The first step in purchasing a home is not starting your search and wish list until you have your financial house in order. You cannot plan for your new brick and mortar home until you have ensured the foundation of your financial one. Once you have checked your credit report and cleared any errors, discrepancies, or negative issues you can begin planning your new purchase.
Begin with a wish list of square footage, neighborhoods, and other must haves. Next, use online real estate search programs like Trulia or Zillow to fine-tune your criteria and budget. Create a saved list of properties you like or that meet your budget. Make sure you are certain of what you want and can afford before finding a real estate agent. Speak with family and friends, ask who they used and if they would recommend them and why. Pick your top two or three candidates and meet with them to discuss your objectives and their abilities. Your realtor will help you find a mortgage lender or begin completing paperwork for a loan with a preselected financial institution.
If you are shopping for a loan, make sure you carefully consider every offer and not just the loan rates, but all associated fees. When you have chosen a home and made a written offer, the process will advance quickly. The sellers of the intended purchased home may counter your offer or accept right away. You will be required to pay a predetermined down payment that will be due upon closing. Once they have accepted an offer from you, in order to get to closing there are a few additional steps. There should be an inspection to confirm the property is in good condition. If you find something of note, your agent will work with the seller’s agent to negotiate how those defects will be repaired.
Finally, once both parties have consented to any repairs or changes to list price, the paperwork will be created for the sale of the home and transfer of ownership. The final signing of paperwork is called the closing. The event usually consists of many pages of paperwork that will require signatures and notarizing by the closing agent. Once everything has been finalized, keys will be remitted to the new owner.