A Home Buyer Guide in 8 Simple Steps

Your Home Buyer Guide

home buyer guide

CENTURY 21 Bolte Real Estate has prepared the following home buyer guide with things to consider that will help you navigate the purchase process. While this home buyer guide might seem like an in-depth list, keep in mind that every situation is unique. You might already have a home in mind or even have been pre-approved. If you have any questions about this home buyer guide, let us know. We’re here to help you achieve your homeownership goals.

1. Consider What You Want and Need in a Home

  • Where do you want to live? Urban or rural? Inland or close to the water?
  • What type of home are you looking for? A single family? Multi-family? Condo?
  • What style of home are you looking for? Colonial? Ranch?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  • Do you or your family have any special needs, like handicapped access?
  • How much time do you have to move?

2. Gather Financial Information You’ll Need for a Mortgage

  • Your government-issued ID and Social Security Card
  • Personal federal tax returns for the past two years
  • W-2s for the past two years
  • Paystubs for the past 30 days
  • Bank statements for the most recent two months
  • Statements for asset accounts considered for the loan
  • For self-employed borrowers, business tax and profit/loss documentation
  • Letters of explanation for past credit events, employment gaps, and gift funds

3. Find a Mortgage Lender and Get Pre-Approved

  • Research mortgage lenders in your area
  • Look up the lender on NMLS to verify their services
  • Contact them to discuss your goals and learn about loan options
  • Complete an application and work with the lender to get pre-approved
  • Receive your pre-approval letter and share it with your Bolte agent

4. Contact Us to Start Your Search for Homes

  • Contact CENTURY 21 Bolte Real Estate to start your home search
  • Let us know what you’re looking for in a home
  • Review listings that your CENTURY 21 Bolte Real Estate agent shares with you
  • Schedule showings with your agent
  • Once you find a home, we’ll help you prepare an offer

5. Negotiate an Offer, Execute a Purchase Contract, and Finalize Your Loan

  • Make an offer to the seller and their agent
  • Be prepared for some back-and-forth. Your agent will advise you
  • Consider any changes, repairs, or other concessions you want
  • Finalize your purchase contact with your agent
  • Provide the executed purchase contract to your lender
  • Be available to your lender for additional questions or requirements
  • Get a home inspection to make sure your new home is in good shape
  • Obtain homeowners insurance as well as an appraisal
  • Stand by for final loan approval (a.k.a., the “clear to close”)

6. Set Up Services for Your New Home

  • Contact utilities and service providers to transfer or set up service
  • Provide a start date (and the cutoff date for your former home if applicable)
  • Verify details. Some services open new accounts instead of using existing accounts

7. Attend the Loan Closing and Get Your Keys

  • Once you receive the clear to close, your closing date will be scheduled
  • Attend the loan closing. Allow for up to two hours
  • Sign all remaining loan documentation and pay your closing costs
  • Once the loan funds, you’ll receive the keys to your new home!

8. Move In and Enjoy Your New Home! Congratulations!

  • Move into your new home!
  • Tell your family, friends, and coworkers about your experience!

Talk with an Agent