Preparing to Buy your New Home:

First steps

It helps to have a handle on the buying process before you begin house hunting. Fully understanding your personal circumstances can help avoid surprises later, when you are in a potential time crunch to move. Here are some steps to consider and resources to check out if needed.


Step 1: Call a Mortgage Broker

They will ask about your job, income, length of employment, credit, etc. Based on this information, your lender will establish your budget.  If you need a mortgage referral, please see our vendors list.

If you have credit issues, there are steps you can take that may help: Continue paying each of your bills on time.  You may also want to check out a credit dispute company at  It may take about 6 months to clean up credit issues for a mortgage.

Once your budget is established and you are pre-approved for a mortgage, we can start looking for houses in the areas in which you are interested.

Step 2: Establish Agent Role

In order for me to be able to show you houses, we need to determine if I am working for you as a buyer, or for the seller. Please download Who Represents Whom and sign where preferred.  If I am working for you as a buyer, please complete the Exclusive Buyer Tenant Agreement.

Step 3: Finding a Home

Once you have found a house that you would like to buy, we will put a contract together and send to the listing agent, along with a copy of your deposit check.  (This amount varies, but can be $1,000 to $5,000+.)

When it’s signed by all parties, it will be sent to your mortgage and  title companies in order to start processing, and your deposit check will then be processed.

At that time, we schedule a home/termite inspection. Within two days, we’ll need to get the list of items (if any) to be addressed to the seller.  Then, the seller has the choice to fix everything, nothing or some of the items. Based on that, you can then decide whether or not to pursue the sale.

When all items are agreed upon, you start packing and get ready to move in!

Step 4: The Settlement

All parties will meet to transfer the property to you and sign all documents.  As the buyer, you will be signing most of the documents and you will need to bring a CASHIER’S CHECK for the amount dictated by your mortgage person and the HUD1.

What is a HUD1? It is the recording document that is generated by the title company.  ALL terms of the contract and monies, transfer and recordation fees, taxes, water bill, etc are recorded on this form.  It is what your mortgage company approves to send the money needed to settle.  At settlement the title person will go over each item line by line, but we’ll do the same prior to settlement to make sure everything is included and accurate.

About a week after settlement, we’ll send you some comps for you to appeal the tax assessment of your new home, if applicable.  If your property value is assessed higher than your purchase amount, the state will reassess and lower your taxes.  If the home is your primary residence, you can apply for the Homestead Tax Credit.

You only have 60 days from settlement to file, so please don’t hesitate!

Representation Disclosures

Understanding whom Real Estate Agents Represent.

Lead Paint Disclosure Forms

Sellers disclosure and buyer’s/tenant’s acknowledgment of lead paint hazards.

Residential Contract of Sale

The binding contract between a seller and buyer.

Consent for Dual Agency

Important considerations when the sellers agent and the buyers agent are affiliated with the same broker.

Protecting Your Family from Lead Paint

If the house you are interested in was built prior to 1978, it may have had lead paint used at one point.