A Step-by-Step Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.

A Timeline of Events

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Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.

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Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.

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Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.

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Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.

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Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

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Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.

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Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.

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Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

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Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.

Congratulations!

After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Liza is a fantastic real estate partner who goes beyond the call of duty for service and support in every way. I have relied on her both for the sale of a home and also for the purchase of a new one. She stepped in seamlessly to help support me in a purchase when her partner had a conflict of interest due to a competing offer from another client and drove the negotiation to lead to success. I was so impr...

— Sue

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
If you are looking for a real estate agent who is creative, organized, friendly, and detail-oriented, look no further than Liza. Liza set us up for success from the first meeting. She is incredibly organized and always follows up to make sure that you are on top of deadlines and upcoming events. Liza listened to our needs as sellers and crafted an amazing plan to sell our property. She helped negotiate t...

— Ali

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Liza is highly personable, listens well, and is absolutely on top of her tasks. She communicates very well, knowing when to lean into a client with advice and when to allow the client to process. She is always readily available, and has an established relationship with another real estate professional who is similarly amazing, should she need to be absent. Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. Liza was ex...

— Emily

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Liza helped us find the perfect ski condo in Deer Valley. Her responsiveness and communication were excellent, and her knowledge of the local market and current climate helped make the transaction very smooth. This was very reassuring since we conducted the transaction from out of state, Liza did a fantastic job of coordinating with the seller's agent, title company, and contractors. We will highly recom...

— Holly

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
We first contacted Liza 7 months ago when looking for a Park City lot she had listed. We weren’t able to get that lot but we’re able to describe what we were looking for. She was very patient with our budget and sent us information on available options over the next few months. We ended up finding a wooded lot that worked great for us. Liza was helpful during the buying process and everything worked out ...

— Travis

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Liza’s patience, persistence, and depth of knowledge of all things Park City help us find our Deer Valley Ski Home. She helped us not only pick the best unit for our family but guided us thru the process with enormous attention to detail. Liza’s professionalism exceeded our expectations even after the transaction was complete.

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Liza is the listing agent on a beautiful property we visited in Park City recently. We’ve been looking for years for our perfect home, interacting with a lot of agents, and Liza exceeded our expectations with her local knowledge, her ability to answer all questions on the house, and simply her professional and personable demeanor.

— Prospective Client

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Liza was wonderful to work with. She had a firm grasp of the market and our property. She prepared us for the process of selling our home well before we brought it to market so we were prepared for all of the variables that come with selling. I wish I could give her six stars! Thank you, Liza.

— Sophie

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Liza has assisted my wife and me in two real estate transactions - buying and selling. Her knowledge of the local market was impressive. She showed great flexibility and patience in working with us long distances. It was truly a pleasure working with her.

— Jeff

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Liza was amazing helping my husband and I find the perfect home from start to finish. She showed attention to all details. Liza was extremely professional and I would highly recommend contacting Liza if you need help with buying or selling your home.

— Jill

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Liza’s patience, persistence and depth of knowledge of all things Park City help us find our Deer Valley Ski Home. She helped us not only pick the best unit for our family but guided us thru the process with an enormous attention to detail. Liza’s professionalism exceeded our expectations even after the transaction was complete.

— Meg

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Liza was great to work with. Patient while we found exactly what we wanted. Then, even in a crazy competitive market, she swooped up our dream condo.

— Sophie

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