It’s Spring time!  For sale signs are already starting to hit the lawns and it’s only just begun.  The amount of homes that will hit the market is only going to increase from this point.  If you’re a first time buyer or looking to change up your living situation, here are some helpful tips on the buying process.


Step 1: Get Your Finances in Order

Check your credit reports and know where you are at financially.  When you apply for approval through a loan company this is one of the main areas they look to determine whether or not you qualify.  You’ll be in great shape if you don’t have any late payments.  One can hurt you but four and your out the door.


Step 2: Get Familiar with the Mortgage Industry

You’ll want to determine which loan is going to be best for you.  Some have less strict requirements than others, such as a smaller downpayment on the loan.  Familiarize yourself with the options and make a decision.  A good loan officer can help walk you through this process.


Step 3: Get pre-approved for Your Loan

Lots of buyers go out looking at homes without having any idea how they are going to finance.  A seller gets two offers on their home, one has a pre-approved loan for the full asking price and the other has no document of financing.  The pre-approval is going to be the winner just about every time.


Step 4: Determine Your Wants and Needs

Figure out what is going to suite your situation.  Where is the downpayment coming from?  How much house are you looking for?  Are there any extras that need to meet your requirements?  These are some standard things to ask yourself before looking.



Your agent is there to guide, protect, and counsel you through this big process.  Find someone that you get along with and that you can trust.  This is going to get you the best results in you new adventure.


Step 6: Start Searching for a Home

This step is mostly facilitated by your agent.  Your agent will take note of what specifics you’re looking for and find the homes that meet most of the criteria.  Once your agent gets you listings, it’s time to take some tours!


Step 7: Handle Pre-Offer Tasks

When you find a home that you like, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for an offer.  Check the neighborhood and talk to neighbors to get a good gauge on where you’d be living and have your agent run comparible sales so you have a rough idea what the home is worth.


Step 8: Make an Offer

Based on what your previous investigations turned up, you can now decided what you’re willing to offer to the seller. Be prepared for a counter and understand how far you’re willing to go.


Step 9: Getting a Home Inspection and Other Tests

In Missouri, the contract isn’t final until the inspection period is up and approved by both parties.  If something turns up that you don’t like during the inspection, you can back out of the contract.  This is an important process and a lot of negotiating can take place during this period.


Step 10: Avoiding and Correcting Last Minute Problems

If you have a good agent then this isn’t something you generally need to worry about.  If your agent is staying up to day with the status of the process then everything will be taken care of.


Step 11: Closing!

The last step of the buying process!  Show up to your closing location, sign a boat load of paperwork, and take the keys to your new home