Buyer's Guide to Homeownership

The first steps in homeownership can be intimidating but the knowledge of an experienced real estate agent helps make that first step easier.

  • An experienced agent can consult with you on your needs, priorities, and location. Evaluate your budges, identify a timeline, and provide you with property search tools. You plan on out-of-pocket expenses that will be needed before you close on a property. These expenses may include earnest money, inspection costs, appraisal costs depending on your financial institution, and lawyer fees if applicable.
  • Buyer’s next step is to contact a loan officer at the bank of their choice and request the lender to get pre-qualified. Use this time to shop for the best rates, loan terms, and banker responsiveness. RE-adjust your expectations if you need to based on the financial information you receive from the banker. By providing a prequalification letter with your offer, you are proving to the sellers you are serous about purchasing their property. If you will be buying a property with cash, be prepared to supply a proof of funds from your financial institution with the offer.
  • Explore neighborhoods, learn about communities, and set priorities with each area's amenities. During this process, you will spend time with your buyer's agent who find properties that best fit these priorities.
  • Your buyer’s agent will lead you through the offer to purchase process. The offer will contain the proposed offer price, timeline, any contingencies including inspection, financing, appraisal, property use, and more.
  • The most nerve-wrecking time for any buyer is the negotiations. The buyers’ agent will conduct the negotiations on your behalf and communicate with the seller’s agent on your behalf.
  • After the offer is accepted, your buyer’s agent will work with you on ensuring all contingencies are met within the timelines dictated by the contract. Once the contingencies are met, both parties are bound to a contract.
  • After weeks or months of hard work, you have made it to closing day! Upon obtaining a clear to close from the lender’s underwriter, the title company has the permission to go ahead with the closing paperwork. Congratulations- you are now a homeowner!