If you are ready to buy a new house, especially if this is the first home you have ever bought, it is common to feel some anxiety about the process and how things will go. Understanding what to expect will help relieve some of that anxiety and give you peace of mind. The Dylan Snyder Real Estate Group has created a step-by-step home-buying guide to help you get through the process of buying a home with one of our experienced agents.
Step 1. Hire a REALTOR®
You may think you don’t need a REALTOR®, but it’s likely you will need the advice and guidance of one at some point during the process. Do you know the local real estate market and how much properties are worth? Do you know the best home inspectors, lenders and other professionals to call when you need something? Do you have years of negotiating experience to make sure you get the best deal and don’t neglect any key items?
There is a lot to think about when buying a home and working with an agent that knows the Jupiter real estate market will take the pressure off of you so you can focus on the end result. My team of professionals will work with you to help you achieve your goals and make sure all of the details are handled.
Step 2. Set a Budget
Too many times, buyers fall in love with a home they can’t afford. We hate it when that happens. To help avoid this, we always recommend you talk to a lender right away. During your conversation with the lender, they will verify information that will help you determine how much you will be able to spend. It’s also a great time for you to ask questions and understand more about the lending process. Make sure you are comfortable with what your monthly expenses will be once you close on your home. If you don’t have a lender in mind, let us know and we will help match you to the best lender for you.
Step 3. Apply for Home Financing
When you speak with your lender, go ahead and get a pre-approval letter so you are ready when you find the right house. It may take months or it may be the first house you look at. Either way, while you are talking to the lender, someone else may be making an offer on your dream home. Don’t let this happen. With a pre-approval in hand, your offer will be stronger and we will be ready to move quickly when you find “the one.”
Step 4. Set Your Search Criteria
You’ve hired an agent and set your budget. What next? With so many styles, locations and options to choose from, finding the perfect home can be a little overwhelming. Don’t let this slow you down. Think about the things that are most important to you and we will start building a list of search criteria to narrow the homes down to the ones that meet your needs. Location, size, budget, schools, and so much more are all criteria that we can search by. Let’s talk about what is most important to you and start finding it.
Step 5. View Homes Online
Believe it or not, you are getting closer to your new home. With your search criteria determined, it’s time for a little online shopping. Start searching on our site and begin to see what is available. You may discover that something you are looking for isn’t available or maybe you see something else that is more important to you, either way, this is your chance to test the waters and see what’s available. If you see things you like, let us know. This will help us get to know your likes and dislikes so we can help you find the perfect home.
Step 6. Tour Available Homes
You’ve looked at quite a few homes online and maybe found a few that meet your needs. Now it’s time to take a look in person. Some homes look better in person while others look worse. The only way to determine if it is the right house for you is to go visit it in person. Tour the home, walk through the neighborhood, drive your daily routine to work or to drop the kids off at school at the times you usually do those things. Then decide if this is the right home for you.
Step 7. Place an Offer
You might have loved the first house you toured or maybe it took 50 more. Either way, you have finally found the perfect home. Now, let’s make it yours! We will talk about the home and decide what the best terms are for you to include in your offer. There is a lot to consider when making an offer on a home, and having an experienced agent will help you tackle this step with ease.
Don’t leave something out that might cost you money or may cause the seller to reject your offer because you don’t know what to do. Rely on your agent to prepare the initial offer, negotiate with the seller or seller’s agent to come up with mutually agreeable terms, and ensure the offer is fully executed meaning you are under contract on the home of your dreams.
Step 8. Have a Home Inspection Done
In almost all parts of life, there is more than meets the eye. Don’t rely on your just what you see to determine the condition of the house. Hire a professional home inspector to do a thorough inspection of the home and determine any issues that aren’t functioning the way they should be. After the home inspection, the inspector will provide you an inspection report outlining any deficiencies of the property.
Review this inspection report with your trusted REALTOR® to determine if there any repairs that should be addressed prior to closing. Don’t be alarmed by what shows up in the home inspection. Almost every home will have issues (even new ones) but a home inspection will help you understand the current condition of the property.
Step 9. Appraisal, Title, and More
While the home inspection is often the biggest hurdle between contract and closing, there are other tasks that must be completed prior to closing. Many of these tasks will be handled by your lender and REALTOR® with little involvement from you, but you should understand what is going on. Unless you are paying cash for your home, the lender will require a home appraisal. This will protect you and the lender and make sure the property value meets or exceeds the contract amount.
Title work is also performed to make sure there aren’t any outstanding issues with the title of the home. Other things that need to be done between contract and closing are acquiring homeowners’ insurance on your new property and having the utilities transferred into your name.
Step 10. Closing
Closing is the day most people look forward to and the date the home will finally be yours. During the closing, you will do a final walkthrough, then meet with the title company to sign all outstanding documents so the official transfer of funds can take place. Once it’s all done, you’ll be handed the keys. Closing is an exciting time since it marks the date your new home officially becomes yours! Closing will take place at the title company where you will sign a lot of paperwork. Once the paperwork is signed and funds have been transferred, the home is yours. Now begins the really hard work.