Home Purchasing Process and Timeframe for BuyersBuying a home in today’s market is tough. You want both to be picky and get the home you want, and to have as stress-free and efficient a process as possible. It’s important to have a bit of information to get it right from the very beginning. Explore an ultimate guide to a home purchase timeline for the real estate buyer so you can be sure to avoid serious and costly mistakes in the process.

Find the Best Realtor

Before you do anything else, you’re going to want to work with a great local expert realtor in Contra Costa County. The right realtor will not only help you find the perfect home, but they’ll be an invaluable ally throughout the entire process, through looking at properties, to advising you on negotiations, to appraisal and inspection, through to closing.

Find the Right Home

This is the fun part of purchasing a home, though it can also sometimes be frustrating. Here you’ll work with your Realtor to find the perfect home for you. You’ll compile a list of the right neighborhoods, your “must have” features, and properties you want to visit. Eventually, you’ll find a house that just speaks to everything you want.

Make Your Opening Offer

When you’ve found the right house, you’ll start the actual home purchasing process. This happens when you tender your opening offer. You’ll probably look at comparable sales in the area, compare them to what the seller is asking, and going a bit low.

Engage in Negotiations

From here the negotiation process begins. The owner will either accept your offer or counter. You’ll go back and forth until you reach a middle ground upon which you both agree. From here the home will enter into “contract” status. You’ve agreed to purchase, and will likely tender “hand money” for the seller to hold the property. But there’s still a bit of a way to go and you’ll still have outs if things occur that you didn’t foresee.

The Home Inspection Process

Next, you’ll want to schedule a home inspection. If you’re engaging in an FHA purchase, this will be mandatory to check for certain safety standards that have to be in place for FHA to back the loan. Even with an FHA loan, though, you’ll want a private inspector to see if there’s any major problems or repairs that need to be done.

Review the Inspection and Needed Repairs

When your inspection is done, look over the results and negotiate with the owner on any necessary repairs or updates that have to be performed. If they refuse, you may be able to back out of the sale.

Get an Appraisal

The next step is to get an appraisal. This will tell you if you’re paying too much for the home based on what it has to offer. It’s also essential to finalize your mortgage deal — almost no credible lender is going to give you money without one.

Look Over the Appraisal

Review the results of the appraisal. Talk to your mortgage broker and Realtor and get their thoughts on the deal moving forward.

Closing the Deal

Finally, the day comes when you can close the deal. This involves sitting down and signing reams of paperwork. Checks will be exchanged, hands will be shaken, and before you know it, you’re the owner of a new home!

Enjoy Your New Home!

The last step in the process is to enjoy your new home. Settle in, and congratulations! Hopefully, you and your new Contra Costa home will be together for many years to come.


When buying or selling a home, contact Elizabeth Russo, an experienced Contra Costa County Realtor.

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