Buyers Checklist

What can I afford?

  • Calculate your monthly income and debt. 
  • Check your credit report and FICO score. 
  • Use a mortgage calculator. 
  • Figure out your down payment. 

What is a mortgage? Is my credit good enough to qualify?

  • Educate yourself about mortgage types and choose one. 
  • Speak to at least five lenders and mortgage brokers. 
  • Shop for the best interest rates and programs. 

What type of home do I want?

  • Choose a location (downtown, urban, suburban, rural). 
  • Choose a type (single family, townhouse, condo, loft). 
  • Choose a price range. 
  • Choose a size. 
  • Choose an architectural style. 

What area would I like to live in?

  • Look online for information on schools, crime rate, traffic and zoning. 
  • Determine your work commute. 
  • Scout local amenities, such as parks, shops and restaurants. 

Is there a realtor out there that is a good fit for my situation?

  • Get referrals. 
  • Consider working with an exclusive buyer’s agent. 
  • Interview at least three agents. 
  • Look for experience and good chemistry. 

How do I find homes for sale?

  • Browse listings on our website at 
  • Ask your agent to set up tours of homes that fit your criteria. 
  • Check local newspapers. 
  • Pick up flyers and attend open houses. 

How do I get this deal done?

  • Get the house appraised. 
  • Get a professional home inspection. 
  • Consider getting specific inspections for structural engineering, roof and termites. 
  • Use the appraisal and inspection reports to re-negotiate if necessary. 
  • Choose a home insurance company. 
  • Complete the loan process with the lender. 
  • Do a walk-through inspection prior to closing. 
  • Set aside cash for the closing costs and down payment. 

What is the process to offer to a seller and get the price I desire?

  • Determine the purchase price. 
  • Include contingencies, such as financial, inspection or purchase. 
  • Spell out any special requests and repairs you want included in the sale. 
  • Determine an earnest money amount. 
  • Define a move-in date. 
  • Once both parties agree to the terms, sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement. 

How do I know if the home I want to purchase is a good investment?

  • Ask your agent for comps to estimate the property’s fair market value. 
  • Ask the seller’s reason for selling. 
  • Review all property disclosures. 
  • Find out about liens, easements or other restrictions. 

When can I close?

  • Review the settlement document at least 2 days before closing to see how funds will be collected and distributed. 
  • Get a cashier’s check for the amount you need to bring to closing, including the down payment and closing costs. 

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