We know that the home buying process can feel mysterious or confusing for most buyers. Even if you’ve purchased properties before, the real estate market and practices can change on a dime, and as a buyer it can be hard to feel prepared or even know where to start. If you’re looking to purchase a home and are worried about what to expect during the buying process, we’ve listed out the 7 major phases that you will experience to give you some peace of mind.
Phase 1: Analysis. This phase consists of two main steps: finding your agent, and developing your wishlist. Finding an agent that you get along with and trust is the first real step to being able to find the perfect home for you. Make sure to read an agent’s reviews and testimonials to see what other buyers and sellers felt while working with them and to see if they would be a good fit for you. Additionally, you should be developing a wishlist for your home so you can start the process knowing what styles and neighborhoods you like, as well as what features you want in your home. It is also important to calculate what home you can afford during this phase as well. Once you have found your agent and you’ve developed your list, you’ll come in for your buyer consultation. If you’re interested in knowing what to expect during your buyer consultation, check out this video here.
Phase 2: Financing. During the finance phase, it is all about getting pre-approved. Your agent should be working to fit all of your financial pieces in place to ensure you are on strong financial footing before you begin shopping for your dream home. For this phase you will need to be prepared with W2s, paystubs, and bank statements. Knowing what you can afford is critical to a successful home shopping experience, so check out our mortgage calculator below to know exactly what price range you can expect to be in.
Phase 3: Shopping. Now we’ve reached the fun stage! Once you’ve been pre-approved and all your finances are in order, you can now start shopping for your home. With your wishlist, we match your home and community must-haves with your budget and begin looking for your dream home. During this process is when it’s essential to not only like the agent you’re working with, but to really trust them. We pull from our industry knowledge , community expertise, and network of colleagues to find a place that fits your list and your budget.
Phase 4: Putting in Your Offer. Once you’ve found a home you love, it’s time to put in your offer. When putting together your offer, we’ll help you formulate a fair purchase offer based on data-driven market analysis, then draft up the purchase agreements. After your agreement is drafted, we’ll guide you through contingencies and ensure that you never pay more than you need to. This phase can come with rejection, so should your offer not be accepted, we will work with you to game plan for the next offer.
Phase 5: Inspections. After your offer has been accepted, you can choose to inspect the property. If you do, we send a licensed inspector to do a thorough check of the home's condition. A home-inspection is a powerful negotiating tool since it detects issues that may not be apparent on a simple walk-through. If the inspection reveals issues, we work with you to develop strategies on how best we can proceed.
Phase 6: Approvals. After your offer is accepted and inspections are completed, we finally reach the approval phase of the buying process. During this phase, we are checking in with your lender to make sure all necessary paperwork is completed and monitoring your loan approval progress to keep you up to date to make sure everything is moving smoothly and that you stay aware of any unexpected fees that might be needed from you.
Phase 7: Celebrating Your New Home! You’ve reached the final stage and finally it is time to celebrate your new home. This phase comes with a lot of paperwork, but once you are through it, we will conduct a final walk through, sign closing statements, and turn over your keys! You are now officially a homeowner!
You now have a simple guide to the 7 major phases of the home buying process and you can start your journey feeling prepared. If you’re looking to move to the San Francisco Bay Area, reach out to our team and we would be more than happy to help you find your dream home!