Buying a home can be an exciting and emotional experience. As a local expert, you can rely on me to guide you through the process so you can feel comfortable and confident each step of the way.
The first step to buying a home is to understand your buying power and establish a price range. A licensed lender can help evaluate your financial standing and provide a pre-approval. Getting pre-approved doesn't obligate you to a lender, but it will help guide your decisions during the home shopping process. It would be in your best interest to get preapproved with multiple lenders to compare rates and services. Having a pre-approval letter in hand is also a requirement to submit an offer so it is a good idea to be prepared especially in today’s hot market.
You can start your search for the perfect home right here with up-to-date MLS listings in your favorite neighborhoods. Create your free account to save your favorite properties, request showings, and more! As your REALTOR®, I will also search for homes on your behalf. When you find a home that you like, we'll schedule a showing tour for you to preview the property virtually or in person.
When you're ready to move forward with a purchase, I will advise you on constructing the strongest offer possible. Then I will draw up the necessary paperwork on your behalf. There is a lot to consider when making an offer. We'll discuss the purchase price, the closing date, contingency timelines, and any special stipulations for your particular purchase. Once an offer is submitted, the seller may accept, reject or counter the offer. If the seller returns a counter, we will enter a negotiation period until an agreement is reached, or the offer is rejected by either party.
If your offer is accepted, you will be officially under contract. The purchase will not be complete until closing, but the home cannot be sold to anyone else while the contract remains in effect. At this point, unless you are making a cash purchase, it will be time to make an earnest money deposit and secure your mortgage loan. Lenders offer a wide range of loan programs, so it's important to work with a lender you trust to help you determine the best loan for your specific circumstances.
Inspecting the physical condition of your next home is a vital part of the home-buying process. A licensed general home inspector will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the entire property and report any problems with the condition of the home's structure or systems. The inspector can then recommend if you may need a specialist (such as a plumber or electrician) to further assess the home. Depending on the purchase agreement, we may enter additional rounds of negotiation to resolve any problems discovered during the inspection.
Your lender will arrange a professional appraisal of the home. An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the true (or fair market) value of a home and is conducted by an independent third party. The appraiser will confirm the appraisal value of the property for all parties involved. If the home appraises at less than the expected value, you may have the option to renegotiate the purchase agreement or terminate the contract.
Prior to closing, we will conduct a final walkthrough of the home to ensure that all negotiated repairs have been completed and that the home is in the same (or better) condition as when the original offer was made. This is the final opportunity to call out any problems identified with the home before closing. Depending on the purchase agreement, you may sign a formal contract addendum confirming that the walkthrough is complete, and the condition of the home is acceptable.
Time to celebrate! Your lender will provide a final closing disclosure that summarizes the loan terms, monthly payments, taxes, and other costs associated with the closing. They will also confirm that you are clear to close, and you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete your purchase and loan agreement. Once the paperwork is signed by all parties and your loan is funded, you will receive keys, and you'll be ready to move into your new home!
Ron Costa is the premier real estate broker in Long Beach and has helped hundreds of buyers find their dream home throughout Southern California, resulting in over 200 closed transactions since he began his career.