A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.

main

Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.

main

Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.

main

Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.

main

Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task, this is where my expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play. Let me show you around some homes that meet your dream home criteria so you can find the one that's right for you.

My Goal Is to Provide You with The Most Personalized Service that Is Designed to Help You Buy Your Dream Home

main

Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.

main

Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

main

Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.

main

Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.

main

Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

main

Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.

Congratulations!

After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.

What My Clients Say

Working with Ivan was awesome. He had a whole PowerPoint set up for us to understand the steps. He made it a very easy process for a first time home buyer. He is even helping after we bought our home with contractors and other resources.

— Taylor L.

What My Clients Say

Buying our first home on The Eastside felt daunting until we met Ivan, a referral who helped our friend. Ivan quickly became our beacon of guidance in the complex real estate market. Ivan’s approach was patient and informative, making every step of our journey feel straightforward and stress-free. Ivan’s guidance was instrumental from our initial consultation to the successful closing of our home, embody...

— Vijay K.

What My Clients Say

As first-time homebuyers, we encountered many challenges along the way. With perseverance and the guidance of Ivan, we embarked on the journey! He guided us through the process — start to finish, starting with a detailed consultation. He helped us tour properties on demand. We must have toured every city around the Greater Seattle area. He gave us negotiation guidance and helped advise offer writing. And...

— Elizabeth P.

What My Clients Say

Our journey with Ivan was truly exceptional. From guiding us through the process of securing our first investment property to meticulously analyzing the data, Ivan proved to be an invaluable asset. Despite multiple offers on the table, Ivan's expert advice enabled us to craft a compelling offer, and ultimately secure the property. Ivan's professionalism, personable demeanor, punctuality, and wealth of in...

— Shekhar

What My Clients Say

We had an excellent experience with our realtor, Ivan. Initially, we worked with another agent and nearly bought a property with many HOA issues. Ivan provided invaluable guidance and support throughout. His low-pressure approach and constant availability made the process easy and stress-free. He helped us secure our first home with a great deal, including seller-paid closing costs. Ivan's friendliness, ...

— Liliana G..

What My Clients Say

We couldn't have secured our first investment property without Ivan. His expertise in analyzing market trends and identifying hidden gems was invaluable. We were up against multiple offers, but he advised us on how to write a very compelling offer, and we were able to beat a cash offer and secure the property at the listing price. Wow! Negotiations. He's very personable, professional, punctual, and infor...

— Bhaskar

What My Clients Say

Ivan has been an amazing real estate agent for us. We met him at an open house and his knowledge of the local market stood out. We made an offer on a Mainvue home just days later. Ivan was involved and responsive throughout the process. He attended all meetings with the builder during the construction of the home. Ivan answered all our questions, helped calm our nerves and provided moral support througho...

— Buyer

What My Clients Say

Buying our first home in Bothell was a breeze thanks to Ivan. He was always there for us, answering our questions and explaining every step of the process. He was always ready and happy to schedule as many house tours as we wanted, and would go the extra mile to research the properties before the tours. He gave us his honest feedback about the pros and cons of each one. He also helped us win the bidding ...

— Buyer

What My Clients Say

Ivan Grishko is an outstanding realtor. What I like most about him is not only his real estate IQ but his EQ. We have been looking for a home for our mother and had a number of needs: close to us, great community for her to live in, and of course a certain budget. It has been a long journey, over a few years, and when Ivan showed us house after house, and we didn’t quite like them for some reason or anot...

— JB K.

What My Clients Say

Ivan from The Grishko Group made our first-time home buying adventure in Puyallup amazing. He found us a great home and saved us $13,500 in closing costs. He tackled every challenge with ease, and his communication was spot-on. If you need a top-notch realtor, go with Ivan!

— Ramirez

Work With Ivan

He is a Top Producing Broker at eXp Realty in Seattle, WA. Specializing in residential real estate throughout the greater Eastside and Seattle region. Ivan strives to deliver exceptional results for his clients using his experience, knowledge, and creative approach.