5 Simple Steps to Buying a Home – It’s not rocket science , but you could end up taking one giant leap if you don’t read this blog! ..especially first time homebuyers.
Step 1: Find a Realtor to represent you. So many consumers spend hours and hours searching the internet for properties and driving around neighborhoods wasting time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again..’A good Realtor is worth his weight in gold’. Spend your time searching the internet for a Realtor, find one and call him for a consultation. You can still search for homes yourself, but your Realtor can save you countless hours searching the wrong sites and looking at properties that are already sold.
Your Realtor will have access to an MLS service ( Multiple Listing Service) in the area you are interested in. Most websites on the internet that allow users to search for homes have outdated properties. Homes are sold and it takes time for the information to be distributed to the internet sites. In contrast, the MLS has the information immediately. The catch is only Realtors have access to the MLS.
So find a Realtor, call him or her, meet with him or her, and hire him or her. The beauty of the whole thing is your Realtor, who works for you, is only compensated when he finds you the home you want….And the compensation comes from the Sellers of the house you buy!!! Not the Buyer!.
For information on how to find a good Realtor and what a good Realtor should do for you, see my blog post : Why Do I need A Realtor® or Real Estate Agent at all?
Step 2: Find your DREAM HOME. After you hired your agent, search the market. Your agent will provide you with time-saving tips, links to search for homes and information that will help you save time and money. By listening to your needs, a good Real Estate agent will be able to set up filters and perform accurate property searches for you. Compile a list of your 5 top homes and have your agent set up tours of your 5 favorites. When you find the home that fits your needs its time to really put your agent to work!
STEP 3: Make an offer. This is where a good agent will earn his commission and then some. Putting together an offer involves a lot of paperwork along with a fair amount of skill. Many factors need to be considered and disclosures need to be made by both parties. Your agent will help you navigate these waters. Put your offer together with the help of your agent, taking into consideration the temperature of the current market. Once your get your property under contract….Step 4 , here we come!
Step 4: Secure Financing. Actually, if your agent knows what he is doing, you will already be pre-qualified at this point. Now its time to lock in a rate, and get your loan approved. Again, this is not difficult but you should have the advice of a Realtor. You will need some advice by someone who knows how to look at a lenders GFE(Good Faith Estimate). The GFE is where all your fees and expenses to get you in that home should be disclosed. There are rules about what a lender can and cannot change once he gives you a GFE. Your agent can help you decipher the GFE and make sure you are getting a good deal on financing.
Step 5: Settlement on your new home. After you have secured financing and crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s, its time to go to settlement. At settlement you will again cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s. Signing all the paperwork at a real estate settlement can be very stressful and intimidating… if you don’t have someone on your side to answer questions……..YOUR REALTOR!. You should understand everything you sign at settlement, and the settlement attorney is not representing you, so you may or may not get detailed explanations. 90% of the time settlements go smoothly, if not its in your best interest to have your Realtor there.
So that’s it!, 5 simple steps. Of course there are many small items that need addressed throughout the entire process, and thats why you want to find a good Realtor, and hire him to be your buyer representative.