The Real Estate Process...Step by Step

Step 1. Find a Realtor (can be step 2)

There are so many resources to assist buyers in finding a great Realtor. Start by asking friends, family and co-workers who they recommend and why. Go online - social media can be a great source of information. You may also consider choosing your Realtor based on experience in the areas you seek (i.e. it may not be prudent to hire a Baltimore agent to find a home in Bethesda). We also suggest you meet and interview with 1-2 agents to see who you feel has the best professional profile and personality for you. Keep in mind your Realtor is going to be the quarterback of the entire transaction so make a great choice.

Step 2. Contact a Lender (can be step 1)

How do you go about finding a reputable and professional lender? The first place to start is to ask your Realtor, friends, family and co-workers who they have used successfully in the past. Your objective should be to clearly define what you can afford and what the structure of the loan will be. The lender will ask many questions and have you fill out a loan application to help them qualify you. There are lending programs for first time home buyers, FHA, VA and physicians to name a few. If you fall into one of these special categories, your Realtor can help you find the best program, company and lender. If you are fortunate enough to be an "All Cash" buyer, skip step 2 and move on to step 3!

Step 3. Goals & Timeline

Defining your goals and timeline are key to a successful transaction:

  • Timing - when are you able to settle? Is it based on a job, new to the area, kids school?
  • Price - 
  • Location - where do I want to live? 
  • Style
  • Schools
  • Community Preferences
  • Amenities

Step 4. House Shopping

Have fun house hunting!!! Some buyers buy the first house they walk into and it takes others many, many months. The most important thing to remember is that there is a house for you and you will know when you find it!!!

Step 5. Make an Offer

You found the house, now it's time to make the offer.

Step 6. You Are Under Contract!!! Now What?

  • Inspection
  • Appraisal & Loan
  • Title Company

Step 7. Settlement

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