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The Ten Steps of the Home Buying Process: Step by Step Guide

Blog by Tobiano and Kamloops Real Estate Marketing | May 4th, 2021

Buying a home is an exciting process that can be overwhelming to some. The best way to make the process as easy and smooth as possible is by following this step-by-step guide:

1) Decide what you want 

To find your perfect home, it's important to know what you're looking for. Begin with deciding on the type of property (condominium, townhome or single family), number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities in the area, etc. Think about how many rooms will suit your needs now and in ten years from now.

2) Get prequalified 

If you are financing a home purchase through a bank or other lender then they will require proof that you have enough money saved up for a deposit. Getting prequalified allows you to know exactly how much you can afford and the price range of homes you should be looking at.

3) Find a realtor 

Your agent can help you find your perfect home! If you don't already have an agent, in order to get the most out of their expertise and services, I recommend meeting with two or three agents before making a decision. The best part is that as a buyer, there is no cost to hiring a Tobiano real estate agent. Their commission is paid by the seller of the house.

4) Find a home 

The market is constantly changing so it's important to keep up with the news in your area and look at homes on a regular basis. In order to find houses for sale, make sure you update your search criteria regularly by adding or removing features that are of interest like number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage etc...

Pay attention to the neighbourhood and the distance from work, school or other important places. Take as much time as you need to make a decision on which property you want to make an offer on. Although in hot markets like the one we are in currently, sometimes you do not have much time to make a decision.
Consider all of the costs involved. This includes home insurance, property taxes, utility bills, maintenance fees etc...

5) Make an offer on the property

Make a formal written offer in with your Tobiano real estate agent. This is usually done by signing and sending over an "offer to purchase" form that contains all of the terms of your offer. This can now be done electronically using the software "Docusign" so that you do not have to meet your Tobiano real estate agent in person when making the offer.
Make sure to have your agent double check the offer before signing it just in case there is something wrong and you will be able to fix it before sending.
After this, wait for a counteroffer from them and they may send back an "acceptance of offer or rejection" form.
Negotiate on any terms that you are not happy with.

6) Arrange a Home Inspection

Typically an offer to purchase a home is "subject to" a home inspection . This means that the buyer and seller agree to a home inspection to make sure there are no major deficiencies in the property.
This is a good time to use your Tobiano real estate agent's services again as they can help you find someone qualified and trustworthy for inspection.
This step can be skipped if you are not worried about problems with the property or moving in before anything serious could happen, although many buyers will do one anyway for piece of mind.
When meeting with a home inspector they will often walk you through what they are looking for and answer any questions you have once they do the official home inspection report.

7) Meet with a mortgage lender to apply for a mortgage

There are two types of mortgages: fixed and adjustable rate. An adjustable rate mortgage means the monthly payments can fluctuate with interest rates. A fixed rate mortgage will have a set interest rate for the life of the loan, so monthly payments will not go up or down.
Every home buyer should do their due diligence and find the mortgage that best suits them. Some buyers want the lowest mortgage payment possible, while others want to pay down their mortgage as quickly as possible.

8) Home Appraisal

If you are financing the purchase of a new home, your lender may require an appraisal to determine how much it will cost to buy and maintain the property. An appraisal is a professional's opinion on the value of your home who is not associated with the bank or mortgage company. It will include data about recent comparable sales in your neighborhood and how much they sold for, as well as information about other homes with similar square footage.

9) Paperwork

There is a lot of legal paperwork involved in the process of buying a home. Your Tobiano real estate agent will guide you through the paperwork, answer any questions that may arise and submit the necessary documents to your lawyer that you have chosen to complete the sale.

10) Closing

This is when you are going to sign the paperwork, or "closing papers", which transfer ownership of the property from seller to buyer. This step can be complicated but your lawyer or Notary public will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

The home buying process can be overwhelming for many people. There are so many steps and decisions to make, it's easy to feel anxious or overwhelmed. That is why you should work with a Tobiano real estate agent through every step of the way! A good real estate agent will help guide you on your journey from start to finish, making the whole experience more enjoyable and less stressful in the long run. If this sounds like what you need, I am here for you!

Contact me today at (250) 819-4113 if you are interested in learning how my services might benefit you throughout this important life event. I look forward to hearing from you soon.