Steps to Buying a Home

Everyone dreams of owning their own home. Searching for the perfect home for your family can be a very exciting, yet anxiety-filled experience. However, if you know what to expect during the home buying process you will be more relaxed and comfortable knowing that we will be by your side every step of the way guiding you through it and looking out for your best interests. Below are the steps to buying to help you visualize what this process looks like. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions and remember we will be there for you every step of the way!


Before considering a home purchase, it is essential to know how much you can afford. With certain income, debt, down payment and credit information, a mortgate lender can determine price range. But, you also must determine your payment comfort level based upon your available funds for the purchase, your monthly expenses including taxes and insurance and other obligations you have. It is important to note here that where high down payments are helpful, waiting to have one is not always necessary or advisable. Credit scores determine rate. If yours allows for the type of home purchase you want, it is time to look for a lender.


Different banks and mortgage companies have an abundance of loan products to meet your needs. The amount of fees charged to originate a loan and/or the discount points charged to determine rate will vary from lender to lender. When comparing multiple quotes, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. A lender’s website and referrals from various sources provide invaluable insight to make the right choice in a lender. HINT: the process of a loan is not just about rate. The more the right lender knows, the more likely you are to close at the right rate and on time. Always ask for a pre-approval letter to include with an offer you make.


Before you begin your home search, it is important to choose the right representation to guide you through the process. The REALTOR® you choose should be an authority on both local market conditions and pricing as well as a seasoned negotiator. The best REALTORS® will ask plenty of questions before your search begins. How you answer will determine if your wants and needs are reflected within your budget or if adjusments to the search are necessary. The REALTOR® you choose should also have an in depth knowledge of insurance, finance requirements and how appraisers determine value. This kind of assistance will lead to a considerably more efficitent and desirable outcome. Finally, read testimonials. Do not base deccisions solely on how professional or easy to work with the REALTOR® was. Not all transactions are easy. Look for the common denominators in the reviews and choose based on what matters to you in representation.


Start your home search by using your agent’s website (like this one!) to search the MLS for homes. Agents have a direct line to the MLS, so their websites often update with the newest properties faster than the ‘big name’ sites out there. It also has a My Listing Manager tool that keeps you both in the loop. You can start your search and begin saving your favorite properties to your account and even set up alerts to get new homes and price changes emailed to you. Your agent can then see the properties you have liked and can send potential new properties directly into your listing manager that they think you may be interested in. It’s a WIN-WIN!


There is an art to making an offer on a home. You will find out quickly why you hired someone who is an authority on the local market. He or she understands that listings are often marketed with different seller approach or intent. Some are firm on price whether or not it is accurate. Some price to negotiate either the price or seller concessions. Some even bring their home to market at less than its value to entice multiple offers to drive up price. Even though you will seldom know a seller’s motivation, your experienced representation will advise the best way to approach an offer based on the price as it pertains to market value. Negotiation is not all about price. Giving in one area may help you gain in another e.g. be flexible on closing date in exchange for sellers perhaps helping cover some of your closing costs or rate reduction. Most contracts are AS-IS but your REALTOR® will protect your earnest money deposit with inspection contingencies and keep you within the guidelines of any contract.


Once your offer has been accepted, you will need a home appraisal. Banks require this so they can make sure the home is worth as much money as they are lending you. You may also need some inspections depending on your loan type. FHA and VA loans have more requirements than conventional loans. This is also the time to have a full home inspection, even if it is not required. A home inspector will go through the home and specifically look for problems and provide you with a full report on everything they find. This will give you the opportunity to avoid major problems and back out of the sale or negotiate repairs without losing your earnest money.


Even with the heavily used AS-IS contracts, it is common for buyers to request certain repairs be made from a licensed home inspector’s findings. Some of these repairs may impact your final loan commitment or insurability. It is important to be reasonable in these requests. Usually if an item is expensive enough to impact the agreed upon sale price, or compromises insurability or safety, most sellers will acquiesce to the request. In the interest of time or available funds the seller may also discount the purchase price in lieu of making the repairs.


The final walk-through is an important last step, even if you are positive you are going to go through with the sale. Walk through and check the agreed upon repairs, make sure everything is in working order and new issues have not popped up. This is your last opportunity to back out. If everything looks good, then it’s time to go to closing!


Before the home is legally transferred to you, the closing process must occur. During this phase, you will sign all of the mortgage documents, pay closing costs, and sign various other legal documents. Your buyer’s agent will be at the closing with you to help you through it all. Once all of the papers are signed and monies are transferred, the keys to your new home are yours! The only thing left to do is move into your humble abode. This may occur immediately after the closing or at the date set in the closing documents.


Depending on how far you’re moving or how much stuff you have, you may require a moving company or a moving truck. Professional movers may seem pricey at first, but when you look at the time and money to get similar results, you may re-consider. Call and set your moving date and start packing! Many places like U-HAUL sell moving boxes that are made to make your move easier. Label everything with what is inside it and what room it goes in. Recruit friends and family if needed.

Bonus Buyer Tips

See What Our Clients are Saying:

Tom P.

Shane helped me buy and sell my home

Shane helped me find my home 23 years ago and recently helped me to sell it. All the research he does on home sales in the area helped him to sell my home in the time frame needed with satisfying my sales price range. The time he puts into helping you understand the market and what you need to do t bring in prospective buyers earns him my respect and trust that he is working for you. The buying/selling process can be really stressful . Shane takes a lot of that away and that is why I am spending my time doing this review to help you decide on having him work for you.

Kelley J.

He knows all the strengths and weaknesses

Shane will impress you with his extensive and thorough knowledge of the local market; but more than that, he’s a full-service Realtor who doesn’t stop working when the sale is done. I have bought and sold property with Shane, and he’s always right there with answers to all my questions, and proactively helping me with all the details before and after the sale. His research of the market is so incredibly detailed, that I knew when I went to him to buy a house in Tampa, he would have the best options for my preferences all ginned up and ready to go. He knows all the strengths and weaknesses of the various neighborhoods, he gets in depth information on what you want as a customer and he zeroes in on some outstanding properties that are great matches. I ended up buying his top suggestion and we couldn’t be happier with the home. This is my third time buying a home in a place I didn’t know very well.

The difference between how Shane works and my two previous realtors was night and day—he definitely hustles for his clients.

Megan S.

It was easy to work with him

Shane recently helped me purchase my first home. I had no idea what I was doing, but Shane explained everything. It was easy to work with him and to trust in him because he has years of experience and it is clear that he is extremely knowledgeable. Thanks to Shane, I now live in the perfect home for me and my daughter. Shane was able to get me everything I wanted and in the neighborhood I wanted! I am truly grateful. I would definitely work with him again in the future and recommend him to others without hesitation.

Doug C.

He is the best in the business!

Shane Edgar is an amazing real estate agent who helped me and m wife buy our first house and our most recent house. He is very professional, knowledgeable and friendly. He listened to our needs and preferences and found us the perfect properties in both cases. He also negotiated the best deals for us and handled all the paperwork smoothly. He made the whole process stress-free and enjoyable. I highly recommend Shane to anyone looking for a reliable and experienced real estate agent. He is the best in the business!

Steve & Kathie C.

His finger is on the pulse of the real estate market

My wife and I have worked professionally with Shane Edgar for close to 30 years. During this time we have bought and sold several homes as well as using him in a property management role. Over the years, he has seemingly always had his finger on the pulse of the real estate market and its ever changing conditions. Our trust in his ability was never more evident than a month ago when we relocated from Arizona to Florida. Our wants and needs were communicated to Shane and he was able to find us a home that we purchased sight unseen. The home was spot on and more importantly, the wife was happy! That is a comfort level with your real estate agent that cannot be denied. To say that I would recommend Shane Edgar to anyone serious about buying or selling a home would be an understatement. In our eyes he is quite simply THE BEST.