Buying a home is one of the most exciting experiences of your life.
This can be true whether you’ve purchased several homes or you’re preparing to buy for the first time. With the right support system and the help of a trusted RE/MAX® professional, you can make the most informed decisions. Our guide breaks down the steps of buying a home so you can start the process feeling confident and prepared. From developing your budget to signing your name on the dotted line, you’ll find helpful tips right here. Plus, we are here to help every step of the way.
Establish Your Goals
Why do you want or need to buy a home? Are you tired of renting? Do you need more space for a growing family or are you an empty nester looking to downsize? Do you want to buy an investment property? Is this a job or military relocation? Consider what your priorities are such as schools, proximity to work, amenities, and community. Determining the reason for the purchase of a home will help you make important decisions through the purchase process.
Find the Right Agent
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you may ever make. Whether you’re buying your first home, relocating, or just moving down the street — you need a trusted advisor by your side. Working with a RE/MAX Corridor agent will make this process easier, helping guide you through the home search, purchase agreements, inspections, closing day, and more.
In today's real estate market you need to be aware of your buying power with a pre-approval from a quality mortgage lender. Your mortgage professional will counsel you about your goals and help you to figure out how much home you can afford. They will review financing options with you, provide down payment estimates, and disclose all associated closing costs required at closing. You need a competitive edge when you find the right home and having a pre-approval letter with your offer is a must!
Your Home Search
You have a goal. You have a great agent. You are pre-approved for financing. Now it's time to find the right home! Make a list of wants and needs for your home. What are things that are not negotiable that you must have? What are things that you want but are not deal breakers? Are there specific features or amenities that you need? Is there a specific school district you want? Remember to be prepared to make a competitive offer quickly when you find the right home and be prepared to negotiate.
Making an Offer
Once you find the home you want it's time to make an offer. Your agent will prepare and submit a competitive offer with your pre-approval letter and negotiate on your behalf. Once your offer is accepted, you’ll deposit earnest money and an option fee with your host title and be officially under contract. During the due-diligence period, your agent will help you understand the conditions, provisions, and obligations of your contract.
The Option Period
In most purchase agreements there is an option period that begins the day after the contract is executed. The number of days is determined during the negotiation of the contract. During this time you have the "unrestricted right to terminate" the contract for any reason. This time is for you to hire an inspector and do your due diligence investigating the details and condition of the property. Contact your insurance agent and have them run a CLUE report on the home to determine insurability.
Contract to Closing
During the period of time between going under contract and meeting at the closing table, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on. Your mortgage lender is processing your loan and may need additional documents or statements. Your title company is researching the title to issue a title insurance policy and prepare closing documents. The appraisal is being prepared. Repairs, service, and treatments are being done. And your agent is orchestrating the process and keeping you up to date.