Here's a 10-step home buyer's checklist to help you keep on track toward acquiring your new home:
The road to homeownership can be exhilarating, but also complicated. For any successful real estate transaction to occur, several vital steps must be executed, which may include choosing a REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process, to contacting a reputable lender to establish your borrowing power, to selecting a home, then closing escrow and preparing for the move into your new home!
1. Select a REALTOR®: Choose a REALTOR® to assist you through the complex process of looking for the right home, conducting neighborhood research, analyzing home prices, negotiating with sellers, and signing documents, among other things.
2. Get an Education: You may want to find out what first-time buyer incentive programs are available through your city and county municipalities. Often these include financial assistance for those who complete home-buying educational courses, deferred loans, and other forms of support.
3. Paint Your Financial Picture: You may want to obtain a copy of your credit report and credit score and attempt to resolve any errors or other credit issues that might impact your ability to obtain the best loan and interest rate possible.
4. Get Pre-approved: Make an appointment to meet with a qualified mortgage lender to determine what price range you can afford and obtain a pre-approval letter, which demonstrates your buying power.
5. Find a Home: Using the services, knowledge, and expertise of a REALTOR®, establish your priorities for size, location, and style, and start shopping for a home that fits your lifestyle, budget, and long-term goals.
6. Make the Offer: When you find the home that's right for you, work with your REALTOR® to write an offer and complete a purchase agreement, detailing all of the terms and conditions of the sale between you and the seller.
7. Make a Deposit: When you write an offer, you may decide to provide a "good-faith" deposit showing the seller your intent to buy the home.
8. Get Financing: Once you've selected a home and you and the seller have agreed upon a price, choose a lender who can help you obtain a loan that best suits your immediate and long-term needs.
9. Hire an Inspector: A home inspection is recommended in order to reveal structural and other issues with the home that you may want to address before completing your purchase transaction.
10. Close the Deal: Wrapping up your purchase transaction may include meeting with your REALTOR® to conduct a final walk-through of the property, signing final documents, and getting the loan funded, among other things.