So you’re ready to plant roots and purchase a home? If you are like most homebuyers, this purchase will be your single largest investment. Thus, educating yourself on the process of buying a home is of the utmost importance. With the help of your HARRELL Real Estate Agent, you will be sure to make a wise purchase and find a home to call your own.But what can you expect from the process? Check out this brief step-by-step overview to get an idea of what buying a home will look like.
1. Research and Make Plans
Before you set out on the search, make sure to determine the reason you are purchasing a home and what kind of home you need. By defining these criteria, you can direct what sort of homes to look at. It’s also important, at this stage, to examine your financial situation and project what sort of market you can afford.
2. Establish a Relationship with a Real Estate Agent
No two homes or transactions are alike—home buying is a complex process and you will want to partner with an individual who knows the real estate industry very well in order to make a wise and stress-free purchase. This is why finding a real estate agent who you trust is so important—we think you will find just that with HARRELL.
3. Get Pre-Approved
Before you start searching for your dream home, it is recommended that you get pre-approved for a loan, so you are looking in the right budget. This will involve meeting with a lender and considering your current financial situation and credit history. After your information is analyzed, your lender will let you know how much you can borrow to buy a home. It is also important to be aware of your lending options—shop around to make sure you are getting the best offer from your lender.
Benefits of Pre-Qualification:
- You will be able to go into the buying process informed on what you can realistically afford.
- As a pre-qualified buyer, your offers will be taken more seriously.
- Lenders can check whether or not you qualify for special programs that will allow you to better afford your ideal home– especially if you are a first time homebuyer.
4. Search for Your Dream Home
Before you get lost in the hunt, make sure to know what you want. Make a list and characterize “must-haves” and “like-to-haves”, to help narrow your search and find a home that will suit your needs and wants. We’ve created this helpful wish list for you to download and fill out here. Afterwards, contact us and we’ll get started!
You will also need to know the benefits and pitfalls of searching for a home online. Although browsing listings online can be extremely helpful in getting a feel for the market, you cannot rely solely on home’s online profiles. ZILLOW IS THE DEVIL.
There is no substitute for actually walking through a home—they may have a very different layout and level of workmanship than what you see online. Your HARRELL Group Real Estate Agent will help you navigate these differences.
5. Make an Offer
After you have found a home that is the right fit, it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will draw up contracts developed specifically for your area that will specify sale price and various terms of purchasing, such as closing and possession dates, and deposit amount. Once you have filled out these contracts, your real estate agent will present them to the seller’s agent and negotiate a price. Once a price is settled upon, it’s time to take the next step!
Once a purchase price has been settled upon, it’s time to go back to your lender and secure your financing. If you took our advice and were pre-approved, this should be a streamlined process. During this final step with your lender, you will work out your mortgage details—interest rate, payment schedule and other financial conditions associated with the closing.
But let the buyer beware—don’t get caught up in the excitement of the purchase and merely skim this process. Far too often buyers get turned upside-down financially because they did not fully understand their financial decisions. Lean on your HARRELL agent’s knowledge and work with a lender you trust to assure you are fully prepared to take on the exciting investment of a home!
7. Close on Your Home
Now that you have your finances in order, it is time for the fun part—getting the keys! Before you officially have the keys in hand, you will need to go through the closing process. There are three central steps to completing your close.
- Have the Title Searched. A title search is an extensive review of legal documents connected to the ownership of the property you are purchasing. This review will ensure that there are no other claims to the title of your property. It will also be important to purchase Title Insurance to protect yourself in a case where an error in your title’s records appeared. HARRELL Group trusts and recommends Texas Central Title Company.
- Walk Through One Last Time. Before you officially close, you will be given a chance to walk through your property to ensure that it is in the same condition as it was at the time of the sale agreement. Make sure to do a full sweep of the property with your real estate agent, so that any issues can be worked out prior to your settlement.
- Settle the Purchase. On the closing date you will pay all your closing costs, legal fees, taxes, and finish signing and verifying paperwork at the title company or in your lawyer’s office. After this is all completed you will officially receive the title to the property and the keys to your new home! Then, it is time for congratulations! You are officially a homeowner!