CR LogoI have written many articles on buying a home, some in great detail, some focusing on a particular section of the home buying process and some that list all the advantages of owning a home.

However, I realized that some home buyers just want a basic overview of the primary home buying steps. So I have narrowed the list down to 6 main steps. These steps by no means represent all of the events in the home purchase process but they are an overview of some of the things that need to be done.

1. Hire a REALTOR®

This is the first most important step. Let’s face it, why would you not hire a professional to help you handle the biggest purchase that you will probably ever make? The results of a real estate transaction can be with you for 30 years or more.

If you buy an overpriced home or one that needs too many repairs you may never see a return on your investment. So why risk that when hiring a Realtor® costs you nothing up front as a buyer, but will make the whole process simpler, more efficient and has the potential to save you thousands of dollars?

Why wouldn’t you want someone in your corner, protecting your interest particularly when the opposing party, the seller, is being represented by a Realtor® and are therefore not representing your best interests?

A qualified Realtor® will be able to guide you through the whole process with little time wasted. They will work with you not only on finding the perfect property but also advice you on whether the asking price is fair or not. You can spend a whole lot of wasted time making offers and viewing properties that are outside your financial price range and/or will not pass appraised value.

dollarsA Realtor® will also be able to negotiate not only the best price for you but also the best terms. Sometimes the net purchase price of a property can be much more favorable to you if all the other terms are negotiated properly. They will also be able to co-ordinate all the requirements of the lender. Very often lender issues is the sole reason that closings have to be postponed or even cancelled entirely.

A Realtor® will keep you on track once a contract has been agreed upon. Too many buyers miss the mark on the dates certain events need to occur by when they are not represented by a Realtor®. Then there’s financing, inspections, surveys, appraisals etc.

The terms of a real estate contract are legal and binding. There are so many contingencies, deadlines, consequences and functions that a homebuyer needs to follow through with in order to avoid any type of default or litigation from the home seller. Many things can go wrong, for instance, deadlines missed, financing falling through, not enough or correct inspections done, property appraised for less then selling price etc.

All homes for sale buttonAn experienced real estate agent can help mitigate most of these issues while still taking on a lot of the legal responsibility of the transaction. Why then risk the purchase of a home that in many cases can be more expensive or equivalent to the costs of a lawsuit, without hiring a professional to handle it for you?

Remember, if you make a bad home purchase, you truly have to live with it every day!

Step 2: Getting approved for a loan