The Three Phases of Buying a Home
Purchasing a home is a major event in a person’s life. The process may seem overwhelming, and many homebuyers do not know where to start. Knowing what is coming and the proper steps to take will alleviate a lot of the anxiety surrounding a home purchase.
Buying a home can be broken down into three phases. Knowing the phases, what they entail, and not skipping any of them will lead to a hassle-free transaction.
The Planning Phase
In this first phase, you start with developing the strategy for moving forward. The planning is the most crucial aspect as it lays the foundation for the rest of the process. The first thing on the list is to find a real estate agent. Some buyers choose to go it alone, which is not the best course of action, especially if the buyer is inexperienced. Realtors are bound by a code of ethics and are experts at protecting the interests of their clients. They are also experienced in knowing the local market, negotiating on your behalf, and advising on the best course of action for you.
Your realtor will highly recommend you work with a lender to get a pre-approval letter early on, to see exactly how much home you can afford. The pre-approval not only assists in the home search but shows sellers you are a serious buyer and, they will, in turn, take any offers you supply into consideration as they know you have the finances to complete the transaction.
Once you establish your budget, you will put together your list of must-haves. These are “your needs” vs “your wants” and are usually things that cannot be easily changed or modified, such as the number of bedrooms, location, school district, etc.
You will also list your wants; things that would be nice to have but would not be a deal-breaker.
Your realtor will then begin researching homes that meet your needs, focusing on the location, school districts, house size, and home values.
The House Hunting Phase
This phase is where the excitement starts and where your real estate agent shows their worth. They do a lot of work in preparation, saving time and effort, as they compile a list of homes on the market possessing all the must-haves and as many of the wants as possible. Once you’ve identified homes you are interested in, your agent will schedule showings.
You will attend numerous showings and see a variety of homes, each offering something unique. Remember to keep an open mind as you may find features in a home you didn’t even know were available. Also, homes may look vastly different in person compared to their online listings.
Hopefully, you fall in love with the home of your dreams. As your representative, your real estate agent will prevent you from making a financial mistake based on emotion. Especially if there are underlying problems that could be costly to the buyer, such as an old roof, plumbing issues, foundation issues, etc…
If you find a home you love you will then make an offer. Allow your real estate agent to negotiate the final sale price and contingencies (items promised by the seller before finalizing the deal), then prepare for the closing.
The Contract to Close Phase
Signing the contract and closing is the final step. This phase is the longest. There is a lot of paperwork in this phase. Your real estate agent, lender, and title company will do a lot of work behind the scenes and put together a lot of forms for you to review, initial, and sign.
This phase has several steps within itself, and it all starts with the acceptance of the final offer, followed by the deposit of earnest money into an escrow account. Then comes the home inspection, appraisal, and the final loan approval from the lender.
All that is left is the final walkthrough, the signing of your loan documents, and scheduling your closing day. That’s it.
Why Choose Summer House Realty
If you are in the process of purchasing a new home contact Summer House Realty today. Our agents are highly experienced and work with every client to make sure they are not only purchasing the home of their dreams but also make sure to have your best interests at the forefront of any buying decision. They will consult with you throughout the entire buying cycle to make sure you are protected and getting the best deal for your investment. If you would like to speak with one of our experienced agents in Amelia Island, FL (904) 557-3020 or Augusta, GA (706) 955-6436 call us today.