Nine Steps to Buying a Home

To reduce your stress, we have broken down the home buying process to 9 steps. 

Step One: Just looking (this is a real step)

It is ok to be “just looking”.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, looking at a few homes can give you an idea of the type of home want and its cost. This can be a grounding experience.

If you would like to check out the Vallejo historic home market, schedule a day to look at homes

Many buyers feel unsure and dont know how to get started. Discover what you need and want in a home by comparing the homes you like. Download this simple organizer to view the pros and cons of each home in one place.

We have created a Buyer Road Map Infographic to help you get a sense of the next steps.

This step-by-step infographic takes you through the process of finding a home, financing, and making an offer.

Start with “Just Looking” and follow the roadmap to the seller accepting your offer.

Print out this infographic to see exactly what to do and when to do it at a single glance.


Step Two: Create a specific and definable target

This is the fun part. Sit down with your family and/or partner and list everything you want in your new home. Please feel free to dream! 

Get an idea of what is required and what is just desirable.

We’re the historic home experts, and we’ve created a Targeting Worksheet to help you get started.

 Step Three: Get pre-approved

When you are pre-approved, you will know how much you can spend on a house. This lets you pick a budget and a price range for homes to look at.

If you’re serious about buying a home, get pre-approved as soon as possible. It takes about 40 minutes and it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. 

Get pre-approved now.

Step Four: Finding your dream home

As you search, you will probably change your target a little bit. This is fine. You’re learning what you really want in a historic home.

If you’ve done your homework and created a target, you will know within minutes that you have walked into your dream home. 

Check out 4 ways to know you have found your dream home

 Step Five: Making an offer

Once we’ve found the home you want, we make an offer to the seller. 

There are a lot of extra things we can do to persuade a seller to accept your offer over others. 

We need to be careful about the details. If the seller accepts your offer, it becomes the contract. 

If you’re thinking about making an offer on a home, we recommend How to make an offer the seller can’t resist.

Step Six: Getting accepted

Once you’re in contract, you’ll be expected to deposit “earnest money,” usually around 2% of the contract price. A neutral escrow company holds your earnest money and manages the technical details of the sale. 

There will be timelines. Each ends with a contingency. These contingencies are your way to exit the contract without penalty. As you release these contingencies you become more committed to the sale. 

We’ve created a Steps to Escrow Infographic to help you understand the process.

From the moment the seller accepts your offer to the day we hand you your keys, this one-page visual guide gives you everything you need to know about escrow at a glance.

Print out this infographic to understand each step and know what to do and when.



Step Seven: Doing the investigations

We will usually have 17 days to investigate the property. At a minimum we want a home inspection, a termite inspection, and a search through the records. Download this brief guide to understand the types of home inspections that are available and which ones are most commonly used

If any of these investigations uncover an issue, the deal could fall through. As long as you’ve followed the contract, you can get your deposit back. However, it’s often better to negotiate.

If the home inspection doesn’t reveal any serious problems (or if you and the seller agree to a remedy for a problem), we release the inspection contingency, ending your right to inspect the property.  

Step Eight: Appraisal and underwriting

The underwriter will review all the paperwork and approve your loan. An appraiser will confirm the home is worth at least as much as you offered.

If you fail to get the loan or the appraisal value comes in low, you can use your contingencies to exit the contract without penalty. 

You’re almost ready to close.

Step Nine: Closing the deal

Closing is the formal end to the home-buying process. 

At the closing, you pay any balance that is due on the down payment and closing costs. You and the seller sign all the necessary documents to transfer money and title for the property. 

Finally, we hand you the keys to your new home!

Action Steps

Now that you know the nine steps, Discover what you need and want in a home.

Use this information to Create a target

The best way to banish uncertainty is to Get prequalified now.

It’s time to start house hunting.  Schedule a day to look at homes

Unlock your Buyer Toolbox. Verify your email to gain access.

Like this article? We'd love a share!
Chris Jacobson
Chris Jacobson

I’m Chris Jacobson, a local Vallejo realtor. I love our historic homes.

Office: 707-812-1390 | Cell: 707-805-4014 | BRE 01987892

Leave a comment

Leave a Comment