Buyers Checklist

Here’s a simple “step-by-step” checklist to help you through the process of buying a house … and AVOID some of the most common headaches!

1) Create Your “Dream Home” Wish List

size of house

number of bedrooms


location (neighborhood or secluded, city or rural, etc)

house style(s)

price range

other important factors

2) Pay Off as Much Debt as Possible

student loans

credit cards

other loans/debt

3) Get a FREE Copy of Your Credit Report from all 3 Credit Agencies




4) Clean Up Your Credit Report as much as Possible

remove errors

remove negative items

5) Hire a Real Estate Agent

meet & interview

compare several agents

sign agreement to represent you as a home buyer

6) Get Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage

apply online or at your local bank

compare interest rates

compare fees

get letter of “pre-qualification”

7) Start House Hunting

MLS listings from your realtor

drive through town

8) Make an Offer to Buy the Home You Want

compare house values (

make an offer you can afford & is reasonable (not necessarily the maximum you can borrow)

9) Get a Home Inspection

hire a professional (preferably an engineer if you can afford)

observe the inspector during the inspection and ask questions read the report very carefully negotiate any problems the sellers may need to fix

10) Get Homeowners Insurance

get several quotes & compare premiums

discuss your needs with insurance agent to get the right coverage

11) Hire an Attorney

contact several real estate attorneys and compare fees and services

12) Do a Final Walk Through

“walk through” the house before closing

make sure any problems negotiated after the inspection are fixed

make sure nothing has changed, nothing is missing that should stay, etc.

13) Get Ready for Closing

set the closing date

contact your attorney to complete any paperwork

14) Start Packing

pack your belongings

compare movers or prepare to move yourself

consider that your new house may need some work before unpacking (cleaning, painting, etc.)

15) Close & Move

attend closing (with realtor), sign all paperwork & obtain the keys to the house

move into your new home

call your inspector if something important was missed during inspection

enjoy your new home!