Finding a home that has the qualities you want and is within your budget is no easy feat. But there’s lots more to do before you move in.

Before you make an offer

These to-dos can be completed before or after you make an offer, but getting ahead of the game is a good idea.

■ Obtain a mortgage pre-approval to give you a good idea of how much you will be able to finance for your home.

■ Hire a real estate lawyer in case you have legal questions and so you’ll be ready when it’s time to close the deal.

After your offer is accepted

These items should be added to your list once your offer has been accepted.

■ Satisfy any conditions included with your offer, like conditional financing or a satisfactory home inspection.

■ Confirm financing by providing your lender with the signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Your lender may conduct an appraisal on the home.

■ Ask your real estate professional, family or friends to recommend a home inspector. There are also associations for home inspectors that can refer you. When selecting a home inspector, ask about their training, experience, certifications and approach to the home inspection process. Here’s your to-do list. If there is an issue with any of your conditions, you will need to speak with your real estate representative and your lawyer about your options. If all the conditions are satisfied, you will have to sign documents stating that each of the conditions are either waived or fulfilled. The offer will then become firm.

■ Once the deal is firm, your lawyer will help you close the transaction.

■ You might need to prove you have home insurance before your lender will release the mortgage funds.

Planning your move

■ If you’re renting, you’ll need to provide notice to your landlord.

■ If you already own a home, it’s a little more complicated. Ideally the move-in date for your new home will align with the date you move out of your existing home. If not, you may need to get a storage locker and stay with friends or family, or rent temporarily while you’re between homes. You might also need to talk to your lender about bridge financing if you will own both homes for a period of time.

Throughout this process, your registered real estate professional is a great resource. Make the most of their expertise as you work through these to-dos. Just remember, at each step of the way, you’re getting a little bit closer to your dream home.


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