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What is the fourth step of the home buying process?

Friday, June 23, 2023   /   by Blair Hayes

What is the fourth step of the home buying process?

All of your hard work and preparation is now ready to be used. It’s time to upgrade your home buying experience from one of just window shopping houses online to actually seeing them in person. You and your Realtor can work together to find homes that fit your preferred criteria in your specified price range, and they will set up showings for you.

You could end up finding “the one” on the first day, or it may take a multitude of showings to find the house that speaks to you and you could see yourself making home. When it comes to attending open houses or going to builder opens or new construction home sites, it is imperative that you let your Realtor know before attending.

Once you have found a home you love that suits your needs, it is time to make an offer! This can be a scary step for some, but not to worry as your Realtor will walk you through each step of crafting the offer. 

As you may recall, the first 3 steps of the home buying process include taking financial inventory and gathering necessary financial documents, choosing the representation that’s going to walk you through the transaction - aka your real estate agent and lender - and getting prequalified for a mortgage. These were all necessary steps leading up to finding the home you like and making an offer so you know what you can afford and what you may want to ask for from the seller in your offer.

There’s many different angles of a real estate offer that you can negotiate to best suit your needs. Speak to your Realtor about what’s most important to you. Is it more beneficial to make an offer that is lower than the listing price, or would you rather have your agent negotiate that the seller/builder pays some of your closing costs? Is the home in need of certain repairs you want done prior to moving in, or would you like a one-year home warranty included? Depending on the market and/or the specific property, you may not want to ask that the seller comes down on price or offers any concessions, repairs, etc. in order to make your offer stronger against competitors. 

Once you have decided what works best for you, your Realtor will then write up the offer and submit it to the listing agent of the home, or the builder’s agent/representative (if it’s a new construction home). Keep in mind that your Realtor will do research the property and the market conditions of the area in order to advise you to making the best offer, so heed their guidance. Whatever you choose to offer, keep in mind that it may not get accepted the first try. While it can happen, do expect that the seller may counteroffer and try to negotiate new terms, in which you can accept or counteroffer as well. Or, sometimes there may be competing offers, so your offer gets rejected altogether.  

I know the waiting game can be tough, but patience is a virtue when submitting offers or when negotiating back and forth with a seller. Sometimes you can receive a response quickly, while other times it could take a couple of days for a decision to be made if the seller is out of town or has multiple offers on the table. Having a good real estate agent alongside you should help make the situation a little less stressful since they are there to be your advocate in these situations.

If you get the good news that your offer was accepted by the seller, congratulations, you get to move on to the next step! The work isn’t over, but it is always exciting to make it over the hump of offer acceptance (especially when you are in a seller’s market). 

If you want to know what to do if your offer was not accepted, read more here.

Written by Blair Hayes, REALTOR®