Purchasing a home is an exciting milestone, but it’s also a complex process with many steps for first-time home buyers. Knowing what to expect will help you navigate your journey to homeownership. Our real estate experts at Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Elite - The Augustine Team will discuss the benefits of working with a realtor that you should consider before deciding to go at it alone. Here are the typical steps to buying a house:
- Before you begin house-hunting, the first thing you should do is define your homeownership goals. Take a moment to think about what you need and want in a home.
- It’s important to get mortgage pre-approval before you start looking at homes. Having pre-approval will help you stand out to home sellers
- A home inspection, while not technically required, is strongly recommended to ensure that the home is in good condition.
What Are the Steps to Buying a House?
Define Your Needs
Before you begin house-hunting, the first thing you should do is define your homeownership goals. Take a moment to think about what you need and want in a home. Make a list of your must-have features, ideal amenities, desired locations, and what you are and aren’t willing to compromise on. Knowing exactly what you want will help you focus your search, as well as give your realtor a better idea of what kinds of actions to suggest to you.
Hire a Realtor
Once you know what you’re looking for, the next step is to hire a realtor. An experienced real estate professional is extremely valuable because of their:
- Knowledge of the local market
- Access to local listings
- Negotiation skills
- Ability to guide you through the entire home-buying process
Be sure to interview several realtors before choosing one to work with. You can look for realtors online or ask for referrals from friends and family.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
It’s important to get mortgage pre-approval before you start looking at homes. Having pre-approval will help you stand out to home sellers because it shows you have serious intentions and are financially capable of purchasing a home. It will also help you narrow down your home search by giving you a budget to work with.
Search for Houses
After completing these steps, you can finally begin the house-hunting process. Look for homes online, in person, or in local newspapers or magazines. Your realtor can also help you find homes, including off-market homes, since they have access to exclusive databases like the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Tour homes that meet your criteria with your realtor, but also keep an open mind about up-and-coming neighbourhoods or homes with renovation potential. Be sure to take notes on each property’s pros and cons.
Make an Offer
Once you find the right home, your realtor will help you determine a competitive offer price and submit it along with earnest money to the seller’s realtor. Include your pre-approval letter, desired closing date, and any contingencies. Negotiate back and forth until you reach an agreement.
Inspections and Appraisal
If your offer is accepted, the next step is to move forward with a home inspection and appraisal. An appraisal is usually required by your mortgage lender to verify that the home is worth the amount it was listed for. A home inspection, while not technically required, is strongly recommended to ensure that the home is in good condition. If the inspector ends up finding any necessary repairs, you can request the seller fix them or lower the asking price.
Financing and Paperwork
After negotiations are finished and a deal is finalized, you’ll need to go through all the necessary paperwork. This involves completing all the required documentation for your lender to receive your home loan. You’ll also review and sign the purchase agreement, bill of sale, title and title insurance documents, transfer tax declarations, seller’s affidavit, and more. You’ll also need to get homeowners insurance.
Shortly before the agreed-upon closing date, it’s a good idea for you and your realtor to do a final walkthrough of the property. This ensures no damage has occurred and any repairs were completed, if applicable. The final walkthrough is also your last chance to bring up any concerns. On closing day, you’ll officially become the legal owner of the home. You’ll wire your down payment to the seller, pay any remaining closing costs, sign all your final paperwork, and receive the keys to the home.
Hire the Best Realtor in Hamilton to Buy a Home Today
It’s important to understand each step of the home-buying process to avoid costly surprises or legal issues. Having a realtor on your side who specializes in first-time home buyers is key to simplifying the process.
If you’re looking for the top realtor in the Grimsby, Burlington, Hamilton, and Oakville areas, look no further than Steve Augustine and Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Elite - The Augustine Team. With nearly 20 years of experience, Steve and our team have helped hundreds of home buyers in the Greater Hamilton area.
To learn more about working with Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Elite - The Augustine Team to buy a home, call (289) 235-8000 or fill out the form on this page. You can also check out our Featured Listings page to find available homes. Get ready to start packing!