The home buying process can be overwhelming, so I’ve broken it down for you. Here’s how to buy a house in 10 easy steps.

Expect the first four steps to take a couple months; the last six should take about 30-45 days.

  1. Determine your buying power. Visit a mortgage specialistand get pre-approved. Most sellers will not look at an offer that does not come with a pre-approval letter from a trusted lender.
  2. Find a Realtor® you trust. (In most cases, it’s free. Ask me how.)
  3. Work with your Realtor® to select homes you’d like to see. Search MLS, new construction, short sales, foreclosures, and FSBOs.
  4. Preview homes; fall in love.
  5. Work with your Realtor® to construct your offer on the house.
  6. Negotiate price, terms, and condition with seller. This is where your Realtor® really earns her money. Only 1 of 21 offers are accepted the way they are first written.
  7. Focus on getting to the closing table.Follow the dates in your purchase agreement to meet deadlines for the following: loan application, home inspection, appraisal, survey, pest inspection, and closing attorney. Use this checklist for a handy reference. **Keep in mind you’ll want to budget for the upfront costs like earnest money, appraisal, and inspections.
  8. Purchase homeowner’s insurance on your new home. You must bring proof of payment to the closing table. Visit the Resources page for a list of names and numbers to get you started.
  9. Notify utility companies to change over or turn on water, power, cable, and phone services.
  10. It’s yours! Review the HUD-1 statement with your Realtor prior to meeting with the attorney so you can get a certified check for the amount you need to bring to the closing table.

Remember that in addition to your down payment, your closing costs will likely add up to 3-5% of your sales price. These costs include but are not limited to lender fees, title fees, daily interest, and pre-paids (taxes and insurance). Your Realtor® may be able to negotiate so the seller pays your closing costs.

Your Realtor®’s job is to get you the most house for the least amount of money and to make the process smooth and stress-less. When you’re ready to make your move, call or text me at 843.870.0890.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.