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REAL ESTATE: What to do before buying a home

By Janet Nettles – Owner/Broker

      Middle Tennessee Properties



  • If you haven’t worked with a REALTOR in a while, ask friends and family about their REALTOR. Interview several agents.
  • Set up appointments and ask questions. Among your questions ask if the REALTOR is a buyer’s agent, if he or she is educated in working with buyers.
  • A REALTOR will work in your best interest. He or she will guide you in finding the right property for you and your family.
  • He or she will negotiate with the seller’s agent, and guide you through the process of closing.


  • Once you have chosen a REALTOR, your agent can work with you in finding a lender.
  • Sit down and talk with a loan officer.  Ask what paperwork is needed in order to get a home loan. How much money do you need for closing cost and down payment?
  • How can you prove your credit scores? Higher scores equal lower interest rates.
  • Determine how much house you can afford. Don’t waste time looking at houses you can’t afford.
  • Decide what’s important to you in a house.  How many bedroom and bathrooms do you need or want?
  • What size house, what square footage?  Do you want a garage or carport?  One or two stories?
  • What school district? Inside or outside the city limits?
  • Once you’re pre-approved, your REALTOR can guide you to a home that is in your price range and meets the needs of your family.


  • Once you find the right home for your family, make an offer. Once you’re under contract it can take up to four to six weeks to close on a home.
  • Allow time to deal with any delays that may happen.


  • Once you are under contract your agent can help you choose a home inspector.
  • If the inspector finds things that need to be repaired, you can decide what to ask the sellers to repair and what you can repair yourself.


  • If your lender asks for something, get it to them in a timely manner.
  • Get the homeowner’s insurance on your new home. Remember to have the utilities changed over.
  • Do a final walk-through with your agent. Make sure the home is in the same condition it was when you went under contract, and that any agreed on repairs have been made.
  • The closing company will give you an exact amount of cash need to closing. Get a cashier’s check or give your bank wire information to the closing company.


  • Closing papers are signed! Congratulations, you are a homeowner!

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