What is the first step in the home buying process?

Get pre-approved.  If you spend time looking for homes you will not be able to afford you will be set up for disappointment.  Don't mess it up though by purchasing a big ticket item before closing.

How long does it take to find a home?

The timeline for buying a home is different from person to person.  There are factors of needing to sell a current home, what's available and the amount of time looking.

What is the first step in making an offer?

Determine a fair asking price.  Generally 5 % is fine but if the home has been sitting for longer you may get a better deal.  

How much do I have to pay my agent as a Buyer?

Generally, nothing.  The Seller pays the Listing agent their fee and the Listing agent then shares that fee with the Selling agent.

Why is it so important that I get a home inspection?

An inspector will cover features of the house such as electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, insulation, as well as structural features of the home and may unveil issues that are not noticeable.

How quickly can I close once the offer is accepted?

A buyer should be in regular contact with their lender who can give advice on the mortgage process.  But generally it is 30 - 45 days.


Deliver the Earnest Money.

If you have not included the earnest money with the offer, you will generally have 1 - 3 days (depending on what was specified in the offer) to provide proof that it has been received. 

Arrange the Home Inspection.

Get this done as quickly as possible.  You only have  a short time to get an inspector in the home, determine what you need to have taken care of, and to negotiate with the Seller to provide a reduction in price, repairs, increased seller contributions, etc.

Provide additional documents to the Lender.

Your lender may request additional documents to be provided as they work to process your mortgage loan.  You most probably have a financing contingency of around 21 days.  

Arrange for Homeowner's Insurance.

Arrange for adequate insurance and provide the declaration page to your lender and the closing attorney.