Thinking about buying?

Whether your first home, or your tenth home, purchasing a house is a big investment. It is important that you make the right decisions and find the right home. Below are the steps you will need to take when purchasing a home.


Find a realtor as soon as you are ready to begin the home buying process. Some buyers go to a lender first before coming to a realtor. We can help you get prequalified for a loan if you come to us first. Our Realtors at 616 REALTY are here to help, and would love to hear from you.

Questions you can expect your realtor to have for you include: 

  • Have you been pre-approved? 
  • Have you talked to a lender? 
  • What are your needs or interests in a home? This includes the desired area, school district, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, size, budget, and more

Determine how much you can afford

We can refer you to some resources that can help determine this amount. This also can depend on your approval and you may need to refer to your lender. We have lenders we can recommend you go to, including local lenders. It’s nice to be able to walk into an office or meet with a lender in person during the process.

Going to multiple lenders is a good idea usually to compare rates, but if you have a higher risk of getting a loan, it may be harder to shop around. You should get prequalified for a loan when you are ready to seriously start looking.

Set Up Showings

Your realtor can set up showings for homes that fit your needs and wants, work with selling agents, and help you during the walkthroughs of any homes you look at.

Write an Offer

After you find your dream home, it is time to write an offer! Your realtor will do an in-depth search of other properties that have sold in the area, and help you determine a fair price to offer on the home. They’ll help you complete the paperwork and send it to the listing agent. At this point, the Seller can accept your offer, counter it, or simply turn it down.

There are several decisions and tactics buyers use nowadays, that you may consider consider when writing offers:

  • Escalation clause
    This is a pledged offer amount or percent above any competing offer, up to a cap price. 
  • Waiving home inspection
    If you’re comfortable with that, it is becoming more common. 
  • Appraisal gap
    Guaranteed amounts - no matter what it’s appraised for, a price floor is promised to the seller.
  • Earnest money deposit
    Earnest money is a deposit to the seller that they keep if the buyer doesn’t purchase the home. Basically, it is protection that the buyer won’t turn down the home based on a small issue in the inspection. The buyer would lose this deposit if they found something big in the inspection and decided not to buy. 
  • Personal letters to the seller
    Writing a buyer’s personal letters to the seller, telling them who is buying the home, and why you love the home, can make a personal connection.

Closing on your home

If you’re in a hot market and within a certain price range, you can expect there is a deadline for offers. Your agent will let you know how many offers you can expect to compete with. You usually hear within 24 hours after the deadline if there are multiple offers. If there is only one offer and no deadline, you can also expect to hear back quickly. 

At closing, you’d go to a title company. You should have your itemized closing costs in hand, and you’ll get the official statement before the appointment with the title company. Usually closing costs are around 3% of purchase price if you’re escrowing your taxes. If not, they can run around $2500. 

Bring a cashier’s check for the closing costs to the title company, and a form of ID, like a drivers incense, or passport. The timeline from offer to closing is usually between 30-40 days.


House - Graceland

It is difficult. There are alternative financing options, but there is no easy way to buy with bad credit. Your target credit score should be 630 or above. If you are close to that, there are ways different lenders can help you find ways to raise your credit score quickly. Unless you have a bankruptcy or foreclosure on your report, within a year you can make a lot of difference in your credit score with some focused effort and the help of your lender.

If you qualify for a VA loan or a rural development loan, you can. You’d want to find a lender who works with those types of loans if you qualify for either one of those. Some lending programs have 1% down options, or even down payment assistance, but they're not as prevalent.

FHA loans typically ask for 3.5%. With really good credit scores you can get as low as 3% down with a conventional loan.

As far as costs of working with a realtor, note that realtor fees are not the best setup for the buyer, compared to agent success fees. Agent success fees are paid when the deal is done at closing rather than paying before, or during the search.

Prepare for a good faith or earnest deposit in the case of an accepted offer. That amount depends on the price of the home, and you lose it if you walk away after the 10 day inspection period. Otherwise, it’s credited at closing or returned if you find something in the inspection that causes the offer to be cancelled.

Consider the cost of home inspections as well, which can run around $400-$500 and up.

There are a lot of misconceptions about first time home buyer loans. Sometimes some areas or lenders have these kinds of incentivized loans, but most do not truly offer first time home buyer loans.

We do get notice sometimes on houses that are coming up on the market soon, or that have sellers who desire limited offers or showings to their listing.

Cynthia Foley

Scot was amazing. It was such a pleasure to work with him. It was a little challenging since I live out of state but he made it so easy.
Scot, as well as Jackie (in the office), were so incredibly friendly and professional. Any questions or concerns I had were addressed quickly.
I highly recommend them!

Mallory Claeys

616 as a whole is an amazing company, but I specifically worked with Cait a lot. She helped me so much through the whole home buying process. Being my first home, there was a lot that I didn’t know and she made it so easy! Even after buying my home, if I have a question I know I can text Cait and get a quick reply. She’s always willing to help with anything in her power. Not only an amazing realtor, but just an overall wonderful person! 10/10 recommend!!

Tayler Holmes

Great company to work with. Excellent service throughout the whole selling and buying process. I would recommend Pam and the 616 team if you are looking for efficient, informative, and effective service.

Kaylen Williams

I had a really good experience selling my house with 616 Realty. Scot was very responsive and helpful. I would recommend them to anyone.