Home Buying 101. Your Step By Step Guide To Buying A Home In Cleveland Ohio

Dated: June 24 2023

Views: 88

Views: 57

Whether it's your first home in the Cleveland area, it's been many years since you bought, or maybe you've done it many times before, either way, it's important to have someone on your side who can make sure you're going in the right direction and who knows the Cleveland area housing market. Being a full-time Realtor my goal is to guide you step by step through the entire process and beyond.  This should be a good experience, one that you can enjoy and I aim to make it just that.  Although buying a home can seem overwhelming or complicated, it really doesn't have to be. I'll handle every single part of the process right along with you so you know exactly what's happening, what to expect, and what will happen next.  Don't worry, I've done this many times, you're in good hands! 

The home-buying process

1. Get ready emotionally

The first step is simple, sit down and start to consider what you're about to do. Where do you feel comfortable as far as a monthly payment or budget? What locations would you like to be in? What is important to you as far as wants/don't wants?  This is just the very beginning so you may not have any idea yet and that's totally ok. This is just a  quick self-check-in to figure out what's important to you.  Pro Tip! If you have a partner involved, do this together and talk about what's important to you. Not having this conversation early can lead to tension down the line when one party loves a house and one party hates it.  You may not agree on everything, but that's also totally ok, just consider your partner's wants and your own wants so you know where you both stand. 

2. Get preapproved

This step is crucial, you must have preapproval to begin the home shopping process. You cannot wait until you find a house and then get preapproved. I've seen people insist on going that route and then lose out on the perfect home because they could not submit an offer on time. Many sellers won't even allow you in their home without preapproval! This step is simple and I can guide you through it.  A call to a lender, a few documents, and questions and you're on your way. This will also let you know what your budget it and what that means as far as a monthly mortgage payment 

3. Consultation 

This may happen before or after a preapproval. Here we will talk about the process, things to look out for, what you want in a home, what you don't want in a home, your budget, and more. Here I will find out what you're looking for a start to set up searches so I can send listings directly to you!  Listings that match your criteria will come right to your inbox.  Interested in creating your own search? Do it anytimeon my site here.   Pro Tip! Zillow is very inaccurate as far as what's actually for sale and what isn't. The listing hit the market and may not show up on Zillow for extended periods.  I would advise against using Zillow for those plus other reasons.  See my blog post "Is Zillow Unethical".  I suggest using my site which is directly connected live time through the MLS, or Realtor.com and Homesnap.com are good options as well. 

4. The hunt is on! Time to start touring homes

Daily I will be sending you  new listing.  When one pops up you like, let me know and ill schedule a showing that works around your schedule. This is the fun part!  When we step into the home I'll ask questions to get you thinking. What do you think of the layout?  Does it feel like home? Could you see yourself living here? What do you like/don't like about the home?  Every single house will have pros and cons. There is no such thing as a perfect house but your gut feeling will let you know when you've found it. I see it over and over that someone walks in and "just knows". during this process, I will also be looking for issues, structural issues, water damage, and electrical issues.  Having spent 14 years as a career firefighter I've learned a lot about building construction, I do my best to put that knowledge to good use.  I also have extensive knowledge of health issues when it comes to a home.  Whether it be asbestos, water damage causing mold, or other issues, I will always do my best to find any unseen issues. But don't sweat it, we still have a home inspection

5. Consider the market

This will happen at the same time as the home search. What's going on in the housing market in the area you're looking?  Are your wants to budget realistic now that you've seen a few homes?  What will an offer look like? Is it likely you'll have to be prepared to offer over asking? Can you start under ask price? There is a lot of questions that the circumstances will dictate and ill coach you through them so you know exactly what to expect. 

6. Make an offer!  #LetsGooo 

You walk into the front door, take one look around and start to feel at home. As you walk through the home you imagine exactly how you will decorate it, where you will place your furniture and what color you will paint the walls. You've found it, your ideal home. take your time, soak it up.  From there we talk numbers, closing timeframe, and what inspections to be done. Most of the time an offer will be contingent on a home inspection but in some circumstances, some people may opt to waive them to make their offer more appealing.  These are all conversations we will have and the offer will always be written to where you feel comfortable. We'll go through the offered line by line, this is a time of excitement and maybe some nerves. Don't worry, it's normal and I GOT YOU!

7. Negotiate

An offer is just that, an offer. The seller may counter or they may even as for a "highest and best offer" if there are other offers on the table we're competing with. Don't worry, we'll work through this.  If a seller counters your offer with one of their own, we will discuss the terms and see if it makes sense to you. At that point you can accept, reject, or even counter again. We'll work through all the details and try and come to terms that everyone agrees.  The next situation is a "highest and best" and this means there are multiple offers, also called a bidding war.  When this happens we will discuss terms that make the most sense to you and submit our best offer.  All you can do is give your best.   Pro Tip! In a multiple offers situation, there is more to an offer than just price. For example, adjusting closing dates to accommodate the sellers, waiving certain contingencies and other things we can discuss that will change for each situation.  Pro Tip! Remember, we all want the same thing, the seller wants to sell, and the buyer wants to buy. We can work together while standing up for your needs at the same time. Don't forget this is a business transaction so don't let emotion cloud your judgment. 

8. Offer accepted!

Congrats your offer has been accepted, you just bought a house! Well, not yet...  Now is the time we will schedule our home inspection. After the home inspection, you may either proceed with the purchase as it is, renegotiate terms if unknown issues come up, or walk away completely if you no longer feel comfortable purchasing the home. You will also submit a formal loan application to get the process of loan commitment going.   Pro Tip! Home inspections are stressful times. You literally hire someone to pick apart every single part of a home you're about to buy. Don't worry! every home has a list of issues, we are looking for major issues like hidden water damage, structural concerns, and safety issues, the rest is just a "to-do" list for you moving forward. 

9. finalize financing 

Your lender will require certain docs and may have questions. An appraisal of the house will be ordered by the bank to ensure the value of the home is equal to the purchase price. There is a bit of a waiting period here and I will update you on the progress.  Typically closing on a home is 30-60 days.

10. Those magic words "Clear To Close"!!

The term clear to close is a term that comes from the lender when your loan has been officially approved. At this point, you will get a call from the title company to schedule a time to sign. You can usually either go to their office or they can send a notary to you. On vacation? no problem, you can sign from anywhere, I even had someone sign from Ukraine once so you're good! There's a bunch of paperwork to close the loan and transfer the title of the home. you will have to wire your down payment if over $10,000. If under you'll be able to bring a check. After signing, either that day or on the agreed-upon day it will close. 

11. You own a home!! 

Once the title company reaches out to let us know the home has closed, it is now officially yours!  Congrats! You did it!  This is a good day, no matter what happened throughout the process, or how long it took, it doesn't matter, you're home! We will meet at the house and I will get the keys out of the lockbox and hand them to you. Its my favorite part!  This is also sometimes a little sad for me as well though because we may have spent weeks or months talking almost daily and now the deal is done.  Don't forget about me and keep in touch always!  I will follow up with you over the following weeks and months just to see if you need anything at all.     Every person and every deal will have its nuances and be different in some ways.  I'll always be there to work with you and I'm honored to have the chance.   

frequently asked questions 

· Do I pay you?  Nope!  As a buyer's agent, I am paid by the seller's agent (who is paid by the seller).  The seller and the seller's agent agree on listing terms and out of those terms comes the fee to the buyer's agent. So I work for you at no cost to you!

· Should I work with multiple agents/call other agents? You should only be working with one agent. If you "agent hop" you won't have someone who is supporting your best interest, you'll just have someone trying to make a quick sale. You don't want that. I make a commitment to my buyers to support their needs at all costs. I can do this because I know eventually you will buy a home with me. So if I need to talk you out of buying a home, I can do that because it wasn't the right fit but I know there will be a better one in the future. 

· Should I just call the listing agent? This goes along with the last question. The listing agent is supporting the seller's interest and not yours. Do you want to be negotiating with someone who works for the other side?  Is the listing agent going to make sure the house is a good fit for you? No, he works for the seller.  Would you go into a boxing match with your opponent's coach in your corner? Get yourself a buyers agent you can trust ( like me - wink wink)

· How many homes should I see before making an offer?  Up to you!  While home shoppers these days can look at hundreds of homes online, they usually see 10 houses on average before putting in an offer.  But keep in mind this varies for each person.  Some people find their home within hours of hunting,  others, it takes months.  If you want to streamline the process, it can help to really focus on a particular neighborhood you like; that said, if you feel limited by your options, it may be time to expand to surrounding areas.


Blog author image

Tom Garuccio

Operating with the mindset of relationships over transactions, I focus my real estate career on forming lasting relationships with my clients. I do this by providing the highest level of service and ....

Latest Blog Posts

Top 10 Home Products For Healthy Living

Creating a healthy home environment is essential for our well-being. From clean air to pure water, we all strive for a better quality of life. In this blog post, we will count down the top 10 home

Read More

The Current State of the Housing Market: A Shift in the American Dream

The past few years have witnessed unprecedented changes in the real estate market, and 2023 is no exception. The housing market is experiencing a notable slowdown in activity, brought about by a

Read More

7 Inexpensive and Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Home Before Selling

Are you gearing up to put your home on the market? Want to maximize its appeal without breaking the bank? You're in the right place! We've compiled a list of seven cost-effective and straightforward

Read More

7 Tips To Sell Your Home In 7 Days

So the time has come to move on from your beloved home, well what are you going to do? Currently, we have an unprecedented seller's market in my area of Northeast Ohio (and much of the country) but

Read More