Buyer Services

How to Buy Your Dream Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make.  For that reason it is important for buyers to have an experienced buyer’s agent on their side.  Here is a step-by-step guide to buying a home with me as your buyer’s agent.

Step 1: Select me as your Realtor.
I specialize in assisting home buyers in the Denver metro area.  My services are free to home buyers as I am paid by the seller.  My job is to guide you through each step of the home buying process and always keep you updated on where we are at in the process.

Step 2: Obtain pre-approval from a lender.
You can use your own lender, or let me help you find the best one for your situation.  Once you are pre-approved, we can begin to search for properties that are in the comfort of your price range.

Step 3: Find the right home.
Once you have determined a price range that you are comfortable with, I can organize your property search.  I will discuss what features are important with you to determine your personal search criteria.  I will set you up with two distinct property search accounts.  The first account is called a “Mysite” which is linked directly to the MLS.  Initially I will add all current listings that match your criteria and make notes on the properties for you to review.  You will be notified via email when properties that match your search criteria are added to the “Mysite” account.  This ensures that you will never miss a listing.  The second account that I will setup for you is on my website  To actively search listings by yourself, puts all MLS/IDX listings at your fingertips.  My website rivals any website as far as search functionality and accurate listing data.  Once we narrow down the list I will show you as many properties as needed until you find the right home.

Step 4: Submit an offer.
I will prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for the property and discuss offer strategies with you.  Once we have finalized the offer I will negotiate on your behalf, keeping you updated at all times.

Step 5: Go under contract.
If we reach an agreement with the sellers on a purchase contract I will deliver your earnest money check to the title company.  I will coordinate with your lender and the title company to ensure that they have all the paperwork that they need.  At this point I will review the title commitment with you as well as any HOA documents if applicable.

Step 6: Complete a sewer scope inspection.
Hiring a professional to perform a sewer scope is extremely important.   You want to have the sewer scope done prior to a home inspection, because it is far less expensive.  This could reveal several thousands of dollars in needed repairs, or none at all.  Once we have the sewer scope results, we will discuss how to proceed based on the inspector’s findings.

Step 7: Complete a radon test.
Hiring a professional to perform a radon test is extremely important.  You can have a radon test done prior to the home inspection, or at the same time with some qualified home inspectors.  Radon is a gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste.  Radon is estimated to cause thousands of deaths each year.  The Surgeon General has warned that Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today.  Once we have the Radon test results, we will discuss how to proceed based on the inspector’s findings.

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Step 8: Complete a home inspection.
Hiring a professional home inspector is extremely important.   Sellers are required to disclose information about the condition of their home, and potential hazards to the property.  However, not all sellers know about every problem or issue.  It is useful to provide the disclosures to your home inspector to follow-up on the known issues.  Your home inspector will also inspect all major house systems including the roof, plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems,  foundation, drainage, and any potential pest infestation.  Once we have the inspection results, we will discuss how to proceed based on the inspector’s findings.

Step 9: Order an appraisal.
If you are satisfied with all the inspection results, the next step is to have your lender order an appraisal.  All lenders require an appraisal to ensure the property is valued at or above the purchase price.  This is an out of pocket expense for you, and typically costs between $300 and $500.  The buyer does not attend the appraisal, but reviews the report after it has been completed.  If the home is appraised at or above the purchase price we will move forward in the transaction.  If the home appraises below the purchase price, we will discuss how to proceed.

Step 10: Obtain homeowners insurance.
It is important to setup your homeowners insurance early so that your lender can have this documentation ahead of time.  If this is not done in a timely manner your loan may be held up in underwriting, which could cause the closing to be delayed.

Step 11: Obtain full loan approval and a “clear to close” from your lender.
Once your lender has all the documentation needed, they will issue a final loan approval and declare that the file is “clear to close.”  At this point, you will need to obtain a cashier’s check for the required amount at closing.  You will need to  bring this check to closing.

Step 12: Put the utilities in your name starting the day of closing.
The title company will transfer the water to your name, but you are responsible for all other utilities.

Step 13: Attend the final walk-though and closing.
The final walk-through is completed as near to closing as possible.  It allows us to confirm that any inspection issues agreed upon have been taken care of.  It also ensures that the seller has left all inclusions written into the contract at the property.  We will then attend the closing at the title company, which typically lasts about one hour.  In Colorado, most closings are face-to-face, which means the seller will likely attend the closing.  Once all documents have been signed you will receive your keys.

Step 14: My final advice and reminder.
It is a good idea to change out the locks of your new home’s exterior doors.  Don’t forget to update your address with your employer, personal accounts, friends, family, and the US Postal Service at