Choose a local expert that you trust and feel comfortable with! Getting pre-approved is important for two main reasons: 1. You need to know what price range you are comfortable with, so you don't get disappointed by homes outside of that. 2. A pre-approval letter will be needed when you are ready to submit an offer.
Home and Pest Inspections
Inspection periods are typically 10 days, and I highly recommend that all buyers have a WDO (wood destroying organism) report and a general home inspection.
Purchase Hazard Insurance
Your lender will require hazard insurance to protect your mutual investment...flood insurance might also be required depending on the location of the property. Getting a quote early in the process is a great idea!
Find The Home
Write down and prioritize your search criteria: your needs vs. wants. Have your agent set you up on an MLS search subscription, and go see some homes!
Remember that homes are pre-loved...no home is perfect! The NAFAR contract is As-Is by default, so negotiating any repairs to be done is the first hurtle in the closing process.
Closing Disclosure and Final Walkthrough
Three days before closing you will receive a closing disclosure that will have the final amount you need to bring to closing. The day before or the day of closing, you and your realtor will conduct a final walkthrough of the home.
Negotiate the Contract
There are multiple items / terms within the contract that can be negotiated: purchase price, binder deposit, possession, closing costs, personal property, and so much more...you need an agent that knows the contract inside and out!
Loan Approval and Appraisal
Typically, buyer's have 5 days once under contract to fully apply for the loan. After that, the home will be appraised. Once the home has value, some additional paperwork will probably be needed, and then we will have full loan approval.
Make sure you wire all funds before closing to the title company, bring two forms of ID, and expect to be there at least an hour...Congratulations and welcome HOME!