Buying a home: Buyer's guide
1. Start with your credit. Get a copy of your reports and know your credit scores.
2. Set your budget. Determine how much house you can afford.
3. Line up cash. You'll need to come up with cash for your down payment and closing costs.
4. Find an agent: A buyer's representative has the same access to homes for sale that a seller's agent does, but his or her allegiance is only to you.
5. Search for a home. Figure out what city or neighborhood you want to live in.
6. Make an offer. Once you find the house you want, move quickly to make your bid. If you're working with a buyer's broker, then get advice from him or her on an initial offer.
7. Enter contract. Have your Buyer’s Agent prepare an Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Usually this document is contingent upon:
- your obtaining a mortgage
- a home inspection that shows no significant defects
- a guarantee that you may conduct a walk-through inspection 24 hours before closing.
8. Secure a loan. It’s a good idea to have already been pre-approved for a mortgage before beginning your home search. Call your mortgage broker or lender and move quickly to agree on terms, if you have not already done so.
9. Get an inspection: In addition to the appraisal that the mortgage lender will make of your home, you should hire your own home inspector.
10. Close the deal. The actual closing is often somewhat anticlimactic. Your lawyer or real estate agent can brief you on the particulars.
The above information was obtained from http://money.cnn.com.