What to Expect - Buyers
What to Expect in a Residential Transaction

Buying a home involves several stages. Below is a list of the more common steps during a residential transaction.

Your situation may vary and it is best to contact your real estate professional for more information.

Common Steps for Buying a Home

Initial Meeting Select real estate agent Determine needs and wants Determine financial eligibility

Loan Qualification

  • Discuss finances
  • Obtain prequalification

    Find a Home

  • Select an affordable property that fits your needs
  • Discuss offer with agent
  • Buyer reviews contract with agent
  • Agent presents offer to selling side

    Present and Negotiate Offer

  • Buyer prepares "earnest money" deposit (typically, 1 to 3% of purchase price)
  • Seller accepts offer (Seller can accept your offer, counter your offer, or reject your offer)

    Open Escrow

  • Deposit "earnest money" into escrow
  • Escrow will order Preliminary Report

    Submit Loan Application

    Contingency Period

  • Conduct Physical Inspection of property by a qualified inspector
  • Approve seller's Transfer Disclosure Statement
  • Approve Preliminary Report
  • Conduct property appraisal
  • Obtain loan approval from lender
  • Perform termite inspection and certification

    Obtain Homeowner's Insurance

  • Select insurance company and coverage
  • Insurance will be in effect at close of escrow

    If applicable, obtain Home Warranty insurance

    Sign Documents

  • Chicago Title receives signed documents

    Down Payment

  • Need cashier's check or money transfer prior to closing date

    Closing the Escrow

  • Deposit down payment and closing costs to escrow
  • Lender sends balance of purchase price to Chicago Title
  • Deed is recorded with County Recorder's office
  • Get your keys and move in!