How to Buy a House in Palestine, TX

How To Buy a House in Palestine, TX


How To Buy a House in Palestine, TX

How To Buy a House in Palestine, TX


The process of buying a house can seem overwhelming, but rest assured, there is order to the chaos. Follow these steps to a happy home purchase:


  1. FIND AN AGENT– Finding a REALTOR® you are comfortable with and trust is one of the keys to a successful purchase. You will be in contact with your real estate agent a LOT, so find someone you like and trust to be your teammate through the transaction.
  1. FIND A LENDER—Steps 1 and 2 can also be done in reverse order, as long as both are done in the beginning. Just like with your agent, you will be in very close contact with your lender, so don’t just choose one at random—ask for a referral if you don’t know who to call.   Once you find your lender, you can get preapproved or prequalified for a mortgage. These are not one and the same. A preapproved buyer is actually approved for a loan of a certain amount; a prequalified buyer is only told that they might be approved for a certain amount. Preapproval is a more involved process, but you’re going to have to do it eventually anyway and it will help your negotiating power, so it is in your best interest to get preapproved (and save yourself a few gray hairs early on.) As you can imagine, preapproved buyers are much more attractive to home sellers, as it is more of a “sure thing.”
  1. THE HUNT—Maybe you need a bigger house, something closer to work, or are ready to begin building equity instead of renting—whatever your reasons are, know what is important in your home search. Make 2 lists: the “nice to have” list and the “deal breakers” list. In a perfect world, your future house will have everything on both lists. However, your home will likely be a blend of both. The most important is the “deal breaker” list—things that the home ABSOLUTELY must have. There is no reason to waste time looking at anything that won’t work. Once you and your agent have narrowed the list of available properties, it is time to schedule the property tours and start the hunt!
  1. MAKE AN OFFER AND START NEGOTIATIONS—Once you’ve found the house, it’s time to make an offer! Time is of the essence once you find it. Real estate moves quickly and you don’t want it to go under contract before you can even make an offer. Your real estate agent will offer advice on creating an offer with the highest chances of acceptance. Your contract negotiation points will include (but are not limited to): offer price, down payment amount, financing details (aren’t you glad you got preapproved!), earnest money deposit, closing costs, length of inspection period, repair allowances, non-real property inclusions or exclusions, closing date, relevant contingencies and title company detail. Any questions or concerns need to be addressed prior to making an offer. There are NO stupid questions and you will never regret asking too many!
  1. DUE DILIGENCE—Now that the negotiations are over and you’re under contract, a flurry of activity will begin. You want to make sure to get the scoop on what you’re buying during inspections and make sure that clear title can be conveyed. Once the inspections have been satisfactorily completed, the survey (if needed) and the appraisal (if needed) will be ordered. Your agent’s and lender’s experience will be invaluable in making sure that everything is completed professionally and on time.
  1. CLOSING DAY— Simply put, “Closing” is where property ownership is transferred from seller to buyer. There are many components that must come together to prepare for closing. Once all documents are in and ready to go you’ll get a “clear to close”—the magic words to your ears. Closing date will be set and you’ll arrive to sign on the dotted line(s).
  1. MOVING DAY—The best day in the world, right?! Time to move in and cozy up! Be sure to schedule moving services, utilities, etc. in advance so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.

Of course, this is a simplified list that goes over each step without too much detail; but from a buyer’s perspective, the list is comprehensive without being burdensome. Every buyer and every purchase is different. It is an emotionally charged process, but if you take it one step at a time and get an ace team assembled early on, you’ll be walking in your new front door before you know it.


Lisa E. Priest loves closing day and is an East Texas REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or read more at


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