A Timeline for Buying a Home

If you are thinking about buying a house next year, it is never too early to start planning. When you are a first-time homebuyer (or if it’s been a long time since you last bought a home) it is nice to have a timeline to give you an idea how long the process may take. Of course, not all home sales happen on the same schedule, but this timeline will give you a general concept of what to expect.

5 Months Out: Find an Agent

There are many ways to find a reputable Realtor to help you buy a home. Perhaps you will get a referral from a friend, family member, or co-worker. Or maybe you will use the internet to find one. When choosing a Realtor, be sure to have a list of questions to ask about things like the area, school district, and comparable sales. Once you’ve chosen your Realtor you can discuss your wants and needs for a home and get the home buying process rolling.

4 Months Out: Get Pre-Qualified for a Loan

Shopping for a mortgage needs to come before shopping for a house for a couple of reasons. First, you will stand out to home sellers if you are already qualified for a mortgage loan. Secondly, it will provide a budget for you because you will know exactly how much you can afford to spend on a house.

How to Get Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage

3 Months Out: Start Your Home Search

Now that you have a Realtor who knows your wants and needs, along with how much you qualify for, you can start looking for your new home! While this process can be fun, it can also be frustrating, so it will benefit you to stay calm and trust the process. There is no definitive amount of time for this part of the home buying process. Some people may be in a hurry to find a new home and others may be able to take their time to get exactly what they want. Be patient and trust your Realtor!

2 Months Out: Make and Offer:

Once you’ve found the house you want, it is time to make an offer. Your Realtor will assist you in determining a competitive offer that will appeal to the sellers. If your offer is not accepted, don’t panic! Lots of negotiations take place during the part of the process. Ultimately, your Realtor wants to help you get the best deal possible and sometimes deal breakers mean you need to move on and keep shopping. But if your offer is accepted, you are one step closer to being a homeowner!

1 Month Out: Home Appraisal/Home Inspection

Your offer has been accepted!Congratulations! But there are a couple more important steps to take before you close on your new home. It is time for an appraisal and home inspection. Your lender will hire an appraiser to thoroughly check out your future home to determine its value. As for the inspection, some buyers are tempted to skip this part because of the cost involved, but that would be a mistake! Home inspectors sometimes find problems with the house that are not obvious; problems that could be deal breakers for you. You definitely want to get a “clean bill of health” for your new home.

10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Skip a Home Inspection

Closing Day:

This is the day you achieve your dream of being a homeowner! You will be signing a lot of papers, and it might seem a little overwhelming, but it happens pretty quickly, and when you are done you will get your keys to your new home! Congratulations! 

Moving Day:

Now it’s time to move into your new home!

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

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