Real Estate Articles December 12, 2023

Home Search Steps 101

The process of beginning a home search can be quite overwhelming! But, it does not need to be. With a few simple tips, you can be organized and ready to go out looking at property. Take a deep breath, and let out a sigh of relief because we have some great home search steps for you!

Credit Score Meter

Credit Check

Your credit score is important during the home buying process. Because it will help lenders, they can determine whether or not you are a risky candidate when you are applying for a home loan. Not only does your credit score determine whether or not you will get a loan, but if you are eligible for a loan. It will also determine how much interest you will have to pay on that loan.

Clean it up

If you do not have good credit, you may not get approved for a home loan. However, your credit score is not set in stone. There are ways that you can improve it. If you need guidance, talk to your lender. They may be able to point you in the right direction and give you resources to help clean things up. It may take some time, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Talk to a lender for a home loan

Get in contact with a local lender, or the lender that was hepling you with you credit. In this stage, that lender will look into your credit for getting pre-qualified for a loan. They will also figure out how much you are able to afford to spend on a new home. They will ask you a series of questions pretaining to financials. Anwser the questions to the best of your knowlegde. Don’t stretch the truth! That will come back to bite you later in the loan process!

Realtor search

We can help you find one of those! All our Realtors are experts in their field and will be able to guide you through the entire home buying process. Realtors have access to a database of the listings in the area and can set up times to show you the homes that interest you. They can help you set realistic goals and expectations, and they can help you find the home of your dreams that fits into your budget. Trusting your Realtor is very important! They know the business and the area. Not only that, but they truly do have your best interests in mind. They represent you as a buyer, and they will do whatever they can to help you.

Your search timeframe

The process of buying a home can take some time, and there can be unexpected bumps in the road. If you start early, there will be less stress to find something at the last minute. However, dwelling too long and not making a decision can be detrimental too. In the current market high quality homes get scooped up quickly. You will have to make a move to get what you want. The next few tips will help you determine if a home is right for you quickly. 

Do your area homework


Your realtor will be able to help you better understand the dynamics and features of the neighborhoods you are looking in. Each area has a different demeanor.

 Visit a few and see which one suites you best. However, it is a good idea for you to know what kind of neighborhood you are looking to live in. If you are looking for a home in a particular school district or a home that has access to a community pool, you may want to focus your search on a few particular neighborhoods.

Make your lists

Sometimes it is hard to find the absolute “perfect” house when your expectations are extremely high. Who doesn’t want a home with an in-ground pool, finished basement, top notch applicanes, and a home gym? However, it is important in your home search steps to figure out what is truly important to you and your family compared to what is something that would simply be nice to have. It would be a shame to overlook a beautiful home with a lot of potential simply because it didn’t have a certain cosmetic feature that you thought you needed. Bring your wants and needs lists with you when looking at homes.

Start lookin’

Get an idea of what is out on the market by searching for homes online. There are many home searching tools out there. However, be aware that there are some sites that inaccurately estimate the value of some homes, which can create unrealistic expectations. If you see a home that interests you, contact your Realtor. They can find out more information on that property or find something similar.

Now, lets recap your home search steps! You will need to:

  1. Check up on your credit score and determine if it needs a boost.
  2. Clean up your credit with the help of a trusted lender or credit repair program.
  3. Talk to a lender about getting a home loan. They will give you a pre-qualification letter that you will show your Realtor
  4. Find a real estate agent. Interview or speak to a few. Make sure you mesh well since this person will be woking for you.
  5. Establish your home search timeframe.
  6. Figure out where you want to live. Research schools, commuter times, and more.
  7. Create your needs and wants lists for home features
  8. Get in touch with you Realtor and start recieving listings to view.

If you enjoyed Home Search Steps101, make sure to check out ERA Liberty’s other blog articles. We blog about all things real estate, local eats, and happenings in and around our community.

For all your home buying or selling needs, ERA Liberty Realty is always there for you! We are here to help you no matter where you are, we have agents licensed in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, or Washington DC! Reach out today to get your real estate journey started!