What is the Home Buying Process?

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Are you considering buying a home, but you’re unsure of how the home buying process works? Fear not, for many, the home buying process may seem complicated, but there are a few key steps regardless of what type of property you are considering purchasing.

A home for sale sign is in a yard marked "sold."
The home buying process typically involves a few more steps than simply scouting homes, placing an offer, and becoming the new homeowner.

Steps of the Typical Home Buying Process

A common misconception in the home buying process is that the process begins once you have already found the home, condo, or townhome that you would like to purchase. In most cases, the process begins with determining how much home you can afford based on multiple factors and what loan amount a lender will approve you for.

A basic outline of the home buying process steps:

  1. Decide when you will be ready to purchase a home
  2. Calculate how much home or what mortgage you can afford
  3. Save up for a down payment and closing costs – in most cases, a down payment of 20 percent will be requested, and closing costs can be about 3-6 percent of the home’s value
  4. Get preapproved for a mortgage from your lender of choice
  5. Contact a real estate agent that you would like to work with
  6. Start the house-hunting process with online research and working with your real estate agent
  7. Once you find the home you would like to purchase, have your real estate agent place an offer
  8. Get a home inspection done
  9. Get a home appraisal done, asking the seller for repairs or credits towards things in the home that you might have to pay to fix as the new homeowner
  10. Complete a final walkthrough
  11. Officially close on your new home

Other Notes on the Home Buying Process

It is important to keep in mind that buying a home is unique to each individual, and unique each time you do it. While the steps above outline the typical home buying process, and include steps that you may need to complete (like getting a lender for your home loan and completing the closing process) in some cases the home buying process may include more or fewer steps. For instance, if a homeowner is very motivated to sell, they may cover the closing costs for you.


The home buying process can also take a long time or move quickly depending on your unique situation, how quickly you are approved for a mortgage from a lender, how soon you find the home you want to purchase, and how quickly the seller accepts your offer.


Are you interested in getting preapproved for a mortgage? We’re here to help!


We want our members to find the option that works best for their needs. We offer many options for those looking to purchase or refinance a home. Please give us a call at 800-835-3400 to speak with one of our Member Advisors, or contact us for more information. NMLS ID 666196