A Checklist for Homebuyers: Process, Process, Process

October 23, 2009

Filed under: Marin Living — Dave DuPont @ 10:43 am

A Foolproof Homebuyer’s Checklist

When looking for a homebuyer’s checklist online, it’s important to be aware that there are different types of checklists. There’s the type of checklist that provides you with every detail of information that you should get when searching for just the right home. This kind of list won’t allow you to overlook a single thing or make a mistake in this important process.

For example, it guides you to determine whether a house has a practical floor plan and adequate storage space. These lists are similar to those utilized by an appraiser, who goes through a property with a fine tooth comb and determines its condition and compares it to others in the same market at comparable values.

Here are the important steps to guide you through the process of buying a house.

1. Become Informed

In becoming familiar with the individual steps involved in the actual process of purchasing a home, the first step is to become informed about buying a house. In this marketplace, that means to become well informed about the steps involved, but also to become informed about who the reputable professionals are, how the market is performing, the prices in your desired market and much more.

2. Hire Reputable Professionals

Of course, you must do some serious homework before buying a house because you don’t want to leave anything to chance. This means you should hire the best real estate professionals you can find to protect your interests. So, item two on your checklist should be to find a sophisticated real estate person, who knows your market and has listings of properties in your price range. That person will hold your hand and guide you through the process step by step.

3. Become Pre-Approved for Financing

Obviously, you don’t want to begin shopping and find just the house and learn that you cannot make an offer because you aren’t pre-approved. If you have a financial statement of your assets and liabilities that helps too.

4. Determine What Type of Property You are Going to Buy and for How Much

Once you know what kind of property you want, tell your real estate professional all about it so he or she won’t waste your time showing you the wrong properties in the wrong price range.

5. Make an Offer

Once your real estate pro has educated you on the art of the deal, you will find a property and make an offer. This also requires that you sign a contract to buy. When or if you offer is accepted, you may need to put down a deposit. If your offer is not accepted, you might want to negotiate the sale (with the help of your real estate professional).

6. Make an Application for a Mortgage

Often your real estate pro will direct you to a reputable mortgage company that he likes to use. Be prepared to fill out applications and much more.

7. Make Arrangements for Home Inspection

Your real estate pro will help with this step too.

8. Check for Existing Warranties

If the seller offers warranties on appliances or air conditioning systems and the like, you should determine why. Is the air conditioning system on its last legs? If so, what will it cost to replace? And what is covered by the warranty; is it just labor?

9. Arrange for Homeowners’ Insurance

Get the best deal you can because this item is for the long haul.

10. Prepare for the closing

Make arrangements to hire a closing agent or attorney. Make all final preparations for closing with the help of your real estate professional.

11. Make Moving Arrangements

Make comparisons of prices and services and make reservations.

12. Secure final loan approval from lending institution.

13. Hold final walk-through of the home.

14. Hold final closing and settlement.

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