Much like selling a home, buying a home involves many moving parts and buyers can get overwhelmed very quickly. Using a dedicated Real Estate agent will help you in many ways. For starters it will decrease your stress level, help you find the perfect home and eliminate the possibility of any mistakes. Keep in mind each step below involves multiple steps.

  1. Meeting – to discuss what you are looking for and what you are not looking for.
  2. Get Pre-Approved for a mortgage.
  3. Location – Where you want to live.
  4. Network with agent’s who may have off market homes. This can help reduce the competitiveness.
  5. Begin your home search.
  6. Visit homes in person or virtually.
  7. Decide on which home to make an offer on.
  8. Follow up with other agents to learn about other offers.
  9. Make an offer.
  10. Contract Accepted & Ratified.
  11. Collect EMD (Earnest Money Deposit).
  12. Schedule Home Inspection.
  13. Order Appraisal.
  14. Apply for your mortgage.
  15. Schedule Settlement / Closing.
  16. Get Homeowners Insurance
  17. Final Walk Through – Day before or Morning of closing.
  18. Closing with Attorney and pick up your keys.


  • Things you should NOT do when preparing to buy a home
  • The Road to buying a home
  • The Loan Process
  • How to schedule showings
  • Home Inspections – Overview
  1. It will cost me money to get pre-approved. This is a free service.
  2. I will have to pay my realtor when I close on my house. This is not correct, agents are paid by the SELLERS proceeds.
  3. Realtors can only help me with single family homes. We can also help you purchase condos, townhomes, land and investment properties.
  4. I can only help you with our company’s listings. This is not correct. Most home purchasers involve other firms.
  • Change banks or move money around
  • Deposit cash
  • Close credit card accounts
  • Fail to disclose financial / credit information
  • Calculate what your mortgage would be and apply for new credit
  • Make any major purchases
  • Change your job
  • Choose a lender and get Pre-Approved. A good Real Estate Agent can help you find a reputable lender. Good lenders offer competitive rates, are accessible and responsive. Your lender will request many documents such as bank statements, tax returns and pay stubs.

    It is also important to understand what you qualify for, what you can afford and be sure to understand what you should and should not do before closing.

  • Choose a Realtor
  • Schedule showings
  • Write the offer, negotiate terms, contract ratification.
  • Review the purchase contract & addendums with me.
  • There is more to a contract than price. We need to consider inspection and appraisal waivers if applicable.  Your EMD (Earnest Money Deposit) will be collected upon ratification.
  • Loan Application
  • Within 7 days of contract ratification, you will need to officially apply for credit with lender.
  • Property Inspection unless waived.
  • Within 14 days of ratification, the inspections take place.
  • Inspection cost typically range from $350-$500 depending on the sq. footage.
  • Appraisal
  • The appraiser confirms you are not overpaying for the house.
  • The cost is usually $500. Your lender can confirm cost.
  • Prepare for closing.
  • Be available for lender requests & updates. It is likely you will need to provide updated information to the lender.
  • I will gather repair receipts for you if needed.
  • Don’t forget to set up your utilities.
  • Final figure & final walk through
  • You will receive the “CD” (Closing Disclosure) with your final cash to close number before closing.
  • Don’t forget to set up wire transfer or get a cashiers check for settlement.
  • We will walk through your home one final time before closing.
  • Closing ( average 30 to 40 days after ratification.)
  • Also referred to as settlement.
  • You will sign final documents at the closing attorney’s office.
  • Be sure to bring your ID’s and cashiers check to closing unless you have already wired the funds.

Here are the five steps

    1. Pre-Qualification / Pre-Approval. This is completed during your first call with the lender. They will need to know, income, debts, credit, etc.
    2. Loan Application. Within 7 days of contract ratification, you will meet with your lender to officially apply for your loan. This is where your lender will gather information from you and structure the deal.
    3. Processing. The is the longest portion of your loan process. Processor reviews all of your paperwork and lets you know of any conditions that may need to be met or any “red flags” to underwriters.
    4. Underwriting. The underwriter formally approves the loan after a review of your paperwork. You can usually expect a “conditional approval”. There may be more documents needed before its sent to closing.
    5. Closing. The closing communicates with your settlement agent to prepare and finalize the closing disclosure (CD). The CD must be approved by you the borrower, THREE business days prior to closing.
  • I will set up a customized search portal during our first appointment. This is different and more accurate than Zillow.
  • This allows you to stay informed of NEW listings and COMING SOONs BEFORE they hit the market.
  • We will review helpful tools within your custom portal to help keep you organized.
  • Best Practice – Remember to eliminate homes first then select between your top Three to five. This make you a more competitive buyer.
  • Call, email or text me with MLS  # or address & few times you want to see the home.
  • I am accessible and responsive. Please provide 24 to 48 hours notice to see homes if possible.
    • After we receive the inspection report on your home, the buyer will be granted the opportunity to request repairs by the seller or request a credit in lieu of repairs. Once the seller receives the inspection report and repair credit addendum, there is a 7-day negotiation period.
    • If an inspector recommends that something specific should be inspected by a specialist (i.e., Roofer, plumber etc.) it’s your responsibility to have that inspection within the time frame stated in the contract. I will stay on top of this with you.
    • After the inspection negotiations are agreed to, we can help schedule repairs to be completed. Please keep all receipts / invoices of work completed and send them to me.
  • Defects of the property. This means something that is damaged or dysfunctional that affects a normal standard of living.
  • Defect: a condition which impairs the normal stability, safety, or use of any improvements (building) on the property.
  • Common examples include structural defects, a damaged roof, mold in the crawl space.
  • Cosmetic flaws. This means something that improves a personal preference of living. Any cosmetic flaws, antiquated systems, or grandfathered components that are in working order but would not comply with current building code if installed today.
  • Examples – normal settlement cracks, a roof that is old but in working order.
  • Yes. There are over a 100 people involved in every real estate transaction. I will be sure to manage these daily. The next bullet point lists a few pieces of the Real Estate puzzle.
  • Attorneys, Title Companies, Warranty Companies, Contractors, Appraisers, Inspectors, Termite Companies, Homeowner Associations and Co-Brokers (i.e. other Real Estate Agents)
  • You are buying a used house and not everything will be perfect. If that is the expectation, let’s discuss new construction.
  • Buying and selling a home is emotional for both parties.
  • Attorneys, Title Companies, Warranty Companies, Contractors, Appraisers, Inspectors, Termite Companies, Homeowner Associations and Co-Brokers (i.e. other Real Estate Agents)


Start A Green File which contains all your important financial statements

The first step in buying a home is to start a Green File. A Green File contains all your important financial statements. Regardless of the loan type, lenders will need information about you. Make copies of financial statements; bank accounts, investments, credit cards, auto loans, recent pay stubs and two years’ tax returns.


The second step is to contact a qualified lender and let them guide you. I can help you find a great lender based on your specific situation.

Savings & Debt

If you are buying real estate, try to accumulate funds towards your down payment, closing costs (appraisal, miscellaneous fees, escrow, title insurance, etc.) and expenses such as inspections. Furthermore, try to pay down existing revolving and high interest rate debt like credit cards.

Your Job

Now is not a good time to change careers, move your money around, or buy big-ticket items. Lenders like stability. So if you are considering any major changes, it pays to meet with a lender and ask them how to proceed before you make any changes!


How to Find a Lender

Lenders, home loan officers or Mortgage companies play a key part in financing your home. They can be found through a variety of sources. Here are some examples. You can also find and apply to lenders over the internet, and through referrals from your REALTOR. We would be happy to suggest lenders we have used successfully, who have proven themselves competitive and capable even with problem properties or poor credit. Loan officers or Mortgage companies have different strengths and personalities.  So it is important to find one that you can easily work with.

Choosing the Right Lender

Interview several lenders to evaluate the following:

  • Ability to explain things clearly and return your phone calls in a reasonable time period
  • Competitiveness of interest rates, costs & fees.
  • Availability of loan programs that suit your credit profile and desired property
  • Access to local loan approval committee that understands the kind of property you are buying

Choosing the Right Kind of Home Loan

Today there are so many types of loans on the market that it is beyond the scope of this page to list or explain them all. Your lender is the best person to help you select a loan program to suit your needs. Below is a summary of the three most popular loan types we see in practice; for more detailed information click the link at the end of this page.

  1. Fixed loan: The fixed rate loan assures your monthly payments will stay the same over the life of the loan, which is typically between 15 and 30 years. Fixed rate loans may be best if you intend to hold the property for a long period of time, say over 7 years.
  2. ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages): ARM’s may be suitable if you plan to sell or refinance your home within the next few years. The starting interest rate is typically lower than a fixed rate loan, saving you money initially. However, it is important to understand the index, the readjustment interval, the capitalization rate and downside risks of an ARM before making a final decision to use this type of loan.
  3. Intermediate ARMs: Also called Hybrid Loans, these loans can offer fixed interest rates for the first 3, 5, 7 or 10 years after which the interest rate adjusts with the market every 6 months or year thereafter.

Compare Listings

Title Price Status Type Area Purpose Bedrooms Bathrooms