Buying A Home: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding the Purchase Process

Buying a home is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you're unsure about what to expect from the process or how to make a smart purchase in a competitive market, here are some tips for navigating the purchase process and making an informed decision. 

Loan Pre-Approval

The first step, no matter what, is to determine how much money you can borrow to purchase a new home. Keep in mind that you will also incur other expenses as a homeowner, so don't feel obligated to use the full amount you're approved for on your mortgage alone. Your realtor can help you talk through the unexpected to get a realistic budget in place, which provides a great foundation for becoming a financially-stable homeowner.  

Meet With Your Realtor

Get to know your realtor (and vice versa). This is a hugely important part of the process, so be real about your expectations and stay open to hearing hard truths from the real estate professional you've chosen to work with. Ask ALL the questions, no matter how minor of a detail you think it is. 

Search / View / Choose

The FUN part! Based on your budget and your wants (and needs),  you will search for your future home through the Multiple Listing Service (also known as MLS). This huge, private database of listings is the most up-to-date online resource in the industry, is only available to realtors and their clients. Once you see something you're interested in, let us know immediately! 

Submit Contract / Offer

For buyers and sellers, it all comes down to this moment. You make the final decision on how much to offer, but trust the advice of your realtor (and his or her negotiation skills) to ensure you get exactly what you want out of the deal. And know that others are in the same position you are, so be prepared to walk away if necessary!   

Remove Contingencies

The inspection process will tell you the safety and quality of the home you're buying. Honestly, this is where most deals can fall apart. If you find any problems with your home, have them fixed. You may pay upfront costs to having the inspections completed, but the peace-of-mind knowing the home you're investing in is safe and stable is worth it. 

Closing Day!

The day has finally arrived to close on your new home! The mortgage broker will work with your banker and a title insurance provider to complete the mortgage loan process. The lender will then submit a "close file" which contains all the necessary documents. Your realtor will walk you through all the documents and in the end, hand you the keys to your new home. 

What If Something Goes Wrong?

Don't panic! If you happen to find yourself in a situation that goes south, contact your real estate agent immediately. He or she will listen to your concerns and let you know what options are available to remedy the situation. Various things can affect the sale of a home, so it's best to take your realtor's advice and stay in contact with them throughout the process. 


No matter the reasons, as the big day approaches, you should know you can be confident (even if this is your first time buying a home). Take the necessary steps to prepare for the moment, but let your lender and real estate agent handle the difficult tasks. By being knowledgeable, and working with a great realtor, you'll stay ahead of the competition and enjoy the seamless process of buying your dream home. 

Ready to get started? Contact our team today by calling (757) 329-9854 or filling out a short form here. We look forward to working with you!

Posted by Earl Sanders on


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