Step-by-Step Guidelines to Buying Your Next Home

  1. Become represented as a buyer client to receive the highest level of service, representation and disclosure.  Click here for more information on agency relationships.

  2. Get pre-qualified with a mortgage lender to determine how much you can afford.  If you need a quick closing, go a step further and get pre-approved for the loan, subject only to your selecting the right home.  Be sure to get an estimate of closing costs from your lender, and we can discuss the possibility of having them included in the purchase price.

  3. Location, location, location!  I will provide valuable information so you can select your favorite communities and narrow down your options.  Consider location; resale potential; and proximity to work, schools, interstates, medical facilities, churches, shopping, and leisure activities.   Click here for more information on what Columbia has to offer.

  4. Determine what neighborhood features are important to you and rank their importance.  Are schools the most important criteria?  Click here for more information on Columbia area schools.

  5. Think about whether you prefer brand new homes or whether you would consider re-sales (or even fixer-uppers) to get your preferred neighborhoods.

  6. After narrowing down your selection to 2 or 3 homes, compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of each.  Remember, there is no perfect home and most purchases are based on compromise (whether your price range is $100,000 or $1,000,000!).

  7. I will give you expert guidance and critical information so you can make an informed decision.  This includes real estate taxes, prices of competing home, prices of recently sold homes, property disclosures, past utility information, most recent survey, community restrictions, etc.  You may also want a separate home warranty policy if the home is not new construction.

  8. I will complete and negotiate for you the standard contract of sale, keeping your best interests in mind, following your lawful instructions, and including provisions to protect your rights.  Should one or more offers come in before your offer has been finalized with the seller, it is the seller’s decision whether to proceed with your offer or accept one of the others.  In this situation you may not have the opportunity to improve your offer so be sure it is a reasonable one.

  9. Be prepared to write a check for the earnest money deposit when the offer is written.  Once the offer is accepted by the seller, the earnest money is immediately deposited in my broker’s escrow account and held there until closing, at which time it is applied towards your down payment and/or closing costs.  If the offer is not accepted by the seller, your earnest money check is never deposited and is returned to you.

  10. After your contract has been accepted, I will recommend other professionals to help finalize the purchase (property inspectors, pest and heating/air companies, roof inspectors, pool inspectors, repair contractors, closing attorneys, insurance agents, etc.).

  11. Arrange to be present at all inspections and remember that possible repairs are usually negotiated between the parties through their agents.  At the minimum you will want a home inspection plus wood infestation and heating/air conditioning inspections.

  12. Click here for detailed tips on making your move a smooth one.

  13. Arrange for bank certified or guaranteed funds to close.  I will tell you as quickly as possible the amount of funds you will need at closing.

  14. Try to minimize stress by organizing ahead of time and remaining flexible for any last minute changes.  Look out for your own well being and don’t forget to take care of the kids and pets too!

  15. Keep a positive attitude (always) and look forward to settling in your new home!