Buyer's Guide

step-by-step guide

Buying a home can be an exciting milestone. To prepare yourself for this, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step outline will prepare you for your home search, allowing you to enjoy the journey as much as possible.  Additionally, I provide my clients with a detailed "Contract to Closing" buyer's guide that provides a timeline of the next steps and what to consider at each stage. 


Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? Do you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? Now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you feel confident in your decision when the time comes to make an offer.


Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home.


Step 3: Get your loan approval

This is one of the most important steps. Due to the hyper-competitive market we recently experienced, I have lenders who can completely approve your loan through underwriting before you identify the home you want to purchase. This gives you an amazing "cash buyer"  advantage when purchasing a home. Both you and the seller will be able to negotiate the terms of your contract knowing you are certain of what you can buy.  Get in touch with me, and I'll gladly provide you with excellent professional lenders who can help.


Step 4: let's meet

When you are ready to buy and you feel confident in your loan approval, let's meet to look at neighborhoods and homes to determine what fits your needs. We will create and prioritize a list of your dream home attributes to keep us on track during your search.  

I provide personalized service designed to help you find your dream home!

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.


Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, I will craft an offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Keep in mind, price isn't the only determining factor for an offer to be accepted. I will communicate with the seller or listing agent to determine what the seller's circumstances are. Together we will determine a win-win scenario and create an offer than will stand out among the others.


Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I have qualified inspecdtors to recommend if you don't already have someone in mind. 


Step 8: Due Diligence Period

This is the time to learn all you can about the home you are purchasing. Find out if there are any easements, or boundary issues, get answers to HOA questions, and more. As part of the "Contract to Closing" buyer's book I provide, I detail a thorough list of things to consider. If for any reason you decide the home isn't right for you, this is the time to terminate the contract with a full refund of your earnest money.


Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.


Step 10: Closing

I will accompany you to closing where you will sign any loan and closing documents. This is where the title is transferred and keys are exchanged. Finally, it's time to celebrate your new home!


Time to move in, decorate, and throw a housewarming party. Enjoy your new home!

Work With Carrie Anne

Carrie Anne is passionate about helping her clients and takes pride in creating and maintaining life-long relationships beyond the transaction. For over 24 years, she has established herself as a trusted advisor equipped to assist you with all your real estate needs. Embark on an unparalleled real estate journey with Carrie Anne Rillo in the Golden Isles - where your dream home is just a conversation away.

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