Buying a home usually represents your single biggest investment – and debt.

The home buying process is one of the most exciting, and frequently stressful, experiences you’ll ever go through. This holds true whether you’ve bought many homes or you’re looking to buy your first, whether you’re in the market for a new primary residence, an investment property or that perfect
vacation getaway.

Today’s real estate market can offer more opportunities, yet
 can be filled with more risks than ever before. There are a multitude of factors to consider and decisions to make. When buying a home, it’s crucial to have all the available resources necessary to make a well-informed decision, together with the time required to make use of them. It’s important to enlist the help of a trusted real estate professional who’ll be able to provide expert guidance at each step of the buying process.

Finding and purchasing a home includes the following steps, which we’ll examine in more detail throughout this booklet:

1.) Define your goals, research your options, make your plans

ftr_197_imageGiven that buying a home is such a big step, it’s very important to educate and prepare yourself as much as possible. This means clearly determining the reasons you’re buying and what kind of home you’re looking for. Since buying and financing a home are so closely related, it also means examining your current financial situation and projecting how much you can afford.
Once you’ve answered these questions, even tentatively, you’ll be in a better position to research housing and mortgage options, and create an action plan and timelines for moving forward. Although it is possible to do this yourself, you may benefit by consulting an experienced real estate professional right from the start.

2.) Contact a real estate professional

photo.jpgBuying a home is a complex matter with many factors to consider since no two homes or transactions are alike. Moreover, with all the unique opportunities and potential pitfalls of the current market, it’s more important than ever to contact a real estate professional once you’ve decided
to buy.
When choosing a real estate professional to guide you through the property search, financing, negotiation and transaction processes, you should consider their local market knowledge, experience, and track record.

3.) Get pre-approved for a loan

Buyers GuideWe recommend that you get pre-approved for a loan before you start viewing homes with the serious intention of buying. The pre-approval process involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and credit history. On the basis of this examination, the lender may provide you with a document detailing the amount you can borrow to buy a home. Consider looking online to see what different lenders offer, or contacting your local bank or credit union.

The benefits of pre-approval include:

  • You’ll know what you are eligible to receive and be able to plan accordingly
.
  • As a qualified, motivated buyer you’ll be taken more seriously when you make an offer
  • Lenders can tell you if you qualify for special programs that will help you afford a better home (particularly if you’re a first-time buyer).

Real estate financing is available from many sources, and an experienced real estate professional will be able to suggest lenders with a history of offering excellent mortgage products and services.
For more information about the benefits of pre-approval and the loan process in general, see -
The Loan Process – Financing Your Home Purchase, on page 14 of the linked guide to buying a home.

4.) View homes and select THE ONE

Simply put, the key to the home search process is knowing what you’re looking for. Among other things, that means distinguishing between “must-haves” and “like-to-haves”. To help you to target your search and define your home preference priorities, the guide includes a Home Search Worksheet on page 23 of the linked pdf file.

That said, here are a few recent facts about the search process that might put your experience in perspective:

92% of buyers use the internet or mobile apps to search for homes. 
The typical buyer searches for 12 weeks and views 12 homes, 2
97% of buyers view real estate agents as important in the home search process.

There are many benefits to starting the search process at a local real estate website like kgspringshomes.com. You can view many homes and their details, take video tours and access neighborhood info.

However, it’s also important to view homes in person. While the property details may seem similar online, homes can be very different in terms of layout, design, workmanship and other aspects. Ideally, you should view homes with the help of an experienced real estate professional who’ll notice things you might miss, provide expert analysis, and act as an impartial sounding board.

5.) Make an offer and negotiate with the seller

Once you’ve found the home you’d like to buy, it’s time to make an offer. The Colorado Contract to Buy/Sell Real Estate enables you to specify a sale price and also allows you to specify inclusions, closing date, seller concessions, and various other terms of the purchase. Your local real estate professional can guide you through the process of making an offer using the Colorado Contract to Buy/Sell Real Estate.

You should carefully review the contract and all associated clauses with your real estate professional to be sure they accurately express your intended offer. In addition to drawing up the contract, your real estate professional will be happy to address all of your questions about the offer process.

Once the offer is to your satisfaction, your real estate professional will present it to the seller and/or the seller’s representative.

The seller can accept your offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process. A counter-offer is by far the most common.

Successive counter-offers, with deadlines for responding and meeting conditions, may be exchanged between you and the seller until a mutual pending agreement is reached or the negotiations breakdown.

Negotiations involve many factors specifically relating to different market conditions, homes and sellers, some of which are examined in – Successfully Negotiating The Deal – on page 18 of the linked guide to buying a home.

6.) Secure your financing

Once you have a pending agreement, it’s time to return to your chosen lender to finalize mortgage details in order to close the deal. This means finalizing your down payment, interest rate, regular payment schedule and all other financial conditions associated with the closing.
As the saying goes, ‘let the buyer beware’. Unfortunately, too many buyers suffer negative consequences from not fully understanding their financing decisions. Thus, it’s crucial for you to work with people you trust. In this regard, a good real estate professional can become a true friend for life. For more information on the loan process, see – The Loan Process – Financing Your Home Purchase, on page 14 of the linked guide to buying a home.

Close the deal
. If you’ve efficiently taken care of everything connected with purchasing your new home, taking ownership should be a joyful experience…and it should come with no surprises. Key steps to the closing, also referred to as the “escrow” or “settlement”, include:

Getting a title search – you will need a historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of the property – to ensure that there are no claims against the title of the property. It’s also necessary to purchase Title Insurance for protection in the event of errors in the records or mistakes in the review process.

The final walkthrough – you will be given the chance to look at the home one last time to make sure it’s in the same condition as when you signed the sale agreement.

The settlement – typically in Colorado, on the Closing Date you’ll meet with an title closing agent, real estate professional, and lender to verify and sign all the paperwork required to complete the transaction. The settlement will include paying your closing costs, legal fees, property adjustments and prepaid fees (interest and taxes). At that point, you’ll receive copies of all documentation pertaining to the purchase and your deed will be recorded with the public trustee (Colorado).

 

ftr_188_imageOh, and one more thing – you’ll get the keys!

 

 

 

 

In Colorado, Possession Date for the buyer is on the day of closing. You’ll be able to move into your new home immediately following closing.

 

Provided courtesy of Realtor.com

Click here to download the entire guide.

 

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