FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS GUIDE

Dated: 05/24/2020

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Buying your first home is an exciting yet terrifying experience! This quick guide will help you conquer the process like a pro so that you can sit back and relax in your new home sooner rather than later!


STEP ONE:

Hire a Realtor!

Your realtor is going to be your biggest resource when you buy a home! They will help you find a lender, home inspector, closing attorney... you name it! 

Along with helping you create your team of home buying professionals, your realtor is going to educate you on your specific market! You need to know how fast the market is moving and most importantly you need to know if you are paying a fair price!!

* Make sure you do your research and find a REALTOR that you feel comfortable with! Just because an agent closes a lot of deals doesn't mean they are the best fit for you! Read reviews online and ask around town for referrals!  

FUN FACT: Sellers are responsible for paying the commission so the services you receive are FREE to you as the buyer!


STEP TWO:

Talk to a LOCAL loan officer

Remember when I said your Realtor would be able to help you find a loan officer?  This is where that comes into play!

Most buyers assume that using their bank is the best route to go for a mortgage but I am here to tell you that when choosing a lender they NEED to be LOCAL! 

As a first time buyer you are going to have a TON of questions and you need someone that can sit down with you and go over every option! Local lenders are much easier to get in touch with and typically more responsive than a lender from a big bank, which means you can have the answers to those questions much quicker!

if you feel overwhelmed, your Realtor will be able to recommend multiple lenders they have personally worked with for you to choose from! 

FUN FACT: Local lenders are typically  just as competitive with their rates as the big banks!


STEP THREE:

Down Payment:

"How much do I need?"

This is one of those questions you are going to be asking your lender! There are loans, such as the USDA loan, that don't require any down payment or you could go conventional and put down 20%... The answer to this question comes when you sit down with your lender and discuss what option works best for you!


STEP FOUR:

What expenses to expect: 

  • Earnest money

  • Down payment

  • Closing costs 

  • Home inspections

  • Appraisal fee

  • Home insurance

*prices will vary - talk to your Realtor to get an average rate in your area


STEP FIVE:

Make a list! NEEDS VS WANTS

To find the perfect house you have to know what you are looking for! Sit down and create a list of what you NEED in your home, what you WANT in a home (wants = not a deal breaker), also create a list of things you don't like... The more information your realtor has about what you are looking for the better!

TIP: Ask yourself what you are currently missing that you would like to have! Also, evaluate the things you love in your current residence.


STEP SIX:

Start your search!

Now for the fun part! After your Realtor receives your list, they will be able to go through and hand pick properties that match your criteria! 

And lets be real... I know you will be all over Zillow! 

From there your realtor can schedule all of your showings and help you narrow down your favorite properties!

TIP: Don't feel like you have to see every home on the market! GO WITH YOUR GUT! Buyers typically only look at 5-7 homes before they make a decision!

FUN FACT: Fridays are the most common day for new listings to hit the market!


STEP SEVEN:

MAKE AN OFFER! DON'T HESITATE!

When you find the perfect home you will need to make an offer! 

While you definitely need to feel comfortable with your decision, you also need to be prepared to make a move quickly! GOOD LISTINGS GO FAST! 

Making the decision to "sleep on it" can ultimately result in you losing out, so talk to your Realtor and see how fast your market is moving!


STEP EIGHT:

Accept/ Reject/ Counter 

"What happens when I put an offer in?"

After your Realtor has submitted your offer, the seller can accept the offer, reject the offer, or counter. A counter is when you get into negotiations.

When your realtor receives the counter form, they will go over each term to find out what you are comfortable with and then you will have the option to accept/ reject/ or counter back.

Once both parties agree you are UNDER CONTRACT


STEP NINE:

 DUE DILIGENCE

Once you are under contract your due diligence period begins (Due diligence is typically 14 days but can be longer/shorter depending on the property). This is your time to have all of your inspections done! While you are in your due diligence period you can walk away for any reason without losing your earnest money! 


STEP TEN:

Closing!!!

YOU DID IT! 

Your final step is closing on your new home! 

Congratulations! 

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