A real estate purchase is relatively straightforward. There are a series of steps that you need to go through to create, sign and finalize a contract. Working with a real estate agent and attorney can help you protect your interests when you purchase a home.
To start with, you should make an offer and create a contract for that offer. Your attorney or real estate agent helps create a binding contract that you sign. Your signature means that you are committed to moving ahead with the purchase, but you can include contingencies. For example, you might state that you'll go ahead with the purchase if there is a home inspection by a third party or only if you can get a loan approval.
Another step that takes place is the disclosure review. The seller has to give you disclosure documents that tell you about any flaws the property has. If the seller did work without permits, for instance, you'll want to know that before you buy the home. If you don't know this and the city finds out that part of the property is illegal later, you could find yourself in trouble.
Most people want to go through an appraisal to make sure they know how much the home is worth. With that and an inspection, it's easier to get a loan approved by the bank or lender. Inspections also help you guarantee that your home purchase is one that doesn't come with unexpected flaws, like termites or water damage.
After the inspection, you can go through the loan approval process and a final walk through. You want to do a final walk through to guarantee that nothing has changed since you first saw the home. Check to make sure everything still looks as expected. If not, you can reach out to your attorney and real estate agent to discuss changes to the contract or to pull out your bid on the home.
Finally, you'll go through the closing procedure. Once it's finalized and all funds and titles are transferred, you'll have a new home that you can move into in accordance with the contract.