Looking to Buy?

Philadelphia is one of the most historic and distinguished real estate markets in the country, and we understand that making the decision to buy a home here can be a particularly overwhelming experience.

From mastering the difference between condos, single and multi-family units, to planning for closing costs, there is a lot to learn. That is why we have created this Buyer’s Guide — to set you on the right path to owning your perfect home!

  • Download the Buyer Guide Today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How to Buy a Home

14 Steps to Buying a Home in Greater Philadelphia

Choosing the Right Real Estate Partner
Choosing the Right Real Estate Partner

Interview experienced REALTORS® who know the areas in which you are interested. We will set up a custom home search Collection for you so we can collaborate about the market together. We work as your advocate and trusted advisors to help guide your search and get you through the home buying process as easily as possible.

Get Pre-Approved
Get Pre-Approved

The first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan (unless you will be paying cash for your home purchase). We can connect you with proven, local mortgage lenders who offer competitive interest rates and desirable financing packages and options. Based on your income and credit history, the lender will determine how much they can lend you, which will help determine the price range for your search. They will also provide you with an estimate of all closing costs based on your loan amount.

Visit Properties
Visit Properties

We will guide and inform you during showings and open houses spanning a range of areas and property types. Now is the time to consider your home’s amenities and accessibility needs. Google Satellite is a great way for you to view homes right in your Collection in the map function. We will provide an analysis of the area of the home when you find one you like to help you make a decision to place an offer. We will also share the Seller’s Property Disclosure and any other available documents.

Make an Offer
Make an Offer

Once you have seen a home you like, you submit an “offer”—the Agreement of Sale—a legally binding contract which outlines the price, terms, contingencies and timing of the purchase. As your agents, we will recommend an offer strategy, prepare all offer paperwork, guide you through the competitive landscape and negotiate the best offer for you.

Execute Agreement of Sale and Make Deposit
Execute Agreement of Sale and Make Deposit

After all negotiations are finished, you and the Seller will sign off on the Agreement of Sale which executes your contract. You will submit a Good Faith Deposit (or escrow) to secure the home that is held in a non-interest bearing account at the Seller’s brokerage. It is protected by the contingencies in the Agreement. We will provide you with a schedule of all mandatory due dates and will work with all parties to ensure dates are met.

Home Inspections
Home Inspections

You are entitled to hire any licensed inspector you choose. We will provide recommendations for inspectors we have excellent experiences with and will coordinate the inspections for you and ensure all contractual timelines are adhered to. We will attend the inspections with you and will negotiate your reply to the seller. You will either accept the property as is, request credits or repairs or cancel the transaction and get your Good Faith Deposit returned.

Complete Loan Application
Complete Loan Application

You will complete an application with your chosen lender. They will organize the appraisal and obtain all the documents needed from you for your loan approval so you receive your “clear to close.”

Title Search and Title Insurance Policy
Title Search and Title Insurance Policy

Title costs are set by the Commonwealth of PA and are part of your closing costs. The estimate for these costs is included by the lender in your pre-approval. Title insurance protects property buyers and mortgage lenders against defects or problems with a title when there is a transfer of property ownership. The title company used will conduct a title search to
ensure you will purchase the home with clear title. Settlement will also be conducted and hosted by the title company. Your title search must be ordered in 7 days unless negotiated otherwise. We will coordinate this process for you.

Review Development Regulations and Financials (only for Homeowner and Condo Associations)
Review Development Regulations and Financials (only for Homeowner and Condo Associations)

If you are buying a home in an HOA or Condo development, you will have the opportunity to review the rules, regulations and financials and be sure there are no issues or concerns. If you object to the items in these documents within the contractual timeline, you are generally able to get out of the Agreement and get your Good Faith Deposit back.

Acquire Homeowner Insurance
Acquire Homeowner Insurance

You are required to obtain homeowner insurance as part of your loan to protect your investment. We can provide you with recommendations for insurance companies so you can shop for insurance that meets your needs.

Schedule Settlement
Schedule Settlement

You’re getting close! Based on your desired time of day and coordinating with the Seller, we will schedule your settlement with the title company. The closing date was determined in the Agreement of Sale.

Final Walk-Throughs
Final Walk-Throughs

You are contractually entitled to two pre-settlement walk throughs at the property. We will go through together to make sure the property is in the same physical condition as when you signed the Agreement of Sale.

Settlement & Transfer of Ownership
Settlement & Transfer of Ownership

On the day of closing, you and the Seller will sign off on all deed, title and mortgage documents and the ownership of the property will transfer to you.

Here Are the Keys!
Here Are the Keys!

Congratulations! You are now a Home Owner!

Your Home Buying Team

It takes a village—literally—to get you to closing. Here’s an overview of the team of people you will be working with during your real estate transaction:

Realtors
Angela and Rick! We are your primary overall contacts and project managers throughout the entire process.
Transaction Manager
Our team Transaction Manager will be assisting to ensure all dates are met and paperwork is processed and the rest of th e team has everything they need to complete the transaction smoothly Read More ⇣
Mortgage Lender
You will work with the primary mortgage consultant who helps you with your pre-approval, estimate and application. There is also a processor(s) who may ask for various documentation for your loan to obtain underwriting approval Read More ⇣
Title Search
You will have a primary contact at the title company who will be coordinating your title search.
Inspector(s)
Depending on the amenities of the home, you may need a general home inspector, wood destroying insect inspector, radon/m old testing company, septic specialist, water testing, etc. We will help you determine the appropriate inspectors Read More ⇣
Settlement Officer
Generally an employee of the title company, this team member is the person who will host your closing, obtain all the re quired signatures and who will make sure your loan is funded at closing Read More ⇣

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
— Maya Angelou

Financial Obligations

Below is a list of potential financial obligations you will have for your home purchase. This is meant to be a general guideline and we/your lender will provide estimates based on the home you choose.

Good Faith Money Deposit
Good Faith Money Deposit

(Average: 3%–5%)
Typically the amount is determined based on the sales price.

Down Payment
Down Payment

The amount you will need for a down payment is determined by type of loan you qualify for.
• FHA Financing: 3.5%
• Conventional Financing: 5%–20%

Inspections
Inspections

(Average $350–$700 depending on home size)
Including home, radon, termite and potentially others.

Appraisal
Appraisal

(Average: $400–$600)
Lenders require an appraisal in order to approve your loan. You will need your payment up front.

Closing Costs
Closing Costs

(Average: 4–5%)
Closing costs are the funds you will need to have in order to settle, unless negotiated otherwise.