Home Buying Process
Table of Contents
The buying process can have many different starting points. If you are in the market for your very first home, we highly encourage you to start on our First Time Home Buyers page for helpful info tailored specifically to first time buyers.
Although there is no ‘wrong’ way to start looking for your new home, we have found that it is best to first find out how much you can afford by speaking with a lender and getting prequalified. Every other aspect of your home search works around your budget, so knowing that at the start of your search is often the best place to start.
Read below for more details on The Buying Process!
Establish the Budget
What is the first thing I should do to get started towards buying a home?
One of the first thing we have our clients do is get preapproved by a lender. Getting pre-qualified early in the process will allow plenty of time to prepare or improve your finances, if necessary. It will also establish your budget, how much you can afford to borrow, and how much of a down payment you will need to stay within your targeted monthly payment range.
We have worked with a wide range of lenders throughout the years and are very happy to work with your preferred lender! In the event that you do not have a preferred lender, we are more than happy to refer a few options. We work closely with a number of lenders that can perform and compete in today’s market.
Develop Search Criteria
I know my budget for a home, what is the next step?
Once we know the budget we can start narrowing down what kind of homes fit your needs and wants, which takes place during the Buyers Consultation. This is a collaborative process between all the decision makers, not only the buyers but even children or parents helping with the purchase. Ideally, this happens in our office or a coffee shop where we can lay out the items you want in a home and openly discuss why each is important to have in your future home.
We accomplish this by listing needs & wants and determining how important each item is by assigning it a value, usually between 1 – 5, where 1 is highest in priority.
Things to consider when developing your criteria:
- Budget or price range
- Type of home: Condo/Townhouse or Single Family Residence
- Number of bedrooms and baths
- Commute to work
- Specific needs (Single level, 2 car garage, Yard, Etc.)
View Properties - House Hunting Begins
Now that we have established what we are looking for, showings can commence!
What kind of properties can we see?
Our showing selection is not only confined to properties that are within your budget. Sometimes viewing homes outside of the budget is justified, like when looking for inspiration or seeing how much a 10/10 home would cost. However, most of the homes we see should be within the established budget.
How long does it take to find a home?
The time it takes us to locate the perfect home varies from buyer to buyer, but typically the process lasts about 3-4 months although we have had buyers identify, pursue, and ultimately close on a property in as little as 45 days!
We find that most buyers take at least a couple of weeks to familiarize themselves with the market before getting comfortable enough to write offers.
Know the Market, Know your Leverage
You don’t know what you don’t know.
When working with an experienced agent, one of the first things we will try to convey to a buyer is the current market and how much leverage they have with sellers. Whether the market is competitive, such as the one we’ve experienced over the last several years, or something more balanced, knowing your leverage can be the difference between a great buying experience and a bad one.
See our blog page for a look at our current interpretation of the market!
I have found a house and would like to submit an offer, how can we do that?
After we have identified a home that fits your wants and needs, it’s time to start submitting offers! At this stage, we will talk about strategy and how to write an offer that is not only competitive, but also protects you in escrow. As mentioned previously, writing a competitive offer can mean different things depending on the current market.
The first offer we write often takes the longest because we want to be certain that our clients feel confident and informed with respect to the Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA). Taking the time to educate our clients on the working pieces of the RPA not only puts most worries at ease but also leaves them feeling confident.
The Prestige Team takes great care to ensure our clients fully understand all of the paperwork we encounter throughout the transaction. We sit down and read over contracts, disclosures, reports, and anything else we or our clients determine is of importance so we are informed and confident about the offer and the purchase.
Ready to Start your Search?
As a top rated Real Estate Team, Karen Anderson and The Prestige Team close 60+ homes per year, so we get a first-hand feel for what the market is doing.
Educating the buyer and/or agent to the current market is one of the most important things you can do to improve your buying experience and chances of getting your offer accepted.
Contact us today to get started on your home search!
Learn the buying process, start to finish!
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