Buying a home can be a long and complicated process. It can feel overwhelming to think about taking on this responsibility, especially if you don’t have prior experience shopping for a home. Thankfully this isn’t a task that you must do without help. You have plenty of tools at your disposal as well as agents such as Javier Tello standing by who can help you through the most difficult steps. Start preparing to shop for a home by reading through the expert home-buying guide below.
1. Understand how long it will take
2. Talk with multiple lenders
3. Determine what type of home you want
Perhaps you have an interest in different architectural styles, and you want to search for homes that match these themes and patterns. Maybe you’re simply concerned with what rooms and amenities your home has. Either way, this is the fun part of the home search for most potential buyers. It’s important to determine what type of home you can afford to buy, but it’s also crucial to think about what you’re hoping to find in your next home. Take some time to look at online home listings and get a feel for what sort of features the homes in your price range most often promote or offer. Once you have a good understanding of what you’re looking for, you can communicate your preferences with your realtor, and they will recommend homes that match your needs and wishes.
4. Prepare to make a competitive offer
In a competitive market, homes often sell quickly and for a price above asking. As you get ready to buy a home, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of current market trends and happenings. If motivated buyers are quickly snatching up homes, you probably won’t have much negotiating power when you’re discussing a deal. If you notice that homes are spending several weeks or months on the market without receiving much interest, perhaps you could come in with an initial offer below the asking price or with certain contingencies that are more favorable for you as the buyer. Your realtor will advise you on how to best proceed in these types of situations. In any case, you should expect to hear a counteroffer if your initial offer is well below your seller’s listed asking price. Many transactions come to a point where sellers and buyers are trading offers back and forth with each other.
5. Get ready for closing
Once you agree to a deal with a seller to buy their home, you’ll spend the next several weeks getting ready for closing. There are a few important things that will happen during this time. Home inspection is one of the most crucial steps that usually takes place before purchasing a home. You aren’t required to order an inspection before purchasing a home, but it’s certainly risky to skip the inspection. Your inspector will thoroughly look over your home to determine if there are any structural or foundational concerns that you should know about before you purchase the home. Many home contracts include an option period or an inspection contingency that allows you to walk away from the deal without penalty in the event that the inspection reveals significant issues with the home. You’ll also schedule a time for an appraiser to come and look at the home. They must ensure that the home is selling for a fair market price in order for the lender to issue the funds that they need to buy the home. Additionally, both the buyer and the seller will work with a title company before closing to facilitate the legal transfer of ownership of the home.