The Process

Buying or Selling a Home


How to Begin

Make a list of your wants and needs, i.e. bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, square footage, monthly payment.

Choosing Your Realtor - Benefits of using a REALTOR include:

  • Realtors can help you negotiate things like price, financing, terms, date of possession, and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should also provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required, as well as be there to help while you are busy at work or play.

  • As soon as you are reasonably sure the property is right for you, the process of obtaining financing begins. Your agent can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.

  • The REALTOR can also help you in the closing, by helping to guide you through the process and making sure everything flows together smoothly.

Loan Qualification

  • Have a contract for the home you want to purchase.

  • Bring your original statements for the past two months from each bank, credit union, or other financial institution where you have an account.

  • Prepare a list of all loan account numbers and addresses (car loans, personal loans, student loans, other loans, etc.). Include loans you may have co-signed.

  • Have your employment history ready. Names and addresses of employers. W-2 forms for the past two years. Tax returns for the past two years. Most recent pay stubs.

  • Have your residence history prepared (name and address of current landlord, or mortgage company, list of where you have lived for the past two years).

  • Miscellaneous information may include divorce decree, court orders, bankruptcy discharge papers, etc.

Make the Offer - Here are a few things the REALTOR does for you:

  • Helping you with the offer to purchase
  • Assisting with lead-based paint inspections and laws
  • Assisting with radon requirements and testing and laws
  • Formulating the offer to purchase
  • Scheduling inspections (home, termite, HVAC, lead-based paint, radon, etc.) 
  • Negotiate repairs if needed
  • Mortgage application
  • Credit reports
  • Appraisals 
  • Survey 
  • Title search 
  • Underwriting
  • VA eligibility issues
  • Loan approval
  • Preparation of documents
  • Final inspection before closing
  • Changing utilities to your name
  • Changing your address
  • Going to closing and taking possession issues


How to Begin

Here are a few things the REALTOR® does for you:
  • Helping you with the offer to purchase
  • Assisting with Lead Based Paint inspections and laws
  • Assisting with Radon requirements and testing and laws
  • Assisting with Property History Disclosure. If you buy a property from an owner, they are not required by law to disclose faults with the property they have knowledge of. State laws require owners to disclose faults with the property they have knowledge of when you work with a REALTOR®. This gives you peace of mind.
  • Formulating the Offer to Purchase
  • Scheduling Inspections (Home, Termite, HVAC, Lead Based Paint, Radon, etc.)
  • Negotiate repairs if needed
  • Mortgage Application
  • Credit Reports
  • Appraisals
  • Survey
  • Title Search
  • Underwriting
  • VA Eligibility issues
  • Loan Approval
  • Preparation of documents
  • Final Inspection before closing
  • Changing utilities to your name
  • Changing your address
  • Going to closing, and taking possession issues

Prepare Your Home For Sale

  • Clean your home and make it ready for lots of people to see it at its best.
  • Clean your carpets. People notice carpet so make sure it is clean and in good shape.
  • Paint any areas that need it, or look like they are about to need it.
  • Repair anything that needs repairing. A house with one broken thing will give a bad impression.
  • Landscape. Improve the appearance of the outside of your home, people see it first.
  • Deodorize. If you have pets, take care of any pet issues before people come to see the home.
  • Remove clutter. If you have lots of counter space, and you fill it up with stuff, it looks smaller.
  • Contact your REALTOR. They will have many more suggestions on how to market your house.

Pricing Your Home

  • Many things determine the value of your home. You cannot assign a price to your home without a lot of information.
  • As an individual selling your home, you can pay to have it appraised to determine its "value".
  • A Realtor can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

Listing Your home

Listing your home for sale is easy, all you have to do is place an ad in the newspaper each week, put ads on radio and TV, and put a sign in the front yard. The only problem with this is all of this costs money. If you plan to market your home yourself, remember that placing a sign in the yard doesn't guarantee you a sale, or any of the following things a REALTOR® can do for you:

  • Marketing your home. Placing the ads for you. Knowing where to place them, and how to word them for you.
  • Putting your property on the MLS. This puts your property in the hands of thousands of agents who have multiple customers. You don't have to depend on someone seeing your ad, or sign, there are people looking to buy and sell. The REALTOR® brings them together.
  • Scheduling Showings. Using a realtor will eliminate your commitment to taking phone calls all hours of the day and night from people who want to see your home. The REALTOR coordinates with you to bring you buyers. You also have the peace of mind knowing you do not have to allow strangers into your home. REALTORS® will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

The Offer

Your REALTOR® handles all these steps for you.

  • Are you able to negotiate with your buyer?
  • Have you contracted an attorney to draw up all the legal contracts?
  • Is your buyer qualified to buy your home?
  • Have you completed all the necessary inspections (Termite, Radon, Lead Based Paint, HVAC)?
  • Have you answered all contract contingencies?
  • Have you gotten an attorney to do a title search?
  • Is it all in writing?
  • Are all forms signed?
  • Are all repairs negotiated and complete?
  • Have you done all follow-ups to inspections and loans?
  • Have you contacted an attorney to prepare and assemble all closing documentation?
  • Have you scheduled all closing and possession meetings?
  • Have you scheduled all utilities, and mail transfers?

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