Whether you’re purchasing a single family home, a townhouse or a new construction home, this information will explain the process of buying a home.
We have real estate agents who can assist you in looking at homes. The buying process can be an exciting time but can also be a challenging experience. Allow an experienced Signal REALTORS® professional to guide you along the way.
Step 1: To Buy or Not to Buy…
Purchasing a home is a great investment and can be a path to long-term wealth, provided you are in the financial position to become a homeowner. Homeownership provides a variety of financial advantages including equity buildup, value appreciation and tax benefits.
Deciding to purchase a home is one of the largest and most important purchases you will ever make. Essentially it can be a forced savings account, unlike paying rent – which builds someone else’s equity and wealth.
Step 2: Select a Real Estate Professional
In selecting a real estate professional to help guide you through this process, it is important to understand a real estate professional is more than just a “salesperson.” A Signal REALTORS® professional will:
- Update you on current home market conditions
- Analyze your wants and needs in buying a home
- Show you homes that fit your search criteria and price range
- Assist in preparing offers
- Work with your lender, home inspector and other needed professionals throughout the process
- Negotiate to your best advantage while protecting your interests
- Manage any issues that may occur along the way
- Ensure the terms, conditions, and deadlines of the contract are met before closing
Step 3: Get Pre-Approved
Along with choosing a REALTOR®, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is another important step in the home purchase process. Before you begin searching for a home, you will want to know the amount of financing for which you qualify so you search in the right price range. You may not want to borrow the full amount for which you are pre-approved.
Step 4: Find the Right Home
Once you are pre-approved, it is time to start your home search. Your real estate agent can help you identify your home search criteria and guide you through the home search process. What city or neighborhood do you want to live in? How many beds and bathrooms do you want in your new home? Do you want a move-in ready home or a fixer-upper? How many garage stalls do you need? Do you want a fenced in yard or a large backyard? What other features are “must haves” for you?
You will also find it helpful to utilize the Signal REALTORS® online search to create customized searches and receive automatic emails of new listings as they come on the market.
Step 5: Make an Offer
Once you’ve found the right home, it’s time to make an offer. This is exciting, but it can also be an emotional and complicated experience. You will be glad you have an experienced Signal sales professional by your side to help guide you through the offer process. In order to make an informed decision on the price you offer on the home, your agent will research similar properties in the area where the potential home is located. This will help determine if the home is being offered at a fair market value, which will help you determine your offer to purchase price. Typically an offer includes but is not limited to:
- Earnest Money
- Terms & Conditions
- Date of Possession
- Contingencies (Contingencies specify any event that will need to take place in order for you to fulfill the contract, i.e. inspections to be completed on the home, an existing home to sell prior to closing on a new home, etc.)
Step 6: Conduct Inspections
Once the terms of your home purchase are agreed upon, you will want to have a home inspection completed by a professional. This will expose any hidden issues, i.e. condition of shingles, the foundation, the furnace and the like.
Step 7: Closing
After the inspection process is complete, and you are ready to move forward, there are a few pre-closing responsibilities that you will need to keep in mind:
- Stay in control of your credit and finances – Don’t make any large purchases prior to closing.
- Stay in communication with your REALTOR® and lender. Be sure to complete and turn in all required documentation as requested and in a timely manner.
- Do a final walk-through inspection of the property with your Real Estate Professional.
- Confirm you have received a copy of the closing statement prior to closing.
- Bring a cashier’s check for all the closing costs and the balance of the down payment to the closing.
Step 8: After Closing
Congratulations! It’s now time to enjoy your new home!