1) Find a Realtor you can trust
Find a knowledgable Realtor in your area once you're ready to start looking for a home.
A good agent will be able to walk you through the process and answer any questions you might have.
Share with your Realtor the wants and need that you will be looking for in a home. They will be able to notify you if any houses come on the market that you might be interested in viewing.
2) Get a Pre-approval from you're lender
You can get a pre-approval through your bank or by using a mortgage broker.
The Pre-approval will let you know the price range that you can stay in when looking for your home.
It’s best to have this in place before starting your home search, so that you don't start by looking at houses you may not be able to afford.
3) Select properties to view
Pick the houses that have what you want and need that are in your price range and go view them in person.
Your Realtor will be able to arrange all of these appointments for you.
If you haven't been working with one specific Realtor up to this point (and not just calling the signs or individual listing agents every time you see a house you like) find an agent who will have your best interests at heart and be able to negotiate for you. You don't get a deal buying from the listing agent directly, so choosing an agent that fits your needs is important for your experience.
4) Making an offer
Once you've found the house of your dreams, you're going to make an offer to purchase that house.
Consult your Realtor and have them gather any information and comparable sales in the last few months that will show you what the market value of the house should be.
The offer will include what is to come with the house when purchased such as fridge, stove, etc. It will also include the amount of the deposit, what percentage you're providing as a down payment and the amount of your mortgage.
Have your Realtor explain all the details of the contract as there are a number of points that could be easily glossed over in the excitement of purchasing a house.
Chances are that your first offer will not be accepted and that the sellers will send back a counter offer with a different price, a possession date that works better for them or the removal of an item you wanted included.
There are a number of factors that come into play when negotiating such as how motivated the seller is, the market conditions, are there similar houses available for similar prices, and how badly you want to own the house that you're negotiating on.
This is where having a good agent in your corner is key. They will be able to remain objective and provide you with the skills and knowledge to get the best price possible. Always remember that if your first offer is countered, that's not a bad thing.
6) Conditions of the contract
Once you have an accepted offer to purchase its time to follow through with the conditions that you have placed in the offer. Conditions such as a final financial approval, home inspection, Personal conditions disclosure statement (the current sellers disclosure of the condition of the house) are common, but there are a number of other conditions that you may have included.
Go see your lender and have them communicate with your Realtor to get the necessary paperwork to finalize the approval of the mortgage.
Arrange a home inspection and once you've confirmed there are no major faults in the house you can remove your conditions.
Once the conditions of the contract have been removed, it will become a firm contract and if you decide to not go through with the transaction you will lose the deposit.
7) Closing and Taking possession
At this point the paperwork and necessary do-diligence will have been done on your part.
Your Realtor (Realtors office) will have transferred the paperwork to your lawyer for the transfer of title.
Your lawyer will arrange for you to meet to sign the final mortgage documents and transfer the title of the house into you're name.
At this point the lawyer fees and closing money will be needed to finalize the transaction.
Your lawyer will communicate to your agent when the money and title have been transferred allowing the keys to be releasable to your agent.
You will want to have lined up utilities to be transferred on the day you take possession.
Your agent will meet you on possession day to present you the keys to your new home and congratulations you've just bought a house
There you have it, the main 7 steps necessary to
finding and buying your dream home.
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