Real Estate Agent and Trainer, Robert Rico, explains the process of purchasing a home, and answers potential questions homebuyers may have. Do you want to see more video blogs? Subscribe here!
Buying a home can be a daunting task – especially when buying a home for the first time! At CA Realty Training we are here to give you some insight into the buying process and specific steps that you’ll be experiencing as a first-time homebuyer.
- Find An Agent
- Acquire Your Loan
- Preview Different Homes
- Settle On Your Home
- The Escrow Process
- After The Escrow Process
Find an agent you like, or get your own real estate license so that you can represent yourself in the transaction! It’s important to choose someone who is familiar with the areas where you are home searching, an agent that would have the best neighborhood knowledge and know more about the houses, such as the preferred pockets and not so preferred pockets within the neighborhood.
Next, you should visit a bank or mortgage broker for a pre-approval letter with a realistic loan amount.This will ensure that you’re looking at houses within your price range, plus it will give your agent and the sellers confidence in the offers that you’ll be submitting. Many buyers today still believe the old myth that they need to save 20% for a down payment, when in fact any knowledgeable mortgage broker will be able to steer you toward programs that might be a better fit for your current financial situation.
The next step is the actual shopping for a home – the “previewing” of different homes to see which one you will find most suitable for you and your family.
Most potential buyers nowadays are viewing hundreds of listings on Zillow, Redfin, and the like, so there can be dozens of potential options to choose from! After you’ve narrowed down the search, you’ll go accompanied by your agent to the handful of homes you found most promising, based on their online MLS photos. You’ll walk around, get a feel for the house, check out the views or amenities, and really get to envision yourself living there. If it feels wrong, move on to a different home – most people say that they felt “right” when they first walked into the home that they purchased.
Once you’ve settled on a home, the truly nerve-wracking part begins – the offer and the negotiation process! In a busy seller’s market like today, it can take many back-and-forth negotiations before you and the sellers agree upon a contract price for the home. This can also include contingencies, such as an inspection or appraisal contingency, or the multitude of things that can arise during the escrow process.
This is what happens when the sellers accept your offer – you put funds in a third-party escrow account as a sign of good faith that you’re moving forward with the transaction. This initial deposit from the buyer can be used for the buyer’s down payment and/or closing costs when the transaction is ready to close. There’s also title insurance, escrow fees, title fees, and a multitude of other fees that need to be disclosed to you by the lender before you pay them. This is all part of the confusing mortgage process, but a good mortgage broker will patiently explain them until you are comfortable with every line item on the fee sheet.
After the contingencies have all been removed and the escrow period is over, your loan is funded, the title is transferred, and the house is now yours! You should receive your keys from your real estate agent on the day it records at the county recorder’s office, and then the real fun begins. You can start moving your furniture and begin living in your new home!