What to Expect When Buying a Home

Most people do not purchase homes very often and some of our clients are first time homebuyers. Given that even if this is not your first time purchasing a home, you are likely to not know or remember all the moving parts to the process. We have put together a very basic outline of some of the things that you need to be aware of when searching for a home and preparing to make an offer.  There are a lot of online sites where you can “search” for properties. We have found that none of them are as up to date and reliable as directly searching the MLS. You can search the MLS through our client portal.



-See “Home Buying Timeline”  for details



-We enter you as a client in our database.

-Define your initial search criteria. (See “Search Criteria” for additional details on how best to define your criteria for maximum options without getting ‘junk’ you don’t want to weed through)

-We will set you up in our Client Gateway to receive all new listings as they come on the market meeting your defined criteria. This comes directly from the MLS system.

-Review and sign the Buyer Brokerage Agreement or the Customer Agreement.

-Determine buyer qualification (will you be paying cash or getting a loan.)

-If you are getting a loan we will get you our lender contact info so you can compare with your lender for best rates and closing costs.

-Contact the lender and start the initial loan process. This entails giving them financial information and having your credit pulled. This is an imperative step that should be done very early in the process. This will help determine your search criteria price point as well as uncover any problems or mistakes or shortcomings on your credit report that will take time to address. See “Loans Best Practices”

-We will send you a copy of a sample contract so you can review before we are ready to make an offer.

-Be sure you have everything you will need to make an offer at hand. This would include a letter from the lender stating you are qualified or a bank statement showing you have enough funds to pay cash as well as a personal check for Earnest Money. Earnest Money is usually 1% of the offer price, but no less than $500. It is held in escrow and provided you do not default on the contract you get it credited back to you at closing. If you default on the contract, you forfeit the Earnest Money. (See “Making an Offer.”)



-Review and sign off on the seller’s disclosures on the property you are interested in making an offer on.

-Discuss any visible deficiencies, unusual circumstances, red flags that we are aware of.

-Review comparable properties sold and other circumstances to determine offer price.



-Review contract, responsibilities and implications.

-Determine terms to offer.

-Determine expiration of offer strategy depending on circumstances.

-Discuss special needs/stipulations needed to protect the buyer.

-Attach lender letter or proof of funds to present with offer

-Get a copy of Earnest Money check. We will need actual check once the contract is accepted and is binding.

-We will send final draft of offer for Buyer e-signatures.



-Your offer will be delivered to the Listing agent along with signed disclosures, lender letter and copy of Earnest Money.

-We can generally expect a counter offer from the seller on 1 or more terms of our offer. -We will negotiate back and forth until all parties come to a meeting of the minds and all terms are agreed upon.



-See additional “Checklist for Buyer” for a basic outline of activities that take place during this period.


 If you have any questions about any part of the process please contact Team Lyon via email, text or phone call. We can also set up a face-to-face meeting. We have several people on our team that specialize in different areas of Atlanta and its suburbs to ensure your needs are covered.