Important Steps In The Home Buying Process

Real Estate Agent Handing Over Keys to New Home

Real estate transactions include several steps you’re likely unfamiliar with, especially if you’re buying a home for the first time. Viewing houses for sale is the fun part of shopping for a new home, but there’s a lot more to the process.

Get Preapproved

Before you begin searching for your new home, get preapproved. This lets you know if you qualify for a loan and how much you can borrow. Knowing how much you can spend prevents you from getting attached to a home you can’t afford and gives your home buying offer more merit.

Make A List

Before you step foot into your first potential forever home, make a list of what you absolutely need in a home, followed by things you’d like to have. This list keeps you from shopping with your heart, instead of your head, and getting swayed by fancy amenities you don’t really need.

Find A Real Estate Agent

A good agent matches your desired cost and home features to available homes in neighborhoods that suit your lifestyle. They also provide valuable negotiating skills when you’re ready to make an offer and assist you with all the required paperwork to close on your new home.

Shop Around

Now the fun part: touring homes in your price range that meet your housing preferences. Look at online listings, go to Open House events, set up private viewings and visit homes from listings provided by your agent. Evaluate each property based on your predetermined criteria, and revisit your favorite properties until you find the perfect home.

Make Offer

Work with an agent to craft an offer that includes the price you’re willing to pay for the property, a proposed settlement date and any contingencies you want included. If the seller makes a counteroffer, your agent’s negotiating skills are vital in getting you the best deal based on the value of comparable homes in the same neighborhood.

Order Inspection

Once your offer is accepted, you sign a contract with the seller, which should include a home inspection contingency. This contingency allows you to hire a certified home inspector to inspect the house, which mitigates your risk of buying a house with unseen repair issues. It also allows you to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without a penalty should the inspection reveal major structural issues or other significant damage.

Order Appraisal

Your lender has the home appraised to ensure the property value covers the mortgage amount. If the home appraises at or over the agreed-upon price, you can close the deal. If it appraises too low, you must renegotiate with the seller, pay the difference yourself or walk away from the deal.

Close The Deal

Closing or settlement is the last stage of the home buying process. You’ll sign lots of paperwork, including your loan documents, and officially take ownership of the home. Once the seller receives the check from your lender, you receive the keys to your new home.

When you’re ready to start shopping for your new home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Realtor® Matt Dejanovich has 30 years of experience in the local home selling and buying market. Contact Matt at 734-476-7100 and put his experience to work for you.

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