Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. At every step, it’s essential to seek the advice of the people who have your best interest at heart: your agent, lender, and title company. But what if you could have all the tools you need to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible? What if we told you that there was an exact order to follow that would significantly improve your chances of getting into a new home? Let us introduce you to the 11 steps from submitting an offer to closing on your new home
1. Plan Ahead
The first step in buying a home is to decide ahead of time what your goal for your purchase is. What size house, what location, and what features are you looking for in your new home? Are you hoping to buy a starter home, or do you want to trade up? You also have to consider whether you’re planning on staying put for a few years or selling again soon and making another move.
2. Submit the Documents and Respond to Lenders’ Requests
Once you’ve determined what you want in a home, the next step is to shop for your loan. You’ll need to submit a credit application to a handful of lenders and wait for them to look it over. After making your final decision, the lender will make you an offer with terms and conditions. Most of them will ask for documents such as proof of income and tax returns.
3. Source for Title Insurance
While you’re waiting to hear back from lenders, it’s crucial that you also obtain the title insurance required by your state. A title company will buy the policies on your behalf, covering any liens and mortgages against the property that may exist. They will also take care of the closing process of your new home, including performing inspections and obtaining signatures from other parties related to your home, including the mortgage holder.
4. Book a Home Inspection and Arrange Negotiations for Adjustments
Be sure to schedule a home inspection from a licensed and insured professional. If you find any mistakes or discrepancies during the inspection, tell the inspector and try to address the concerns as soon as possible. This will allow you to negotiate with your seller and make sure this investment is something that you indeed want to move forward with.
5. Get the Estimation Report
After you’ve finished negotiating with your seller, obtain the appraisal report from your lender. Sometimes, the seller may require you to have the appraisal before they accept your offer. If you pay for an estimate out of pocket, get a copy and keep it in a safe place.
6. Homeowners Insurance
Before you take your new home for sale, you should also check into homeowners insurance. It is vital because it will protect your investment. If you haven’t paid for homeowners insurance, be sure to ask both of the real estate agents you plan on using close to your closing date.
7. Revised Loan Estimates
When you’ve obtained the required documents from the lender, including a revised loan estimate, it’s time to take action. If your loan terms have changed in any way, discuss them with all the people who will be involved in your home’s closing process. In most cases, you’ll want to let the lender know you will accept the terms.
8. Take a Final Walkthrough
A final inspection of your new home is critical. This will allow you to ensure that everything on your checklist has been completed. The final walkthrough helps you catch any small details you might have missed.
9. Review the Documents Prior to Closing
Before closing, you should take at least 2-3 business days and look at three major documents: closing disclosure, promissory note, and mortgage or deed of trust.
10. Close the Deal and Acquire Keys to Your New Home
The last, and most important step, is to close on your new home. This includes paying the loan in full and turning over all the documents you’ve obtained during the buying process to the title company.
11. File and Save Your Documents
You’ve just experienced an incredible, stress-free process of buying your new home. You’re still responsible for filing and saving your documents as they secure you a stepping stone to homeownership. The papers are also important in case of future reference.
Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. Not only will you get the keys to your new home in no time flat, but you’ll also have a wonderful place that’s uniquely yours!