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Buying a Home in the Next 6 Months? Follow These 6 Steps…

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Buying a Home in the Next 6 Months? Follow These 6 Steps…

Anita Graves

Anita Graves is a lifelong resident of the Columbus area with a few years away supporting her husband while he served in the Military...

Anita Graves is a lifelong resident of the Columbus area with a few years away supporting her husband while he served in the Military...

Jan 18 7 minutes read

Whether this is your first home or 5th home, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for what’s ahead. This is how we help our clients prepare for buying a home…


Step 1: Make a List. Actually, Make 3! 

When to do it? Now.

List #1: What are your non-negotiable items you MUST have in a new home?

List #2: What are your “would like to have, but not a deal breaker” items?

List #3: What do you NOT want in a new home? 

This will not only help you gain clarity of what you are looking for, but it will help us, as your real estate agent, keep an eye out for “the one”. 

Step 2: Know Your Loan Options

When to do it? In the next 30 days.

One of the first things you’ll hear or one of the first questions you’ll be asked is…. “Are you pre-approved for a mortgage?” Even if you’re buying in 6 months, you can still shop and interview lenders to find the right fit for you so that when you’re ready to buy, you are financially prepared.

Getting pre-approved is when you speak to a lender to see if you qualify for a mortgage to buy a home. If you are, they will share your loan options with you. 

The pre-approval process will help you…

  • See if you qualify for a mortgage

  • Tell you what you can afford and paint a picture of what your monthly payment will be at different price points

  • Know your down payment options. Will you need 3.5% for a down payment? 5%? Will it be 0%? OR 20%?

  • Show you what programs best fit your needs. Based on your profession, financial situation and goals, your lender can show you the best loan options for you.

*The pre-approval process is SO important in the Central Ohio market. You do not want to waste your time or the sellers time seeing a home that’s not in your budget. 

Step 3: Start with Listing Alerts

When to do it? In the next 30 days.

If you’re not quite ready to buy, talk to a real estate agent and get set up on Listing Alerts. Listing alerts are notification from the MLS (the most accurate and true source for listing information). As realtors, we have the ability to set up these listing alerts which will send you homes that fit what you’re looking for, adhere to your budget, and are in the areas you are looking to be in. 

Looking over these listing alerts will help you see what homes are in your price point, how quickly they sell, and what they are selling for. It’s important to be prepared for the current real estate market. In a fast pace market, it’s easy to get caught up in the speed and competitive nature that it brings. Take a minute, know what you want, know your numbers and let your real estate agent educate you on what to expect in today’s market!

Check Step 3 off your list. Sign up for Listing Alerts here!

Step 4: Know the Market 

When to do it? In the next 30-60 days.

Is it a sellers market or a buyers market? Will you likely be competing in multiple offers? What’s an appraisal gap? Do we need earnest money? Do I need to waive a request to remedy? Can the seller pay for my closing costs?

The answer, it depends! As full time realtors, this is what we do, every day. We can help educate you on what to expect in today’s market and what all of this info means and more. 

The goal is to...

  • To help you know what to expect in today’s real estate market

  • To help you make the best decisions for you, your situation and your finances

  • To help you buy your dream home while not spending more than you need to

  • Educate you before, during, and after the home buying process so you are fully prepared

  • To make this process as smooth and easy as possible!

  • To provide a high level of customer service

  • And So. Much. More.

Step 5: Hire the Right Team 

When to do it? Within the next 30 days. 

When buying a home, your core team should include…

  • An experienced real estate agent

  • An experienced lender

Also, depending on if you are buying an investment property, need to sell to buy, looking to flip a home, buy multiple properties, buy a rental, etc. you might need a real estate attorney, a home inspector, a tax professional, contractors, stagers, and more. We have worked with hundreds of clients over the years and have helped them through many different situations. We are happy to help guide you as well!

Did you know, the Seller typically pays the buyers realtor commission? That means you, the buyer, can hire a realtor to help you buy a home and typically do not need to pay their commission. So, what are you waiting for? Hire a realtor who is in your corner, that has a confidential and fiduciary duty to YOU.


Step 6: Know Your Timing 

When to do it? Now.

Are you renting? Need to sell your home before you buy? It CAN be done and it’s all about timing. 

Did you know that it takes about 30 days to close on a home?

From the time you are in contract on your new home to the time you close and get the keys, it’s typically 30 days. It can be done faster and if needed, can be a little longer. It just depends on the situation, the parties involved, etc. 

Renting? Know your lease terms. Can you break your lease earlier if you find a home? How much of a notice do you need to give your landlord before moving out? All of these timelines matter to make sure you aren’t double paying, spending unnecessary money, and you might even be able to time it right so you can skip a month of rent AND mortgage payments! Ask me how.

Need to sell your home first? No problem. There are several options for you to still be able to score your dream home, sell your current home and do it all with ease and as little stress as possible. Most of our clients need to sell to buy. Ask us how we helped them and can help you too!

FACT: When it comes to timing, we like to work backwards. For example, if you want to be in your new home by September 1st, then working backwards helps us figure out when you need to be in contract on your new home, when you need to start house hunting, etc. 

If you want us to help you figure out your timing, let us know!

Inspired to learn more about buying your first (or next) home?

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