Everything you need to know about getting pre-approved, having your offer accepted, and closing on your new home purchase

A Step-by-Step Guide to Home Buying

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process, or a refresher if you have purchased previously. This buyer’s guide will help reduce the anxiety of not knowing what's to come and instead will help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you as you begin your search.


Step 2: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Just like choosing a home to buy is a very personal decision, so is picking a real estate agent. While most buyers are referred to their agent by family and friends, it is still important for them to make sure they mesh well with the agent and their style. You will likely be spending a lot of time together, so it's important that you enjoy each other's company. As your agent, not only do I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a deep understanding of the market, which comes from years of experience. This inside knowledge, paired with the relationships I've built within the community, also allows me to find you hidden off-market gems. In a market as competitive as ours, having access to as many homes as possible is key, which is why we are always employing resourceful strategies to ensure we find you your dream home.


Step 3: Get Pre-Approved

Before you can start looking at homes, you will need to speak with a lender about your budget and what you can qualify for. They will ask for various pieces of information on your financial background, so make sure you've gathered your W2/1099's, taxes, paystubs and any other relevant paperwork prior to speaking with them. Your agent can refer you to several recommended lenders for you to get in touch with. Working with a reputable, local lender can make all the difference in your experience, so be sure you're working with someone who knows your search area intimately. 


Step 4: Find the Right Home

The most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than closing day!). Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores. It's not uncommon for your original criteria to shift in unexpected ways based on the homes you see. It's important to share that feedback as it helps us best tailor future showings to your new criteria.

My goal is to provide you with the highest level of personalized service, designed to create an exceptional experience as you buy your dream home.

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Step 5: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, I'll work with you to craft a strong, winning offer. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or above the asking price. However, it's not all about pricing- it also comes down to various contingencies, which we'll discuss in detail beforehand. Making a winning offer in a highly competitive market requires creativity and dynamic negotiation skills. Understanding the nuances of a compelling offer also allows me to better advocate for you, which further strengthens your position. Once the offer is accepted, we will officially be "under contract" and work towards getting to closing.


Step 6: Work Through Contingencies

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having a home inspection and and appraisal done. I will schedule for a reputable, licensed home inspector to conduct the inspection, which I will also attend with you. The appraisal is handled by the lender who hires a licensed appraiser for it and communicates the results with you. Both contingencies allow the buyer to either renegotiate the offer or withdraw it if any issues arise with them. If there are no major issues, the process moves forward to step seven.


Step 7: Select Your Loan

Most of your "under contract" period will be spent working with your lender to pick a loan and get your financing approved. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. During this part of the process, you'll once again need various financial paperwork, so make sure you have updated copies of everything on hand.


Step 8: Closing Day

The day you receive the keys to your new home! The title company you are working with will have prepared all the deed and title related documents for you to sign at your settlement. Depending on how many questions the buyer has, settlement can take anywhere from thirty minutes to over an hour. Once everything has been signed off on, it will be time to celebrate as you will officially be the new owner, congratulations! Though you have now closed on your home, I will always be available for any questions you may have as you settle in and beyond. I pride myself in the fact that my relationships don't end on closing day, and instead extend for years to come!




Working with buyers, sellers and investors alike, Homaira is committed to forging lasting relationships with every client by serving them with the utmost professionalism, while providing a highly personalized experience.