Steps To Buy A Home

The real estate market has exploded over the last year and the market is flooded with buyers, many of which may be buying a home for the very first time.  Whether you are buying your first home or your fifth, there are some steps to buying a home that never change. 

If you are buying a home in New York for the first time, you may be surprised to know that in almost every real estate transaction, buyers and sellers will hire a real estate attorney to assist in the home buying process. 

A real estate law firm will assist you in various ways as a buyer.  Levin Law Group will pair you with one of our experienced real estate attorneys who will make your life easier and ensure that the entire experience is as smooth as possible.  But working with a real estate law firm is just one of the steps you will go through when buying a home. 

We have a step-by-step guide that gives a general overview of the process for anyone who is a first-time home buyer, or for anyone who just needs a reminder of the basics:

  1. Get Pre-Approved – Getting pre-approved should be the first, if not one of the first, things you do when beginning your journey as a home buyer.  Working with a lender to get pre-approved will let you know exactly what you can afford and set the expectation for the type of home and or the area in which you should be buying.  Getting pre-approved also will be a sign that you are a serious buyer when you work with a real estate agent or broker.  Unless you have enough money on hand to pay the entire price of the property you are buying, getting pre-approved is a must
  3. Find A Real Estate Law Firm You Want To Represent You – In New York, almost all buyers and sellers work with a real estate attorney throughout the process of buying or selling a home.  Drawing up a contract for closing time, filling out paperwork, and dealing with concerns about the property can be complicated, confusing, and time-consuming.  A lawyer will handle all of those things and ensure that you know your rights and understand everything that is happening.
  5. Know Your Market – In today’s world, it is more important than ever to know your market.  Getting a better grasp on things like pricing and market dynamics will allow you to know where you stand.  Is it a buyer’s market?  Is it a seller’s market?  How quickly are homes selling in your area?  Are the homes in your area selling for more than the asking price?  These are just some of the questions you should be thinking about when looking at homes in your market.  A good real estate agent can help with some of the answers to these questions if you are not able to find them for yourself.  Since there has been a big shift in real estate over the last year, you may want to get to know your market more quickly than in years past.  Some homes sell before they are even put on the market, so getting the answers to some of these questions before you even start looking at homes is crucial.  Being as prepared as you can be prior to looking at homes or even putting in an offer will allow you to move quickly if necessary.
  7. Start Looking At Homes You Want – While in years past this may have been something you could take your time on, in today’s market, you need to be ready to act fast when you find a home you like.  While it may have been easy before to hop on a site like Zillow or Trulia to browse at a home online and look at pictures or even videos, some homes never even make it on those sites before they sell. Working with an experienced real estate agent will be a big plus in this area, as they will have the most current information on listings and availability.  You need to be able to know exactly what you are looking for and be ready to go to an open house or set up a viewing as soon as possible to get a closer look at a home.  Once you find a home that you like, it is time for the next step.
  9. Putting In An Offer – Once you have found the home that you believe is right for you, it is time to put in an offer.  This consists of more than just how much you will pay for the property.  This can include things like raising concerns about issues with the home and how they may be dealt with, getting an inspection scheduled, and discussing contingencies, etc.  Because of the competitiveness in today’s market, you may have to make certain concessions or even forgo certain things to make your offer more attractive to the seller.  You may even want to set up an escalation clause, so that if the price of your offer is beat by another seller, you can up the offer on your price up to a certain amount you are comfortable with.
  11. Work With Your Lawyer To See Things Through Until Closing – If your offer is accepted, that does not mean everything is said and done.  There are still contracts that need to be signed, paying your down payment, filing for your mortgage, submitting a board package (if moving into a co-op or a condo), scheduling closing, and potentially having a second inspection.  A real estate attorney can be the difference between making this all run smoothly or it all being a gigantic headache.

Levin Law Group wants to help you achieve your dream of becoming a homeowner.  These steps are a good basis of knowledge to get you started on your home buying journey because in the ever-changing market of real estate, it always helps to be prepared.  Take one thing off of your mile-long to-do list and work with a real estate law firm that has your best interests in mind. 

Contact Levin Law Group today, so we can be by your side, every step of the way.