The home buying process can be a confusing experience,  the following steps can help make it easier for you as a buyer to understand the process . 

Step 1:  Visit with a lender – This is an important first step, the lender will be able to explain the lending process to you and help to determine the amount of loan  you will qualify for .  They will also be able to give you a pre qualification letter. 

Step 2: Find a realtor:   It is important to find an agent that you are comfortable with and trust,  your agent should be familiar with the market area, and should guide you towards properties that meets your needs and budget.

Step 3: Looking for a home:  Once you have established the budget for purchasing, and found an agent it is time to view  properties. When viewing the property feel free to take notes,  let the agent know what you think of each property,  take a second look at the properties you like best.  You may even want to rank the properties.  

Step 4: Making an offer:  You have found a property that fits your budget, needs, and wants.  It is time to make an offer.   When making an offer you will have several decisions to make which your agent will explain and  help you with.  Some of the options you will have are sellers concessions, closing date, items to be included in the purchase  and inspections.  

Step 5: Agreement/or counter offer:  Many times an offer will be countered by the seller.  The seller can counter the purchase amount and other aspects of the offer.  This is the point when your agent will begin the negotiation process on your behalf.  It is extremely important that you provide your agent with the feedback they need to do the best possible job in negotiating for you.

Step 6:  Agreement on purchase: Once this happens, you now have an agreement.  Your agent should monitor all deadlines for you.  Inspections need to be completed within a time frame,   title insurance will need to be ordered, lenders will need assistance  from the agent in setting up an appraisal date and time.    A Closing date and time will be set.  Your realtor should also provide you with information concerning utilities and other city services that you will need once you own the home.

Step 7: Loan Process:  This will take approximately 45 days, in this period of time it is important that you follow the lenders advice and requests.   Provide the lender with any documentation needed, continue to maintain your good credit and do not make any major purchases.  The lender will review credit and debt ratio right before closing, any change in credit score or debt ratio can prevent you from obtaining a loan for the property.

Step 8 : Closing:  Prior to closing, it is always a good idea have a final walk through of the property to ensure that it is in the same condition it was the day you made the offer.  Closing day, you will meet with the  closer, you will need to bring a photo ID and certified funds, for the amount needed.  This amount will be disclosed to you prior to closing day.    Once you have signed all of the documents at closing, you will be provided the keys and , Congratulations you are now a home owner