Buying a home is an opportunity that does not come up in your life every day. It entails a very complex procedure that needs full understanding and great knowledge to be able to get the best deal for your money. Listings.com will walk you through the buying process, giving you insights on what to look for and what pitfalls to avoid. Our step-by-step online Denver home buying guide can help you sort through all of the Denver homes and acquire the house of your dream like a pro.
- 1 - Find Realtor
- 2 - Credit Rating
- 3 - Pre-Approval
- 4 - The Hunt
- 5 - Making An Offer
- 6 - Inspections
- 7 - Closing the Deal
- 8 - Moving In
STEP 1 – FIND A REALTOR
Gone are the days when looking for a realtor falls in the middle of the buying guide for finding your perfect home. Changes in the real estate and lending industry made this possible. That is why having the right lender that is skilled at closing loans and a knowledgeable real estate broker are critical parts of making your real estate purchase a success.
So what makes Listings.com agents different from the rest?
- Our agents are professionally trained to guide you with your search for a perfect home from start to finish.
- They can advise you through the different stages of acquiring your home, such as explaining the legally required contracts and disclosure forms.
- They have access to all active property listings, like bank-owned foreclosures that are soon to be available on the market and other off-market sellers.
- They can represent you throughout the home buying process and act as an advocate for you.
They are absolutely FREE. As a buyer you do not pay for the services of our agents.
Get to know your agents and check out our references before making a decision. Rely on your instinct when it comes to evaluating them. Listings.com agents are honest, loyal, and, most important of all, have your best interests in mind. So give us a chance and find out why Listings.com’s focus is all about YOU AND WHERE YOU WANT TO BE! Contact us to discuss WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!
STEP 2 – GET YOUR CREDIT RATING
Credit Score is an important number if you will be acquiring your home through loan or mortgage. Banks and credit card companies use this to determine if they will lend you money. It is also used to determine your interest rate on loans and credit cards. Credit bureaus or annual credit report service will provide you with credit scores upon purchase.
A credit score usually ranges from scores of 340 (the worst) to 820 (the best). If your score is lower than you expect it, you can request a credit report to find out if there are any errors. You can improve your credit score by paying your bills in a timely manner and making sure to eliminate your debt.
STEP 3 – GET PRE-APPROVAL
Most people often neglect this very crucial step in buying a home. Prequalified is not the same as preapproved. In a hot market, you’re going to want to go the extra step and get preapproved for a home loan before you make an offer on a home.
Getting pre-approved sometimes gives you an edge over other buyers, especially if the real estate property that you are looking to buy is a prime property. This means that having been pre-approved is a guarantee to the seller that you have funds and they are actually available.
Ask a lender to prepare a letter of prequalification which states that your initial financial and credit information has been reviewed. This will put you on top of the seller of the Denver homes’ list when presenting an offer.
STEP 4 – THE HUNT
Many home buyers spend their Saturday afternoons going from one open house to another in the hopes that they will stumble upon the perfect home! Buyers are more likely to be successful with their hunt if they go through the process in a more organized way. Listings.com real estate experts have some suggestions that will help anyone have an easier time with their Denver homes search, whether this is their first or fifth home purchase!
- Establish a realistic price range. Try to stay below your maximum, so that you will feel more comfortable financially. This will also help you enjoy the house much more in the future!
- Once you have a price range, find a neighborhood that you like. Check the neighborhood of your chosen property. Locate the schools and investigate the crime rate.
- Begin with a checklist. List all the absolutely non-negotiable items which your new home must contain. Include items on your checklist such as: condition of the property, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage size, laundry room, etc. Highlight those items that are absolute requirements and those that are “wishes” in another column. Make copies of this checklist.
- Don’t rely on remembering all the details of each house. Take notes, and lots of photos. Many of the homes may be eliminated right away because they lack one or more of your essential requirements. Of those that are left, choose the best and make arrangements to look at them with your realtor. As you look at each property, check off everything on your checklist. Write comments at the bottom. In addition, take several photos of each property. After looking at 10 or more properties you will have difficulty remembering the features of each one, if you do not have your photos, the checklist, and the MLS listing together.
- Take this information home with you to consider for a day or two. Go back and drive around the neighborhood during the day and at night. Does the neighborhood feel safe? Try driving a practice “commute” from the neighborhood. Is the traffic manageable? Once you have narrowed the properties down to the best two or three, go back and look at them again. By the time you have gone through this process, you will feel confident that you have made the best choice from the properties that were available when you went house hunting!
STEP 5 – MAKING AN OFFER
Once you have seen the properties and have considered everything on your checklist, double check on the property’s structure, features, deed restrictions and even how much renovation will be needed. Your agent’s information is crucial, as they are experts and have more knowledge and experience placing your best interests in mind. Once you both feel that this is the best property for you then you’re ready to make an offer!
This stage involves strategy in which your real estate agent must be involved. You don’t want to pay more than the property’s worth and at the same time you don’t want to push the seller away by giving low offers. Our agents can advise you on a realistic offer that will give you more chances of buying that property.
STEP 6 – INSPECTIONS
Some inspections are done when you want to short-list on the Denver homes that are of interest to you. These inspections are more of a view from the top and sometimes can overlook the important details.
Having an inspection performed after an offer has been made is critical. It is usually the seller’s responsibility to conduct home inspections and fix any possible issues that result from a less than satisfactory inspection. Deals should not be closed until the home inspection has been thoroughly completed.
Final home inspection must include the following:
- Ceiling, walls and floors
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Septic tanks and sewer lines
- Hazardous materials concerns
- Common areas (for condominiums)
STEP 7 – CLOSING THE DEAL
The home buying process doesn’t end once you have negotiated an acceptable price. There are still a few more things to take care of before you even think of moving.
There will be an exchange of contract. Your real estate agent can help you make sure the contract of sale itemizes all fittings and inclusions that you think is deemed necessary to be incorporated in the purchase. The contract is signed after all inspections are completed and the exact payment is approved in writing. Once this is signed it cannot be changed or altered. Provided all parties agree, there is no reason why changes cannot be made.
If you have arranged for a provisional finance, you will need to contact your lender and tell them of the offer. They will then arrange for a valuation of the property to know if this meets their requirements. If all requirements have been met they will process the loan and arrange for the amount to be available by settlement.
Settlement is the completion of the property transaction wherein this is the day you will finalize all payments and assume possession of the property.
STEP 8 – MOVING IN
It probably never seems to get any easier regardless of whether you have moved once or a dozen times. Here are some hints that we hope you will find helpful as you prepare for moving day.
To avoid surprises, get coordinated with your seller and your agent in advance:
- Make agreements with sellers regarding possession of the home and moving date. Get these agreements in writing to avoid unnecessary hassles on moving day.
- Will you want a professional mover to handle the entire process? Don’t wait until the last minute-or you may be doing the whole move on your own. Compare rates and services as well as availability.
- List all those who should be contacted at your new home (utilities, schools, etc.)
- Make a list of the items you will need to buy for the new house. Examples: draperies, blinds, shower curtains, etc. Having these things with you on the day you move in prevents unnecessary surprises.
- Label every box and carton this way you know where the most necessary items are located.