We all know that practice makes perfect, but what are you supposed to do when you have never bought a home before? How do you get that practice? Why you hire a great Agent with a great team to get you through! 
It is always a good idea to sit down with a Realtor, or two, and talk to them about the process that they follow and the team of people that they work with. Let me give you a brief description of how I work with my clients.
 

 

  1. Initial Conversation: this is when we talk about your goals, your dreams, your fears and your concerns.
  2. Get qualified with a lender: Before you spend a ton of time looking at properties, you owe it to yourself to understand how your purchase will work financially.
  3. Look at homes on-line:  once you know your financial situation we can start targeting areas that interest you. We will start to focus in on certain types of homes or preferred neighborhoods.
  4. Pick homes to see in person: We will start reviewing specific homes and determining which ones warrant an in-person viewing.
  5. Go to see Properties: This step can happen once or 20 times until we identify a home that you want to make an offer on.
  6. Draft an offer: We will pull together all the details of the offer and put them into a contract. Your lender will put together a letter that can go to the seller confirming that you can afford the purchase.
  7. Negotiate the offer: There is often some back and forth here. It is normal, to be expected and stressful! Understanding your financial position comes into play here.
  8. Ratify the Contract: Negotiations are over and all parties have come to agreement. You now have a RATIFIED Contract!
  9. Work to Clear Contingencies: A lot of contracts will have contingencies for financing, appraisal, home inspection and radon testing (as well as others). Once you have a ratified contract, we will work through these contingencies together to get your contract to ‘Non-Contingent’ status. 
  10. Close (or settle) on your new home! I think this one is self-explanatory, but just to be clear, this is where you get put on the title of the property.

 
Keep in mind that steps 5-9 can happen more than once. You might lose out in a negotiation (although not if I can help it!) or you may find that something comes up during the contingency period that causes you to want to void the contract.
 
Each of these steps has a lot of activities–too many to really detail.  I will be there as a hand-holder, counselor, cheerleader, team captain and mostly as a professional to explain what you should expect and what you need to do each step of the way. Understanding the high level process will make purchasing your first home a whole lot less stressful!