Purchasing Your New Home

You have decided you want to purchase a home.  You have started shopping online using one of the many free websites.  You may have your eye on one home in particular, or there may be 20 that may meet your needs to varying degrees.  Now what?  Let me help!

To start, we are in a seller’s market, so purchasing a new home has its challenges!  Although it varies across price points and neighborhoods, buyers looking to purchase homes exceed the number of homes available.  This results in shorter market times, higher sale prices and sometimes multiple offers.  A desirable property that is priced well will have a shorter market time and potentially multiple offers, and you need a REALTOR who understands these circumstances.  You need to be ready to act when you see the right property for you at the right price, and you need to have looked at enough properties to know that it is the right property for you. 

When I suggest to some that they should get a REALTOR to start their in-person search, I often hear, “but I do not know what I want, so it would be a waste of your time.” Not so!  There is no better way to clarify your wants, needs and expectations than to be shown homes in person.  Even if nothing seems absolutely ideal for you from the photos online, seeing a property in person can alter your thinking of the home.  Even if it doesn’t, often showings clarify things you do NOT want.  Sometimes the process involves patience, and waiting for that “perfect” home to come on the market. If you start looking and then decide to wait, I will wait with you.

When you decide to purchase a home, there are three main steps you should follow.  As your REALTOR, I will take the time to help you go through these steps to find a home you can afford that meets your needs (and wants) for the best price possible. 

1. Determine Your Budget

What price can you afford?  Answering this question will make your online searching more helpful.  Contacting a lender to obtain a preapproval will help you set your budget.  The lender will also inform you of what cash amounts you will need to close, and whether you will require the proceeds (or elimination of debt) from the sale of your existing home to close on your purchase.  Once you know the amount of your preapproval and any conditions to be satisfied, we will take that into consideration when beginning our home search.      

As your REALTOR, I can help you locate and select a mortgage lender that will analyze your financial situation and inform you of the purchase price you can afford. 

2. List of Needs and Wants

Once you have a budget, you must decide where you want to look.  At first this may be an entire town or even a couple of towns.  Or it may be as specific as a list of subdivisions.  Next, you make a general list of characteristics you MUST have in a property, and then a list of characteristics you WANT in a property.  Examples of MUSTs include “we need to say in a specific school district” or “at least 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths”.  Some sample WANTs include a backyard playset or a central vacuum.

As your REALTOR, after we discuss your desired location and your list of MUSTs and WANTs, I will search the multiple listing service and show you properties that meet your criteria and budget.  Periodically we will revisit these criteria, as they will become more detailed as you continue the process. 

3. Purchase a Home

Once you have narrowed your search and you select a home to purchase, it is time to make an offer!  The initial offer commences negotiations, and my goal is to get you the best price possible given market conditions.  In this seller’s market, you may be up against multiple offers.  It is important to understand the value of the home you selected so that you don’t offer to low and lose to another bidder or offer too high when you could have closed at a lower, fair price.

As your REALTOR, and as a licensed Illinois attorney, I have many years of experience in negotiation of real estate contracts.   


Searching for a home can be a process, and a very personal one.  What you want in a home may evolve as you embark on the journey.   Selecting a new home that you love and can afford involves relationships, finances and your personal vision of where you will spend your free time; all things that are very private.  As your REALTOR, I would be honored to advise you on this journey.  I will keep all personal information I learn during this process confidential.