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As a first-time home buyer, the home buying process, from looking at listings to signing on the dotted line, can seem arduous. You likely have a full-time job and a slew of other responsibilities and although buying real estate can be exciting, it can also be a massive undertaking. To mitigate the chaos of this time, it’s important to understand exactly what you should be doing to make the process as seamless as possible.


Go shopping

Certainly, the most exciting step for most home buyers is looking for the home they want to buy. So you’re not wasting your time, make sure you have a budget range, so you’re only looking at homes that fall within that range. Don’t make the mistake of finding the home of your dreams, only to find it is way out of your price range.

If you’re on the lower end of the scale as far as your budget is concerned, consider homes that may not look perfect but have a lot of potential. Remember, you’re trying to find a home for the long-term, so you can make adjustments along the way, like changing the bright green carpet in the bedroom or painting the cabinets in the kitchen.

When you start taking tours of homes, you’ll want to make sure you’re in touch with an agent. Your agent will be able to negotiate with the seller agent of the house you’re interested in and guide you through the rest of the process.

While you’re shopping for a home, make sure you’ll be able to follow through with the purchase by securing a mortgage offer. One of the first places to look is at your current bank or credit union to see if you can be pre-approved. If you’re in good standing with your financial institution, you may qualify for a decent rate on your mortgage, but you should also shop around for the best option.


Making an offer

Once you’ve found the home you want to commit to buying, discuss it with your real estate agent so that you can go over the specifications of the initial offer. Once the offer is submitted to the buyer, they’ll either accept it or send a counter offer for you to consider. When going through this process, always keep in mind the additional costs that will be tacked on at the end of the transaction, called the closing costs.


Once you and the seller agree, you’ll be expected to make a good-faith deposit that shows you’re planning on buying the house and the seller will be able to take the house off the market or put it in escrow.