The Home Buying Process Explained Step by Step

You have decided to buy a home and now the enormity of that decision is beginning to freak you out a little.

Let’s face it…

The home buying process can be a little overwhelming for a lot of potential home buyers, but it doesn’t have to be. The process can be smooth and relatively stress free when you have an understanding of the process and the steps involved.

In this article I am going to explain the home buying process by breaking it down into chronologically ordered steps so that you have a clear understanding of each step as well as an understanding of when each step occurs.

Step 1. Meet With A Real Estate Professional

Realtor Shaking Hands

When you meet with a Real Estate Professional, you will discuss the type of home you are looking for, including style, price, location, etc. You will also make a list of your “must haves” and a list of your “wants”. It is important to note that you will very rarely get everything that you are looking for in a home, so it is vitally important to know your “must haves”.

The Buyer’s Advantage

As the home buyer, your agent’s commission is paid by the seller of the home in almost all circumstances. This means that your representation costs you nothing!

Step 2. Get Pre-Approved

Your Real Estate Professional will have a list of lenders that they have worked with before and that they know and trust to close loans in a timely manner.

You will need pay stubs, W2s, and bank statements as well as giving your permission for a credit check. The lender will then be able to provide you with a Pre-Approval Letter, which will tell you exactly how much you can afford to spend on a home.

Knowing what you can afford is critical to a successful home shopping experience.

Step 3. Search For Homes

Realtor Showing a Home

Now comes the fun part! Your agent will schedule showings and help you to find the perfect home for your needs.

Not all real estate websites are the same. Your Real Estate Professional has tools and systems to ensure that you see every available home that meets your criteria.

Step 4. Make An Offer

Signing Contract with Realtor

Your agent will prepare the offer based on the price and terms you choose. You will sign the offer either electronically or in person. You will also sign other related documents, such as the Property Condition Disclosure Report, in which the Seller discloses any material defects associated with the property. You will also sign a Lead Paint Disclosure, if the home was built prior to 1978. There may be other disclosures as well, depending on the state in which you are buying. Your Real Estate Professional will explain each of these disclosures to you in detail.

Step 5. Negotiation and Contract

It may take a few tries, but hang in there! You are more than halfway through home buying process!

The Contract

In most cases the contract will provide you with a timeline to obtain a mortgage commitment from your lender, as well as time to inspect the physical condition of the home. Your Real Estate Professional will assist you in scheduling these steps and will also inform you of all your rights and responsibilities related to the contract.

Step 6. In Escrow

You and the Seller have agreed on the price and terms and you have both signed the contract. The home is effectively held for you until closing. At this point you will hire an Attorney to represent your interest in the home buying process.

Step 7. Final Details

You and your Real Estate Professional will be doing your due diligence, ordering the appraisal, ordering and conducting the inspections and reviewing terms with the lender.

Preparing for Closing

You will be finalizing your loan, reviewing documents, and discussing the findings from the inspection. Your Attorney will be involved in the process and your Real Estate Professional will be managing the entire process for you.

Step 8. Closing

Passing the keys

The closing is the transfer of funds and ownership and will typically take place at an a Attorney’s office. The Attorney will make sure that everything is completed and signed. The Attorney will also record the sale in the town records.

CONGRATULATIONS! You are a new homeowner! 

The home buying process does not have to be difficult. It can be a smooth and stress free process when you have a trusted advisor to lean on and guide you through the steps necessary to a successful transaction.

Below you will find a Home Buying Process roadmap which I have created for you.



John VanDerLaan RealtorJohn VanDerLaan

Covering areas of Fairfield, New Haven and Litchfield Counties.
Buying or selling your home is not a difficult process when you have a trusted advisor to lean on.
I would love the opportunity to put my knowledge and experience to work for you!


John VanDerLaan

John VanDerLaan RealtorREALTOR
eXp Realty
Southbury CT
(203) 206-4703

With 30 years experience buying and selling Connecticut real estate, let me put my knowledge and expertise to work for you! Buying or selling your home is not a difficult process when you have a trusted advisor to lean on. I look forward to the opportunity to earn your business!

Guide to Selling Your House

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