As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home.

Assess Your Buying Power. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you love but cannot afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. By doing a thorough analysis of your actual spending power, you’ll be more likely to be comfortable with your monthly mortgage payment.

House Hunting. A great agent will recommend a realistic sales price range. You need to provide your agent with your wish list, “must have” list, timing and area’s you are considering.

Do your homework before bidding. Before you make an offer on a home, your agent will complete due diligence on the sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood with NorthstarMLS and provide you with a competitive market analysis (CMA) to confirm the homes value.

Making An Offer Things to consider before you make an offer are, will you have an inspection, what will your earnest money amount be, what is your target closing date and will you ask the seller to pay for your closings costs? Also be prepared to pay for the appraisal up front.

Preparing For Closing Approximately a week before you are scheduled to close you will complete a final walk-through of the home with your agent, schedule all utilities to be transferred, start packing, make final moving arrangements and sign any last minute closing documents.

MOVE-IN You will receive a closing gift at the closing and receive your keys, garage door opener(s) and other pertinent information on your new home! Congratulations.