In the Market to Buy a Home?  

If you are looking to buy a home, there are certain things you should know before you hit the open house trail.  

Work with a licensed real estate professional.  Buying a home is one of the most important and expensive purchases you make in your lifetime.  Whether you think you will stay for a lifetime or just a few years, you can't afford to make a mistake.  You need someone who knows the laws, knows how to negotiate on your behalf, and knows the local market.  Real estate agents who represent you, the buyer, are called Buyer's Agents.  Once you become their client, they have a fiduciary responsibility to you and only you.  Don't fall into the trap of letting the seller's agent represent you along with the seller.  That agent has a responsibility to the seller only.  And, the best part is that you get all of the services that a Realtor® offers and the seller normally pays all the commissions at closing.  For more information about brokerage services Click Here.


Get pre-approved by a lender before looking.  If you are going to finance your home, you need to speak with a lender at the very beginning of the process.  Otherwise, you don't really know what price home you can afford.  In many markets, you can't make an offer for a home unless you have been pre-approved.  If you don't know any lenders, a good place to ask friends and family for a recommendation.  You can also talk to your bank who may offer home loans.  Your Realtor® can also provide a list of lenders for you to interview.

Steps to purchasing a home.   There are several steps you will go through in order to purchase a new home. The most common are:

  • Make an Offer.
  • Negotiate the contract with an option period.
  • Use the Option period to get inspections and negotiate repairs if needed.
  • Apply for your mortgage and get final credit approval.
  • Arrange for homeowners insurance including flood insurance if you 
  • Get a survey.
  • Get an appraisal.
  • Get property approved through lender's underwriters.
  • Set up utilities.
  • Closing.

          Don't worry, your Buyer's Agent will be managing this process and making most of the arrangements.           

Understand the cost of home ownership.  Home ownership comes with certain financial obligations.  For example, you must pay taxes and insurance.  In some cases, you will have an obligation to pay Homeowners Association Dues. Once you have found a home to purchase, you should contact your insurance agent and get a quote for homeowner's insurance.   When you purchase a home, your lender may require you to have an escrow account and prepay a certain amount at closing to cover these costs. Be careful to understand and ask your lender questions about what your closing costs will be in addition to your down-payment.