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18 Steps of the Homebuying Process [Infographic]

18 Steps in the Homebuying Process

Are you in the market to buy a home but worried you might forget something along the way? Follow these steps and you will surely have a smooth homebuying journey. From the first thought of becoming a home buyer to move-in day, this infographic guide will prepare you for the entire process so you can worry about more important things, like decorating 😉.

18 Steps in the Homebuying Process Infographic


Step 1. Assess your personal and financial readiness

Educate yourself and prepare for the journey. Try free online tools such as those at to help you create your home wishlist, estimate how much you can afford and learn what to expect during the process.

Step 2. Find a Realtor & Sign a Buyer/Broker Agreement

There's a reason that 87% of homebuyers use a real estate agent when buying a home, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2022 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report. However, most people don't know about all the ways an agent can help them during the homebuying process. Check out the 14 things an agent can do for you. And if you don't have an agent, we can help! It’s very important to have Buyer Representation.


Step 3. Find a Lender & Start Mortgage Pre-Approval Process

Before you start your home search, apply for a loan through the Lender. It's good to shop around for a mortgage loan. Your Real Estate Agent will have great local recommendations to help you through this process.

Detour to Credit Repair: If the Lender determines your credit isn’t where it needs to be, seek credit restoration. You likely won't be able to buy a house until your credit is repaired. When your credit score is where it needs to be, your lender will pre-approve you and you can move on to your home search!


Step 4. Start Your Home Search

Once approved by the Lender, your Realtor will set you up with a home search that meets your criteria. Play the Home Pinwheel game to help figure out your favorite home style. If you have used the Journey Homeward tool, be sure to give your Ready Report to your Realtor so they know all about your home wishes.

And if you need help on how to find your dream home, here are some tips!

Step 5. Tour Homes to Find the One

Shop for homes with your Realtor by visiting them and keeping a home tour journal. Be sure to follow the 10 commandments of home touring!


Step 6. Make an Offer & Negotiate

Once you find the home of your dreams, your Realtor will help you write a Purchase Agreement. Be sure you (or your Agent) do your research before structuring your offer and write in contingencies that protect you. Discuss terms with the seller until you get the best price and terms for you.

Step 7. Offer Accepted

Once your offer is accepted, give your Earnest Money Deposit to your Realtor or Title Company and deliver the contract to all parties for due diligence. Send a copy of the contract to:

  • The Title Company so they can work their magic behind the scene. They will conduct a Title Search and make sure the property you are purchasing is marketable.
  • Your Lender so they can get your Mortgage Application through to Underwriting. When they ask for information or documents, provide them as quickly as possible to prevent delays.

Detour back to Step 5: If your offer is rejected or the home is sold to someone else, it’s time to go back to the home search. Sorry!


Step 8. Conduct all necessary inspections

Each state is different in regards to who pays for these inspections, but make sure you have the following inspections:

  1. Home Inspection
  2. Termite Inspection
  3. Well and Septic Inspection (if applicable)

Detour back to Step 8: If any of these don't pass, you'll need to consult your purchase contract for next steps.

Step 9. Order HOA documents: (If applicable)

Make sure the HOA documents are ordered if they are needed.

Step 10. Homeowners Insurance

Shop around for the best coverage after you apply for your loan. The lender will plug in the quoted amount on your good faith estimate to calculate your monthly payment.

Step 11. Appraisal

The Lender will order the Appraisal as part of your Mortgage Application. Make sure your Appraisal and Loan are approved before moving on to the next step.

Detour back to Step 8: If this isn't what you were hoping for, you'll need to consult your purchase contract for next steps.

Step 12. Seller Repairs

If any repairs need to be done, these are often done befor Settlement & Closing.

Step 13. Final Walkthrough

Once it is determined that the property passed the appraisal, conduct a final walkthrough of the property the day before or the morning of closing to inspect and make sure repairs were done, home is empty, etc.

Step 14. Transfer Utilities

Remember to transfer utilities, phone, electric, etc., into your name prior to closing.


Step 15. Review the Settlement Statement

Make sure everything is correct before you sign!


Step 16. Title Insurance

The Closing Company or Attorney will help you understand options for Title Insurance.

Step 17. Closing

Finally, closing day! Attend closing to sign Closing Documents for property and loan.

  • Ensure money for closing has been delivered to the closing agency
  • Receive your keys!

Step 18. Move in and enjoy your new home! 😊

It's time to move in! Here are some tips to make it the easiest move ever.

And just like that, Taa Daa! You’re now a new Homeowner!

Want more homebuying advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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