Buying a home, whether it’s your first time or your fifth, is a complicated process with a lot of different stages to keep in mind. When you go shopping for a house, it’s not as easy as just looking at a few, picking the one you want and then purchasing it. There are things you need to do before you can ever look at a house in the first place, and there are stages that take place after you pick the house you want to buy, too. If you find yourself confused about these stages or wondering where you are on your own personal homebuying journey, check out the information below.
Qualifying for a Loan: The first thing you have to do before you can buy your home is to qualify for a loan. And in order to do this, you need to speak with your bank or a lending company. The place where you go to get your loan depends entirely on your needs as well as which lenders will offer you a loan at a reasonable rate. While it’s okay to check around with a couple of different lenders for mortgage loan quotes, make sure you don’t do this too much, or it will reflect negatively on your credit report. (If you get a few quotes in a short amount of time and then apply for a loan, the lender will usually forgive the flag on your credit report because it is clear you’re shopping around.)
Finding a Realtor and a Home: Once you know how much you’ll be able to spend on your home, you should find a realtor you can work with. It’s okay to try a few realtors before you find someone you get along well with and someone who is really focused on helping you find what you need. With your realtor, you’ll check out several homes before you find the one that’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to take your time with this process!
Making an Offer: Next, you’ll make an offer on the home. The realtor you’re working with will help you negotiate with the seller and will make sure you include specifics in your offer, such as a home inspection. There may be a lot of back-and-forth during this time, and it’s important to remember that the first home you offer on may not be the home you end up purchasing.
Signing: When the offer is accepted, you’ll meet with your realtor, the seller, their realtor, and any lenders who need to be present. Everyone will sign all the appropriate documents and the homebuying process will be complete. You will receive the keys after signing.
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