Buying a home that is a perfect fit for you and your family is a big job with a lot of details. But, our full time realtors will be with you every step of the buying process. Here’s a little of what to expect when buying a home:


Get Qualified for a Loan

The first step in buying a home is to determine how much house you can afford. If you are planning to borrow money for the purchase of a new home, go to a bank or mortgage company and talk to a loan officer (who is also called a loan originator) about getting pre-qualified for a loan.


House Criteria

Tell your Realtor what you would like in a home so that he or she can search for listings in your price range and set up appointments for you to start looking at various houses. For example, how many bedrooms do you need, how many levels, what neighborhoods do you like, which schools are important to you, etc.


Writing the Offer

After you select the house you want to buy, it is time to write an offer and submit it to the listing agent of that particular house. Your Realtor will explain to you the various documents that make up the offer. With your offer, you will also need to write an earnest money deposit check. This money goes into escrow if your offer is accepted. It can be any amount, but traditionally is about 3% of the sales price of the home. The amount shows the sellers that you are serious about buying their home. It is held in escrow until the day of settlement when it is credited back to you by being deducted from the amount you owe at closing.


Preparing your File

Your Realtor will send a copy of the contract to your mortgage company and to the attorney who will be handling the closing. They will each open a file in your name and begin the process of gathering all information needed to close on the property. The lender will gather all final financial documents needed from you, plus the appraisal report of the property, and possibly other reports pertaining to the property, such as a termite report.


Inspections and Appraisal

Per the agreed terms of the contract, a Home Inspection and a Termite Inspection of the property is ordered once the contract is ratified. The buyer pays for both inspections. After the Home Inspection, the inspector will furnish you with a summary report. Along with the report, you will indicate which items from the report you would like the sellers to address. The sellers may agree to all of the items on the list or just some. Once both parties have agreed to the items that will be repaired, the seller starts to make those repairs so they will be completed by closing.


Preparing for Closing

Your Realtor will be in contact with your loan officer and the closing attorney during the transaction process. The closing date is set in the terms of the contract. Occasionally, the closing may be delayed due to unforeseen problems. For example, your lending company may not have your loan finalized in time for the closing date. It is very important that you work with your lender in getting all of your financial papers to him/her as requested.



On the day of closing, you and your Realtor will meet at the closing attorney’s office. It is not uncommon for both buyer and seller to use the same closing attorney, but you will close at different times, not together. Your loan officer will work with you on the amount you need to bring to closing. This amount must be in certified funds. The loan officer sends a check for the amount they are loaning you to the closing attorney. The closing attorney gathers all monies and disburses all monies. There will be a lot of papers for you to sign. Closing will usually take about an hour.


After the Closing

If the ratified contract says that your possession date is the same as your closing date, you will be given the keys to the house as soon as the settlement attorney disburses all funds from the transaction. If your possession date is after the closing date, you will be given keys on that date.