The Home Buying Process

Step 1: Assess Your Current Housing Situation

  • What do you like about where you live now?
  • What don’t you like and what would you like for a new home?
  • How long are you planning on living in your new home?
  • When do you need to move by?

Step 2: Assess Your Financial Situation

  • Determine what you are comfortable with for a monthly housing budget
  • Determine what you can put down for a down payment
  • Consider transactions and closing costs (home inspection, attorney etc)
  • Check your credit score

Step 3: Meet with a Buyer’s Agent

  • Review and prioritize your housing wants and needs with your buyer’s agent
  • Learn about the local market
  • Go over the homebuying process, ask questions and plan next steps

Step 4: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

  • Your buyer’s agent can refer you to reputable lenders to interview
  • Discuss your mortgage and financing options with lenders including rates, down payment, credit, and any applicable first-time home buyer programs

Step 5: Begin Your Home Search

  • Talk with your buyer’s agent to set up an online home search
  • Discuss with your buyer’s agent properties that you would like to see. Your agent will review available properties and schedule showings
  • Go on showings with your buyer’s agent, making note of what you like and dislike and learn the market first-hand
  • Attend open houses

Step 6: Submit an Offer to Purchase

  • Your buyer’s agent will prepare a comparative market analysis on the subject property to determine the property’s fair market value
  • Discuss offer strategy with your buyer’s agent
  • Buyer’s agent will write up an offer including discussed pricing, terms, contingencies and any special requests
  • $1,000 deposit submitted to bind the offer, held in escrow and applied to further deposits

Step 7: From Accepted Offer to Closing

  • Home Inspection: Hire a home inspector to conduct a home inspection
  • Attend the home inspection with your buyer’s agent and review the home inspection report. Your buyer’s agent will negotiate any issues, if necessary
  • Purchase and Sale Agreement: Hire an attorney to review the Purchase and Sale Agreement and the Condominium Documents/Financials if applicable
  • Sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement, 5% deposit put into escrow (initial $1,000 is credited towards this deposit)
  • Mortgage Commitment: Complete the mortgage application. Your lender will conduct an appraisal of the subject property and issue a mortgage commitment
  • Obtain necessary insurance. Your lender will need proof of insurance for the mortgage commitment
  • Closing: Your attorney will conduct a title search and prepare a HUD settlement statement for you to review approximately 24 hours before the closing
  • Obtain a cashier’s check (made out to yourself) for the down payment and closing costs
  • Do a final walk-thru of the property with your buyer’s agent
  • Sign all necessary loan documents and the deed, documents will be recorded at the registry of deeds and you will receive keys to the property
  • Closing Checklist for Buyers

Real Estate Purchase Timeline

  • Day 1: Offer Presented with an earnest money deposit ($1,000) and pre-approval from a lender
  • Day 2: Accepted Offer
  • Within 5-7 Days of an Accepted Offer:  Home Inspection. This is also the time to contact a real estate attorney to represent you at the P&S and closing and to begin talking again with your lender.
  • Day 10: Purchase and Sale Agreement
  • Day 11: Mortgage Application (First official application made, but you should already be in touch with a lender)
  • Day 32 (or approximately 3 weeks after signing the P&S): Mortgage Commitment
  • Day 45-60: Closing