John Marion

John Marion is a Real Estate Agent with REMAX Town & Country in Canton, GA

How to Buy a House

8 Steps to Buying a House

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The Home Buying Process Made Simple

Buying a house is a big decision. Once you make the decision, the process of buying a home is logical and straight forward. A real estate agent will work for you through the process of finding homes for sale and buying a house. Your agent will refer you to other real estate service providers who will be on your team to help you through the home buying process.

1. Decide Where You Want to Buy a House

Homebuyers decide where they want to live based on different criteria. For some people, a general geographic region to buy a house is enough. For others, the search of homes for sale will be limited to a particular location such as a school district, zip code zone, or subdivision.


In the Atlanta market, some buyers want to live in the Cherokee County or Cobb County School District or certain school districts of North Fulton County. Others want to buy a home in locations such as Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock. Some buyers are interested in houses within a 30 minute driving distance from their Atlanta job, with little regard for the address or school district of the home.

2. Find a Real Estate Agent in Your Area

Once you know where you want to buy a house, you can find a local real estate agent who knows the market and will search homes for sale in your area.

If you know an agent you like who doesn't work in the area you want to buy a house, ask the agent to refer you to another real estate agent who works where you want to buy.

Or search for an agent online and you will have several options for getting the best agent for you.

3. Determine the Home Price Range / Get Prequalified for a Mortgage Loan

How much do you want to spend buying your new house? Talking to a mortgage lender will help answer that question. A lender will ask you questions about your income, how much money you have for a down payment, and check your credit score.

With that information, the lender can pre-qualify you for a home loan and tell you your maximum purchase price. The lender will issue you a pre-qualification letter and send a copy to your real estate agent.

Your agent will use the lender's pre-qual letter as an attachment to your offer to purchase a house. The letter assures the seller that you are a qualified buyer.

4. Search for Homes that Match Your Criteria

Your agent will run a search using the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to find homes listed for sale that match your criteria.

In addition to the area and price range, you will tell your agent what you are looking for in a house. Of course the search criteria should include the minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms you want in a home.

Other criteria can include a very broad range of interior, exterior features and neighborhood amenities of homes for sale.

Here are some examples of what you may want in a house for sale:

Parking / Garage, Carport, Driveway

Basement or Slab Foundation

If you want a basement, do you want it to be finished or unfinished? Do you want a walkout basement with an exterior entry?

Interior Features of Houses

9 ft+ Ceil Upper, 10 ft+ Ceil Main, 2-Story Foyer, Bookcases, Double Vanities, Hardwood Floors, Trey Ceilings, Walk-In Closets, His & Her Closets, Wall/Wall Carpet, and Wet Bar.

Exterior Features Homes

Deck, Gas Grill, Fenced Yard, Front Porch, Patio, Professional Landscaping, and Irrigation Systems

Neighborhood Amenities

Club House, Country Club, Golf, Homeowners Assoc, Playground, Swimming Pool, Restaurant, Street Lights, Tennis Lighted, Physical Fitness Facilities, Swim Team, and Park in some subdivisions.

5. Take a Look Inside the Homes you Like

Your agent will schedule a time for you to view the homes you like. This give you the opportunity to take a look inside to see if each house is a good match for you.

6. Decide Which House You Want to Buy / Make an Offer

Once you find a house for sale that you like best, your agent will prepare a purchase contract for you to sign.

The contract will be submitted to the seller's agent and presented as your offer to purchase the house.

There may be some negotiation that takes place, such as final purchase price and other details of your offer.

Once you have a purchase and sales agreement signed by both buyer and seller, it's time to move forward toward the actual purchase date (called the closing date).

7. Due Diligence and Loan Processing Period During Home Buying Process

The due diligence period allows you time hire a professional home inspector who will inspect the house and give you a report of the property condition. The home inspection report can be used to further negotiate the sale's price if it is determined that repairs are needed to the home. Your lender will be working with you to get final approval for your home loan.

8. Go to Closing / Buy Your House

When your lender is finished with processing your home mortgage loan, a closing date will be finalized. Your lender and closing attorney will calculate exactly how much money you will need to bring to the table. Then show up at the closing table, sign papers, get the keys to the house and move in!


John Marion is the agent who buys houses in Cherokee County Georgia and throughout North Metro Atlanta
Call or TEXT John @ 703-371-9548