If you are a first-time home buyer, the process to purchase a home may seem very overwhelming. There are many steps and procedures that need to be completed in order to close on a home successfully. There are a lot of things that happen before you even submit an offer on a home and even more that happens prior to closing on a house. Review the steps below for an easy-to-follow breakdown of the home buying process.
1. Talk with a Lender and Get Pre-Approved
Before you can even begin to start looking at houses you need to determine how much you can afford and if you are in the financial situation to purchase a home. Meeting with a lender to determine if you can afford a home is the first step. If you do not have enough money saved up or a good enough credit score you may have to wait a while longer to begin the home buying process. You also want to make sure you are pre-approved for a loan so you can start working with a real estate agent and look at homes you can afford.
2. Begin Researching Real Estate Agents
After you have been pre-approved for a loan to purchase a home then you will need to start researching real estate agents. This can be done simply by asking family and friends if they have a real estate agent, they loved working with. Another option is looking up real estate agents online and reviewing their credentials. You will want to make sure you find an agent that suits your specific needs and works well with your personality. Take time to call a couple real estate agents and get to know them a little more prior to making your first appointment to look at houses.
3. Start Looking at Houses
Your real estate agent will talk with you to determine what you are looking for. If you want a specific number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a large backyard or even a swimming pool, a good real estate agent will take note of all these requirements and send you the best houses that match your goals. They can then begin to schedule showings with you so you can view the homes in person.
4. Put an Offer on a Home
After you find the house you love you can submit an offer. You will decide if you want to offer the asking price or submit an offer for higher or lower. During this time you will also add on any contingencies or stipulations for the offer. After your offer is submitted you wait for the counter offer, rejection or acceptance from the seller. If your offer is accepted you move on to the next phase of the home buying process.
5. Schedule a Home Inspection
Typically, after an offer is submitted, if there is a home inspection contingency, a home inspection is scheduled. Home inspection is a review and thorough inspection of the house to ensure it is safe and everything is working properly. A home inspection will reveal any defects or deficiencies in the home. After the home inspection is completed, a buyer will be able to review the detailed report written by the inspector to determine if the home is still a good fit. If there are major issues found during the inspection, many times a buyer may renegotiate or request repairs prior to purchasing. If this happens, then negotiations may start again and in some cases, based on the contract the buyer can then decide if they wish to walk away.
If you are in need of an amazing home inspector for the home you are purchasing, consider using Ellingwood Pro Home Inspections. Ellingwood Pro Home Inspections completes residential home inspections in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland as well as many other add on services. Some add on services include a radon inspection, a home energy audit, a termite inspection, a mold inspection and even new construction inspections.
6. Talk with the Lender
After an offer is submitted, you will then begin working with your lender again. At this point you will no longer need to be pre-approved, but instead, approved to purchase the home you have submitted an offer on. Many times, banks need you to complete the loan paperwork and other documents to determine if you are eligible for a loan.
After you apply for your loan with the bank, they will need to complete an appraisal of the property. This simply needs that they need to do an evaluation of the home you are buying to ensure it is worth the amount of money you are borrowing or more.
After the appraisal is complete then it is almost time for closing day. Closing day may take a little longer to schedule because of things like finalizing the loan paperwork, completing a title search, home insurance, or even the final walk through. Everything needs to be ready to go prior to signing the closing documents at the closing table. Once you reach the closing table, you sign a ton of paperwork and then get the keys to your new home!
Now that you know a little more about the home buying process it is time to get started! Happy house hunting and do not forget to inspect before you buy!