Home Buying Checklist
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy, clarity, and style by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and attorneys and in accordance with our editorial standards.
The last updated date refers to the last time this article was reviewed by FindLaw or one of our contributing authors. We make every effort to keep our articles updated. For information regarding a specific legal issue affecting you, please contact an attorney in your area.
Buying a home is a complicated procedure. If you aren’t organized, it can quickly overwhelm you. It’s important to stay on top of the process since mistakes could potentially result in you missing out the opportunity to buy your dream home. This checklist will help you stay on track when you’re buying a home.
__ Think about what your requirements for a new home are (size, location, schools, etc.)
__ Figure out what you can afford. See FindLaw’s Checklist to Help You Decide if You're Ready to Buy A Home for help.
__ Determine what you can spend on a down payment
__ Investigate the neighborhoods that you would like to live in. Are they convenient, livable? What is the crime rate there?
__ Research the type of mortgage you want
__ Speak to a number of different lenders and mortgage brokers to learn more
__ Look for the lowest interest rate and most favorable terms
__ Obtain pre-approval for your loan
__ Ask friends, family, neighbors and co-workers about real estate agents
__ Pick a real estate agent who knows the neighborhood, who come highly referred, and who you get along with
__ Research homes in your desired neighborhoods and ask your agent to set up a showing
__ Research the fair market value of homes you’re interested in
__ As the seller why they are looking to sell the house
__ Discuss any liens, easements, or restrictions on the property
__ Make an offer and begin negotiations
__ Be sure to include contingency clauses, inspection clauses, liquidated damages clauses, and special requests in the purchase agreement. See FindLaw’s Home Sale Contracts for more information
__ Set the amount of earnest money with the seller
__ Establish a move-in date (don’t forget that liquidated damages clause!)
__ Sign the purchase agreement
__ Conduct a home inspection, making sure that it includes a pest inspection as well
__ Obtain home insurance
__ Pick an escrow agent
__ Pick a title company to research the title to the property and issue title insurance
__ Go over closing documents with your real estate agent
__ Review the settlement statement to get an idea of the closing costs
__ Pay the closing costs
__ Start moving in!
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified real estate attorney to help guide you through the home buying process.