Buying a home is a complicated process, and knowledge of the necessary steps towards finding your dream home can expedite the process, saving you time, money, and unnecessary stress. Below you will find a straightforward outline of all the major steps involved in purchasing your new home.
What kind of home and where?
Identify your wants, needs, and price ranges. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How big of a house? Square footage, Number of bedrooms, baths, garage
- What features do I want? Pool, fireplace, fenced backyard, waterfront etc.
- How far of a commute?
- What school district do I want my children to attend?
- How far is shopping?
Also identify the things you do not want in a home. This will help me exclude homes that have items that you do not want.
Get a Real Estate Agent
Many people ask me if they need a real estate agent to buy a home. As your buyers’ agent, you will typically not be charged any fees for services provided by Gordon Ford Properties. The real estate fees for buying a property are usually paid by the seller. This means that you will gain a professional that will work on your behalf at no cost to you. We have expert knowledge of Cypress, Spring and Tomball, as well as the surrounding Northwest Houston market conditions and will negotiate on your behalf. Once you have chosen an agent you are comfortable with, sign a buyer’s agreement. This agreement means that you will have one agent representing you as a buyer. The agreement empowers the agent to not only search out the latest Multiple Listing Service list, but to seek alternative means of finding you a home, including searching foreclosures and homes for sale by owner. With a signed agreement, the agent becomes a fiduciary and must act, by law, in your best interests.
Get Pre-Approved for a mortgage
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage has advantages.
- You will know how much you can afford. You will not be wasting time looking at homes that are out of your price range.
- When presenting an offer to a seller a pre- approval letter shows that you are able to purchase the property.
- If a seller has two similar offers: one from a pre-approved person and the second from someone who is NOT pre-approved or may be pre-qualified, which offer do you think the seller would choose?
Find Your Dream Home
Give yourself time to make the right decision. Discuss your wants and needs with your real estate agent. Your agent should give you all applicable multiple listing homes for your review. You can also search the MLS yourself on my website. You might even want to drive by some neighborhoods to preview the area.
When you decide on the homes you would like to see, communicate with your agent about your likes and dislikes of each home. This will save you and your agent time by not looking at homes that do not meet your needs. Look at a number of houses to make sure you are buying the one right for you.
Make an Offer and Sign a Purchase Agreement
Once you have found your dream home you want to make an offer on the home. When making your offer, be sure to include the following items: Your offer price, deposit amounts, when you want to close, financing terms, and that your offer is contingent on inspection. If the home inspection reveals any major problems you will be able to negotiate with the seller on either a purchase price or fixing of the issues.
Hopefully the seller accepted you offer but in many cases the seller will not accept and submit a counter offer to you. You will have a time frame in which to respond to the counter offer. There can be several rounds of counter offers, but this typically does not take very long.
Make sure you conduct a home inspection to include a termite inspection, to ensure there’s nothing seriously wrong with the major components of the home. The inspections must be satisfactory to you or you can cancel the contract.
Secure Your Mortgage
Notify your lender so they can begin the loan processing, order the appraisal, and start working with the title company. Lock in your interest rate if possible. Your mortgage consultant will send you a good faith estimate which shows your monthly payment as well as your estimated cash needed for closing.
Your lender will arrange to have the home appraised. If the lender determines that the home is overpriced, they will not grant you the loan and you will have to renegotiate a lower price
Get homeowners insurance to protect yourself and your property..
The Title Company will work with you and your real estate agent to set a time and date for the closing. Each buyer whose name is on the closing documents must bring picture identification, primarily a driver’s license or passport, with them to the closing. You will be notified by your lender your final closing figure that you will need to wire to the closing company.
Move into your new home
Congratulations! You have purchased your new home!