Buyer's it's easy to buy from the owner

Step 1:  Know what you can afford. Ask a mortgage lender to pre-qualify or pre-approve you. Keep in mind there are many  mortgage programs out there other than conventional loans to help you, and rates and program offerings vary from one lending institution to another.

Step 2:  Start looking!  Call up the sellers of homes that interest you and schedule an appointment for a showing. Be courteous, if you change your mind about the visit be sure to call so the seller isn't waiting for you. 

Step 3:  Once you find the home you want, tell the seller you are interested in buying the home by making an offer. Be sure to consider whether appliances, window coverings, etc. are included in the price.  Discuss other points, such as when each of you would like to move and ideal closing dates.   If you don't agree right away on price and terms, don’t despair!  It 's good to allow some time to think it over, for both parties.  Usually the seller will make a counter-offer to resume the negotiating process.  It is important to take the ego out of the negotiation.  This should, and can, be a win-win situation for both parties.

Step 4:  After you and the seller have agreed on price and terms, be prepared to bind your offer to purchase with a deposit.  The deposit shows your interest to purchase is serious.  The deposit amount will depend on the purchase price and what the seller is willing to accept. The earnest money check should go into an escrow account.  For your protection, this should be set up with a bank or lawyer. Picket Fence sellers have all the forms and paperwork you'll need to make an offer, draft a contract and close the deal.

Step 5:  Be sure to specify in your contract any requirements you have, such as the house passing a satisfactory home inspection, or that your deposit be returned within a specified time if you do not qualify for financing (often the seller will request a pre-qualifying letter from the mortgage lender). A  lawyer is a good resource for advice too,  and can help you and the seller fine-tune details associated with the purchase. It is a good idea to have your lawyer review the Purchase and Sale Agreement before you sign! 

Step 6:  Complete the loan shopping process, if necessary.  Once you’ve decided upon the mortgage lender, get the loan process started.

Step 7:  When the loan is approved, notify the seller and your attorney, and finalize the closing date.

Step 8:  Attend the closing to sign the paperwork.  The closing is where the ownership is turned over to you.