Steps to Buying

Buying a home?

Step One - Visit a mortgage lender and get pre-approved for a home loan. This is very important to ensure you’re looking in the correct price range. In addition, that pre-approval letter should at attached to any offer, to show the Seller you are qualified to purchase their home.

Step Two -  Pick a Realtor that you know and trust. Call them with a list of your “needs” such as how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, in town, in the country, etc., plus, let them know if there are features you do NOT want such as a lot of steps, fixer-upper, etc.

Step Three - The Realtor will suggest homes to check out closely by either e-mailing them to you or meeting with you to talk about the possible properties. The Realtor will make appointments to see the homes you would like to consider.

Step Four - Visit the properties with your Realtor, to see if it fits your needs and to see if you like the home. This could be simply looking at one home or looking at several homes. If you plan to see several homes, the first visit is typically a quick look to narrow the search. You can always go back to check it out closer.

Step Five - Submit an offer to purchase the one you would like. Your Realtor will fill out all the legal paperwork includes a Purchase Agreement and understanding the Property Disclosure sheets provided for the property.

Step Six - Your Realtor will present your offer to the homeowners Realtor. A Buyer can expect one of three results: Yes, offer accepted. No, offer declined. Or they will submit a Counter Offer, which may keep some of the terms of your offer and change those that they don’t agree with. Negotiations on a purchase is normal. Don’t get offended or defensive; simply offer what you feel comfortable offering and be prepared to negotiate to something both you and the Seller will like. Keep in mind, the “Seller rules” meaning he or she owns the home and decides for certain what will or will not be acceptable to purchase their property.

Step Seven - As soon as everyone is happy with the offer, the Realtor will be sure you sign everything that finalizes the agreed upon changes. This is a legally binding contract, so think it through carefully. Within 24 hours of an accepted offer, the Buyer will need to pay “earnest money”. This money goes towards the final purchase price of the home, but could be lost to the Seller if the Buyer changes their mind.

Step Eight - The Realtor will assist, if needed, with suggestions for inspections, within a designated time period of the accepted offer. All inspections are paid by the Buyer and are not required, but are a good idea to give the Buyer the general condition of the home. Needed repairs or safety issues can often be negotiated to be fixed between the Buyer and the Seller.

Step Nine - The Realtor and the Lender will order title work, which shows the property can be sold free and clear of any debt; let the appraiser onto the property to appraise the value; provide comparable's if needed, order the Deed, plus will schedule the closing with the a closing agent. At closing, the home changes hands and when you walk out, you are the proud owner of your own home!


Joni Hansen
Fischer Rounds Real Estate
125 E. Dakota Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501