Buying A Home: A Step-by-Step Guide


Buying A Home A Step By Step Guide

Step #1: Hire the correct Real Estate Agent

This is where we come in. By hiring the South Philly Team, we will set up a detailed MLS home buyer search that consists of your personal criteria in what you are looking for in a home (neighborhoods, garage parking, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, rooftop deck, budget, etc). You will then receive emails with the most up to date, accurate homes for sale in the Philadelphia market.

Why do you need to be set up with an MLS Search? If the MLS is the trunk of the tree, then Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor.com are the branches. Every home you find on the mentioned online apps, all pull their source data from the MLS. By getting set up directly with the source, you will receive the most up to date and accurate information for all of the real estate listings, specifically customed to your search criteria. The search for your perfect home starts with the MLS.


Step #2: The Pre-Approval Process

This is a necessary step. It will help you determine what your comfortability level is when it comes to making your monthly mortgage payments. It is our recommendation that you reach out to multiple mortgage lenders. That way you can compare the interest rates being offered as well as estimated lender closing costs. A mortgage lender will also provide you with an estimated “all in” price. “All in” meaning your monthly estimated loan payments which include PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance) and monthly HOA fees (if purchasing a condominium rather than a house). We are happy to provide referrals for you.


Step #3: Determine Fair Market Value

Fair Market Value is the price that a home would sell for on the open market. Once you are able to pinpoint the home that is perfect for you and your family, we will determine Fair Market Value by comparing your perfect home to recently sold comparables (aka “comps”) from the immediate surrounding area within the last six months. From the data that the comps provide, we will be able to determine what your initial offer should be. If you are taking out a mortgage, this step is critical. By determining what the home will appraise for, this will save headaches down the road when it comes to financing.


Step #4: Make an Offer

After Fair Market Value has been established, we now draft the offer to purchase contract. We will handle all of the paperwork. If the paperwork looks good to you, you then sign contract and we submit the offer to the listing agent. From here, negotiations take place (setting an inspection date, setting a closing date, etc) until there is an agreed upon price/terms between you and the seller. Great news! Your offer has been accepted! Both parties fully execute the contract and the deal is done!


Step #5: Inching Toward the Finish Line

Now that your offer is officially accepted, the home will have to be inspected and an attorney will need to review. After completing the home inspection, our attorney will be negotiating with the seller’s attorney based on the home inspection findings and other items that may show up during the review. Once an agreement is reached between you and the home seller, both parties execute the contract and we now can close on your new home!


Step #6: Closing Time

This is the day that you become the legal owner of your new home. What can you expect on your closing day? A paperwork party that may take several hours! Paperwork includes: a settlement statement that lists all costs related to the sale of the home, a promissory note which states your obligation to pay back the loan, mortgage or deed of trust that secures the mortgage note, writing a certified or cashier’s check to pay any remaining closing costs, etc. Once all the paperwork has been signed, you have secured your mortgage and the closing is officially complete.