The Essential Home Buyer's Guide 

Buying a home can be a complicated process, especially when you are selling a home at the same time, or relocating from out of state. Our home buyer guide walks you through how to prepare for the home purchase process with the least amount of stress.

Buying a Home in Denver, CO

Today’s home sellers have more access to the market than ever before. Tools like Zillow’s Zestimate give sellers a baseline price for their home, and cut-rate listing services provide sellers quick access to listing their home. However, sellers who have tried these avenues consistently contact us because they are frustrated with a lack of professionalism and execution.

Within the world of real estate sales, the adage, “you get what you pay for,” rings true. Picking the right real estate agent to sell your home will be the most critical decision you’ll make in this process. Do your research; ask friends for references, and read reviews on reputable sources such as Yelp. Choose wisely—you won’t know you made the wrong choice until it’s too late.

The Process of Buying a Home

KUDOS TO YOU! You have taken one of the most important steps you can take—you are considering buying a home! Simply put, there is nothing like owning your own home. Not only will there be an abundance of "pride of ownership," but you are also setting a path of wealth creation like no other. Homeownership builds wealth slowly overtime via the payments you make towards your mortgage each month and the appreciation of the real estate asset over time. In addition, you can deduct the interest on your home loan to save money on taxes, and the property tax is deductible. But beyond the wealth-generating benefits of owning a home, it's just plain awesome.

WHO ARE WE? We've been the top-rated real estate brokerage on Yelp since 2011 in the Denver Metro area, and we've helped 1000's of families find their perfect home here in beautiful Colorado. We take our jobs very seriously and work tirelessly to find the home that's right for you.

FIND THE PERFECT REAL ESTATE AGENT. A great agent will influence the location of your future home, the home itself, what you pay for the home, and the entire process from start to finish. First, start your search online, using directories like Yelp. Reviews on Yelp aren't influenced like those found on Zillow, Trulia, and other sites that allow direct submittal of reviews without verification. Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on the current housing market and are a great resource throughout the home buying process. In most cases, their service will be of no charge to you. In Colorado, most commissions are paid for by the seller.

FIND A GREAT LENDER. It helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Before you start looking for a home, you need to know how much you can afford and what your monthly payment will be. Getting pre-qualified is the initial step in the mortgage process, and it's relatively straightforward. You supply a bank or lender with your overall financial picture, including your debt, income, and assets. Once approved, the lender will send the pre-qualification letter to you and your real estate agent. Remember that loan pre-qualification does not include an analysis of your credit report or an in-depth look at your ability to purchase a home.

RESEARCH POTENTIAL LOCATIONS. Starting your search online is a great tool, but don't forget about other resources like magazines and local newspapers. Ensure to research schools, parks, and other parts of a community that is important to you. Research the average home prices where you may want to live. This is where a great real estate agent will strut their stuff. Ask questions about local amenities, restaurants, walkability, commute times, etc.—and see what your money will afford you in different areas of town. 5280 Magazine publishes an article each year (typically May) that highlights up-and-coming neighborhoods and areas expected to gain more appreciation than nearby neighborhoods. 303 Magazine, Denverite, and 360dwellings are great Facebook feeds to keep track of.

START HOME SHOPPING! Now on to the fun part­—you get to start looking at some homes. Get out there and look at what your dollar gets you in different areas of town. It's not uncommon to see between 10-25 homes before you find "the one." And when you do find it—you will know it. So trust your gut and then pounce. You don't want to miss out on a fantastic opportunity because of "paralysis by analysis."

MAKE AN OFFER FOR YOUR DREAM HOME. Once you find "the one," it's time to have your agent write an offer. Denver is a competitive market, and depending on price point, you may be engaging in a price war on a home that may receive multiple offers. Trust your Realtor and ask them for recommendations for price, dates, and terms that benefit you and put you in a position to win the deal.

YOUR OFFER WAS ACCEPTED. You are now under contract! Congratulations, the sellers signed your offer, and you are now officially under contract. This is where you will let your agent roll up their sleeves and get to work—the hard work has just begun. Your agent will guide you through the home inspection, appraisal, title, HOA & Due Diligence docs, property disclosures, loan conditions, and whatever else might pop up. We've seen about every scenario, so not much surprises us. We know how to navigate every hurdle.

GET YOUR HOME INSPECTED. Always hire a licensed home inspector to perform a thorough inspection. Depending on the size of the home, an inspection can take anywhere from 2-4 hours. You can attend the full inspection, but you can also attend the last hour based on your schedule. At this point, your inspector can give you a complete summary of any potential issues and show them to you firsthand. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect home. Whether the home is brand new or 100 years old, you will find potential issues. After the inspection, you will submit your wish list of repairs to the sellers via an inspection objection form. This will be another negotiation round on what the seller will and won't fix. The seller may opt to provide a financial concession to cover a repair.

WAIT FOR YOUR HOME APPRAISAL TO COME IN. If you need a loan for your new home, you will also need an appraisal. The lender engages appraisals on behalf of the buyer and at your expense. The purpose of an appraisal is to make sure that the home's purchase price does not exceed the actual value­—so the bank isn't getting into an upside-down deal.

FINALIZE YOUR LOAN. Once the appraisal is in and any appraisal objections have been finalized, your loan can be sent to final underwriting. This is the point where your loan is fully approved, and you will get an email from your lender stating your loan is completed, and closing documents have been sent to the title company. Your agent can now coordinate closing dates, and you will receive closing statements and disclosures from the title company. Review the closing settlement closely, and reach out to your agent, lender, and/or the title company with any questions you may have.

CLOSING TIME! The hard work is done, and it's time to take possession of your new home. You may be feeling a bit anxious­—it's common to have butterflies as you head to the closing table. Don't worry, though; your agent has been by your side for the last few months and will see it through to the very end.

GET SETTLED IN. Here comes the fun part. You are getting moved in. You're going to want to set up your new abode how you want it. We've got recommendations for movers, furniture stores, painters, handypersons, drywallers, remodelers, movers… you name it, we've usually got a contact. We're here for you long past the closing table to offer our professional and personal advice.

The Right Agent Makes All the Difference

The agent that you select will impact the home that you buy. Let that settle in for a moment. I'm amazed how often buyers will meet with a single agent, without doing any research on their sales history and reviews. We are committed to finding you the perfect home in the right location and earning your future business (and referrals)..

We look so very forward to working with you on what is likely one of the most significant investments you will make in your life. We plan to exceed your expectations every step of the way.