10 Steps to Buying a Home

Whether you're a first-time home buyer, or a seasoned pro nearly everyone who purchases a home will follow these 10 steps:

  1. Find a Realtor. Find a Realtor you trust to guide you through the steps listed here and as long as you're satisfied, stick with them. Good News! You've already completed Step 1! Eaton Realty is your best choice for real estate in South Hillsborough County.
  2. Set a Realistic Timetable. Are you ready to move now? Do you have to sell your house first? When does your lease expire? It's important to have a realistic timetable in mind. Selling your home may take longer than you expect and if you must sell your current home before buying a new one, looking at homes available today could be a waste of time.
  3. Get Pre-Qualified. Unless you'll be paying cash (and even if you can, it may not make sense to do so), buying a home today is not like it was just a few years ago. Many short sales will not even accept your offer without a pre-qualification letter attached. Contact your banker or mortgage broker to find out how much you can afford and obtain a pre-qualification letter. Head to our Financing page to get the process started. 
  4. Identify Needs vs. Wants. They're not the same thing! You may NEED 3 bedrooms, but WANT 4 bedrooms. A pool is almost always a WANT. Determining your Needs vs. Wants will help make the selection process easier.
  5. Search. Browse homes that meet your needs. Add them to your favorites list to keep for later.
  6. Preview Homes. We'll schedule showings with the owners and preview the homes you're most interested in.
  7. Make an Offer and Negotiate an Agreement. Once you've found the winning home, we'll draft an offer and submit it to the owner. We'll negotiate with the seller or seller's agent on your behalf to ensure your interests are protected.
  8. Complete Financing. Once your offer has been accepted by the seller, you'll send a copy to your banker or mortgage broker who will obtain a firm commitment of financing.
  9. Perform Inspections. Several inspections are usually scheduled. A general inspection is ordered by you, the buyer, and is optional, but encouraged. This relies on an expert contractor to reveal any defects in the home before you go to closing. Termite inspections are sometimes performed at the same time and other optional tests can be performed as well such as mold and radon testing.
  10. Close and Move in! On closing day you'll head to the title company to sign all of the necessary paperwork and pick up the keys to your new home. All that's left to do is move in!

If you’re considering buying a home in the near future, contact us for a free consultation. Let us know where you are in this 10-step process so that we can better guide you where to go next.