1. Decide Where You Want to Buy
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.
HOME LOCATION EXAMPLES
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
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
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
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 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.
criteria can include a very broad range of interior, exterior
features and neighborhood amenities of homes for sale.
some examples of what you may want in a house for sale:
Parking / Garage,
Basement or Slab
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.
Deck, Gas Grill, Fenced Yard, Front Porch, Patio,
Professional Landscaping, and Irrigation Systems
Club House, Country Club, Golf, Homeowners Assoc,
Playground, Swimming Pool, Restaurant, Street Lights, Tennis
Lighted, Physical Fitness Facilities, Swim Team, and Park in some
5. Take a Look Inside the Homes
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.
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
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
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!