Our Step by Step Home Buying Process

Step 1: Get Pre-Approved

Before you can start the process of searching for a home you need to get in contact with a mortgage lender and get pre-approved so you know exactly how much you can afford, and what price range you should be looking in.  This is extremely important so you can really zero in on something that fits your budget.

All you have to do is call a mortgage lender, they will ask you some financial questions, pull your credit, and give you a list of documents they need from you.  Those documents typically are bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns to name a few.  It typically takes a few days to process your pre-approval. 

Step 2: Meet With An Agent

Most buyers will start just searching properties online well before they are ready to move.  We understand that buyers search at very different paces and timeframes.  Some jump in running and are ready to buy right away, but most others are at least 6-12 months or more away from purchasing a home.  We will not push you or be overbearing.  When you are ready we are hopeful you will feel we did a great job of communicating and assisting you that you would retain our services.

When you are getting closer to officially starting your search, we recommend setting a face to face meeting so we can discuss the process and answer any questions you have.  Our buyer agency services are always free to our buyer clients which is a great benefit to have when buying a home.  Some agents will charge you garbage transaction fees but we do not.  We are extremely flexible, very accessible, and always accountable to you buy giving you the right to cancel our services anytime.  All agents are required to have state mandated buyer agency agreements signed by the buyers they represent.  We offer all buyers a cancellation clause that allows you to cancel our services at anytime for any reason.  This keeps you in complete control. 

Step 3: Set Up A Custom Home Search

These days with all the real estate technology you can search homes on just about any public real estate website and all the sites have the EXACT SAME properties on them.  Many buyers think they will find that hidden property on different websites and that is completely incorrect.  They all receive the same data feed from the South Central Wisconsin MLS system so they are all the same.  

For the most accurate and up to date list, we will customize your search directly in the main MLS system that only agents have access to.  This search can eliminate properties with accepted offers and only send you properties that are actually active for sale.  The system will send you instant emails when new properties matching your criteria hit the market.  Most public sites take 24-48 hours to get you the new information and when there is lots of competition from other buyers this is not quick enough.

Step 4: Start Looking At Homes

Let us know what properties you want to see, and we will coordinate times for you to see all of them.  You will need to move quickly so be prepared to submit an offer once you come across something you really like.  If you hesitate many times it will be gone.  We can help you try and determine if something may go quickly or not and days on the market is usually a big defining factor.  We understand that all buyers have their process they want to go through mentally so not everyone is comfortable with jumping at something quickly.  We will absolutely give you space to have your process but advise you on what to expect.  Its takes many buyers missing out on a house they love because they were slow to pull the trigger to really understand the urgency.

Step 5: Making An Offer

Each house you have serious interest in, we will do a detailed analysis and let you know what similar properties in the area have sold for and give you our opinion of value, what to offer, and what to expect.

Whichever home you decide on, we will make sure that offer is built with proper contingencies, timeframes, and discuss earnest money deposit and other upcoming items to prepare for.

Step 6: Offer Negotiations

Its not always that common that a seller would accept your initial offer.  There is typically several factors that all need to align for both parties to reach an accepted offer.  Common factors include price, earnest money amount, closing cost credits, closing date, home warranty, and contingency timelines.  The seller would send a counter offer form back with the items they want to change from your original offer.  If those terms are acceptable to you, you sign it and the offer is accepted.  If not, you can make changes by sending a counter offer back to the seller.  This back and forth typically is about 1-2 times before acceptance.  Rarely does it go back and forth more times then that.

Step 7: Offer Acceptance

We will send you the full completed and signed contract with a list of deadlines that you need to follow.  We will send a copy of that contract to your mortgage lender and follow up with them weekly to make sure everything is on track.  Some lenders you really need to babysit to keep pushing them along.  We will provide you with the mailing address and name for your earnest money check, coordinate your home inspections, and set up closing with the title company.

Step 8: Inspections and Financing

Once the earnest money is submitted and the inspections are scheduled, next steps are to continue to move the financing process forward by being very prompt sending any required documents to your lender and performing the home inspection and negotiating repairs.  

Allowable inspection repairs all depends on the situation and the 2 parties agreement to those items.  As your agent we will read the entire report, and advise you what we feel are reasonable request to submit to the seller for repairs.  You have the right to request whatever you want to be repaired, but we will simply advise you on what is reasonable or not.

Step 9: Closing

We will confirm all contract paperwork is in order and all contingencies are met.  We will confirm with your lender that all mortgage documents are ready to go for the closing.  We will review the settlement statement with you to make sure all charges are accurate and you know how much money you need to bring to closing.

Step 10: After Closing

Now that you are the proud new owner of your home, we will stay in contact at a minimum of 2x per year to touch base and see how things are going and if we can answer any questions for you.  We will give you names of contractors or handymen if you need any work done on your house if you are looking for someone to help you out.  With all the years in this business we have complied an extensive list of reputable contractors that we trust enough to refer to you if you are in need.

Call or text 608-218-4190 or email brad@bradbret.com with any questions about the process or to set up a time to meet with us.

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