Buyers – The 10 Step Guide to Buying a House

1 –Why buy a home? Buying a house is a financial as well as an emotional decision. It requires the experience and support of reliable team of professionals to guide you through the process. These professionals include a Realtor, a lender, a lawyer, amongst others. You must count on professionals that you can trust and are there for your best interest.

First you need to ask yourself why you want to buy. Purchasing a home is a lifestyle choice. You must examine the area where you would like to purchase, what type of property, and understand your likes and dislikes. Keeping in mind that you will be committing to living in this home for five to seven years, or more. Are your finances ready? Can you qualify for a loan? What can you afford to buy?

2- Get a Realtor Buying and selling real estate is not as simple as it seems, you must have a professional guiding you. All homes are different; a local realtor that knows the community can assist you in finding a property that fits your criteria. They know the pricing of homes sold recently, they negotiate for you, assist you with all forms, including, making sure of the financial end, inspections, due dates and keep you update of the process.

You can ask your friends and family if they can refer you to a local Realtor. Make sure that you feel comfortable and feel as if they are trustworthy; know the current market and your area of choice, well. Check their website, testimonials, and credentials.

3- Get a Mortgage Pre-approval One of the first steps is getting pre-approved, how much can you afford. You should check with several lenders, ask what their fees are, what programs are available, and make sure that they are reliable. As when choosing a Realtor, ask your friends and family members or your realtor if they can recommend someone. You may choose a financial institution such as a local bank or a mortgage broker that has access to different loan programs. Once you have chosen your lender, your Realtor will be working closely with them in order to make the transaction as smooth as possible.

4 – Start your Search Now the fun part starts, you start your search for your new home! Keep in mind that finding a home takes time, do not get frustrated. Use your Realtor’s knowledge, many online websites are not updated; let your Realtor do their job. If your Realtor has a website search under their property search tab which should be connected to their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and it’s current. Your Realtor must had briefed you on the current market condition and you should know whether inventory is low, it’s a buyers or sellers market, if there are bidding wars, etc. Become knowlegeable of the market but let your Realtor be your guide.

5 – Choosing a  Home You might have to compromise on several features, which you thought were necessary. Have an open mind. Check the community, amenities, association dues if any, yearly taxes and insurance. Make sure that all is within your budget, this is why you’ve been pre-approved, you know your numbers. 

 6 – Offer  Once you find the home that meets your needs, it’s time to make an offer. It’s an exciting time, your Realtor will go over the comparable sales, and will determine the best possible price and terms. Once you submit an offer, the sellers may come back with a counter offer, so be patient. This is when your Realtor’s negotiating skills take effect. When you have an executed contract (all terms agreed upon and signed) the clock starts ticking. Your Realtor should prepare a time schedule of when deposits are due, inspections, association approvals (if any), and loan commitment, sounds like a lot right? That’s why you must have a professional on your side.

7- Funding When your offer has been accepted and you have an executed contract, your Realtor will submit a copy of the contract to your lender. The lender will then run all the numbers, give you a total of closing costs, lock in the interest rate and start the process from his end.

8 – Insurance When the file is almost ready for closing you will be asked to get insurance, you need the policy to be binded, at this point you should already have had gotten a quote.

9 – Closing You are ready for closing! The closing agent, may be an attorney or a title company, will notify your Realtor and send them a copy of the closing statement, also known as the settlement statement or HUD. She will review it with you make sure that all the numbers are correct and advise of the funds that must be brought to closing, now days they are usually wired. You must take your ID and be ready to sign. Many Realtors do attend the closings as well as mortgage brokers, at least my team does. Closing will take approximately an hour, since they will review with you all the documents, terms and conditions.

10 – What’s next Get your keys, and enjoy your new home!!!! You’ve done it….

If you have any questions on The 10 Steps to Buying a House, or would like further indepth information email me

Your Downtown Miami Specialist