Buying a home

Buying a Home

If you are considering buying a home, you most likely have questions. Don't worry, you're not alone. Both first time home buyers and seasoned home buyers often have questions about the home buying process.

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, we want to make your home buying experience as transparent and stress-free as possible. We understand that each and every home buyer has unique needs, challenges and aspirations. That's why our professional real estate agents work with you directly to provide personalized service. From house hunting to obtaining financing to closing on your new home, you can rest assure that your best interests are top of mind.

So, what does the home buying process entail? Check out the chart below.

Home Buying Process

Home Buying Process

1. get pre-approved ▼

Getting pre-approved is perhaps the most important step in purchasing a home. A mortgage pre-approval will let you know whether or not you can afford a home and, if so, how much you're able to spend. For this reason, it is important to get pre-approved before you start looking at homes. Just think of how disappointed you'd be if you fell in love with a house only to find out that you can't afford it.


2. Find a Sales Associate ▼

From taking you on house tours to negotiating offers to managing contracts, a real estate agent does a lot! That's why it is so important to hire a real estate agent that you can trust. Real estate agents know the area, what to look for in a house and how to protect your best interest. Plus, as a buyer, you typically do not pay the agent's commission.


3. Search Neighborhoods and homes online ▼

Did you know that 90% of all home searches start online? Searching for homes online gives you the opportunity to virtually tour the home before seeing it person. On our real estate search page, you can find all homes for sale in Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania. On each property details page, you'll find a collection of photos, information and specifications, virtual tours, directions and more! Plus, you can ask a question or schedule a private showing directly from that page. For those home buyers who are not sure where to begin, you can browse local neighborhoods. These neighborhood pages allow you to get a feel for the community by watching a short video, viewing local market data and looking at homes in that specific neighborhood.


4. Make an offer, negotiate it, both parties accept it ▼

So, you've found the home of your dreams. Now it's time to place an offer! First, consult with your real estate agent on an appropriate offer, terms and potential contingencies. Once you determine this, your agent will draft the sales agreement and present it to the selling agent. At this point, the negotiation process will begin. If the sellers come back with a counteroffer, your real estate agent will present it to you and work with you to decide the next best move. Our real estate agents keep the best interests of our clients in mind at all times, and will negotiate on the buyer's behalf to ensure you will find the best home for the best price.


5. Appraisal & Inspection ▼

A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of the home. A home inspection will let you know the condition of the property before the closing. We recommend that you choose an inspector that is a member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors). An appraisal of the property will also be performed which is required for mortgage approval.


6. Finalize Financing ▼

At this point, you'll want to be sure to finalize your financing. Work with a mortgage representative to find a mortgage with the best interest rate and terms for your borrowing situation. Be sure to lock-in your mortgage rate and follow up with your mortgage representative to provide all the necessary documentation for finalizing the loan.


7. Attend Closing ▼

The keys to your new home are in sight! Your real estate agent will be in touch with you about the details of your closing. The settlement company will complete a title search to insure there are no liens or claims to the property. Keep in mind that home buyers are required to purchase home owners' insurance prior to the closing. Your real estate agent will inform you of any other documents you need to bring to closing. Other than that, be ready to do a lot of signing. But, don't worry, it will all be worth it!

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