1. Decide to buy.
You will want to evaluate your financial ability, desire, and reasons for buying. Please note: Buying a home does not have to be complicated, scary or overwhelming – there are many professionals to help you along the way.
2. Hire a Realtor.
Talk to several friends or family members and see who they used and if they were happy with them. You can also call a broker and ask them who in their office they would recommend for your situation (first time homebuyer, rural properties, luxury, etc) Interview three agents and then choose someone you like and trust. Some good questions to ask are:
1. How long have you been a realtor?
2. What is the most important thing for buyers to consider?
3. How are your negotiating skills?
4. What makes you different from other agents?
5. Can you give provide references from past clients?
Please note: Once you find an agent you can trust, it is important to
sign a Buyer’s Agent Representation Agreement. This document guarantees
(by the laws of the state of Texas) that you are represented by your
realtor throughout the entire process of buying your home.
3. Get Your Loan Pre-approved…………..
Get pre-approved so you will know what you budget is. You want to make sure you don’t fall in love with a house you can’t afford. Ask your realtor for a reputable lender that can find you the best loan for you, and also one that closes on time. Your realtor does many sales transactions a year and will have your best interests in mind in recommending a lender.
Getting PRE APPROVED turns you into a cash buyer, and in this market – sellers will require it with your offer.
4. Find your home
Looking for your new home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants and needs for the short and long term. You will want to consider location, lifestyle, conditions of home, neighborhood, etc. A good agent will help you narrow down the choices before getting in the car to look, and then help you ‘shorten’ your list until you find your dream home!
5. Make an offer…
When you find your dream home, you should present a competitive offer immediately. Your agent will be able to help you determine the true market value of the home. However, the offer is not just about price. You will also want to consider terms and contingencies. Terms include an option period, what conveys with the house, timing, closing costs, a home warranty, earnest money, and a possible seller or buyer leaseback before closing.
6. Perform due diligence
You have the option to request an inspection of any property you are
thinking of purchasing. You should choose a professional, licensed
inspector that has an errors and omissions insurance plan. You should always exercise this option. Many of the more severe and expensive problems such as mechanical, electrical, structural, and plumbing are not noticeable to the untrained eye. If repairs are needed, negotiate these in your contract offer – or at least be aware of them before finalizing your purchase. A professionally conducted home inspection followed by a written evaluation is becoming standard procedure in home buying because of increased buyer awareness.
The inspection costs vary based on the location of your home, square footage, pool or septic, and the inspector. It is usually several hundred dollars, but is a good investment to find out exactly what you are paying thousands of dollars for. A qualified inspector will follow Standards of Practice in conducting their inspection. They report on the general condition of the home’s electrical, heating and air systems, plumbing, roof, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, and foundation. The inspection is not designed to criticize every minor problem or defect in the home. No home is perfect. It is intended to report serious problems that require repair or significant expense.
Additional inspections may be necessary. These may include WDI (wood destroying insect), structural inspection, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) or others.
The primary purpose of inspections is to educate the buyer to make an informed purchasing decision. We are looking for serious structural or component defects – not small cosmetic issues.
What is a Real Estate “Closing? ”A “closing” is the meeting of the buyer and the title company. This is when the actual transfer of title of the property occurs. The contract you have signed describes the property, states the purchase price and terms, sets
forth the method of payment, and usually names the date and place where the closing or actual transfer of the property title and keys will
The title company transferring ownership of the property to you will prepare a new deed. Your lender will require you to sign a document, as evidence that you are personally responsible for repaying the loan. You will also sign a mortgage or deed of trust on the property as security to the lender for the loan. The mortgage or deed of trust gives the lender the right to sell the property if you fail to make the payments. Before you exchange these papers, the property may be surveyed, appraised, or inspected, and the ownership of title will be checked in county and court records.
The final stage of the home buying process insures the title is free and clear, there are no issues with the survey, the appraisal of the property, or your financial status.
8. The Next Steps ………..Will be Into Your New Home
Your agent should still be available after the sale in case you have questions, need vendors, or want to keep track of your home’s current value.