Buyer Checklist

When buying a property, it's a good idea to work with an experienced Realtor from the beginning. If you just want to know what the process is like for future reference, use this checklist as a guide.

Figure Out The Finances

Get your finances in order by:

  • Checking your credit report and correcting any issues on it
  • Finding out what incentives or programs you qualify for
  • Determining what kind of mortgage you'd like to have
  • Applying for pre-approval and shopping around for the best rates

Target Ideal Neighborhoods

Once you've figured out how much home you can buy, find neighborhoods that offer properties in your price range. When comparing neighborhoods, think about certain features, including:

  • Crime
  • Commuting
  • Schools
  • The age of the neighborhood
  • Access to services or supplies you need

Make A List Of Wants And Needs For Your Ideal Home

List 5 things you need in your new home - the deal-breakers. The rest are things you'd like to have. Consider the following:

  • Cost
  • Type - townhome, condo or detached single family home
  • Size - Square footage
  • Minimum bedroom and bathroom count
  • Special features (single floor, office space, yard size) 

Learn The Background On Specific Homes

You can find a lot of the information online. If you are working with a Realtor, they can help you verify which homes pose little risk. You will want to learn about:

  • HOAs
  • Zoning Shifts
  • Liens
  • Easements
  • Assessments
  • Restrictions

Generate An Offer And Begin Negotiations

By this point, your Realtor should be overseeing just about everything, so it's only a matter of hammering out the details.

Run A Few Final Checks

There are many things to consider when deciding to buy:

  • Property value study
  • Home inspection
  • Any other checks or inspections

Inspections, Surprises and Renegotiations

A seller may be willing to make certain repairs, or may reduce the price of the home if it wasn't up to par. If changes were completed, you'll also want to schedule a time to make a final pass through the residence.

Close On Your New Home

Your Realtor will help make sure everyone has done as they should have and keep track of all the people involved in closing, as well as keeping you informed on you are in the transaction process.

Overall, purchasing a home is an incredibly rewarding process. Having a Realtor on your side makes it even easier.