Updated: Jun 8, 2022
Are you hesitant to buy a home because the process seems intimidating or overwhelming? Let’s break down the home buying process into 6 easy steps to make it a “relatively” stress-free home buying experience.
Figure out how much you can afford: Make a goal this week to simply pick up the phone and have a conversation with your lender. Don’t have a lender? There are plenty of great lenders in this valley who are happy to help you calculate the mortgage payment, along with additional expenses such as taxes, insurance, and utilities. Not only will this simple call give you an understanding of what price range to target in your home search, but they will also be able to help you get a pre-qualification letter to submit with your offer to make it that much stronger and stand out from the competition, regardless if you are involved in a competitive bid or not.
Let the Shopping begin: Now that you have an idea of what price range is financially comfortable, it’s time to let the real home shopping begin and for those daydreams to become a reality! Talk to your Realtor® and have them map out about 4-5 homes targeting your “needs list” and in the price range, you discussed with your lender, and schedule a day to view them. Remember to stay focused on fulfilling your “needs” first, then go for your “wants.”
Make an Offer: Put your best foot forward and submit a smart bid. Nobody is in the business of wasting anyone’s time so don’t just pull a number out of the air. Your Realtor is happy to use their top-notch negotiation skills but will need to do so with numbers and data to back it up. They can pull the “comps” aka (prices of comparable homes in the area that have recently sold,) and will use those figures to help determine your initial offer. This can be a stressful period when negotiating counter offers, so prepared for anticipation, taking calls, and signing paperwork.
Get an Inspection: This usually needs to happen within about 10 days from the accepted offer. Expect to pay about $300-$750 for a general inspection depending on the size and scope of the house. Your Realtor® should also recommend additional inspections above and beyond the standard one depending on the style of the house, when it was built, if it has a well, etc. Try to attend the inspection, as this is your opportunity to ask questions about the infrastructure of the house.
Get an Appraisal and Title Insurance: Your lender will help you hire an appraiser to determine the value of your home. Comparison-shop for title insurance, which protects you and your lender against liens.
Sign, Seal, Deliver: Lock in your interest rate and obtain a detailed list of closing costs from your Lender. A couple of days before your closing date, the Title company will contact you to schedule a signing with your third-party Escrow Officer. The documents can record as quickly as the next day and your loan will be funded. And last but not least, you are given the keys to unlock the door to your new home!
Remember that a quick close can happen in as little as 30 days as long as you have your ducks in a row. Yes, there are a lot of people involved in this process who are there to help you, whether it’s your Lender to your Escrow Officer to your Inspector to Appraiser, along with lots of paperwork and phone calls. This is where working with a trusted Realtor® will help you oversee the process and manage the whole transaction and communication with everyone from start to finish. Now sit back, relax, and oh…never mind…now you have to get started on step 1! Guess I did say, “relatively” stress-free, right?
Real Estate Broker, Licensed in the state of Oregon
Published Medford Sneak Preview Magazine - September 2014
Shanon holds an MBA in International Business, loves writing in her “At Home with Shanon” column that has been delivered to 47,000+ homes in Medford since 2014, has appeared on the Real Estate Radio Show ,and was also featured on A&E TV network’s Real Estate Reality TV show.