The Home Buying Process

Home for sale Oswego IL

Looking to buy a home in Naperville, Oswego, Aurora, Yorkville or Plainfield areas?  Here are some helpful tips as you begin the home buying process.

Buying a new home is a HUGE accomplishment and one of the biggest purchases you will ever make!  Whether you are a first time home buyer, or a seasoned home owner simply making a move, the process is an intricate one.  Because there are so many moving parts, no two real estate transactions are the same.  Education and building a solid team of professionals working for you is essential to a successful home buying experience.

Here are the 6 steps of the home buying process: 

STEP #1: Get your finances in order BEFORE YOU START LOOKING AT HOMES!

  • Know your credit score and history.
  • Get a mortgage pre-approval.  I can’t stress the importance of this enough, here is why:
    • It will tell you what you can actually afford.
    • It will strengthen your position when making and offer.  Once you find your dream home, you will want to move quickly on making an offer or risk missing the opportunity.
    • It will tell you what types of mortgages you qualify for, and how much you will need to save as a down payment.
    • It will also give you a good idea of other costs involved with closing a home and long term maintenance.
  • Have the following information handy when contacting a mortgage broker (and if you need a referral, see Step #2 below!)
    • Proof of income
    • Bank statements and other proof of available funds
    • Credit history
    • Employment record
    • Company information if self employed
    • Assets (savings, investments, retirement plans, etc.)
    • Debts (auto and student loans, credit card balances, other mortgages, etc.)
    • Tax returns for at least the past 2 years

STEP #2: Find a Real Estate Agent

  • Working with a single agent is absolutely necessary for a successful transaction.  Don’t “agent hop” – it is not fair to you or them.
  • Your agent will educate you and assist you through the entire process.
  • Your agent will help you build a team that is looking out for your best interest: mortgage broker, attorney, contractors, inspectors, financial planner, insurance agents and more.

STEP #3: Find the Right Home:

  • Make a list and share with your agent exactly what you are looking for:
    • Property type
    • Number of beds, baths and other spaces you require
    • Location, neighborhood, schools
    • Commute times to work or other amenities
    • Storage needs
    • Any other criteria that are important to you in your new home

STEP # 4: Make and Negotiate an Offer:

  • Review  with your agent a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of what similar homes have sold for in the area.
  • Agree to a respectable offer price.  If the home is priced right, a good place to start is about 5% below asking price.
  • Have your realtor prepare a written offer including price, earnest money amount, closing date, contingencies, and any other terms associated with the transaction.
  • Negotiate.  There will more than likely be some back and forth before final terms are agreed upon.
  • Obtain signatures from all parties.

STEP # 5:  Attorney Review, Inspections and Loan Approval:

  • Attorney Review
    • You typically have 5 days from final signatures for your attorney contract review and approval.  This period can be extended if agreed to by all parties.
  • Applicable Inspections:
    • You also have 5 days to have the home inspected for quality and structural soundness: Home Inspection, Radon, Termite, Well & Septic, etc.
    • This period can also be extended if agreed to by all parties.
    • Should any inspections be of concern, your attorney will help you renegotiate the terms.
  • Loan Approval:
    • Provide your loan officer with a copy of the contract, and other requested paperwork as soon as possible to ensure the loan proceeds in a timely manner.
    • Consult with your loan officer to understand all the final costs involved with closing. These will likely include (but not limited to) down payment, title fees, mortgage insurance, recording fees, closing points, attorney fees, insurance and  transfer stamps.

STEP #6: Closing:

  • Walk through the property with your agent prior to closing to ensure all is as negotiated.
  • All parties meet to sign necessary paperwork and transfer ownership.
  • Keys to the home are handed over, and you are a NEW HOMEOWNER!
  • It’s always a good idea to re-key your home after you have taken possession….


Ready to start the Home Buying Process?  Give us a call today!








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