Congratulations on the first step of buying a home!
As an experienced real estate agent, I can assist you through the entire process of buying a home, starting with the mortgage and continuing right through closing, and beyond.
I will help you shop for the best interest rate and terms, and if you wish, I can also suggest mortgage lenders.
Get Pre-approved for a Loan
Obtain a copy of your credit report and your FICO score, and if necessary, do what you need to do to improve it. The higher your FICO score, the better your interest rate. You can get this information online, or I can help you. Contact several lenders and determine which one will give you the best rate and service.
Determine Your Price Range and Area(s) in Which You're Interested
By now, you should have a good idea of how much home you can afford. This helps you narrow down your home search. You should also begin researching the neighborhoods in which you might want to live. I can assist you with this.
Decide Which Amenities and Features You Must Have, and Which Ones Would Be Nice but not Necessary
How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want? Would you prefer a newer home or an older one with established landscaping? Which features would you be willing to give up if you were to find the otherwise perfect home?
Begin Testing the Market
Right here on my site, you can find listings that meet your criteria as well as neighborhood data. See what's available in your price range and explore neighborhoods.
With Your Agent, Begin Seriously Looking at Homes
I can compile a list of homes based on your criteria, or show you any homes you might have already found, including any that might have just been placed on the market.
Look at homes with a critical eye: Does the floor plan work for you? Is the property in good condition? Would it be right for your lifestyle? In short, can you imagine yourself and your family living there?
Take notes at each home you visit. What are your likes and dislikes? Narrow down your choices; revisit homes in which you’re interested. See them at different times of the day.
Make an Offer
When you identified the home you want to buy, be ready to help your agent prepare a written offer quickly. Your agent will be familiar with market values and will help you arrive at a price that gives your offer the best chance of being accepted.
At this stage, try not to become emotionally attached to a home. Your offer may not be accepted for any number of reasons. Have backup homes in mind. Be prepared to negotiate with the sellers through your agent.
Once Your Offer Is Accepted
Once your offer is accepted, you’ll be asked to submit an "earnest money" deposit that usually isn’t refundable.
Begin making moving arrangements. Select a mover, obtain change-of-address cards, and inform friends and relatives.
Have the property professionally inspected, and if necessary, request repairs.
Obtain homeowner’s insurance.
Contact the local utility companies (phone, water, electricity, cable, etc.).
A few days before closing, stage a walk-through. Also, you will want to obtain a cashier’s check for the down payment, as well as for any closing costs.
Make sure the terms and conditions of the loan statement are correct.