Steps to Buying a Home

Everyone dreams of owning their own home. Searching for the perfect home for your family can be a very exciting, yet anxiety-filled experience. However, if you know what to expect during the home buying process you will be more relaxed and comfortable knowing that we will be by your side every step of the way guiding you through it and looking out for your best interests. Below are the steps to selling to help you visualize what this process looks like. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions and remember we will be there for you every step of the way!


Before the house hunting process begins, it is important to know how much you can afford. Expenses to consider include the down payment, monthly expenses, property taxes, and any home insurance costs. These will all have to be considered before the home buying process begins as they are typically included in your new monthly payment. Since a person’s credit score determines their interest rate, knowing your score ahead of time can help you decide if now is a good time to buy or not. An individual’s debt-to-income ratio must also fall within acceptable limits of the home’s cost. Once you have determined these things, and if you feel that your budget has enough room to afford a new home, then it’s time to look for the right loan.


Different banks and companies will offer different loan origination fees and by shopping around you can oftentimes save yourself a lot of money. Get multiple quotes so you can make sure you get the best rate and terms. Be sure to also check your loan officer’s website for testimonials and information. A good loan officer will offer you many online resources and tools. Before you lock in your rate, be sure to check the daily rate with the rate your loan officer gives you to ensure you are getting the lowest rate possible. Interest rates will determine how much a mortgage will cost each month and come in fixed or adjustable terms. Mortgage lengths can range from 15 years to 30 years. The longer the repayment term, the lower the payments will be. However, the interest accrued will also be higher on a longer loan. Don’t forget to ask for a pre-approval letter so you can include this with any offers you make.


Before you start your home search, it is important to find a buyer’s agent that will be looking out for your best interests so you don’t fall into a money pit or end up paying too much for your new home. A good buyer’s agent will help guide you through the home buying process and can also save you TONS of time and money on the road to your new home. Buyer’s agents are legally bound to help buyers, whereas listing agents—the real estate agent representing the home listing—have a fiduciary duty to the home seller. Your buyer’s agent will also set up home tours, give you insight on any homes you like that you may not be aware of, have knowledge of upcoming listings not yet on the market, help you negotiate the best terms, protect your part in the deal, and give you invaluable advice throughout the process.


Start your home search by using your agent’s website (like this one!) to search the MLS for homes. Agents have a direct line to the MLS, so their websites often update with the newest properties faster than the ‘big name’ sites out there. It also has a My Listing Manager tool that keeps you both in the loop. You can start your search and begin saving your favorite properties to your account and even set up alerts to get new homes and price changes emailed to you. Your agent can then see the properties you have liked and can send potential new properties directly into your listing manager that they think you may be interested in. It’s a WIN-WIN!


There is an art to making an offer on a home. Your buyer’s agent will help you choose the right terms for your offer and will be watching for signs of problems in the home. Listen closely and be sure to ask questions. Be sure to ask for an inspection contingency so if there are major problems, you can back out of the deal without losing your earnest money. A home warranty is also a valuable part of your contract and is a sign of good faith on the seller’s part. You want to make sure all of your bases are covered. That’s where having a buyer’s agent is most valuable: so your rights and interests are protected. With their experience on your side, they will be able to help you negotiate a lower price that sometimes includes concessions or closing costs. Their job is to protect YOU in the contract.


Once your offer has been accepted, you will need a home appraisal. Banks require this so they can make sure the home is worth as much money as they are lending you. You may also need some inspections depending on your loan type. FHA and VA loans have more requirements than conventional loans. This is also the time to have a full home inspection, even if it is not required. A home inspector will go through the home and specifically look for problems and provide you with a full report on everything they find. This will give you the opportunity to avoid major problems and back out of the sale or negotiate repairs without losing your earnest money.


Once the inspections are done, you will more than likely ask the seller to fix some of the issues you found. Keep in mind that they are only required to fix something if the loan terms require it. Be reasonable but firm in your requests. If your seller rejects your request, then it is up to you to decide how to proceed.


The final walk-through is an important last step, even if you are positive you are going to go through with the sale. Walk through and check the agreed upon repairs, make sure everything is in working order and new issues have not popped up. This is your last opportunity to back out. If everything looks good, then it’s time to go to closing!


Before the home is legally transferred to you, the closing process must occur. During this phase, you will sign all of the mortgage documents, pay closing costs, and sign various other legal documents. Your buyer’s agent will be at the closing with you to help you through it all. Once all of the papers are signed and monies are transferred, the keys to your new home are yours! The only thing left to do is move into your humble abode. This may occur immediately after the closing or at the date set in the closing documents.


Depending on how far you’re moving or how much stuff you have, you may require a moving company or a moving truck. Professional movers may seem pricey at first, but when you look at the time and money to get similar results, you may re-consider. Call and set your moving date and start packing! Many places like U-HAUL sell moving boxes that are made to make your move easier. Label everything with what is inside it and what room it goes in. Recruit friends and family if needed.

Bonus Buyer Tips

See What Our Clients are Saying:

Mike B.

His guidance and management of the process was flawless

This was our third transaction that we completed working with Brant and as in the past his professionalism made the experience very rewarding and easy for us. From the “lets sell it” to the “money in the bank”, his guidance and management of the process was flawless.


His persistence resulted in the near perfect house

I stumbled upon Brant by accident but what a fortuitous stumble indeed! He has been patient through all our mood swings and ultimately his persistence resulted in the near perfect house. During the entire process Brant asked and paid attention to what we wanted in our new home. His knowledge was invaluable as we navigated all the ins and outs of home buying paperwork. He made the process easy and fun. So much so that we engaged Brant as the selling agent on our “old” home and he delivered again by selling that house in 4 hours for full asking price. Simply put, Brant is a great realtor and a great guy to work with. I give him 5 stars!


I give my highest recommendation to this outstanding professional!

Brant has helped me purchase two homes over the years. Brant truly listened to my needs and worked within the perimeters of my budget. He was so responsive and easy to work with throughout the entire house buying experience. I give my highest recommendation to this outstanding professional!


Brant always had our best interests in mind

My wife and I purchased our first home with Brant, and he truly was a pleasure to work with! He is very friendly, knowledgable about the entire home buying/selling process and was extremely easy to get in touch with…if we had any questions we were able to reach him practically anytime and he would get back to us promptly. Brant always had our best interests in mind and helped make the offer/negotiations process painless. I definitely would recommend him, and would use his services again in the future!

Chelsea O.

I will recommend him to everyone I know looking to buy or sell!

I initially worked with Brant back in 2007. I was hoping to buy a house instead of finding another rental, but had very limited time and a small budget. Despite these barriers, he was always helpful, positive, and worked with me up to the last minute. At each house we looked at, he would talk to us and help narrow down what we were looking for. Because of the limited time I had, I ended up renting but knew that when I was ready to look again I wanted to work with Brant. Late in 2014, my fiancé and I decided it was time for us to buy a home and I e-mailed Brant. He got back to me right away and remembered us from 2007. We had some specific requests for our home and he set up ou MLS portal to accommodate everything we were looking for. We set up a day to look at several homes; Brant was very knowledgable about the area and the houses we looked at, and helped us talk through what we liked and didn’t like. We actually fell in love with the first place we had looked at, and went back for another walk through before deciding to make an offer. Brant did a wonderful job as we came up with our offer, and we definitely relied on his expertise. He guided us through the entire process and our offer was accepted at nearly $20,000 below asking price. Every interaction we had with Brant was positive, but it was at this point that he truly went above and beyond. 10 days before our closing date, my fiancé died unexpectedly. I was an absolute wreck, but a couple days later realized I would also have to do something about the house we’d been planning to buy. I e-mailed Brant, because I couldn’t bring myself to call. His immediate response was to not worry about the house, take some time to take care of myself, and get back to him when I was ready. He talked to the seller’s real estate agent and worked with me as I tried to decide if I still wanted to buy. He could not have been kinder or more understanding. When I made my choice – to go ahead with the house – he worked with the bank and the other realtor/sellers to push back closing (to give me time to sort out finances) and to fix all the paperwork. Brant worked to make everything as easy as possible for me, and minimized what I needed to do. He walked me through every step and on March 13, he handed me the keys to my new home. At every point, Brant was responsive and willing to work with us to find the right home. He was amazing – kind and thoughtful and more worried about me than the sale – when my world fell apart. I will recommend him to everyone I know looking to buy or sell!


Brant was very helpful and patient

Brant was very helpful and patient (I had a million questions) during the entire experience. He never tried to push me towards something I didn’t want and has been great with follow up after I purchased the house. I will definitely use him in the future.


I would definitely use his service again

Brant stepped in when my original realtor brushed me off. He was always available and worked diligently to help me find a home under time constraints. He walked me through each step and I felt he kept me informed. I would definitely use his service again and recommend him to anyone looking for a realtor.