Is it time to start looking for a home in Springfield, VA? Are you ready to buy a home and move in as soon as possible? The buying process can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer.
Before you decide to buy a home in Springfield, it’s a good idea to understand what to expect. Let’s look at some of the steps you will be taking throughout the home-buying process.
Common Steps Taken to Buy a House in Springfield
1. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
If you want to buy a home, one of the first steps you might take is hiring a real estate agent. For buyers, there are no drawbacks to using an agent, since the seller will pay the commission. You don’t have to pay anything when you choose your agent.
Plus, real estate agents have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and a network of other agents. With the right agent, buying a home in Springfield will be much easier.
2. Get Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage
You want to get a pre-approval letter before you submit an offer on any home you want to buy. Many agents won’t even take you house hunting unless you are pre-approved because this is the step you take to show you are qualified to buy a home in a specific price range.
Remember, pre-approval is not the same as pre-qualified. If you are pre-qualified, it won’t carry nearly as much weight as being pre-approved for a mortgage.
3. Start Your Home Search
You might think, finding a home or searching for a home should be the first thing you do. However, this can be a bit dangerous, as you might think you can afford a more expensive home than you can. It’s smart to wait until you know your home budget and have been pre-approved to start searching for a home.
You can browse the online home listings and speak to your agent about what you’re looking for. Once you have a short list of homes to check out, it’s time to schedule showings.
4. Find the Right Home for You
As you search for a home, you want to consider the homes that fit best for you. Then, you want to view the homes in person and make sure you have the right one for you. Once you find the right home, it’s time to take action and make a good offer.
5. Make Your Offer
Getting your offer accepted isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it depends if there are competing offers. Even if your offer is the only one, sometimes, sellers are looking for more.
Your agent will help you create the best offer possible to protect you and, hopefully, get your offer accepted. In some cases, you might receive a counteroffer from the seller. This will spark negotiations, which your agent will handle for you.
6. Complete the Loan Approval Process
You were already pre-approved for your mortgage. After your offer is accepted, it’s time to complete that process and become approved for your mortgage. During the process, you will submit documents to the lender and go through the underwriting process.
It’s also necessary to have an appraisal done and a home inspection. Your lender will have requirements that must be met before you complete the process and become approved for your home.
7. Close the Deal
The final step of buying a home is closing. You will sign all the documents, pay any closing costs, and get the keys to your new home. It can take 30 to 45 days, on average, from having your offer accepted to getting to the closing table.
If you’re ready to buy a home in Springfield, you will likely go through these steps. The buying process can become overwhelming, but hiring a real estate agent can certainly help. When it’s time to buy a home, you’ll be better prepared with these steps.