8 Steps to Buying a Home Checklist

  1. Prepare to Buy
  • Begin process only when you’re ready to make a purchase
  • Resolve issues…including, but not limited to:
    • When do you need to be settled?
    • Who else needs to be involved in the decision?
    • Does your job play a part in the decision to move?
    • If renting, does your current lease need to be reviewed?
    • If already owning, should you buy first or sell first?
  • Make sure all parties involved are committed
  • Define your financial strengths and weaknesses
  1. Meet with a Real Estate Agent
  • Ask about agent’s experience, affiliations, and designations
  • Select and work with only one agent
    • Ask about Buyer Agency
    • Gain understanding of representation for your specific transaction
    • Sign a buyer representation agreement that outlines your rights and responsibilities
  • Have the agent define and explain the buying process
  • Help your agent get to know you, your needs and your lifestyle
    • Consider inviting them to your home
    • Ask a lot of questions
  • If you’re considering new construction, let your agent know so he/she can help
  1. Establish Price Range and Financing
  • Obtain a pre-approval letter
  • Research and understand various financing options and their associated risks. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Fixed-rate mortgages
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMS)
    • Interest-only loans
    • FHA/VA loans
    • Balloon mortgages
  1. Determine Your Housing Requirements
  • Begin by examining your lifestyle and dominant motivations
    • Motivations: Achievement, Pride, Family, Security, Convenience, Comfort, Independence, Privacy, Love, Self-fulfillment, Social Acceptance/Friendship, Status/Recognition
    • Lifestyle Descriptions: Busy, Adventure, Travel, Entertain, Relaxing, Animal Lover, Gardener, Workaholic, etc.
  • Translate your motivations to the physical requirement of the home
    • Physical Requirements: #Bedrooms, #Baths, Yard, Location, Proximity to Amenities, Fireplace, Basement, etc.
  • Remember: you ultimately buy according to how you will feel in the home
  1. Start House Hunting
  • Use technology to define your search
  • Preview homes via the Internet at sites such as:
    • Your agent’s company site, MLS online and
    • Experience homes using online virtual tours
  • Your agent will arrange showings
    • Imagine yourself living in the home
    • Mentally place furniture and family in rooms
    • Discuss your reactions with your agent
  • Don’t expect perfection with existing real estate; focus on permanent features and characteristics
  • If you find a house that feels right, make your decision sooner than later
  • If you choose to buy the house, hire a private inspection company to evaluate it
  1. Complete the Purchase Agreement
  • Your agent will serve as an advisor during this process; you ultimately make final decisions on elements of the agreement.
  • The goal is to reach agreement and purchase the home; aim for a win-win transaction
  • Read and understand the elements of your purchase agreement:
    • Earnest money
    • Personal property and fixtures
    • Price
    • Time: closing and possession dates
    • Financing terms
    • Other conditions (i.e. contingencies)
    • Taxes, assessments and escrow
  • Remember: quality real estate will command market value. Don’t make a low offer for homes priced at or near market value.
  1. Present and Negotiate the Purchase Agreement
  • Know the sellers options
    • Accept your offer
    • Reject your offer
    • Counter offer
    • If multiple offers, they may select a competing agreement
  • Negotiate only the items that are most important
  1. Close the Sale
  • Work with agent and lender to provide all necessary items…including, but not limited to:
    • Credit report
    • Appraisal
    • Income and deposit verification
    • Finalize loan approval
    • Inspections
    • Title search
    • Homeowners insurance
    • Moving arrangements
  • Pay the balance of down payment and closing costs
  • Receive the keys to your NEW HOME!

Blair Taylor, Real Estate Consultant | Homes for sale Prosper TX

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