A Quick Guide to the Home Buying Process


Have you found your dream home? The following is a guide to help you navigate through the various steps of the buying process.


Naming your price Deciding on how much to offer is probably the most crucial step in the negotiation process. This is where your real estate agent can be your real estate angel. They’ll help you name your offer figure, as well as the conditions you want to request, such as having the buyer take care of your closing costs. Your agent will present the offer to the seller's agent, who will then either accept or issue a counter-offer on behalf of the seller. If you’re not happy with the counter-offer, you’ll keep negotiating until you reach an agreement.


Moving into ‘escrow’ Once you and the seller have agreed on a figure, you'll make a good-faith deposit and the seller initiates escrow. Escrow is a the part of the process – usually a 30 day period – where the seller takes the house off the market on the contractual understanding that you are the buyer. Keep in mind that you can renege on this commitment if you find the home has substantial structural or other flaws when you professionally inspect it.


Inspecting your new home Sure, your new home looks like perfection and all you can think about is taking up residence within its neutral-toned walls. However, it’s not unusual for a property that looks great on the surface to conceal serious underlying problems. This is why you need a trained professional to thoroughly assess the quality, safety and overall condition of your desired new home. If the property turns out to have substantial issues that the seller didn’t warn you about, then in most cases you can withdraw your offer and have your deposit returned. Alternatively, you can negotiate to reduce the selling price, or get the seller to pay for any necessary repairs.

  Sealing the deal If the property passed the inspection with flying colors, or if you’ve agreed on a deal to address any issues with the seller, then you're ready to close. Take heart that a successful outcome is near. But also keep in mind that closing can be a stressful time, as it involves reams of paperwork and lots of crossing your fingers to ensure there are no last-minute setbacks. In this final stage, things you may need to organize and pay for include: -a home appraisal for your mortgage company -a title search to ensure that no one apart from the seller has a claim to the property -securing mortgage insurance or a piggyback loan if your down payment is less than 20%