Buying a house should be an enjoyable experience, since its a goal that many people work towards for years. However, people often find it frustrating due to the steps you have to go through to close the deal. Having a rough idea of how the process of buying a house works beforehand can help alleviate some of these problems.
Below are the nine steps in the process of buying a house:
1. Searching for a house
The first step in the process of buying a house is locating a suitable real estate property in your ideal neighbourhood. You’ll need to ask yourself many questions at this point, including where you want to live, how large you want your house to be, and how much you’re willing or able to spend. Nowadays, it can be relatively easy to find houses listed for sale online. However, you’ll need to act quickly when you find a house you’re interested in to avoid missing out.
2. Financing the purchase
The process of buying a house requires lots of financial transactions. Before you make an offer for a house, you’ll also need to know how you’ll be financing the purchase. Perhaps you’ll need to arrange a mortgage with a bank. Alternatively, you may be able to raise money by selling a property you already own.
Finally, you may be in a position to pay the price from money you’ve saved up. Whatever type of financing you’re using, it’s important that you have it in place before you start looking at properties and making offers. That way, you’ll avoid the danger of losing out to another buyer on a house you like due to delays in organizing your financial arrangements.
3. Engaging a real estate agent
Searching for a house and viewing properties can be a time-consuming process. If you feel like you don’t have the time to do this and are willing to pay a little extra, you could hire a real estate agent. Agents are specialists in the housing market and will contact you when a property that meets your needs becomes available. They can also help you with property viewings and arranging the final purchase.
4. Viewing the property
Once you find a house that interests you, the next step in the process is to view the property. While you’re there, you should ask any questions you have about the house. These may include things like any renovations or work that has been done, any issues with the building or utilities, and the typical cost for heating and other local charges. You should also take time to carefully look over the property, since houses can look very different in reality to how they appear in pictures.
5. Making an offer
After your viewing, you’ll have to decide quickly if you’re going to make an offer. It’s likely that several other people will also have viewed the house, so any delay could cost you your chance. If you do make an offer, you should take into account the price the seller is asking for. However, this does not mean you necessarily need to offer the full price. In some cases, such as if additional work is required on the house, you may consider offering less money.
6. Bidding against competitors
If you’re lucky, the seller may immediately accept your first offer. However, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to compete against other interested parties for the house. This can result in offers being made for increased amounts of money until someone decides to back out.
If you do become involved in competitive bidding, remember to keep in mind how much money you’re willing to spend. It’s easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment, but in some situations it may be best to withdraw your offer and look elsewhere.
7. Keeping your options open
Even if you’ve made an offer for a house you like, it’s a good idea to continue looking at alternative options. After all, you may lose out to another buyer, or something else may cause the purchase to fall through. By having a backup plan, you’ll save time if you don’t get your first choice.
8. Reviewing the terms
Before you sign the deal and pay the seller for the house, it’s critical that you review all of the terms related to the purchase. These can include a wide range of things, such as any land that comes with the house, the terms of payment, and any work that the seller agrees to complete before handing over the keys. If you’re in any doubt about any of the terms, you may want to hire an attorney to review them for you.
9. Closing the deal
Once you’re satisfied with the purchase agreement, you can sign your name on the contract to buy your house. The next steps you need to take will depend on the agreement you’ve reached, but you’ll usually be expected to transfer the sum of money within a fixed period of time. The seller will give you the keys to the house on the agreed upon date, meaning that you’re free to move in.