step one is get your own real estate agent. A buyer's agent does not cost the buyer anything. A buyer's agent is your local expert.
Your agent should be that voice of reason that keeps you focused on your goals. A good buyer's agent will be your advocate guiding you in the process and urging caution when necessary.
Now that you have your buyer's agent, what is involved in the process? Putting it in simple terms...
- Look at prospective homes that meet your identified requirements. (Need to know up front what you must have, can't have, etc.)
- Find the house that meets most of your needs. (Usually some give and take involved unless custom built.)
- Offer to purchase. (A reasonable offer is a starting point for the next step.)
- Negotiate the contract. (Your real estate agent earns their money here!)
- Inspect the house. (Will cost the buyer)
- Appraise (Lender does this although they charge the buyer).
- Obtain homeowner policy binder. (Be prepared to pay a year's premium in advance.)
- Arrange for utilities to be turned on/transferred into buyer's name.
- Review closing statement in advance and obtain funds for closing in acceptable form (wire, certified check, etc.)
- Sign the paperwork and get the keys to your new home.