Buying a house can feel overwhelming, which also can make it feel unattainable. To help you think about the process holistically, we’ve broken it down into three parts.
IMPORTANT: The buyer does not pay any commission costs. The seller pays for the commissions for both agents.
Start with clarity. Why do you want to buy a house? And, if you have a partner, do they share this goal?
Find an agent and find a lender. An agent will help you find a house and guide you through the paperwork. Your lender works with you on your finances. Here is a list of questions to ask your agent and your lender.
Start looking. Most people find a house they want within the first 20 homes they look at.
Once you find a house you want, you submit a contract. Once a contract is accepted, you are under contract.
After going under contract, the process usually takes 30 days until close if you are using a loan to secure the house, or 3 weeks if you are using cash to secure the house.
Some major deadlines over the next thirty days are: earnest money, inspection objection and appraisal.
Earnest money is usually due within 5 days after submitting the contract. (Don’t sweat it! You can get your earnest money back after submitting it.)
Inspection and the inspection objection usually happen within 10 days of going under contract. This is your opportunity to have an expert tell you about the health of the house and to ask the seller to fix anything that might come up.
Appraisal happens about 3 days after going under contract and is used to help establish the loan. It is done by an independent party and is used to understand what the house’s true value is.
You should close on your house around the 30 day mark. After closing, the house is yours. (Congrats!)
One week before you close, you should start moving utilities, Amazon package addresses, box subscriptions, cable, etc.
Two days before closing, you should:
Do the walk through on your property; and
Review the buyer’s settlement statement (list of costs for the close.)
Your closing will be approximately one hour long. The docs you sign will mostly have to do with your loan schedule, your insurance, names and alias you have and title. It can be a lot of paperwork, but broken down it’s pretty simple.