The Buyer Experience: My 8-Step Buying Process

Whether you are a first time home buyer or you have been buying and selling homes for years it’s crucial to have as much information as possible. You need to know about current markets, how to win in that market, and where the market is going.

It will also benefit you to know and understand the upcoming process so you know exactly what to expect and what you can get from sellers. Every transaction is unique but I tend to use the same general process every single time, with slight modifications based on buyers’ specific needs, because it works. Here is a brief overview of my 8-Step Buying Process:

step 1:

meet and create a wishlist

I know you are anxious to look at homes! You will profit greatly from knowing the whole process and what to expect every step of the way. I like to find out your “bonus items” and “must haves” that will make a house the perfect home. Need to move for a job? Want a shorter commute? Getting married? Having a baby? Need to upgrade or downsize? We will discuss all of these important details over the phone, on a Zoom call, or in person if appropriate.

At this stage in the process, I’ll send you notifications about the listings that you’re most likely to be excited about. Be sure to let me know if one (or more) jumps out at you so that I can schedule a viewing. I also go over the current market, current inventory, and how to win in that market. I walk you through strategy for winning in multiple offer scenarios without overpaying, concessions you can request from the seller, financing options, your time frame, etc. 

Also earnest money required at your price range and conditions to put on your offer to protect your earnest money. Basically what to expect and all methods of mitigating risk. I also understand that it’s not always possible to meet in person and we can accomplish what we need to over the phone and/or email as well. I get it – you’re busy!

step 2:


Please use a good lender. I’m more than happy to recommend lenders who are fantastic at what they do. The lender may not need a whole lot of info from you initially, but they do need to know how they can most effectively help from the financial documentation that you provide. 

Pick your ideal loan program and price that your ideal monthly payment correlates to. This has to be done before presenting your offer. It’s important to have this done before searching for homes so there are no delays once you find the perfect home that could result in you losing the opportunity to make an offer.

step 3:

Time to get in the car...
Now the fun part! Let’s look at some amazing homes at your convenience. Thanks to our productive initial consultation we can tour homes that meet your needs and are not a waste of your time. I’ll also make sure to inform you about “coming soon” listings and off market properties.

step 4:

Found the perfect home! Time to write an offer.

When you’re ready to write an offer, I’ll walk you through the contract section by section so you know exactly what you are offering and how that applies to you. I need to tailor your offer to our knowledge of the seller’s negotiating position.

I will have a detailed conversation with the listing agent to review the seller’s motivations for selling, request property disclosures and reports if available, and get a general sense of what we can include or disclude from your offer to make it more appealing to the seller.

I research liens against the property, how much the seller owes on their mortgage, whether the property is in foreclosure, time on market, and patterns in price reductions to determine their position. And of course, tailor everything to your needs. Do you want/need the seller to pay some or all of your closing costs? Would you like a seller paid home warranty? All of these work into the net amount that we present to the seller.

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step 5:

Acceptance. Woohoo!
Most escrows last 30 to 45 days. Good lenders shouldn’t need longer than that to get your loan cleared to close. We are officially “under contract”. Now the real work begins!

step 6:

Now it's "due diligence" time
One of the conditions we put on your offer is your due diligence (property inspection) condition. Home purchases are as-is so you need to do your homework. I highly recommend getting any inspections necessary so that you can determine if the home is in the condition that you expect and so that we can find the things that should be repaired by the seller or credited to you before closing. We will discuss this in detail and determine what inspections to perform and what each inspection will cost. Your offer is subject to satisfactory inspection and repairs negotiation.

step 7:

Don't forget that your lender has a lot of work to do for you!
There are some very cool financing programs out there to fit anyone’s situation. Once under contract your lender gets started on the property specific loan. The lender will need some financial info from you so they can process everything. They will order an appraisal (which you as the buyer will pay for – make sure you know the cost in advance), your loan will finish underwriting, and then you get that beautiful “clear to close”. Complications pop up all of the time in this process. Again, please use a good lender. I’m more than happy to recommend lenders who are fantastic at what they do.

step 8:

Schedule possession and celebrate!
Signing, funding, and recording – and then getting the keys – is the best part of the process. I love giving my clients a hand shake or a high five at the exciting appointment where I give you the keys to your beautiful new home!

The bottom line...

Most of the valuable work comes after your dream home goes under contract. The fact that a buyer agent/broker can show you any available home is awesome, but that’s not the primary reason why you hire someone to help during this emotionally charged period of your life.

The value of a buyer agent in the modern real estate landscape is absolute – if you are in the market to buy a home and you are only calling on yard signs and on Zillow listings you are doing it wrong. Most of those yard signs are already under contract. Same goes for Zillow – many of the homes that you see there were sold months ago, many others will not show up at all.

Buyer agency is free to buyers. The seller pays the buyers commission. So you can hire a massively experienced Realtor who handles everything for you without paying a dime. So cool!

As you interview agents and brokers make sure they have a process and can clearly articulate what they do to bring you value that goes beyond opening doors and writing a contract. Every transaction is unique but as I mentioned before, I use the same process every single time because it works!

Ready to get started? Just say the word – contact me today.

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