Home Buying in Six Steps

Brouth to you by the National Association of Realtors®. The home-buying process can seem daunting to potential home buyers, but a qualified real estate professional who understands the entire process can help ease many of these worries. Make sure you're prepared with these useful tips.

1) Get Ready

  • Build a good credit history

  • Get mortgage pre-approval

  • Find out what type of mortgages you quality for

  • Consider hiring an attorney to review all contracts and agreements associated with the home buying process

  • Save up for a down payment (typically 10-20% of property’s value; if FHA-qualified, then possibly less)

2) Find a Realtor®

  • Get a referral from friends, family, and work colleagues, or search realtor.com® and look for real estate yard signs and advertisements

  • Ask the real estate professionals you interview about buyer's representation contracts and agreements; make sure you understand the terms

  • Explain your needs and expectations to the real estate professional you choose to work with

3) Find your Property

  • Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walk ability, etc.

  • Make sure you include home owner’s assessments, utilities, and taxes when calculating the monthly mortgage payment

4) Start the Financing Process

  • Contact your mortgage broker or lender

  • The lender or attorney will run a title search to ensure there are no clouds on the title

  • Make sure you understand the financing terms—ask the lender for clarification, if needed

5) Make an Offer

  • Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector

  • Acquire title insurance

  • Make sure the title is clear, or make your offer contingent upon title clearance

  • Read all contracts before signing—make sure you understand all of the terms, ask questions

  • Place a competitive bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer

  • Keep your credit score stable and in-check by waiting to purchase any big-ticket items until long after the closing

  • Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted

6) Closing & After

  • Protect your new asset by obtaining insurance such as homeowner’s, flood, disaster, and fire

  • Weatherproof your new home

  • Maintain files—digital or print—for all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc.

  • Keep original closing documents in a safe place, preferably outside the home (such as a safety deposit box)

  • Set up utilities bills in your name, maintain files

  • Implement desired aesthetic changes such as painting, minor construction, and re-flooring

  • Set a move date and hire movers or plan a move party with your friends

  • Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood

  • If you're happy with the work of your real estate professional, be sure to recommend her/him to friends and family

Anthony Acevedo