Looking to buy a home but not sure where to start? You have browsed some online sites, looked at some agents, or maybe even spoken with a lender. It can be intimidating searching for a home, but when you have the right team to help you, you can find your dream home in no time.
#1 Get Pre-Qualified/Pre-Approved
This is perhaps the most important step to get started. Getting a pre-qualification/pre-approval issued will help you determine your budget, identify any items that need to be fixed, and when you can start shopping for your dream home.
#2 Look for an Agent
Finding the right agent is essential to a smooth home buying experience. If you don’t have a referral from a family member or friend, you can ask your lender for a referral. Lenders often have trusted partners they work with on transactions frequently. This means you are getting a dependable referral because your lender has worked with them in the past.
#3 Home Search
With a pre-approval letter in hand, you and your agent will begin the home search. Your agent will ask for the things that are important to you in your new homes such as number of bathrooms or bedrooms, style of home, or whether it has a backyard.
Depending on the season you will most likely tour dozens of homes.
During winter, there are fewer properties available which can be beneficial if you aren’t as picky about your home because there are also fewer competing buyers.
During summer, there are a lot more listed homes, yet you will be competing with many more buyers. This can include cash buyers, which can be tough to go up against.
Your lender and real estate agent can offer guidance on the right time of year to buy for your situation.
#4 Place Offer
Once you find your dream home, it’s time to place an offer. Your lender will develop a pre-approval letter specific for that property. Your real estate agent will then put in your offer on the home. The seller can accept, reject, or counter your offer. This negotiation process can change depending on the interest in the home.
If the home has been sitting on the market for a while, the seller is more likely to be motivated to sell the home and accept your offer.
If the home is brand new on the market and has multiple offers, the seller could reject your offer or counter asking for more. This is where having a great real estate agent comes in handy.
#5 Loan Process
After your offer has been accepted and you have a signed purchase contract, it is time to start the loan process. This is where your lender will work on getting the home appraised, your loan underwritten and approved. This can often be the bumpiest part of the process and may require you to submit documentation multiple times, but don’t worry, this is normal!
#6 Time To Go Home
After you have signed your final loan documents and your loan has been funded, it is time to get the keys to your new home! Your lender will walk you through the next steps and show you how to make your first mortgage payment.
Looking for an experienced professional to help issue your pre-qualification? CLICK HERE to find the nearest branch and speak with one of our experienced mortgage advisors. After your free 45 minute consultation, you will leave with a pre-qualification, an idea of your monthly payment, and a referral to a great real estate agent. Get started on your path to homeownership today.