Buying a home can seem like a daunting task. However, if you break the process down in to manageable steps, it doesn’t seem as difficult. I view home buying as a 6 Step Process:

1. Get Pre-Approved

Many people like to start looking before they talk to a lender. However, you need to speak with a lender first to ensure you are able to get a loan. You pre-approval also gives you a target price to look at. There is no use in viewing million-dollar properties if you can’t afford them. Your lender will help you focus your search and ensure you are ready to make an offer as soon as you find the right house. Pre-approvals do not cost anything and lenders can usually provide them within a day or two at the most after you provide some basic information.

2. Find an Agent

Finding an agent you trust and want to work with is critical. Buyers are able to use a dedicated “Buyer’s Agent” at NO COST! So, not having a dedicated, experienced professional on your side just doesn’t make sense. Your agent will help you with the remaining steps. If you didn’t get pre-approved before finding your agent, they will also help with that! If you don’t currently have an agent, I would love to help you. I’ve helped families all over southwestern Illinois find their home and negotiate a great deal. I enjoy working with all types of buyers; whether it’s your first home or your forever home, I can help. You can find more about me by clicking here.

3. Find a House

Your agent will assist in this step by recommending homes that fit your defined criteria and are within your budget. They will also arrange showings on your schedule and provide information about the neighborhoods you are looking in. Some people like this part, others hate it. Either way, you have to open some doors to see if a home is right for you.

4. Make an Offer

There is a ton of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction. When you’ve found the home you want to buy, your agent will help you write the offer to ensure your interests are covered. While your agent will make a lot of recommendations, keep in mind, it is always your decision as to what your offer looks like.

5. Negotiate

I find negotiating the deal to be one of the more interesting parts of the transaction. Often, buyers and sellers don’t see eye-to-eye on all aspects of an offer. Sometimes, it takes a unique approach to bring two parties together. This is where an experienced negotiator can make all the difference in whether you get the house you want or not.

6. Attend Closing and Pick Up Your Keys!

Closing is where the property actually changes hands from the seller to the buyer. Obviously, there are a lot of steps between negotiating a deal and getting to the closing table. But, your agent is there ensure inspections are done on time, mortgage applications stay on track, repairs are complete before closing, and the seller complies with their responsibilities.

As you can see, if you make a good decision in Step Number 2, the rest of the process will take care of itself.

If you’re thinking about buying a home and would like to get started, fill out my Dream Home Finder form and I’ll start matching potential homes to your criteria. I’m also happy to recommend lenders if you don’t already have a preferred source. See what I mean, with just these simple steps, you will have already completed 2 out of the 6 hurdles to home ownership!


Douglas Cook

Douglas Cook