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. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.
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 when the time comes to make an offer.
Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or condo fees that could easily blow your budget.
Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.
Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.
This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. 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.
Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. 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 even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will be conditionally sold.
In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.
Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. 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 first time home buyer incentives or land transfer tax credits. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.
Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.
No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and lawyer and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.
After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.
I would like to highly appreciate the great service which I have received from Ms. M. Razavi, the well-skilled Real Estate agent from Royal LePage. Megan is a very sharp, insightful agent along with a great friendly manner. Her skills are full of strategic steps that align with her clients' needs and requests. Her friendly manner bridges a trustful connection with her clients. Her professional and responsive attitude builds up a peaceful and enjoyable time during the process of both buying and selling. She kindly manages her duties during the day to be available 24/7 to smooth this stressful time for her clients. She highly values her clients' deman...— Faranak V.
I have personally known Ms. Razavi for a few years and what a stellar job she did to sell one of my investment properties. Once again, it was a great experience to see how diligently Megan worked on my behalf. Not only was she able to get the right price, but it was done promptly due to her eagerness and endless enthusiasm. She was completely honest, trustworthy, and very professional throughout the entire sales process. I was so impressed with how punctual Megan was in replying to my inquiries whether it was early or late 7 days a week. In today’s very competitive market, Megan was very patient from the onset when I approached her to sell my proper...— Dr. Elvis
Megan is a very knowledgable and hard-working Realtor®. We met back in January 2018 and hired her to sell a family property in Smith Falls. She successfully managed to finalize the deal in less than 6 months despite the fact that the land sales could take longer. If you want to buy or sell a property, you should not look further. Megan, with her highly professional skills and knowledge of the market and wide network, can close all your Real Estate deals in a timely manner. We are very lucky and of course, honored to have met her and are looking forward to our next business deals with her.— Ziad H.
As a real estate professional, Megan believes in giving her clients personalized service and solid communication. When you hire her to represent you, she will provide you with the most comprehensive real estate service available.