First Time Home Buyers

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Congratulations! You've decided you're ready to buy a House.. Now what?

Well, that's where I come in to help walk you through each step of the process.

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The very first thing you should do when deciding to purchase a home is talk with a Realtor. Some people will say get pre-approved and I agree, but I think it's best to discuss what exactly you're looking for with a Realtor first. Once they have an idea of the property you're looking for they can recommend a certain loan, mortgage credits and a top-notch Lender to help you get pre-approved. Selecting a Realtor is pretty simple, you can call and interview a few, go online to research reviews or simply ask a friend who they'd recommend. Any good Realtor will have a handful of Lenders they highly recommend you work with.


Now to the fun part.


Shopping for your next house is the fun part. It's very important that you plan ahead and discuss your "must-haves" before shopping! Don't let the hype distract you from your real needs.

I strongly encourage my Buyers to always make a list of "must-haves" and a separate list of "wants". It's very easy to get overwhelmed while looking for the perfect house, especially after seeing a handful that don't fit all your needs. Some Buyers start settling for Homes that don't fit their needs in order to just pick something and that is never the goal. I encourage my clients to stick to their main priorities that led them to buy a house in the first place. After a little bit of time the perfect house always does come along in the end.



Make a strong offer.

Once you've selected the right house your Realtor will write up the offer. Here is where you need to discuss your overall up front costs and the costs due at closing. Some of these items you can request the Seller pay for in your offer. The highest offer isn't always the strongest. I like to reach out to the listing agent prior to submitting an offer to see what is most important to the Sellers. Sometimes it's the highest price but other times it's allowing them to stay in the house a little longer and planning for a delayed closing, or sometimes it's not asking them to repair items in the house because they're no longer local. Other times it could be that they want a quick closing and will take the first offer that can provide that. It's very important to make a strategic offer so the Sellers are satisfied with the terms while you're also getting exactly what you need out of the contract as well.



Work closely with your Lender.

You will quickly find out that your Lender and Realtor are your new best friends. We're here to support and serve your needs throughout the entire process. Once you've select the right house and make the offer, your lender will need a copy of the executed contract and it's terms to start your loan file. This is primarily handled by your Realtor but the Lender will also need additional items from you to secure your loan. Be quick to respond to the requests of your Lender so you don't cause the closing to be delayed. Your Lender should updated you weekly on the status of your loan all the way till closing. This is the best way to keep all parties on the same schedule!



Almost a Home Owner!

After you've found the perfect house, signed the contract and secured your loan the next step is to do a due diligence on the property. Your due diligence period is whatever your Realtor specified in the contract, this is typically a 14 day span of time after signing. What you are responsible for during this time is to find out all the information your feel is important to you regarding this house. Your Realtor will help schedule a home inspection and the Lender will order an appraisal. Both of these items are very necessary when purchasing a home to make sure you're choosing a sound investment. A few other items to do during this time if the property requires them are.. pool inspections, roof inspections, renovations quotes, septic tank / well inspections and water testing.


Now that you're only two weeks from closing start to prepare.

The Closing Attorney is the one to contact all parties regarding any additional charges or cost associated with the purchase such as HOA fees, Real Estate commissions, repair bills, etc. Your Realtor will also line up the date/time of the scheduled closing and notify all parties. The Lender should be almost ready to give you the "Clear to Close" and your final costs of purchasing the house. Typically there is a down payment amount plus additional closing costs that the buyer is responsible for paying at closing. This amount will be finalized and given to the Buyers prior to closing so everyone is prepared with appropriate funds.


Now it's time for a Congratulations!


If you've made it this far you're a new Home Owner. Closing has gone through smoothly and you've been handed your new keys. From here your Realtor will help you get all of the utilities set up in your name plus give you additional information regarding the neighborhood, area and services you may want set up as well.


If you're looking to purchase in the South Georgia area I'd be happy to help you! Reach out to me at (229) 561-4503 or by email, regan.armstrong@exprealty.com with any questions.


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