Steps in the Home Buying Process

Steps in the Home Buying Process


1 Choose a Realtor

In Illinois, both the buyer and the seller are entitled to be represented by a licensed agent. There is no cost to the buyer to work with an agent, commissions are paid by the seller. The person you chose should be someone you like and trust; he or she will be your advocate in the home buying process. Share with your agent your wants and needs, likes and dislikes, favorite areas and what price range you’re looking in.

2 Get Pre-Approved

Once you find the perfect home you’ll need a pre-approval letter from your lender to go along with the offer to purchase the property. It’s good to have that done ahead of time, so you’re ready to go! If you need a list of recommended lenders, ask your Realtor.

3 Tour Homes

Make a list of homes you see online or in the neighborhood and let your Realtor know the addresses. He or she will set up an appointment to view the homes. Your Realtor can also set up searches for you in the public MLS as well as search the Private Network to find homes that fit your criteria.

4 Make an Offer

Once you find the right home your Realtor can help you determine fair market value by looking at recently sold homes and draft up a contract for you to make an offer. She will make sure you have all the property disclosures and are informed about the buying process and your rights as the consumer. You will also need a deposit of earnest money at the time of your offer. Discuss with your agent what amount is appropriate for the homes in your area.

5 Negotiate

Your Realtor will advocate for you in the negotiation process. There are a few items in the contract that are negotiable, you will work together as a team to get the right house for the right price!

6 Inspection/Attorney Review

Once you’ve entered into a contract to purchase a home, it is time to have the property inspected and hire an attorney to help represent you. Your Realtor is a good person to turn to if you need recommended professionals for these steps.

7 Closing

A Real Estate closing is when ownership is transferred over to the buyer from the seller. Typically, closings are held at a title company, your Realtor and your attorney will be there along with someone from your lender’s office to make sure everything goes smoothly… and at the end, you get the Keys!


Lisa Post, Smothers Realty Group (773) 802-3430

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