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The Homebuyer's Guide

Updated: Aug 24

Welcome to Our Home Buyers' Guide

"Don't wait to buy real estate... Buy real estate, and wait" - T. Harv Eker

Welcome to The Homebuyer's Guide: Your Path to a Place Called Home.

Maybe this is your first time buying a home, or maybe you’re thinking about expanding your investment portfolio and looking for a refresher on the process. Either way, buying a home can be a complex and sometimes overwhelming process. From navigating the world of mortgages to understanding real estate market dynamics, there's a lot to learn.

But fear not! We’re here to demystify the home buying process and provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to confidently and comfortably purchase a home - no matter how much or how little experience you have.

Our Homebuyer’s Guide is here as a comprehensive tool to help you gain knowledge and feel confident beginning your journey to ownership. We will begin below with an outline of the home buying process. Truly, when you work with a Fine New England Living Team Realtor®, the outline is all you need to know – we will walk you through each step and ensure that you feel comfortable and confident throughout the process. With that said... we believe knowledge is power, so if you’d like to learn before you get started, this is what this guide is here for!

Every week we will do a deep dive into aspects of the Home Buying Process outlined below. Each post will include expert advice, practical tips, key terms, action items, and valuable resources to empower you to make confident choices throughout your home-buying journey. When we add a post about the topic, it will be available on our Blog page, and we will also link to it below.

From understanding your budget and securing financing, to finding the right location and deciding between condos and multi-families and single families, to writing an offer and negotiating with sellers - we’ve got you covered. We'll also delve into the world of home inspections, appraisals, and closing the deal, ensuring that you're well-prepared for every twist and turn along the way.

Are you a First-Time Homebuyer? Congratulations! You’re about to start an exciting and transformative journey. It's a significant step towards financial independence and creating a space that truly reflects your personality and needs. Many of the posts in this series will include specific information or tips designed especially for you. Look for the blue text for tailored content for First Time Homebuyers!

In addition to browsing this Home Buyer’s Guide, be sure to get in touch with us right away so we can get moving and find a place for you to call home!

Are you Buying and Selling at the same time? View our tips especially designed for you!

The Homebuyer's Guide: An Outline of the Process

We will link to articles about each step in the process as they become available. This is only an outline.

  1. Evaluate Your Finances Gather key documents, determine how much cash you have/will need to have for upfront costs, figure out your purchasing power, and identify any areas for improvement before you begin your search. Understanding your financial standing is the foundation for a successful home buying experience that sets you up to build generations of peace and prosperity - not just financially. If you're also selling a home at the same time, try to estimate your proceeds as part of a complete financial picture. Click here to read the full article - The Homebuyer's Guide | Part 1: Evaluate Your Finances Read Also: Want to Sell by Scared to Buy? We're Here to Help.

  2. Hire a Real Estate Agent Get the ball rolling by having a conversation with an Agent from our team who can help you navigate the market and the home buying process. At this stage, your agent can be the crucial link connecting you with a trusted lender. Click here to read the full article - The Homebuyer's Guide | Part 2: Hire a Real Estate Agent

  3. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Research different mortgage options and lenders, and then give a lender a call to discuss how much you can borrow, what programs you might qualify for, and what your potential interest rate could be. Obtain a pre-approval to have in hand when you start looking for homes.

  4. Create a Home Wishlist Write out a list of your wants and needs for the property you're looking for. What type of property is it? What amenities does it have? How much "sweat equity" are you willing to put in? Where is it? How much does it cost? What are your non-negotiables? What might you be willing to compromise on? Start brainstorming with your Realtor® to help narrow your search.

  5. Article: Deciding Where to Live? Our Top 10 Resources to Guide Your Search.

  6. Learn about the Current Market With your wishlist and pre-approval in hand, your Realtor® can help you set your expectations for finding your place to call home. Have a conversation with them to learn about key market factors you should be aware of. For example, what do homes that have recently sold in my price range look like? How competitive are the Buyers in my price range? What is the current inventory of homes like? Being informed before beginning your search will help you avoid surprises and curveballs down the road, and give you confidence as you begin your journey into the market.

  7. Begin the Search At this point, your Real Estate Agent will begin sharing properties with you that are a potential match. When you find one that interests you, get out and start touring! You can also ask about open houses in the area, even if you're not particularly interested in a property, to get out and see what's on the market. Make sure to take notes, ask questions, and capture photos at each property.

  8. Make an Offer When you find the right one, it's time to make an offer! Your Agent will guide you through this process from start to finish, and then they will negotiate the offer with the Seller's Agent on your behalf. Your offer will include a binder check, which is a small initial deposit made on the property, that will be put towards the purchase price if your offer gets accepted. Some Buyers have to make several offers before finding the right match - others get their first offer accepted right away. Once you do, congratulations!! It's time to get ready to close! Note: In Massachusetts, you will also retain an attorney and sign a "Purchase & Sale Agreement" with an additional deposit.

  9. Hire a Real Estate Attorney Once you have an accepted Offer, you need to hire a Real Estate Attorney as soon as possible. They have different roles in both Massachusetts and Connecticut (which will both be covered), but either way, they play a critical role in protecting your interests during the closing process. Make sure the attorney specializes in Real Estate, and if you don't have one you already know and trust, ask your Agent for recommended providers.

  10. Secure Your Financing & Other Contingencies Contingencies are conditions written into an offer that must be met for a contract to be legally binding. Common contingencies include financing (securing your mortgage), home inspection, title search, appraisal, etc. Condominium purchases will also have a contingency to allow you to review specific documents. Each of these contingencies will be discussed in articles that will be linked here when available.

  11. Review Closing Documents Close to your closing date, you will receive a Closing Disclosure which outlines final terms, fees, and costs. You will review these with your Attorney. At this point, make sure to address any final questions or concerns with your Agent and your Attorney before closing day.

  12. Final Walkthrough The final walk-through is the last step before closing day! Essentially, the point of a final walkthrough is to make sure the house is in the same condition as it was when you made the offer on it. If something is off, you have a chance to ask for the Seller to rectify it before closing.

  13. Transfer Your Final Payment Assuming your financing contingency came through and your lender provided you with a Commitment Letter and those coveted words - "Clear to Close!" - you will get instructions from your Attorney on how to transfer your portion of the remaining funds you will need to pay to transfer ownership.

  14. Close the Deal You made it to closing! Here, you will attend the closing meeting, usually with your Attorney and Agent. The Attorney will walk you through each step, which involves signing a whole bunch of documents to secure your mortgage agreement and transfer ownership of the property.

  15. Get the Keys Congratulations, you're a homeowner! As a Realtor, there are few things more exciting than to be able to hand you the keys to your new home! It's time to celebrate, and then get to work moving in and making the place yours!


We hope you are feeling more confident and equipped to start your journey towards homeownership. As you've learned, it's an intricate and complex process... but it is so worth it. And, with the right Real Estate Agent, you will be guided through each step above so that the whole process is not only easy, but fun and exciting too! Get in touch today and let us be your first call to help you find a place to call home.

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