A Step-By-Step Guide


by Dustin Hook




As a Full-Time REALTOR, I am trained to help YOU through the entire process of buying a home, starting with your mortgage and continuing right through closing – and beyond. The home buying process should be a pleasant experience... Providing you the best guidance, communication, & knowledge (before and after closing) is my #1 goal.



Obtain a copy of your credit report and your FICO score and, if necessary, do what you need to do to improve it. The higher your FICO score, the better interest rate you can typically command depending on which specific loan you are applying for. You can usually get this information for FREE online. A Loan Officer will explain what other information you will be required to provide. This can usually take place over the phone in less than 30 minutes. I would be happy to put you in contact with a few reputable loan officers to get you started.



Establishing a comfortable price-range will help you narrow down your home search and make the decision-making process less complicated. You should also begin researching the neighborhoods in which you might want to live. I can always help if you're unsure of where to start searching (online & in person)



 – and Which Ones Would Be Nice but not Necessary.

How many bedrooms & bathrooms do you want? Would you prefer a newer home or an older one with established landscaping? Are hardwood floors a must? Is an updated kitchen important to you? Walk-in closets? Which features would you be willing to give up if you find the otherwise-perfect home? ETC ETC... I always recommend making a list of these preferences to help you get a better understanding of what you truly want in a home... When there are a lot of homes available in a particular price range, distinguishing these "pros" & "cons" may seem overwhelming at first. Putting your thoughts to paper is a great way to help you visualize & understand what aspects of each home will matter most to you!



All across in Internet & Remax.com, you can find thousands of available listings as well as local neighborhood data. Take some time and identify properties that may be a good fit for you, take an afternoon and go on a driving tour of prospective neighborhoods & areas. See what's available in your price range and explore these neighborhoods. If School District is a priority, I can provide you with local websites & administrative phone numbers.



After you've previewed homes online, narrow your search down to all homes that you would like to take a walk through in person. From here, I will schedule us appointments at each property based on your schedule & availability. After walking through each home, don't be afraid to express your opinions out loud (positive & negative.) Be sure to keep in mind that the current owner will most likely have different "taste" than you do! It's best to look beyond these "changeable" factors and keep focus on the "unchangeable" factors of each home. ***Never be afraid to ask questions! I am here to cater to your needs. I can provide you the best advice when you are open & honest with me throughout your search. Once again, I recommend making a list of PROS & CONS after walking through each home. This will help you narrow your search and get closer to finding the home that is best fit for you. As your Agent, I have the pleasure of getting 24/7 instant updates of New Listings & Price Adjustments in your area of interest. I may suggest that we see certain homes based on your criteria even if it has not been brought to your attention via online search, webpage, etc.



Once you've identified the home you want to buy, I suggest we sit down at a neutral location where we can focus on preparing the most suitable offer for you. I will be familiar with market values and comparable properties to help you arrive at a price that gives your offer the best chance of being accepted. There are multiple terms to each offer (Price, Hand Money, Inspections, Mortgage) I will go over each page of the Agreement at a pace that you are comfortable with before moving forward. *At this stage in your purchase, try not to become emotionally attached to a home. As exciting as it is to find & commit to the right home, there is always a possibility that your offer may not be accepted for many number of reasons. Be prepared to negotiate through your agent with the sellers. Stay positive!



* Contact & Complete your Formal Mortgage Application ASAP w/ your lender of choice. *Most buyers continue working with the loan officer who provided them with their initial Pre-Approval Letter but this is not required.

* Your lender will then order an appraisal of the property for mortgage purposes (Paid for @ Mortgage Application.)

* Your lender may also request particular documents, work history info, etc. This is very common when obtaining a loan. A lot of changes have been made in the financing world since 2008 so don’t take it personally if you feel like the lender is overwhelming you with requests. In today’s mortgage world… If you apply, you must supply!

* Have the property professionally inspected based on the terms requested & agreed upon in your accepted offer.

* Meet with your REALTOR to discuss the inspection report. If necessary, request repairs or credits.

* Obtain Homeowner's Insurance.

* Begin making moving arrangements (select a mover, obtain change-of-address cards, inform friends and relatives).

* If taking a mortgage, it is usually recommended by lenders that you limit the amount of new debt and/or large expenditures prior to closing as this may negatively affect your approval of the mortgage.

* Contact utility companies prior to closing (phone, water, power, etc.) *I can provide you these phone #'s.

* A few days before closing, schedule a walk-through to check on any repairs or requests you may have brought up from inspections or the appraisal.

* The day of closing, obtain a cashier's check for the down payment and closing costs.

* REMINDER: Throughout the process, Your REALTOR & your Loan Officer are available to assist and answer questions. Don't be afraid to call us any time if you have need clarification!


closing time

* Make sure the terms and conditions of the loan statement are correct. Review the HUD-1 with your agent.

* Carefully read everything before you sign.

* NEVER be hesitant to ask questions of your Realtor, Mortgage Lender, and/or Closing Company. We are here to help and make sure you are comfortable with the terms of your purchase.