Buying your first home can be a daunting process. After all, it's fun to look at homes but a little more scary to discuss loans with your lender, negotiate repairs and sort through all the paperwork you're signing. So I broke it down into 6 simple steps you'll go through in the purchasing process. I hope it gives you a better insight into what you can expect when you are buying a home!
1. Know the Basics
Start by knowing your needs and wants. How many bedrooms do you need? What part of town do you want to be in? Knowing the basics of what you're looking for will help your Realtor understand what you are looking for and point you in the right direction.
You can also use an online mortgage calculate to estimate the price range you should be looking in. Try Realtor.com and their mortgage calculator to get an idea of monthly payments and loan amounts.
2. Pick the right Realtor
If you visit a lot of open houses you will meet a lot of Real Estate Agents. Be sure to pick someone who was referred to you, has great reviews, or a Realtor from an open house that proved themselves knowledgable and helpful. Your Realtor will also put you in contact with a great Lender who will walk you through the type of loan and loan amount that is best for you.
If you are in Charlotte, NC area, message me to find out how I help my clients find the perfect home on the first day I work with them. Not around Charlotte, NC? I research Realtors across the country regularly, so let me find the best one in your area.
3. Narrow it down
I choose to show my clients no more than 4 homes in one day. More than that, and they tend to blend together. Plus, you can usually narrow down the list of homes somehow. For example, 30 homes may be for sale with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths between $200,000 and $250,000 in your area, and yet your need for a fenced yard, brick exterior, and updated kitchen will narrow that list down quite a bit. Your Realtor can provide great insight into how to narrow down this list.
4. Write an offer
I pride myself in learning what my clients want early, which is how I write offers for my clients on the first day of showings 80% of the time. When you see a home that meets all your needs and most of your wants, don't be afraid to write an offer.
At this point, your Realtor will probably go back to the office to review the latest comparable sales and then give you a call to discuss your offering price. They will also ask you about things like Due Diligence Fee (money paid to seller while you do inspections and appraisal) and Earnest Money (money paid to seller if you back out of the contract after the Due Diligence period).
Once the offer is written, sit back and relax, as the negotiation process can take a few hours to a few days. Your Realtor will communicate with you when the sellers counteroffer and advise you on your next steps.
5. Under Contract
When the sellers accept your offer, celebrate! This is when your Realtor really gets to work as they schedule inspections, appraisal, and order your loan from your Lender. You can expect to attend the Inspection and hear of any needed repairs. Your Realtor will then discuss with you how to request repairs and the cost involved. During the time you are under contract you will be in frequent contact with your Realtor and Lender as they get everything ready for closing.
All the work you and your Realtor have done has paid off! On the day of closing you can expect to wire funds to the attorney's office, or however your lender instructs you. About an hour of signing papers by the attorney and you will be homeowners!
Looking for more real estate tips? I specialize in finding great Realtors across the country. If you're in Charlotte, NC, I'd love to help. If not, let me find you a great Realtor in your area!