Home Buying in 6 Steps

  1. Get Ready for Home Ownership
  2. Find a Real Estate Agent
    • Get a referral from friends, family, and work colleagues, or search realtor.com® and look for real estate yard signs and advertisements
    • Ask the real estate professionals you interview about buyer’s representation contracts and agreements; make sure you understand the terms
    • Explain your needs and expectations to the real estate professional you choose to work with
  3. Find the Right Property
    • Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walkability, etc.
    • Make sure you include home owner’s assessments, utilities, and taxes when calculating the monthly mortgage payment
  4. Finance the Right Property
    • Contact your mortgage broker or lender
    • The lender or attorney will run a title search to ensure there are no clouds on the title
    • Make sure you understand the financing terms—ask the lender for clarification, if needed
  5. Make an Offer
    • Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector
    • Acquire title insurance
    • Make sure the title is clear, or make your offer contingent upon title clearance
    • Read all contracts before signing—make sure you understand all of the terms, ask questions
    • Place a competitive bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer
    • Keep your credit score stable and in-check by waiting to purchase any big-ticket items until long after the closing.
    • Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted
  6. Closing and Life After the Big Purchase
    • Protect your new asset by obtaining insurance such as homeowner’s, flood, disaster, and fire
    • Weatherproof your new home
    • Maintain files—digital or print—for all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc.
    • Keep original closing documents in a safe place, preferably outside the home (such as a safety deposit box)
    • Set up utilities bills in your name, maintain files
    • Implement desired aesthetic changes such as painting, minor construction, and re-flooring
    • Set a move date and hire movers or plan a move party with your friends
    • Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood
    • If you’re happy with the work of your real estate professional, be sure to recommend her/him to friends and family

Streett Hopkins Real Estate

(410) 879-7466
118 S. Main Street
Bel Air, MD 21014

Questions About Real Estate?