Windermere agents are relentless about helping their clients realize their dreams, so that at the end of the day you can emerge with a house you’re proud to call home, and the confidence you made the right decision.
You’re ready to buy—or maybe you're just ready to start seriously thinking about buying. There’s a lot you can do to prepare. With so much information available at your fingertips it can be hard to know where to begin, so here are a few things to help you get started.
Step one is figuring out your budget for a new home. The best way to do that is to meet with a mortgage professional who will review your income, assets, and credit history in order to pre-approve you for a loan. Not only does getting pre-approved allow you to narrow your home search, but it also makes your offer stronger when it comes time buy. If you don’t currently have a lender, your Windermere agent would be happy to recommend one.
Imagine your ideal home then make a list of everything you envisioned, such as the number of beds/baths, the style of home, and location. Then break that list down into high-priority items you can’t live without and lower-priority things that would be an added bonus. Use this list to guide your search online and with your agent.
Once you know how much you can afford and what you’re looking for in a home, it’s time to start your search. And the best place to start is online. Consider setting up a MyWindermere account so you’re notified every time something new comes on the market that fits your search parameters. Your real estate agent can also send you potential homes and take you to tour them in person once you’re ready to get serious. In the meantime, if you want some inspiration, you can peruse the pages of Windermere Living Magazine.
Before you can get really serious about becoming a homeowner, you’ll need to connect with a real estate agent who can guide you through the buying journey. This is probably one of the largest financial purchases you’ll ever make, so it’s critical to have a full-service pro who understands the market and can expertly navigate you through the intricate buying process. Friends and family are a great source for referrals, or you can connect with a Windermere agent here.
Once you’ve found the home you can see yourself living in, what’s next? There are many steps to go through before you can officially call yourself a homeowner. Your real estate agent will guide you through this process, but in the meantime, here’s a preview of what you can expect.
When making an offer on a home, your real estate agent will negotiate on your behalf in order to attain the best terms for you. This can include negotiating the price, repair costs, timelines, and contingencies.
This is the legal contract a buyer and seller enter into once the buyer’s offer has been accepted by the seller. It outlines the terms and conditions of the sale and is signed by both parties.
This is when you agree to pay a percentage of the home’s asking price into an independent account to show the seller that you’re serious about buying. In return, they agree to take the home off the market. When the sale closes that money is put toward the down payment or closing costs.
Once the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed, a home inspector is hired to examine the home’s health, safety, and major mechanical systems. If any issues arise from an inspection, the buyer may be able to renegotiate their offer.
After your offer is accepted, the next step is to get final loan approval. During this process the lender will decide if they’re willing to approve your mortgage based on things like your creditworthiness and the title history and appraisal of the home you want to buy.
This is a report for you and your lender detailing the history of the home you’re buying to ensure there are no legal barriers to purchasing it.
Escrow is an impartial third-party process in which documents and funds are deposited by buyers, sellers, and lenders to facilitate the closing of a real estate transaction.
During this final step of the home-buying process, ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer, closing costs are paid, and a number of documents are signed. After closing is finalized and recorded, the home is yours!