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How To Buy a House: 8-Step Process

By Candyss Bryant

Are you considering the prospect of buying your first home? I am going to take you through an 8-step process that will leave you feeling at ease about the home-buying process.


How To Buy a House: 8-Step Process

Are you considering the prospect of buying your first home? I am going to take you through an 8-step process that will leave you feeling at ease about the home-buying process.

1. Meet with a Real Estate Agent. 

Preferably a REALTOR®.  A real estate professional who is local to the geographic region you are planning to purchase your home is one of the wisest choices you can make in the home-buying process.  She will be able to quarterback your process and will be connected to other service providers critical to the buying process.  Your REALTOR® will also have a buying guide and additional resources. 

2. Get Organized

One of the first things you want to do in your home-buying process is to apply for a mortgage loan, but first, you must get organized. Go ahead and gather your income statements, pay stubs, W2s, credit information, and employment history documentation.  

3. Apply For a Mortgage.

Lean on your REALTOR®  to help provide referrals to preferred lenders.  I highly suggest you shop for a lender so that it helps you understand more about the buying process. Credit monitoring allows you to shop for mortgage loans.  I would keep the shopping to a 14-day window if possible.  Your mortgage lender will review your application and documents submitted to pre-qualify you for a home purchase.  The mortgage professional will supply your REALTOR® with a pre-qualification letter that can be used with your offer when the time comes.  The mortgage professional will also be able to review your mortgage options with you to see if Conventional, FHA, Va, or USDA will be best. 

4. Shop For Your House.

This is the time that everyone loves.  Ask your REALTOR® to set you up on notifications through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) portals.  From here you can search for properties that best match your budget, interests, and neighborhoods you like.  You can narrow down your selections and then go out with your agent to view the properties. 

5. Make an Offer.

Your REALTOR® can provide the appropriate forms needed to submit an offer when you find the house you love.  Make sure to review all terms and conditions with your REALTOR® so there are not any surprises.  Once the seller counter-signs the offer it becomes a legally binding contract.  The seller will have the option to accept, counter, reject or ignore your offer. 

6. Binding Contract.

Once the seller accepts and signs your offer it becomes a legally binding contract and your countdown to closing begins.  You will immediately begin working on your due diligence and contract contingencies. 

7. Go Into Escrow.

During this period you are in underwriting.  Your lending professional may ask you for additional information in order to get your full approval. Make sure to respond swiftly and thoroughly to any additional questions.  In this phase, you will order your home inspection and negotiate repairs.  Your lender will hire an appraiser and you will wait to hear the magic words, CLEAR TO CLOSE. 

8. Clear To Close.

You have made it!  Once you have these words from your lender your title agent will begin preparing your closing documents and set the final details for your closing date and time. 


Interested in buying a house and don't know where to start? Download a copy of my informative buyer's guide to help walk you through your home-buying process.  You can also visit my YouTube Channel for a series of videos about how to go about buying your next home.