Carlos & Olga Arce

The steps in the buying process listed below may vary with different localities, but they provide a good guide for the things to look for, when you decide to purchase a property in the real estate market.  This is followed by a section on the steps to follow after the purchase is completed in a contract closing, which are also important.

We provide this information free of charge to clients, other realtors and the public at large as a voluntary public service.

Steps in the Buying Process

  1. Make a final family decision to buy.
  2. Select a realtor to work for you.
  3. Secure financing from a mortgage lender (avoid other significant transactions until closing).
  4. Select the area in the map.
  5. Look for and find the property.
  6. Make the written offer to the seller, with the initial escrow deposit.
  7. Negotiate the purchase of the property.
  8. Sign the final purchase contract.
  9. In condominium transactions, obtain copy of the condo documents.
  10. Make the second deposit to complete the escrow amount.
  11. Complete the mortgage loan application with all required documentation and payments.
  12. Select the title company or other closing agent.
  13. Order and pay for the professional inspection of the property.
  14. Possible negotiation over the result of the inspection.
  15. Possible negotiation over the result of the property appraisal.
  16. Complete home owners association application and make payment of application fee.
  17. Attend home owners association interview, if required.
  18. Purchase a home owners insurance policy (usually not required for condominiums).
  19. Make final arrangements with a moving company, or other resources.
  20. Make final arrangements to have all funds available for closing.
  21. Make final arrangements for any possible use of "power of attorney" documentation.
  22. Make final arrangements for any possible use of "mail away" closing.
  23. Notify utilities and services of closing date: electric, water, cable, telephone, subscriptions…
  24. Complete all packing, if moving the day of closing.
  25. Make certified check or wire transfer in the name of the title company.
  26. Make baby-sitting arrangements to avoid bringing children to the closing.
  27. Conduct a walk-through inspection of the property.
  28. Bring driver's license or other picture identification to the closing.
  29. Have workable contingency plans ready, for any last minute delay in the closing date.
  30. Get the keys to your new home.


Things to Do After Buying

  1. Change locks and copy keys.
  2. Change postal address.
  3. Homestead application.
  4. Change address on subscriptions, banks, credit accounts, etc.
  5. Notify friends and relatives of new address.
  6. Register with Home Owners Association
  7. Contract with local service companies: landscaping, extermination, pool maintenance, etc.
  8. Explore the neighborhood with the family: restaurants, beauty salon, post office, theatre, etc.
  9. Identify location of emergency services: Police, FBI, Fire/Emergency, Hospital/Emergency Room
  10. Meet the neighbors.
  11. Thank God for your new home.