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Home Buying 101

For those of you that follow our team on social media, you hopefully saw our mini-series this past week on "how to buy a home". (By the way if you aren't following us, please do so immediately!!) We know just how overwhelming the home buying process can be, especially for first time home buyers. Or perhaps our more seasoned home owners had a stressful home buying process in the past, with another real estate agent, and are scared to take the leap again. The process might even be so intimidating, that you are putting off your goal of purchasing a new home in 2023 in order to avoid the stress. Do not put your real estate dreams on hold! However, at Liz Keeps It Real Estate we work hard to problem solving & eliminating any potential "road block "in the home buying process. This ensures a smoother & less stressful process for you, as our client.

On that note, let's review the home buying process! Education on all the steps involved in purchasing a home is a great way to remove uncertainty. For those of you who have gone through this before, this will be a great refresher course. Plus, we've added some tips & tricks we've learned along the way as well!

Home Buying 101 is officially in session!

Step 1: If you've got home buying on your mind, your 1st step should be to call The Liz Keeps It Real Estate Team! We will match you with an agent on our team that best meets your needs! All of our agents are licensed and attend on-going trainings in order to keep updated on all things Real Estate. All agents from our team also benefit from our Team Lead Agent Liz Johnson's 17+ years of experience in the Real Estate Field. Add in our top notch Admin Team support, and you can rest assured you will be receiving the absolute best real estate experience. Whether you are buying a new build home, or a re-sale, it's essential to have your own real estate agent in your corner to ensure your best interests are being protected.

Step 2: You've found yourself an amazing Real Estate Agent (the Liz Keeps It Real Estate Team). Now what? You need to see how much you qualify for! The terms "pre-approved" and "pre-qualified" often get used interchangeably. But are they are really? Nope- they are *not*! Getting pre-qualified is a "baby step" towards getting approved for a mortgage through a lender. You enter in your income & debts, and are told whether you would qualify for a loan & a rough figure of how much that loan would be. In this step, you are all self reporting this information. The lender does not verify the information. On the other hand, pre-approval is more of a process. You will be required to show your lender all of your documents confirming your income & debts. The lender will also pull your credit. While this isn't final loan approval, getting pre-approved is ideal BEFORE you begin the home buying process. This shows you are a serious house hunter AND can help get your offer approved.

Step 3: *This step is our favorite*Now before you get to the actual home search, it's important to sit down with your agent to hammer out *exactly* what you are looking for. With the information you received from your lender, you should have a price point range. From there, you can work with your agent to identify your ideal area, and all your "must have's". These are things that are non-negotiable, and are different for everyone. It could be staying within a certain school area, having 4 bedrooms, or a large backyard for your furry friend. You can also let your agent know of any wants you might have. Now wants are different than needs. These items would be the "cherry on top"--- such as a soaking tub, a greenbelt lot, etc. Armed with all this information, your agent can begin to show you homes for sale! With the expertise of your LKIR agent, you will find your dream home in no time!

Step 4: You finally, you found it...the house you have been searching for! Not only does it have everything in your "needs" column, but most of your "wants" too! So how do you go about actually purchasing this dream home? After a conversation with your Agent about price, contingencies, & other considerations, your Agent will submit an offer on your behalf to the homeowner's Agent. The homeowner can then either accept the offer, decline the offer, or offer a counteroffer. With the expertise and master negotiation skills of your amazing Realtor, the homeowner accepts your offer! Congratulations! You are now under contract!

Step 5: Your offer accepted on your dream home! Yah! Congratulations! Some eager home buyers believe this is the end of their home buying process, *but* you are only just getting started! There are many tasks left to complete, before the home is officially yours. These include (but are not limited to!): having a home inspection completed & negotiating repair (if necessary), turning in all documents to your mortgage lender, getting a new homeowners insurance policy, your lender having the home appraised, taking a final walk thru of the home, & preparing your down payment & signing your final loan documents. These items will all be completed prior to the closing date on your contract. It might seem like an overwhelming process. However you will have your amazing Real Estate Agent by your side to have your back & to guide you through each step!

Step 6: The final step is closing day! By this time all parties have signed the required forms. On closing day, you are waiting for the lender to release the funds and for the county to record. To an anxious homebuyer this day can feel a little like "hurry up and wait". So pack your patience, and know there are a lot of moving pieces on closing day. However, all of the professionals involved are experienced & will get you to "SOLD" as quickly as possible. The terms of your contract dictate when the new homeowner will receive their keys & will be coordinated through your agent. You did it! You bought a house!

We hope you found this series to be informative on the home buying process. If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out. We want to be your resource on all things home! Ready to begin the home buying process? Perfect! Give us a call @ (253) 670-0357.

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