A Step-by-Step Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is a life event, and one to be enjoyed. To prepare yourself for this moment, following is a step-by-step guide that will educate you about the process. It begins by offering you a trusted and well-cared for experience, and ends with you finding your perfect home. Let’s get started on the journey.


Step 1: Making the Decision to Buy a Home

You’ve made a decision to buy a home. Now what? You do not have to know everything or anything about the real estate market. After all, the market is constantly changing, advancing, moving - at any given moment in time the snapshot is different.

Reaching out to a trusted Real Estate Agent is the best place to begin. I will meet with you, and discuss your needs, what is important to you, your budget, your hopes, and your constraints. We will discuss the type of property you are searching for, the features you like, and those you dislike. Most important I will answer questions. There are no “dumb” questions… Ask away!


Step 2: Determine The Budget

Whether you are a cash buyer or taking financing it is important to determine your budget. It is helpful to prepare a household budget and take into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. This is different from what you may qualify for. In some cases, a mortgage company may approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending. There are monthly and yearly costs associated with home ownership and it is important to factor those in.  


Step 3: Get Prequalified

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to financing. Each person has different financial characteristics and a qualified lender will determine what the best financing options are for you.

Products in the lending market are always changing, constricting, or expanding. Your lender can explain the different options available and explain how they work over time. They will make sure that you understand all of the costs associated with buying a home. It is important to have a lender referral. Shopping “online” will surely leave you with a lack of information you need to make an informed decision. Well in advance of a purchase being in touch with a quality lender is key. 


Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you simply don’t possess. Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task, this is where my expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play.

My years of fostering relationships with the agent community give you the upper hand in a competitive market. Being a trusted Real Estate Agent and knowing how to communicate and present your offer in the best possible light can make the difference in having your offer accepted. 

Let me show you around!

My goal is to provide you with personalized service that is tailored to help you buy your home


Step 5: The Home Search

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). Most buyers have their favorite app in which to conduct a home search. However, there are many details only a realtor will be privy to. Therefore, staying in touch on which properties to see and which to skip is a decision you can make with your Real Estate Agent. You may be searching in one area or many areas and for many types of properties. I will arrange showings and accompany you as your home search begins to take shape.

I will point out details you may overlook and make you aware of contributing factors to the value. As individual as you are, each property is as well and there is much to be considered. When your home comes into focus you’ll know it.


Step 6: Neighborhood

Know your neighborhood. Good, old-fashioned driving around is always a good idea. Infrastructure, development, traffic, markets, restaurants, a local farmers market, etc… Airports, train stations, walkability, bike-ability, and where you’ll walk your dog are all important things to think about. How good are the schools, how close is the park, the library or the local Trader Joe's. Understanding the nuances of the neighborhood you choose to live in will impact your daily life. 


Step 7: Making an Offer

Once you have found the perfect home, we will compose an offer based on the value and other comparable homes on the market. I will explain to you the elements of the offer which will include price, a closing date, a time for inspections, loan approval, and timelines for paperwork and money submissions. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will help you understand and negotiate the specific details of the offer. When the seller accepts all terms in the offer or counter offers and you have a signed contract - I call and say “Congratulations, you are in escrow!”.

Gulp! I always say to my buyers if you weren’t nervous I would worry about you. This is a big step. First time or last time, buying a home is a big deal!


Step 8: Inspections

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected. And, in most cases, you will find something that needs repair. I will help you evaluate if a repair is major or minor and set your expectations in understanding how to handle these items. There are many individual inspections such as roof, electrical, plumbing, sewer, AC, termite, mold, chimney, and foundation. Even the kitchen sink will be commented on if there is an issue. Depending on the property certain inspections will be necessary while others will not apply. For example: with a condo purchase you do not inspect the foundation. I will help you schedule inspections with my plethora of quality inspectors. At times, the cost of repairs may be negotiable. But, not always. I have found that with reasonable buyers and sellers, most inspection issues can be resolved.


Step 9: In Escrow

Escrow is there on behalf of the buyer and the seller, facilitating the transaction to closing. A typical escrow will take 30-45 days to close. Escrow will collect the monies, obtain required reports and signatures and handle all documents relating to the transfer of ownership. 

Escrow works in conjunction with a title company to ensure that all seller liens and fees are paid at closing and, in turn, buyers funds are in place to cover all costs associated with the new purchase.  Once the documents and tasks are completed escrow will set up the file to "record" which is also known as "closing" whereby the city records the new buyers information as the official owner Monies are settled and keys are exchanged. 


Welcome to Home Ownership

Work With Heidi

Change is constant in life, but it doesn't need to be met with uncertainty and anxiousness. My ability to listen to your needs, and guide you on how to achieve your goals , will provide you with a calm and trusted experience.