purchase one of these homes you’ve found online. Make some additional estimates for utilities and see if this fits into your budget.
Get pre-approved. To get pre-approved for a mortgage you’ll need to get some paperwork ready: pay stubs, W-2s, bank statements, tax returns, and credit lines. Your bank is a great place to start, but keep in mind that mortgage brokers have access to a wide variety of lenders and mortgage packages (we have recommendations!). They are a great resource for typical mortgages and those "outside the box" situations.
Find an agent. A good real estate agent will help you navigate the process every step of the way. We have you covered there - call us today!
Look at homes. Be patient at this stage. Your real estate agent may show you a variety of homes to get your reaction on features they think you’ll like. Give your agent detailed feedback so they can show you homes that are perfectly suited to you. Sometimes, this process can take months or years - so be patient. Also, make sure you let friends and family know you’re looking for a new home - you may even find out about an amazing home before it hits the market.
Make an offer. Once you’ve found your dream home, you will want to move quickly. Your agent will guide you on a reasonable first offer to start negotiations based on market conditions. Also, make sure you consider closing costs which could account for 2-5% of the purchase price.
Negotiate. Prepare to go back and forth with the seller a few times on price and selling conditions. Your real estate agent will be your advocate here and try to get you as much as possible for your money while being fair and respectful to the seller and their real estate agent.
An accepted offer. Pop the champagne! If you reach an agreement, you’ll make a deposit to an escrow account to show good-faith. Escrow is usually 4 - 6 weeks where the seller takes the house off the market while inspections, financing and other contingencies are fulfilled.
Do a home inspection. Even if the home appears to be flawless, there’s no substitute for having a professional inspector review the property for quality, safety, and general condition of your potential home. You don’t want to be surprised with a home that needs a lot of unexpected repairs. If the inspection reveals undisclosed serious defects, you can negotiate further to have the seller make repairs or discount the selling price. You’ll also likely have the option to withdraw your offer and get your earnest money back.
Closing. When your negotiations with the seller are successful, and all contingencies are fulfilled, you should be ready to close!
Barbara Hartz | Landmark Realty405 Landmark Dr.Philomath, OR