Female Real Estate agent with a couple

5 Steps to Start the Home Buying Process

The long and winding road to home buying can be confusing and scary, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are five easy steps to follow in the beginning stages of the home buying process, because knowing the route will help make the ride to your new home smoother and less stressful. 

#1: Create a Plan 

Of course, you want to look at houses. But first thing’s first, do your research and make a plan. Get an idea of your budgets so you know what you can afford. Create a timeline of when you would like to purchase a home and move. Make a list of must-haves, as well as things that would be nice to have but aren’t necessities. Having a plan in mind will help you navigate further down the road. 

#2: Research 

Don’t worry, this research is the fun kind! Take a look at listings online to get a feel for what you like, as well as what will and won’t fit into your budget. 

#3: Find a REALTOR® 

Your REALTOR® will be your guide during this time. Make sure you find the right one for you. They will be your expert and go to on this journey, so don’t be afraid to interview multiple REALTORS® find the one that fits your needs. Use our REALTOR® search to find a Chicago REALTOR® who fits with you!

#4: Choose a Lender and Loan 

Your REALTOR® can recommend trusted lenders to begin the loan process. Each mortgage lender, depending on the company they work for, will be able to provide different fees, rates and requirements, so make sure to find the one that works best for you. 

Then, you will work with your lender to decide which mortgage type is right for you. Options include fixed-rate, adjustable, conventional or government loans, to name just a few. 

#5: Get Pre-Approved 

The last step before you start looking for your forever home is to get pre-approved. Your lender will ask for a variety of documents, from proof of income to bank statements and more, which will all determine what amount you will be able to spend on a home. But remember, a pre-approval does not mean you are guaranteed a loan. Think of it as a way to show buyers that you’re serious about buying a home and making an offer. 

From here, it will be time to looking at places and get that much closer to making your homeownership dreams come true! 

Download our infographic for referrence and to share with your peers!