What to Expect When Buying a Home

It’s Time to Go Back to the Basics

When it comes to buying a home, you need a strategy that works for you, not against you.
We’ll work together to develop a game plan that can keep up with today’s fast-moving market
so you never miss out on that perfect listing.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you can expect when buying a home in Jacksonville.

Get Clear On Your Path to Homeownership

Forget the TV Shows

Everyone comes to the table with different backgrounds, wants and needs, so don't base your expectations on the 30-minute shows you see on TV. This is going to take some work (but hopefully less drama)

Always Know What's Next

You'll be in the loop on every step of the process thanks to a communication plan that we'll decide on during our first meeting.

Get Connected

We'll make sure you're connected to the right people to close the deal with the least amount of hassles - from top local real estate attorneys to a trusted home inspector.

1. Assemble Your Home Team

Choose your partners and take control of your next move.

Don’t try to go it alone. This is a major transition, and you’re going to need partners to help guide you through. Buying a home is a team sport, and assembling the right team is crucial to ensure the process goes smoothly.


Not sure who to recruit? Ask friends and family for referrals, or do some searching to dig up information on local home pros. You’re going to want a to help manage the process and guide you through, a real estate attorney, mortgage lender, home inspector, home insurance provider and possibly some other pros depending on what type of home you’re looking for.


Don’t be afraid to interview someone before you hire them to learn more about their strategy, communication style, personality and to make sure they understand your goals.

Think You’re Ready?

Let’s meet up to discuss what you’re looking for, what’s happening in the market, and a more in-depth look at what it’s going to take to buy a home.


2. Figure Out Your Finances

Get pre-approved so you can shop confidently.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hunt for your new home, but before you spend your nights diving into search portals and planning DIY projects on Pinterest, meet with a mortgage broker to figure out the state of your finances.


You’re going to need some paperwork to get started, including: W-2s from last two years, most recent pay stubs, proof of assets (bank statements and investment accounts) and employment verification.


All lenders are not created equal: do yourself a favor and stick to local and mid-sized lenders with a local office to avoid headaches down the road. You’ll have one point of contact instead of 10 and get benefits like a faster transaction time.


Ready to get rolling? Keller Williams Atlantic Partners chooses to partner with some of the best lenders in town who promise to be responsive and help you choose the right financing strategy.

3. Determine Wants vs. Needs

Everyone has their must-haves and deal-breakers.

Now that you know your budget and have a team of professionals to turn to, it’s time to get focused on your home search. Work with your agent to develop a strategy based on current market conditions.


It’s time to separate your wants from your needs: make a list that outlines 5 “must-haves” – things you need out of your home or new neighborhood – and 5 “nice-to-haves” that are added bonuses. Also think about any deal-breakers that would cause you to walk away from a home.


How quickly do you need everything to happen? How flexible is your schedule? A typical loan takes 30 days to close, but plan extra time for any negotiations or repairs. Make sure to communicate your timeframe with your lender and agent.


You’re buying into a community, not just a house, so make sure you’ll be happy there. Drive by neighborhoods you’re interested in during different times of the day and check out the stores/restaurants there, talk with people who already live there to find out if they’d buy there again, and search online to find out even more.

4. Start Searching

Let’s hit the streets and find your next home.

Be prepared to act fast in today’s low inventory market with the help of daily listing updates, mobile access to new listings and a strategy custom tailored to what you’re looking for.


Based on the type of home you’re looking for, we’ll set a strategy for keeping up with what’s coming on the market and look for ways to get ahead of the competition.


Once you’ve found a few homes that match what you’re looking for in a community you love, contact your agent and set up a time to view them in person.


Once you find a home that could be the one, it’s time to make an offer and make a move. This is your first chance to negotiate the price based on the local market, so make sure to partner with your agent to see what’s moving and what’s not.

5. Offer & Negotiate on a Home

Be strategic in your offer and go for a win-win agreement.

If you like it then you better put an offer on it – good homes move fast. Like a good hand in poker, this is our time to think strategically and weigh our options to present a winning offer to the sellers.


First impressions are always important, especially when it comes to dealing with the current owner of the home. Set the tone for the rest of the transaction with a solid, market-backed offer.


At Keller Williams, win-win negotiations are part of our guiding principals, treating both sides of the deal with respect and helping them to walk away with few regrets or compromises.


Once both sides agree on any contingencies, inspections and other terms, the contract is executed and you can move on to the next step.

6. Do Your Due Diligence

This is the time to do all your checks and double-checks .

From the home inspection and property surveys to appraisals and final loan approval, this is your chance to make sure the home and everything that comes with it is truly what you’re signing up for. That means insurance quotes, checking on any permits and making sure there are no surprises come closing day.


There are several deadlines tucked into your due diligence period, including a certain amount of time to have a home inspection, negotiate repairs and get final loan approval. Continue to check with your agent and lender that you’re on track to meet them so you don’t breach your contract.


Your agent will coordinate a home inspection with a certified inspector. Don’t be alarmed if they email you back with a lengthy report – it’s their job to point out everything that’s even slightly wrong with the home (like doors that catch or broken lightswitches), but not everything is a major deal. Pay close attention to the major systems, the roof and any wood-destroying organism damage.


It ain’t over till the appraiser gives the final say so – that’s why it’s so important to do your homework before submitting your first offer based on what other homes in the area are selling for. Once the home appraises, the lender will give the final loan commitment and you’ll have cleared the last hurdle to closing.

7. Close on the Home

The final countdown to taking ownership of your new home.

Once the financing is in order and the title has cleared, it’s closing time! You’ll coordinate a date and time with the seller, sign the final HUD and other papers and leave with the keys to a new home.


By the time you get to the closing table, all the tough stuff should be finished and you should only have to verify any final closing cots and look over everything while signing. Double check with your agent to find out how to bring any funds needed to close.


The terms of occupancy will be outlined in the contract, and the home is now legally yours! You should be able to move in the day of closing or start on any renovations – the choice is yours.


What’s the best way to wrangle friends over to help with the move? Make it a moving party disguised as a housewarming party. Free drinks for whoever unpacks their box the fastest?

8. Show Some Love to Jax

Well that was easy; now it’s time to Give Back Jax!

Choose a local charity you care about and I’ll donate 5% of my final paycheck from the sale to go towards helping them continue to make a positive impact in the community.

Let’s take the next step.

Think you’re ready to tackle the market? Let’s set up a focus meeting to get clear on your home search, set your timeframe and talk your big goals.