The 9 Steps to Home Ownership
Owning a home is a big responsibility. We've broken down the 9 major steps for prospective buyers, so you have a clear understanding of what to think about and what to ask during the buying process.
Step 1: Make the Decision to Buy
|The first step to buying a house is making the decision to buy.|
If you can afford to buy a home and it fits your current situation in life, today is a wonderful time to make the commitment to buy your own home.
- Consider the reasons you want a new house and write them down.
- Determine how long you want to live in the new house.
- Does buying make good financial sense?
- Can you afford a house that will meet your list of requirements?
- A good rule of thumb is your mortgage payment should not exceed 1/3 of your net monthly income.
Step 2: Seek Professional Guidance
|We'll talk by phone about the reasons you want to buy a house and your plans for the future. This includes neighborhoods, schools, priorities, and any economic factors that will impact your search for a new home.|
At this time, I will also help you get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan.
- Pre-qualification is a written statement from a loan officer indicating his or her opinion that you will be approved for a mortgage loan up to a certain amount. Pre-qualification will help you when we are negotiating the deal. It will also bring confidence and security to you as you search for a home to buy.
Step 3: Begin the Hunt
|After our initial meeting, I'll search all my resources for houses on the market that fit your criteria. I'll preview these houses to eliminate the duds. Then, I'll schedule appointments to tour the houses at times convenient to you.|
- As we tour houses, I'll point out positive and negative features. I'll ask you to tell me what you like and what you don't like. You'll probably amend your wish list as we tour; some things will become more important and others less so. With this new information, I'll refine our search criteria to narrow in on the house of your dreams.
Step 4: Know the Market
|My knowledge of the local market is an essential factor in the house search. I'll let you know when the market in a particular neighborhood requires immediate action or when thoughtful consideration is needed.|
I'll let you know when the asking price has negotiating room and when the house is priced to sell. My unique market knowledge will keep you a step ahead of the competition.
- In a seller's market, it is not unusual to see multiple offers on a property, full-price offers and even above-price offers.
- On the flip side, during a buyer's market, there are more houses for sale than buyers. This gives us more negotiating room as houses are taking longer to sell.
- As your buyer's agent, I will be able to tell you if a house has been on the market for a long time.
Step 5: Find Your Dream House
|I'm confident we'll find your dream house. When we do, I'll put together the purchase offer tailored for your needs including appropriate contingencies (such as obtaining financing, favorable home inspection, clear survey, etc.). I will oversee all details needed to bring your home purchase to a close.|
- The offer is normally presented with "earnest money". This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is applied to closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, generally closing is held 30 to 60 days from the offer date (generally dependent on the turnaround time of your mortgage financing).
Step 6: Negotiate the Deal
|It is not uncommon to receive a counter offer when the initial purchase offer is submitted. Don't let this discourage you. We will discuss any counter offer(s) and decide whether or not to accept the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the counter offer and move on.|
- Market conditions will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We will also work within your limits. Emotions can lead to buyer's remorse. It is better to set limits prior to negotiating an offer and stick to these limits.
Step 7: Get a Loan
|During the closing period, you will work with your mortgage lender to close the loan. Since you pre-qualified for the loan before starting your home search, you will be that much closer to the end. I'll gather the necessary property information your lender will need to close the loan.|
Step 8: Close the Deal
You will receive a good faith estimate of closing costs at the time the loan application is submitted to the lender. The estimate is based on the loan officer's past experience and may not include all the closing costs. I will be glad to review the estimate, answering questions and highlighting missing costs or analyzing estimates I believe to be low.
I will schedule inspections, any subsequent work and follow-up, survey, attorney, and other reports necessary to bring your sale to closing.
Step 9: Move In
|Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house and make it your home. Enjoy this exciting time. |
I'll give you a checklist to help you remember the numerous details that will make your moving day a happy day for you.