What to Know When Buying a Home

Whether you are a seasoned home buyer or a first-time buyer, you’ll see benefits from choosing a RE/MAX agent with the Bierker Group.

First, we’d like to let you know that RE/MAX is the world’s most productive real estate network, with over 100,000 sales associates in over 100 countries.  We are proud to represent the RE/MAX brand and to work hard to help you find exactly what you are looking for in a home. 

Now, we’d like to give you a brief summary of the home-buying process, and we certainly plan to devote whatever time is needed to make each of these components as straight-forward, enjoyable and understandable for you, our client.  If you’ve purchased property previously, you may be familiar with these steps, but regulations and procedures do change, so bear with us.  We like to say that there shouldn’t be any surprises, nor should there be any emergencies in the process. 

Let’s walk through the steps of purchasing a home:

And let’s look at each item on the list in a little more detail:

Note: Hover over the image box to read its details. 

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This is actually your first step in the process and can be completed a few weeks or a month prior to starting to view prospective properties.   Getting your financial paperwork in order, then visiting a lender for pre-qualification will allow you to have accurate information about how much home you can afford at this time in your life... 

Choose a Lender and Pre-qualify for Your Loan

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For many of us, this is the fun part of the buying process.  Attending Open House events in your area, touring homes with your Agent, and looking at listings sent to you from the search that your Agent has set up for you- be sure to allow several weeks (or several months, if you are buying at peak season) for this process and spend some time beforehand thinking through the key...

View Homes

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If you’ve seen something that feels like “the one”, let your Agent know.  Great homes don’t stay on the market long and you don’t want to miss out on your chosen home by sleeping on the decision too long.  In peak buying season, a home may receive an offer during its initial Open House, or even as soon as it shows up on the MLS...  

Choose a Home

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Now you’ll be in frequent contact with your Agent, maybe several times in a single hour.  You should let your Agent know the offer you’d like to make and the Agent will need to contact the Seller’s Agent to convey the offer.  You should also have your earnest money available at this time...  

Put Together the Offer and Earnest Money

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The Sellers, through their Agent, will either accept your initial offer on the home, or they will counter your offer.  You and your Agent will now need to work through the process of determining your next offer, and in this process, your Agent’s experience and skill in negotiation will be absolutely crucial for keeping the negotiation moving forward...  

Negotiate Counter-offers

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You will need to retain the services of a Title Company to collect and prepare all documentation for a closing and to conduct a thorough search on the deed of your chosen property.  They will be checking public records to ensure that there are no debts, taxes, easements, unsatisfied mortgages, court actions or other claims against the property, other than one by a bank if the Sellers...

Select a Title Company

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You are not required to obtain a home inspection, but at approximately $350-500, it may be a procedure you are very glad to have requested.  Your inspection report may provide reason to return to the price negotiations with the Seller, and even in cases wherein you don’t choose to go that route, you will have the depth of information that may help to prevent expensive...

Get a Home Inspection

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If the inspection report reveals that the home needs repairs to remedy a problem, your Agent will take the lead on bringing these to the attention of the Seller, through their Agent...  

Negotiate Needed Repairs

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At this stage, much of the process of home buying moves to the arena of the Lender and will likely take several weeks.  As the Buyer, you will be in frequent contact with your chosen Lender, as they request documentation from you to support and create the loan package that will be moved through their internal procedures... 

Complete the Loan Process, Appraisal and Approval

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Shortly before your closing date (normally a day or less), you will meet your Agent at the property to complete the final walk through.  During this time, you will be checking to see that the home is in the same condition that it was when you initially viewed it, or if repaired, that the repairs are acceptable.  If there are any problems with the property, you are able to terminate...

Do Your Final Walk-Through

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The closing is a meeting attended by a representative of the Title Company and by either the Buyers and Sellers, or their legal representatives.  The Agent who has worked with you and the Sellers’ Agent often attend the closing, too, because they’ve partnered with you for the entire journey and this is day that everyone has been working toward... 

Go to Your Closing Meeting

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Because most of us have experienced packing our belongings and relocating to a new apartment, dormitory or shared place in the past, we won’t spend time here reminding you about the effort involved!  We do hope that you’ve got a few close friends or family members who will be happy to help load things into boxes and unload them into your new home... 

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